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Monday, December 26, 2011

TNB owner: Change of Name process

Here I share a step by step guide for TNB power reconnection after deactivation of account by a previous owner.
1. Get a copy of the old TNB bill, that will tell you which Kedai TNB you have to go. It is very surprising that sometimes the Kedai TNB that is assigned to your area, isn't the one that is nearest to you.
2. Go to that Kedai TNB and get 2 forms for filling up (application form, permohonan bekalan elektrik domestik, and a letter of undertaking, surat akujanji dan tanggung rugi)
3. Go to the nearest LHDN to pay RM10 stamp duty each for both forms to get stamped.
4. Bring along a copy of the S&P and a copy of your NRIC and your spouse's NRIC.
5. Cash for the 2-months TNB deposit and an application fee of RM3.
I think the worst part is having to run to LHDN, so it would be easier to get the forms prepared in advance, fill them up and get them stamped.
For more info, visit this TNB website and the conditions form that I attach in this picture.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hard Working

Today I learnt something about entrepreneurship from a taxi driver, Omar.
While in his taxi today I overheard him cutting a deal for RM150,000. So I asked him what he was selling.
He explained that he acts as an introducer in land deals.  Besides that, he also provides extra service like running to the land office to check titles and making sure the deal goes through.  He also explained that because he is not a licensed agent, his introducer work is governed by legal agreements and also options. Based on his introducer fees, he could earn as much as 2% of the sale price.
I asked him why he was still driving his taxi when he could be full time in this land sale business.  He said he is building his network, for example, while talking to me, perhaps I also have a piece of land that I could ask him to sell.  He further explained that he has to be hard working, he has 5 children and the eldest in studying Islamic Law in Mecca, and the second child will enter university soon.
I told him that as long as we are hardworking, there will be opportunities, to which he said "God willing."
I admire such enterprising people who would work hard to change their fate, all contributing to a better life and a better world.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Selling with Tenancy?

Here I would like to relate an unfortunate experience of a close friend who bought a property with existing tenancy.  The tenancy was supposed to be valid until Dec 2012.  By the time my friend completed the whole process, he got the keys in late November 2012, with about 1 more year to go.

Recently he received a written notice from the tenant, stating that he wish to move out in Jan 2012, and therefore is giving 2 months' notice.  My friend immediately consulted me, and I said surely in the tenancy agreement, there must be a penalty clause for early termination.  In fact, there was none, the clause just says the tenant has to give 2 month's written notice, no penalty, no forfeiture of security deposit etc.

My friend was shocked, and upon a second look, we notice that the tenancy agreement was not even stamped at LHDN.  So he realized that he has been cheated.  What was supposed to be tenancy agreement was maybe a fraudulent piece of document that was created simply for the sale of the property.  The clause for termination was very loose and the agreement also not stamped.

So far I have advised my friend to seek the help of his lawyer to get the 2 months' security deposit that was not even handed over to him (he was told to get it from the tenant himself as the security deposit has been used by the owner to offset the previous 2 months' rental).

By now, my friend realized that the whole thing was a scam that was planned from the beginning.  The tenant and the owner were in cahoots, with a false tenancy agreement, and plans to quickly move out once the handover has taken place.

Lesson learnt: Check the tenancy agreement before buying, make sure the clauses are airtight.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tenant Out, Tenant In

A little good news to share, which I am very thankful about.  One of my tenants in SD Tiara is moving out end Dec 2011.  So I started to advertise about a week ago, and thankfully today a tenant came to view and paid a booking deposit on the room.  He works in an agency that is in Sri Damansara itself, so it is very convenient for him. We promised to meet again early January to sign the tenancy agreement and hand over the keys.
Meanwhile, I had a look at the apartment and nearly fainted.  Bachelors staying in the house do not know how to keep clean.  I will try to do them a favour by having a thorough cleanup at the end of this month.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lend a Helping Hand 1, 2011

Dreams can come true.  Through the hard work and effort of the Property N Co members, finally we realized our dream about doing something for charity and at the same time benefiting others through our knowledge sharing.
The event was reported in the NST today: Bloggers hold seminar for charity.
To fellow bloggers, Anie and Fara, congratulations and great job!
I've named this post Lend a Helping Hand 1.  Because I believe there will be 2,3,4 etc subsequently.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tenancy Agreement - Early Termination

Here's my first experience of dealing with "expat" Iranian family tenants.  After renting my condominium unit for 1 month, and paying the 1st rental (because the earlier rental was given as agent's commission), they suddenly tell me that they would like to move out.  By then, the agreement was stamped with a tight clause, that early termination means forfeiture of 2 months' deposit.

