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Friday, December 31, 2010

Property Investments and Tenant Management

I finished reading Your Tenants, Your Jewels by Renesial Leong yesterday. The book belongs to Sara who bought it at Wealth Summit. According to the book, only 1% of the population in any country is actively practicing property investments. Why?
Today I found out some of the reasons from a personal experience.
Many people feel that property investment is a big hassle.  Not only you have to come up with the cash for the deposit.  After you finally get the property, you may have to repair it, renovate it or furnish it.
Then you have to look for a tenant or a few tenants.  For example if you are renting your apartment to students, you will have to look for a few student tenants. You have to deal with their parents.  They might call you for every little problem that arises.
So, in summary, there are a lot of people who do not know about the rewards of property investments, and based on their own narrow views, they just push the whole idea aside.  They said things like they would rather invest the money in business than worry about petty things like that.
And so, there remains only 1% of the population who would go through all these trouble (and in fact, we enjoy doing it!) and become property investors.
Yes we enjoy it.  Property selection, furnishings selection, cleaning up and seeing the beautiful end result.  Tenant selection and management.  Money in the bank passively every month.  For all the benefits of property investments, there are just very few people who know the true beauty of it.  And then there are the people who do not know, but keep "pouring cold water" onto other people who may be interested to start.
My advice to all property investment beginners: don't listen to the negative people.  Check and see how many properties they have.  It is no wonder that they have none (aside from their own house).  Check with the people who do have the properties, and learn and listen to them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tycoon with a Cause Part 2, Dec 2010

My friend, Sara, attended part 2 of the Tycoon with a Cause organized by Freemen in Dec, because we agreed we would partner up and take turns to attend.  In that seminar, Michael himself is the speaker who shared his experience in property investments.  Besides the good learnings from Michael, networking with like-minded participants is also invaluable.
However there were some participants whom were not willing to share their experience.  Yes, I respect that there are some personal areas or secrets that one would not disclose to complete strangers.  In such instances, it is better to just give the short answers or mention that you are uncomfortable to disclose the details, but give a general overview; then the other party should get the message.  Yet, there were also some other people who believe in the law of limitations.  When Sara asked another participant regarding her experience in properties, i.e which area and what type of properties, the answer was: "Haha, cannot tell you la.  Afterwards you become my competitor."
Even Peter Yee, the expert in auction properties, conducts classes on how to win auctions. Was he worried that he would create more competitors in auction sessions?
He said, "I cannot buy all the auction properties. There are plenty to go around."  Learning from the millionaire Peter Yee, Sara and I believe in the law of abundance.  A candle does not become dimmer if you use it to light another candle.  There are plenty of properties to go around, you cannot buy them all ;-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tenancy Agreement Contract Breached - Can we cancel the stamping?

After my last tenant broke the contract and defaulted on his room deposit, I was worried about the income tax reporting.  That's because I have already stamped the tenancy agreement at LHDN, and I was afraid that  LHDN will use it to trace the rental income. I searched for answers on the web on how to cancel the agreement.
I found websites which explained that rental income tax depends on our tax filing, not on the tenancy agreement stamping. So the tenancy agreement is breached and the rental is terminated, I should just report the income as what it really is, no need to cancel the agreement at LHDN.
Do you have any experience with this and would you have any advice for me?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SD Tiara - last tenant found

I am thankful that after the vacancy in November & December, the last room at SD Tiara is now taken up again come 1 Jan 2011.
The main problem was I was away for 2 weeks and didn't manage to show the unit to interested parties in time.  I also had many enquiries but not enough for viewing.  So far I had shown the unit to only 3 prospects. Thankfully today, I got a tenant who works at Bandar Utama which is about 5km away.  In fact, after viewing, he paid all the deposits on the spot to guarantee the room. So my unit is once again full-house.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

SD Tiara looking for one last tenant again

Just an update here about my SD Tiara apartment.  By November I already had 3 tenants and no more empty rooms.  Then last week the last tenant who moved in about 3 weeks told me he had to break the contract and move out.  That was because his company who moved him to Kepong last month, suddenly moved him to work in Perak.
As he only paid the rental for November and also one month's deposit - he was supposed to pay 2.5 mths deposit and November rental but because he moved in mid month he asked for a little leeway to pay the balance by month end - he asked me how to settle the balance.  He actually owed me more than that, and the contract was already signed and stamped, but I felt pity on this guy who was suddenly moved again, and told him it was ok, I just forfeit that one month's deposit.  After all, I had no loss, except to find another tenant. He was very happy.  He told me that luckily the company was fair to him, they would let him claim the rental and deposit.
So now my apartment is looking for one last tenant. I believe if I am a fair and good landlord, eventually I will find my good last tenant.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unifi Installation at SD Tiara apartment

Here's an update of the Unifi installation.  After the application on Oct 22, the clerk told me that the estimated installation date would be Nov 15.   In actual fact, I got it installed on Nov 24.   I was given a call 3 days in advance (last Sunday) and notified that the installation would take place at 9.30am.
This time the installation is no longer free.  There is a fee of RM200 which is built into the monthly bill (RM40 X 5 months).  Other than that, the package for 5MB is still at RM149 monthly.

This time, J went to the apartment to do all the work.  He went prepared with a 4-gang extension plug and a long telephone cable that we had lying in the house that was not used.  Because TM only provides a standard line of 5m, if you require longer than that they will charge the cost for the new cable. This was from the experience of the 1st installation at The Domain.  Installation took nearly 2 hours, but the overall service was good.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tycoon with a Cause

Last Saturday from 9am-5pm, about 40 people attended a charity event called Tycoon with A Cause. 2 property tycoons came to share about their personal experience in their property investments.
I was inspired by the 2 speakers, especially Juanita Chin. She is such a simple and unassuming woman.  She showed that a simple person such as herself can really work towards her dream in becoming financially free through property investments.  And after becoming successful, she still comes back to share her experience and encourage others to walk the path she has treaded.

It was truly an amazing session meeting tycoons like her, giving back to society and helping other people.

Property Dance First Post

Property Investment is like a dance, I told a friend. It is an experience, a journey where we learn the skills and techniques of mastering the tasks, almost like learning a dance. And because it brings me so much joy and will ultimately be the key to my freedom, a dance is a good analogy.
Here in this blog, I will update my property journal, including learnings and thoughts. I hope that you will like it here, do drop me comments now and then to let me know what you think.

Photo: View of Hong Kong properties from Victoria's Peak