THE problems of accommodating a large family on Hong Kong island could be solved by moving to a village house in Sai Kung.
Surrounded by peaceful green hillsides, yet with a swimming pool, open car park and a large, safe, play area, Cotton Tree Villas is within five minutes of Sai Kung town, and a 40-minute drive to Central.
The houses, built about 14 years ago on three levels, give a panoramic view which takes in Fei Ngo Shan, Ma On Shan, the Nine Pine Islands and Sai Kung town.
The current owners use the middle floor as their main living area, leaving the lower level to their teenage children.
The ground floor has a large family room with an open fireplace, housing an imitation-flame gas heater, a built-in bar with space for a refrigerator, a recess suitable for a desk and a good-sized double bedroom.
It also has a handy storage cupboard and a small bathroom and shower.
One wall has sliding French windows leading to the tiled patio and grass lawn which allows access without disturbing the rest of the house.
Dark wood-block stairs lead to the entrance hall and the middle floor, which features a large room ideal for a dining table for eight.
There is also ample space for a three-piece suite and the current owner's grand piano.
French windows open to a balcony which runs along the front of the house.
The maid's quarters and a large kitchen, featuring a timber breakfast bar, fitted cupboards and practical worktops, lead off the main room.
Open-plan stairs go to the third level and the master bedroom with its pink en suite bathroom in contrast to the rest of the house, which is white.
This, and the second bedroom, have balconies looking out over the lawn. Bedroom number four has a built-in desk unit, while the third bedroom faces back towards the swimming pool.
The bedrooms are all doubles, featuring fitted cupboards.
The open roof terrace is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the view, or simply drying clothes.
The house also has split-type air-conditioning, ceiling fans in most rooms, track lighting, blinds and insect-screens and carpets in the bedrooms.
The swimming pool is maintained by a gardener who looks after the lawns and rubbish disposal.
Private mini-buses serve several schools, collecting and dropping children off in the car park.
FACT FILE LOCATION: Cotton Tree Villas, Muk Min Shan, Sai Kung. SIZE: 2,100 square feet. PRICE: $6.7 million. FEATURES: Spacious family house in small development of eight units, large car park, four generous bedrooms, three bathrooms, big kitchen, 1,000sq ft grass lawn and garden, communal swimming pool, balconies on both upper floors, roof terrace. AGENT: Contact Damien Hazleton, Colliers Jardine, Tel: 302 1346.
FACT FILE LOCATION: 11B, Chung Hom Kok Road. DESCRIPTION: A semi-detached townhouse with a garden, swimming pool, three en suite bedrooms, floor area of 3,000 sq ft and Stanley Bay views. The ground floor has living area, study, modern kitchen and a separate maid's quarters, large games room, storage space and a two-car garage. The house has been completely renovated. SIZE: 3,000 sq ft on a site area of 6,000 sq ft. PRICE: $35 million. AGENT: Contact Edina Wong, First Pacific Davies. Tel: 842-4596.
FACT FILE LOCATION: Glebe Place, Chelsea, London, SW3. DESCRIPTION: Attractive period terrace house in a prime residential area. Extensively renovated, it has a sunny south-facing roof terrace. Patios and terraces are accessible from most rooms. Three reception rooms, three bedrooms, three bathrooms. PRICE: About GBP525,000. AGENT: Knight Frank & Rutley, 20 Hanover Square, London W1R OAH. Tel: 071 629-8171, Fax: 071 493-4114. FACT FILE LOCATION: Kellet View Town House, 65-69 Mount Kellet Road, Hong Kong.DESCRIPTION: These exclusive properties are in a very sought-after location on the Peak. Each has four bedrooms (three en suites ), a spectacular sea view, use of the large swimming pool and its own car parking space. The units are for rental or sale. SIZE: 3,500 sq ft. PRICE: Rental $140,000 per month, sale price $35 million. AGENT: Contact Renu Budhrani, Chesterton Petty. Tel: 840-1177.