The family keep on bugging me to let them off the hook, I had so much problems because now I would have to engage the agent to get another tenant and lose another months' rental in commissions.   Actually, they were a very nice family of 2 couple and 2 children in their early 20's (studying in Malaysia) and I could not understand why they suddenly want to do that.  Then I found out that the Dad had a heart attack, and was admitted to hospital, and wanted to be transferred back to Iran for the medical follow up.
So, I had to let them go, but we were still negotiating the deposit return terms.
Thankfully, everything worked out well.  It turns out that they had a cousin from Iran who was coming to Malaysia under the MM2H program.  So the cousin and his wife, just took over the whole tenancy from them, and I get to keep my deposits (they just paid the deposit to the 1st family).  So no loss of rental, no loss of another month's agent commission.  Just to cancel the first agreement and do up a new agreement with new stamping.
Sometimes, things all fall into place.  Again, I am grateful for the ups and downs as a landlady.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lend a Helping Hand 2011

OK, OK, I know I have had a terribly poor control of my time, rendering neglect of my blog.  To my readers out there, really sorry.
Anyway, today our gang met up to refine the details for the exciting upcoming charity event, and I was chided by fellow members for this very serious "sin".  So I have decided to spring back into action.  Less than 1 week to event, hope all of you readers can reach out to support a worthy cause while learning a tip or two about property investments.
Thanks for all your encouragement, readers, see you at the event.

For more information & registration, visit Property N Co.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Extra Guest in the House Part 2

Image from http://www.easyvectors.com/browse/human/travelling-vector-30
Continuing from my immediate previous post, after I sent the email to evict the extra guest in the house, I got an immediate reply.  He explained that the guest was his little brother, and that the brother was on short-term training in KL.  As a big brother, he allowed his brother to stay with him.  His tone was none too happy, he claimed that if his brother was staying for long term, he would have moved out to rent another place together.
Anyway, just the day before, the training ended and his brother had left for overseas work after the training.
So the problem was settled instantaneously. Even if I was too late informing him, it is good I establish some rules so that he is aware of it already.
Since the brother had left, I decided not to argue and be too harsh about the situation, and just thank my tenant for his kind understanding.  Phew! Case closed too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Extra Guest in the House

Image from http://thelandlorddiaries.com/?p=86
Yesterday one of my tenants called me to complain about his house-mate who have had a guest staying in the apartment for over 3 months.  The guest is apparently my tenant's brother who is "squatting" in the apartment living room.  While they all do not mind the occasional guest or relative coming to stay over sometimes, a long term guest in the living room is not acceptable.
How to approach this problem?  I wrote an email to my tenant, asking for the guest to leave within 2 weeks.  If he does not reply within 2 days, I will give him a call to discuss.  He has been a good paymaster all this while and the tenancy is due for renewal in 2 months.
Anyone of you have any suggestions for me?
BTW if the squatter look like anything in the photo here, I will send the blogger/property investor/manager eun-yong to settle the problem for me, hahahaha!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for paying Cukai Pintu again

Today is Merdeka Day, Happy Celebration to all Malaysians!
Today is also the last day for paying Cukai Pintu to DBKL and MBPJ.
You can still do so today via Maybank2u even though all offices are closed for the national holidays ;-)  Otherwise there will be a nominal denda of RM5.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What were the last 3 Self-Development / Business Books that You Bought?

Steve Aitchison, a blogger and self-development coach, asked his readers this question.
I think it is a great question, it is a reality check whether we are reading enough in areas we want to improve, not just novels and stories....
So I decided to list them down here, the last 3 books that I bought.

Now, to get off the computer and to do some serious reading ;-)
Anyone else wants to share the 3 financial/business/self-development books that they bought? 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

TNB Bill at the Domain - Part 3: Mystery Solved

Following my 2 posts previously (Strange TNB bill at the Domain & TNB Bill Part 2) on the strange TNB bill that arrived at the Domain mailbox, which was not in my name, even though Laketown made the name change; as well as not reflecting the total payments that were made in July, we finally found out what went wrong.
First, the name change was a slip-up from TNB, it was rectified almost immediately. Secondly, we realized that when TNB changed the name, it changed the account number as well.  So my tenants made payment to the old account number last month, and TNB took Laketown's deposit to pay in the new account number - therefore, there was no double payment reflected.
So the mystery is solved, and En. Jauhari clarified he would claim back Laketown's deposit from TNB from the old account number.  Case closed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Should I rent out furnished or unfurnished?

