As always, my rating system is based on the five thumbs up scale. My enthusiasm for property can’t be expressed with just two hands.
This three-bedroom apartment has everything you could possible want in a Phnom Penh pad – prime location, immaculate upkeep and more space than you will know what to do with. For $1,000 it’s an absolute steal.
The size of this apartment is unprecedented for such a reasonable price. You can feel the spaciousness in every room of the house, including the kitchen (top left) and bedrooms (top right). The expansive porch (bottom), set back from the surrounding foliage, is no exception. WILL BAXTER
Based on my rough methods of measurement, this apartment is about 192 square metres. I may be off a bit, but the point is that it is huge. Add the marble floors, high-quality furnishings and superb location and it is quite surprising that it only costs $1,000 per month. Normally, you would struggle to find a two-bedroom spot of comparable quality for that price.
Utilities and service:
Unlike most landlords who charge a mark-up on utilities and services, arbitrarily setting a price well above the market cost, the owners of this apartment promise to charge the exact figure that they are billed for. As an example, electricity is only 920 riel per kilowatt hour, well under 1200-1500 riel normally charged by landlords. Cable costs $10, and since you will only be charged for what you use, the cost of everything else is basically up to you.
The only knock against the location is that the apartment is just across the fence from the high school campus of ISPP, meaning that you will occasionally be forced to suffer through the sound of kids having fun. It also means that you will be living just off Norodom Ave in a rare location that is both central and slow-paced, which makes the occasional disturbance worth the pain.
Filling the second floor of a three-floor building, this apartment is surrounded by lush greenery from the trees growing on all sides. It is also set back from the main street in small alley, giving it a surprising sense of peace, quiet and community in a city where such things aren’t easily found. The marble floors and wooden panels lining the interior also add a sophistication to the already inviting accommodations.
There is no doubt that the interior decorating decisions were made by a Cambodian, with well-lacquered wood used for every piece of furniture as well as the ceiling and runners along the walls. Although the traditional taste in this country for hard wood furniture might not take comfort into consideration, adding a few cushions will make relaxation easy to achieve. In order to give their renter a chance to personalise the place, the owners have held off purchasing a refrigerator, TV, stove, mattresses, curtains and a number of other appliances and pieces of furniture until they know the preferences of the people living inside.
On our visit for this article, the apartment was absolutely immaculate, save for the dust from recent maintenance and renovations done by the owners. The only complaint you might have is that the place is too clean and shiny to feel like a home, but you are welcome to change that when you move in.
The husband of the couple who owns the building and live downstairs is a high commissioner in the country’s military. If that alone doesn’t give you a complete sense of security from intruders, than the somewhat secluded location, surrounding barbed wire fence and well-secured windows and doors will surely put you at ease.
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].