Art the Homefinder's Spot of the week

Art the Homefinder's Spot of the week


AS always, my rating system is based on an innovative five thumbs-up rating system. I have no time for negativity.

Hidden away in your private jungle, you will hardly know you are living in the middle of Phnom Penh at this gorgeous villa not far from Independence Monument. With six bedrooms, six bathrooms, two balconies, spacious common areas and an expansive outdoor space, I doubt you could find anything better for $2,000.

The inviting entryway and surrounding foliage.

The spacious common room is the first thing guests will see when they come in.

One of the six bedrooms, all with personal bathrooms.

The kitchen is simple but it has everything you need to get the job done. WILL BAXTER

Value:
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This one is a little tough to determine due to the owners flexibility regarding the price of the place. Their starting monthly rent is $2,000 a month, but they are willing to negotiate depending on the demands of the renter. They are willing to make any changes to furniture, interior design or even the tiling of the floor, but suggested that these demands might make them less likely to drop the price. Still, this place is a great deal at $2,000 and deserves at least a score of four, regardless of the outcome of your negotiations.

Utilities and service:
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The owners of the villa have the best possible policy when it comes to utilities; they charge tenants the price that they receive from the companies who provide the various services, including water, cable, electricity and garbage collection. If you have a complaint with the price you can take it up with the municipality, but the owners are doing their part to save you some dough.

Location:
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Living next door to a pagoda provides a daily reminder that you are living in Cambodia and gives some authenticity to your experience here, but it can also be an annoyance when chanting or ceremonies begin before the sun comes up. Although it is quite centrally located on a small street near the corner of Sothearos Blvd and St 294, the villa is still surrounded by a fair mount of hubbub due with plenty of passers-by and kids on the street. You won’t be able to completely isolate yourself from the distractions outside, but the villa has plenty of space for those times you need to escape.

Atmosphere:
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“Jungle villa” is the best way to describe this spacious residence surrounded by trees and greenery on all sides. The outdoor area surrounding the house is huge, and although much of it is sprouting tropical vegetation, making it uninhabitable, there is still plenty of space to allow you to enjoy private time outside, a rare luxury in an overcrowded capital city. The wide open common space in the front of the house is now bare, but you can imagine the many possibilities with so much space. There are also two large balconies on the second floor and a covered outdoor space between the two buildings to give the place an airiness that is rather refreshing.

Furnishings:
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If the owners claim that they will fully furnish the place once they get input from the tenants is true, then my low score for this category is unnecessarily low, but I don’t want to put my credibility on the line unless I can be entirely sure. The worst case scenario is that they will furnish the apartment but keep the rent at $2,000 to cover the cost. The best case scenario is that you already have furniture to fill six bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen and you will be able to take a couple hundred dollars off the monthly rent. It is a pretty good deal either way. I just prefer a greater sense of certainty about what is being offered.

Maintenance:
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The place looked perfect when we visited, but that’s not surprising given that they had a day to prepare for the photo shoot. Looking around the place it still seemed like cleanliness and good housekeeping had been practiced by the previous tenants. It’s tough to say how responsive owners will be to your problems until they arise, but all signs point to excellent upkeep and attentiveness.

Security:

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The owners of the property hire two guards to split the duty of keeping watch over the house. It is located in a somewhat seedy area, but there is a high fence surrounding the place, which along with the security guards should allow you to sleep well as long as the monks stay quiet outside.
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Art Hong Ly works independently as a home finder in Phnom Penh. If you want to look at the spot of the week or other available apartments, villas or offices, he can be reached during standard business hours by calling 012422126 or email [email protected]. For other questions related to this column send an email to [email protected].

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