A friend asked me if she should rent out her apartment furnished or unfurnished.  The rental for empty unit is around RM900, and she plans to furnish it fully and rent out at higher rental - RM1000.
In my opinion, if you were to put in furnishings into a 3-bedroom apartment, the furniture and home appliance could easily cost RM4000.  At RM100 increased rental per month, it will take 40 months (3 years and 4 months) just to recover the costs of the furnishings. For me, I would furnish only if the increase in rental is substantial, for example RM400 more.  Then it will take 10 months to recover the furniture costs, and then from the 11th month onwards it would be really cash flow for a few years.  So I told my friend if a furnished unit could only fetch RM100 more per month, then rent it out as bare unit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ho Chin Soon's Location, Timing & Branding Book

Sunday, 7th Aug - the last speaker at 5pm was Ho Chin Soon. Although tired from travelling and fasting during  Ramadhan, he gave his best at the talk about how the MRT system will affect properties and the economy.  And I remembered to bring my book for him to autograph, after the session.
And Sara, so impressed by him, immediately bought his new book on the spot to get his autograph too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Commercial Property Buying Tips

Today was the 2nd day of the Property Investment Convention, which was again packed with information.  Here I pen down Gerard Kho's  (Reapfield) commercial property buying tips:

1. If you bought a commercial property from the developer, hold it for 3 years after vacant possession before selling.  That's because from his analysis, prices go up following the 3-year maturity rule.
2. Choose properties that have booming business all around - you can tell from the limited parking space.
3. Choose properties that face massive activities, not just the main road.
4. Choose properties that have residential homes supporting the shops.  Not a row of shops out of nowhere along the highway.
5. Choose areas that are big magnets (draws crowd). For example, Mont Kiara and Ampang are big magnets to expats in Malaysia because of availability of international schools and existing friends who live there.
6. More floors to the shop office does not equal more value.
7. 5 commercial property hotspots suggested are: Solaris Dutamas, Sri Kembangan, Kota Damansara, Kota Kemuning and Puchong.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Property Investment Convention

A sleepy Saturday morning saw me getting up early and all excited about the 2-day Property Investment Convention that members of Property & Co have signed up for.  Even though we share our learnings, there are so much more we can learn and it is important to keep ourselves updated.  So after dropping Wei at school for his chess class, I headed to Gardens, where there is a huge crowd of about 1000.
Sara and I, Anie and Fara, all had something else to do but we choose to spend our full weekend, learning.  
Fortunately the program was packed full of things to learn and never boring.  The speakers include Vincent Wong and John Lee from Wealth Dragons, Milan Doshi who needs no introduction, Dominic Lee about Hong Kong landbanking, George Lebrooy about REITs and Samantha Payne about Australian properties.  A Saturday well spent.  Tomorrow, can't wait to hear from Ho Chin Soon and get him to sign my book ;-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

TNB Bill at Neocyber Domain - part 2

Following my previous post, Strange TNB bill at Neocyber Domain, after informing En. Jauhari by email, he replied to say that he would check.  Today he sent another confirmation from TNB stating that TNB had made the correction.  This is very efficient.
However, there is still the dispute on the double payment last month, one by Laketown and another by my tenant, which is still not reflected in the bill.  I have informed my tenants to hold on to the payment until this has been resolved, and have further asked En. Jauhari to clarify.  Let's see what happens.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Property & Co 2nd Session - July 2011

After 2 days of content-packed, fun-filled sharing session, we have successfully completed the 2nd sharing session by Property & Co.  This time, we had a change of venue which is conveniently located near LRT and monorail stations.  And we have a special guest speaker, AE, who shared his experience and tips from the bottom of his heart.
All in all, another fun and successful session with loads of positive feedback. The presentations were serious and fact-packed.  But the intervals were fun and relaxing, like this exercise session to wake participants up.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strange TNB bill at the Domain

In June, the Laketown manager contacted me and said they finally managed to transfer the owners' name from Laketown to me on the TNB bill.  For that TNB has taken Laketown's deposit for the current month's bill.  It so happened that my tenants had paid the TNB bill as well.  So this month's bill should reflect a double payment.
But when July's bill came, there was no credit in it, only the amount to pay for July.
And the best part is, while the name has been changed from Laketown, the owner's name is not my name!
This is strange because when the manager emailed to me the acknowledgement, the owner's name was mine.
I have written to En. Jauhari to clarify the matter, let's see what his answer is to solve the problem.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Domain Neocyber, Water Clamping Notice

Today my Domain tenant informed me that there is water clamping notice in the post-box.

