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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.