When I called the management office, apparently my tenants were owing 2 months' water bill and I owed the current July-Sept maintenance fees - total amounting to >RM700.
However, my tenants cleared the water bill 2 months ago, and I was submitting the payment for maintenance in this 2 days, so the whole affair was a storm in a teacup.  Imagine the panic it caused my tenants.
The management is very strict about collecting fees, which is good, but not good at updating records, which is poor.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Choosing a Commercial Shop

Here is one point that I learnt from Dr Peter Yee regarding choice of commercial shop.
Photo  courtesy of Auswandern Malaysia http://www.flickr.com/photos/carworld/
For example, a shop which has the TNB box or tree right in front is less desirable if you have other choices.  It tends to block the frontage of the shop making it less visible to patrons.  Just one of the points to consider when choosing commercial property ;-)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Experience of a Tenant in Cyberjaya

Recently I met a new tenant through word of mouth by ex-tenant.  This guy is an Asian expatriate and had been in Cyberjaya for only 1 week, having arrived to work at his company.  Through company contacts, he ended up renting a middle room in one of the other Cyberjaya apartments.
The rental that was told to him by the landlord was RM1,150.  When I heard this, I thought it was for the whole apartment, but he clarified to say that it was only the middle room.  Then he realized that the price was too exorbitant, so he negotiated with the landlord and the rent came down to RM850 (which I think is also not a normal rate).  There was never any tenancy agreement, and the instructions kept changing.
The other part of the story is the apartment does not even have a washing machine.  The laundry service at the apartment had washing machines with coin slots.  It was RM3.50 per wash, and the machine only took 50sen coins.  So he said that he had not done his laundry for many days since it was very difficult for him to collect 50sen coins.
Image from: http://simplywash.com/doing-laundry/
Generally he had a bad impression of the landlord and the place.  Stories of how the landlord is not responsive but only delivers a one-sided instruction to the tenant on what is required, and landlords not returning deposits when the tenants move out were things that he was worried about.  He was very grateful to move out of that apartment after one week, and grateful that he is now finally able to wash clothes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Repairs at Domain

A year has passed since I took over the keys to my Domain apartment, and it is time for repairs.  The sliding door lock needs to be replaced, and I engaged Mr Sam from the hardware store downstairs to change the lock. It took him a long time because the sliding door lock was difficult to position.  Only 1 type of lock, St. Guchi can fit and that also took a lot of adjustment.  

Mr Sam had mentioned that locksmiths from other areas who are not familiar with the Domain sliding door often bring some other brands of lock to do the replacement, only to find, after hours of trying, that nothing will fit.
When the job was finally done, I left a note to my tenants to use the key and lock "gently".  Even though it is a new lock, it is easily damaged if you turn it by force.  What an inconvenient and unpractical door design!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Property & Co is back!

If you missed the first sharing session in March, now you have a chance to participate in the coming July session from Property & Co.  
This is a property sharing session that is run by a group of friends, all eager to teach how they make money in property investments.
Have a look at this website and decide for yourself if it is worth investing in education to jump start your property investments.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Peter Yee's Property Investment Guiding Principles

I would like to share some gems that I picked up from Dr Peter Yee's commercial property course today.
As always, his course is packed with practical knowledge and peppered with useful anecdotes and good humour.

1. Minimize your risks at every stage of property portfolio operations
- depending on the property cycle, an investor may need to take a fixed rate term loan for financing, and also choose the safer type of properties for investment
2. Do not lose money
- this means never go for negative cash flow properties
3. Economy is non-linear, it is cyclical
- so don't assume that all properties will go up in value all the time
4. Good time prepares for bad time
- if property cycle is in the uptrend, be prepared for the downturn
5. Property boom & bubble is certain, only the quantum and duration varies
6. You will not go wrong by buying positive cash flow properties
7. You will not go broke by taking profits
- from selling your properties
8. Ride out tough property investment cycle by focusing on quality property with good yield and high potential capital gain.
9. Property prices are determined by the forces of supply & demand at specific locations
- so study the supply & demand before taking the plunge.

Friday, May 20, 2011

SD Tiara: Review

Recently I have received a few emails asking for my opinion of SD Tiara. So here are some facts and thoughts.

SD Tiara is a freehold, 4-storey walk-up apartment consisting of 4 blocks (A to D), located up on a hill in Bandar Sri Damansara. Because of it's location, it is hidden behind shoplots and a community of semi-D housing, and it is not visible from the mainroad of Persiaran Perdana.  There are a total of 420 units, considered low-density housing for its price range. It was completed in year 2000.

Each unit is the same size, which is 830s.f.  Each block is arranged in such a way that every unit is a corner unit.  For example, block A has A1, A2, A3 and so forth, so if you go to A1, there are only 4 units on each floor. This layout maximizes sunlight and every room has a window.

The joint management board has taken over the management of the apartment.  Service charge is RM70 and sinking fund is RM20, and the rate has never been raised ever since the handing over of the keys.  There are talks of raising the total maintenance charge to RM100 since last year, but it has not happened.  This RM90 a month is used to provide the security guard services and maintain the common areas.  I would say that the maintenance is good.  I am of the opinion that all the SD apartments, SD II and SD Tiara are well maintained.  For one, you will not see glaring patches of bald land on the fields or common inner courtyards, it is all covered with grass.  You will not see puddles of water on these areas, I have been to other apartments of the same price range and can see that water is leaking here and there and in the carparks and generally give an unhygienic impression.  But SD Tiara is clean.

If you walk among the apartments, you will see that most residents are families, even those with school going children.  Bandar Sri Damansara is a very self-sufficient township with a few schools in the vicinity, making it a very convenient place to live.   There are also working class people staying here, like my tenants in my apartment.  They work in Bandar Utama and Kota Damansara, which is 5-6km away along the LDP.  For them, they would rather pay the daily toll rate rather than pay the high rental in those areas.

The only drawback is the parking space.  Each apartment only has 1 designated (open) carpark.  For the family who own the 2nd car, they can rent an extra parking lot from the management at RM60 each. Rental is renewed every 3 months.  Most people just park along the road outside the guardhouse causing congestion on one side of the road and making the 2-way road passable to only 1 car at a time.

If you have no car or motorcycle, then it is inconvenient to live in SD Tiara, because of it's location up the hill.  It is a long walk (maybe 20- 30 minutes to the many eatery and convenience shops located along Persiaran Perdana).  After 10 years, the trees and plants have matured beautifully, complementing it's uphill location.  At night you hear crickets, like you are in the forest.

Drawing from my experience of owning only 1 unit here, it is easy to rent out. ;-)  And it is a great place for own stay as well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Property & Financial Handbook

During the first Property & Co seminar that was run in March, my friend captured this image of my notebook lying on the table after I took some notes.  This handbook has been started since 2009.  Prior to 2008, I never thought about financial knowledge beyond my daily job and spending within my means. Then one day in 2008, my friend invited my husband and I to join "Millionaire Mind Intensive" by T Harv Eker, live in Malaysia.
I am always grateful to that friend who invited me, because the MMI changed my life.  It opened up the possibilities of breaking free from a routine job and generating passive income, and spending time doing things that matter to me and my family.
So after that, J & I started attending property, sales, or investmemt seminar previews. From the previews we picked those seminars which we would like to learn more about, and really invested in education as Eker suggested us to.
So I hope you too, would start a financial investment notebook, where you put in all the notes taken down from the educational seminars that you attend.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Property that is above the Market Valuation

Here's a real experience of making an offer for a property where we had very little bargaining power.
The prices quoted here are all for illustration only:
Commercial Properties

There was an advertisement for a commercial property, with very few transactions in that area.  The asking price was RM590k, but bank valuation was only RM450k, on top of that, the rental yield was about 4.9% only.  However there was potential for further capital appreciation, seeing that there are new development in that area. Based on that, we tried to make an offer for 450k, with the option of going up to 500k.  However, the agent told us that we have very little bargaining power, the seller was really "not desperate" and would sell to whomever offers the highest price. 450k was impossible, not even 500k, because the owner already got offered >500k.
So we decided to back out.  Low rental yield and low bank valuation means that we have to come out with substantial cash.
2 weeks later, I called the agent just to check if the property was sold, and it was.  The actual transacted price?  >RM 600k, higher than what the agent had advertised.  No doubt there was potential for capital appreciation, but is it worth to pay a premium price now itself, before the actual valuation, and the rental just equal the loan instalment? What do you think?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tax Filing

It's that time of the year for income tax filing, and my property investor friends and I "sama-sama pening" because of the complexity.

Now, with the self-assessment system, tax returns and supporting documents must be kept for 7 years.  Also, all rental income should be declared in addition to our salary income.   Of course,the good part is some expenses are deductible from the gross rent such as interest expense, cost of repairs, assessment tax, quit rent, and agent’s commission.  I also learnt an important point, which is if I start to rent out an apartment in Oct 2010, then the rental expenses that are deductible against the rental income are only for Oct-Dec 2010, for example, the loan interest expense.  Even though the loan was taken earlier, interest expense for months earlier than October cannot be deducted.
So it has been a few days of (non-continuous) tabulating and still not completed the filing yet.  I hope to complete it by this weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Closing an unused savings account

As part of my initiative to unclutter my life, today I decided to take time off to go this bank in Subang Jaya.  This is the bank that I took my first housing loan with 13 years ago.

At that time, I was working as a salesperson.  Even though I live in KL, I thought it would be easy to do my banking transactions in SJ because my sales area was there.  Years passed by and SJ became a place that I hardly visit.  So having a savings and loan account there is really troublesome for certain transactions that require me to deal with only the home branch.
Firstly I changed my address with them.  Changing address was one of those things that you must do in person at the home branch.
Secondly, I closed the savings account, it was becoming inactive as I was directly transferring the loan installment into the loan account.  Not bad, I still had RM48 inside.
So I heave a sigh of relief.  All these small but troublesome things, can really nag at you: things that you have to do one of these days.  Now that it's done, one small decluttering effort in my life is achieved.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All Neocyber Domain Owners: Sesi Bantahan Cukai Pintu Tahunan

Dear Fellow Neocyber Domain Owners,
Did you gals and guys send a surat bantahan of the Domain apartment's cukai pintu valued at RM441.00 yearly?

I did and now I got a notice to attend a hearing session on 2 April 2011, Saturday, 1pm at Pejabat MP Sepang.

If you did not receive this letter, I am not sure if you could attend, but I urge you to quickly write in for your protest as well.  There is power in numbers, we can ask for a lower cukai pintu.  You can submit your protest at the website: http://www.mpsepang.gov.my/home, then go to the bottom left, click on e-aduan.  You need to register to use this function, but just submit your protest and hopefully you will get an invitation to attend the session too.  Please support this to lower our maintenance costs. And please share this with other Domain owners that you know.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Full House at Lagoon Perdana

Dining area

Pangsapuri Lagoon Perdana

Just some good news to share.  Sara's Lagoon Perdana apartment is, as of today, officially full house with all deposits by tenants paid.  There are 4 people living here in this 900+ square feet house, with most of them being students of the colleges nearby.  Congratulations Sara, you are now a landlady!  Welcome to the world of tenant management!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Property & Co - First Sharing Session

Property & Co is a group of 4 friends with like-minded interest in property investments and sharing.  Today the first sharing session is run successfully with some close friends and blog-readers as participants.  The session is jam-packed with practical, hands-on information that is valuable for beginners in property investments.
Gambatte, Property & Co!  May you have many more sessions that will put other people on the fast-track to property investments.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Klang Valley MRT project

This is a very impressive video created to give us an idea of the stations and stops of the planned MRT project.
I think the MRT project is long overdue, although I do think that it should go underground more than above ground.  And certain high density residential areas are still not covered, like Subang and Subang Jaya.
So if your properties are near the proposed stations, you may be in for greater capital appreciation.

Something exciting is brewing

I am so excited yesterday and today that I cannot sleep. This always happens when I find what I believe is a good deal in property, I act quickly and then because the other party has not said "Deal!" - I'm left in the unknown zone for a day or 2.
Yesterday I've stumbled across my first commercial property.  I hope the deal goes through.  It was an accidental discovery.  I wanted to look at iproperty.com.my at the details of an auction property for my friend during lunch time. When I opened it, suddenly my eyes saw the word: newest listings and found that a property was listed for one of my target areas.  Since it was lunch time, I immediately called the agent and arranged viewing on the same day.

Commercial Properties

Will the owner accept the deal?  Well, I will just have to wait and find out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Update on Lagoon Perdana Apartment, Sunway

Finally after many months of work, Sara's apartment at Bandar Sunway is ready for rental.  Hopefully, the rental is smooth and without any anxiety to her.  Her hubby has almost done everything himself on the wiring, lights and even plumbing.  Sara only engaged contractor to do the grills.  The rest of the items are from the earlier "borong" sale, or picked up later.  Some of the items are brand new because they require delivery.
The selling point of this unit that it is bright and tastefully decorated. Sara even installed an RO water filter system in the kitchen because she knows that students are too busy to boil water for themselves and having safe and clean drinking water is a priority to students and their parents.
The apartment has 3 rooms, all equipped with study tables and chairs, beds and mattresses, wardrobe, lights and fans.  The common sharing items include fridge, tv, washing machine and a brand new microwave oven.
Good luck, Sara, hope you can get all your tenants soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Auction property course with Dr Peter Yee

Today Sara and I spent a day with Dr Peter Yee in his auction course.  It was filled with practical steps, great strategy and laughter throughout the whole session.
Dr Yee in his auction cap

One of the real-life properties for inspection

As shared by many who are inspired by him, Dr Yee is unassuming, always humble and shares from his heart.  It's been a great session, hopefully I can also be successful in auction properties after my first unsuccessful attempt.
I think I have 2 friends who are similarly inspired by him, as reported in How to Choose Investment Shop-Offices  and Property Virgin March 2011.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Property Sharing Session

Dear all,  I would like to promote the sharing session run by my property investor/blogger friends.
This is happening in March and I believe that if you readers would like to learn more about property investments, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
For details please visit Property & Co.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do RENs have to give preference to their company lawyers?

Is there such a regulation for real estate negotiators (REN) that they must recommend their company lawyer to both the buyer and seller for processing of the sales & purchase agreement (SPA)?  Because I come across a REN who introduced his company lawyer to me (buyer) and the seller.  When I did not appoint his company lawyer because I already have my regular lawyer, the REN also refused to give the contact of the seller to my lawyer.  I had hoped that the seller could use my lawyer too, then it will ease the process of the SPA.

The REN told me he must follow procedure, which is he must wait until the seller either appoints or rejects his company lawyer, before moving on to next step, which is giving the contact to my lawyer to send the draft SPA.
By the time the seller decides to appoint or not to appoint his company lawyer, it is likely the seller has chosen his own representation, and would not have got the chance to hear from my lawyer.

I am a bit frustrated that the REN is not helping to ease the transaction for me, but rather hindering it through "folllowing procedures".  So if anyone is familiar with this, please help clarify, do RENs really have such a strict procedure to follow regarding lawyers, or is there personal vested interest in this?

Photo from: http://www.betadaily.com/2010/03/28/how-to-become-a-real-estate-agent/

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tenant who is not friendly to neighbours

While my tenant at the Kepong house moved out last December, another new tenant, D, moved in in January.
Today I got a call from one of the neighbours there, informing me about some of the things that they are unhappy about this new tenant.
Pic from www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=110063969047070

1.  D, has a lot of people living in the house. Husband, wife, 2 kids, brother and brother's wife, and the dad of the husband. So altogether they have 5 cars.  The porch can only park 2 cars, which means the other 3 cars are parked outside the house, sometimes haphazardly, according to my neighbour.
2. The elderly father likes to puff cigarettes outside the house, in the carpark porch, which results in 2nd-hand smoke seeping into the neighbours' houses, and they usually close the sliding door in the evening.
3. During CNY, they played firecrackers loudly, disturbing the other neighbours, and don't bother to sweep off the paper remnants so that when the wind blows, bits of red colour paper flew into the neighbours' houses.

So my complaining neighbour asked me how long they are going to stay, and I said that the contract is for a year.  She seemed relieved and said they would bear with this tenant for 1 year.

So I really have a little dilemma here, which I would appreciate your comments on what you would do:
1. Should I tell the tenant gently about not parking the cars haphazardly?  What about the elderly father, tell him not to smoke outside the house?  And not to play firecrackers during CNY?
2.  It is very possible that this tenant would want to renew the tenancy for another year, because he indicated to me at the beginning.  While I have full intention to renew with him (good paymaster, hardly ever calls to complain about maintenance issues, and of course, if he agrees to a slight increase in rental), how do I manage the neighbours' expectations?  I don't expect to refuse renewal just to please my neighbours ( I can't run the risk of vacancy period, agent fees etc, while my neighbours would not compensate me, kan?)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quit Rent bill from PTGWP

If you are owner of a land-property in Kuala Lumpur, you would have received a Bil Cukai Tanah from Pejabat Pengarah Tanah dan Galian WP.
On the bill, you will see that online payment with credit card is available on its website at  www.ptgwp.gov.my.
So instead of paying at the counter, I decided to try out the website.
At first I found the webpage not very user-friendly.  I was looking at the tabs on the left and going through one-by-one, before I finally found the icon for payment. It is circled in red at the right corner, click there and it will take you to the page to view your online bill if you enter your account number.  Next you must deactivate your pop-up blocker, because clicking on the payment will activate a pop-up window where you key in your credit card details.
What is pleasantly surprising are 3 things:
1. a discount of 5% is given if you pay online via credit card
2. an e-receipt that you can print out instantly confirming the payment
3. when you check your online bill again, it tells you that the bill has already been paid.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Guest Feature at propertywaltz.com

Today I am at a guest blogger being featured in my friend, Eun-yong's blog, PropertyWaltz.
She has a column which features her guests' first experience in buying properties and the lessons contained within.  
I am grateful to her for featuring my article so that we can all share our learnings. Please leave comments there if you like the feature.
The photo here is one she requested of us guest bloggers. It is to symbolize that we are real people with real experiences, and anyone can take part in property investments. My photo has the backdrop of the view from my apartment balcony. It's a symbolism of freedom ;-)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tenancy Agreement Stamping Update

Yesterday I went to stamp the new agreement made with my last tenant of the SD Tiara apartment.  I took the opportunity to ask the officer what I should do about the last agreement that was breached by the last tenant.

She said that a cancellation is not possible as the LHDN will not refund the stamp duty paid.  Even if a new tenant moves in to replace the old tenant at the same terms and period of rental, a new agreement still has to be made between the landlord and the new tenant.
So it confirms my earlier search for answer that there is no need to cancel the stamping, the only thing would be to declare the rental income as it is by 2 separate tenants at separate period.
One more thing, there is a little white piece of paper that is stuck at the desk of the officer which she refers to for the stamp duty amount.  Let's say the monthly rental is RM300, the stamping fee would be RM5 for original and RM5 for the copy.  Do double-check with the officer. Because in this case, she miscalculated the fees, but I pointed it out to her because I had the experience of stamping the similar agreement before.  Otherwise I would have paid a total of RM30 instead of RM10 because of the error.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Unifi Hiccup

One day I saw a reseller agent sitting under a TM Unifi umbrella just outside the guardhouse of my apartment. It means Unifi service is available at my area, so I decided to switch from streamyx to Unifi. After all, the additional costs is only about RM20 and I can get a 5MB service.
Ever since Unifi engaged resellers, the process becomes easier.  No need to register at TM Point.  Just sign up with the reseller, then they give you a confirmation number the next day and set the installation appointment.  I got my appointment about 3 weeks after I sign up.  Unlike TM, these reseller agents are more flexible.  They will even come to install on weekends, whereas TM contractors only work weekdays.
On Sunday they came for installation. Everything went smoothly except that we were unhappy with the telephone number. The agent forgot to check with us on the preferred number when the earlier selections were not available.  So I wrote an email to complain to TM Unifi, and when they got back to us within the same day to let us select our telephone number, I was delighted.
I thought: Such great customer service from Unifi...

That was, until I discover that the VOIP cannot work after changing the number.  We cannot dial out nor can anyone dial our number - there is always an engaged tone.  So I called the technical department to lodge a complaint, and on the same night a Unifi technician called me to arrange for house call to check all the connections.  The appointment was set for today, 12pm.
But the technician did not turn up.  I called Unifi twice and they said they would find out the reason the technician did not come.  I said I don't need an explanation, I just need to solve my phone problem.  I called 2 times, and then the service operator who called me back said that after investigation, the report said that the technician came to my house and changed the DECT phone.
"Mana ada?!" I was most surprised.  This whole Unifi affair is really testing my patience.
As of now, internet works fine.  Still no phone service. And still waiting for Unifi to call me back, hopefully they will set things right tomorrow.
Oh, and one more thing, if you are applying for Unifi to replace your existing TM phoneline and streamyx, make sure you tell the reseller you want to include the cancellation of phoneline AND streamyx after the Unifi installation. In my case, the agent recorded the cancellation of the old phoneline, but not streamyx. You would think this is common sense.  Luckily I checked with Unifi, but they asked me to go to TM Point to cancel streamyx service. I think TM still has a lot to improve.
Post-note: Problem fixed today morning, 27 Jan, after the technician came.  Phew!