Renting is fine, make plans to get your own

One day, many years back, someone I knew SMSed me. “Charles, I intend to move out from the place I am renting in 2 months time. I have bought a new place in Batu Maung.’ This friend of mine has been renting the same 730 sq ft apartment for the past 4.5 years. I was very happy because it meant that he believes property is a must-have for him. Okay, I did speak to him on numerous occasions as he was still young and thus all the advantages to get one as early as possible. Oh yeah, Batu Maung is in a less popular area in Penang many years back. Today, it’s growing with many new developments too.

The advice is simple. Renting is fine but always make plans to get your own property. Read here to understand why renting too high is not advisable. In this case, my friend has managed to save enough to buy that landed terrace and due to his age, he was even able to buy the place by himself. Oh yeah, I still remembered his old Iswara which he was driving and he switched to a Honda City only after a few years of working. I always think we must exercise delayed gratification but always be savvy about our own safety. It’s always better to change to a newer car because older cars tend to have more issues including the safety related ones.

batumaungThe above has shown three very important points. One, always have a plan in mind even if we were renting. Second, always save and exercise delayed gratification. Third, your age is your advantage. Use it while you still have it. As for me, I am already too old to be able to do too much about it. Oh yeah, that landed property he bought many years back? Due to it being within the Penang island, it should have easily doubled. He told me that he bought it at RM450,000 many years back, I think it was 2009. Today’s check in revealed the following prices. (As per image). Still renting? Better start thinking and saving.

written on 27 Aug 2016

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“Real connectivity” needed for business opportunities

TheEdgeProperty’s symposium on the High Speed Rail must have received huge attention.The symposium was organised by and supported by The Edge Malaysia. Yes, was also invited to attend but I have planned a family holiday many months back. The presenting sponsor is Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC). I think from this one event, everyone has gotten better informed. Regardless of what the naysayers say about the HSR, I am very sure they continue to read and follow the news because they may still be worried to lose track of what’s really happening. Yes, this is no different from those who tell me “economy is so bad…” and the next question is “where should I buy.”

We are always open for more ‘opportunities.’ During the symposium on 27th August 2016, many experts have suggested that private and public sectors must collaborate to ensure “real connectivity.” This is the only way to allow business opportunities to grow. According to Ho Chin Soon, the chairman of Ho Chin Soon Research, “The improved connectivity will move the central of gravity from the central region to other places, such as how the highway connectivity has shifted the central gravity from Petaling Jaya to Puchong and now HSR will expand the golden triangle areas to open up more opportunities in older places like Bukit Bintang.” In terms of where the central gravity is, let’s not be too unduly worried. For first-time homebuyers and small time investors, we should ensure what we buy is connected to the public transportation network. It will provide more advantages compared to areas without such connections.

BBCC Development Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Richard Ong said the connectivity between all public transportation systems, such as Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rapid Transit (LRT) and public buses also need to be improved to effectively connect people from HSR stations to other locations. This is very true but there must also be continuous steps to keep improving the ‘comfort’ level of these connectivities. All these stations should not be hot and stuffy every afternoon. Else, majority of all those non-office workers would still drive instead of taking the public transport. Malaysia is still a HOT country…….

This should not stop here. The bus stops should have sufficient benches (which will not absorb heat) and cover (a roof to keep away the sun and rain). No one would like to stand under the sun for even a few minutes while waiting for the bus. I think the current complaint is the punctuality of these buses. It has to be improved tremendously. Use Singapore as benchmark even if they should be better simply because of a smaller area of coverage. To be very frank, encouraging people to walk a few hundred metres (5-8 minutes) from their home to the nearest public transportation point is not easy. Let’s ensure if they do walk, they do not start cursing when they arrive at those points.

Savills Malaysia executive chairman Christopher Boyd reminded everyone that infrastructure development is a long-term development which will not see an explosion in value in the short term. He explained, Based on the experience of countries which already have HSR, the rental yield growth and capital appreciation will take time to see the impact.” I also think the prices should not just suddenly appreciate. Else we would see the Central Business District (CBD) effects of many modern cities where everything within these places are grossly expensive. Even one car park slot in some of these areas are higher priced than a condo in Malaysia. Happy learning and yes, do read about all the comments from all the speakers / forum panelists in the symposium in

written on 27 Aug 2016

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AA8888888 can be your collection for future (banknote…)

AA8888888 is a serial number for a banknote which you may bid for. Yes, this is another form of alternative investment but be ready to store them in good condition to wait for it to appreciate in value. Yes, this is already the 5th Auction of Malaysian Banknotes with Special Serial Numbers by Bank Negara Malaysia. The event would be held on 3 September 2016 in Auditorium, Sasana Kijang, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The auction will be conducted by the Bank’s appointed auctioneer, MNP Auctioneers (Central) Sdn. Bhd. (MNP).

Yes, if we have some special numbered banknotes, it may be good to also bring along to the auction and get some expert opinions from the auctioneer, Mr. Stephen Soon. No one knows if that piece of RM1 that you have currently may be worth a holiday for your family.🙂

bnmbanknotesAs per BNM, the auction is to provide equal opportunity to all members of the public to obtain these coveted banknotes with special serial numbers such as AZ10000000 or AA8888888. These special serial number banknotes may command premium in the collectors’ market. The auction will also serve as one of the initiatives by BNM to promote interest and greater appreciation in numismatics amongst the general public. The types of banknotes that will be auctioned include sets of the first 10 banknotes (e.g. BM 0000001 – 0000010), solid numbers (e.g. AR 8888888), super solid numbers with repetitive prefix (e.g. BB 3333333), ten millions numbers with repetitive prefix (e.g. CC 10000000) and ladder numbers (e.g. BK1234567).

To be eligible to bid, registration for online bidding can be done at Further information on the auction can be obtained at MNP’s website, Actually, even if it’s just to learn what’s so awesome about banknotes, why not register and attend the event. Yes, usually the bidders would include even non-Malaysians too. Happy learning.

written on 25 Aug 2016

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RM4 billion sales target lowered to RM3.5 billion, market uncertainty

On the way to Singapore yesterday (24 Aug), I happened to read the business section of The Star and there were the financial results of at least 9 companies. All the companies were reporting a better Q2 2016 versus Q2 2015. All have positive results and none sunk into huge losses too. I think this has shown some resiliency and that not everything is as bad as what many believe. Before boarding the plane, I was at a pharmaceutical company which told me that they will be launching new products and that it would take the market by storm. Well, positive news are good.

Then I read about SP Setia which has continuously been launching many new projects. SP Setia has revised its sales target for FY16 downwards. Formats earlier targeted RM4 billion, it is now lowered to RM3.5 billion. It shared in int interim report to Bursa Malaysia.“In view of the global uncertainty, especially post-Brexit and the continued weak sentiment in the Malaysian property market, the group sales target for FY16 has been lowered from RM4bil to RM3.5bil.” Its CEO Khor shared some positive results of its launches recently including the 100% take-up rate of Setia Eco Templer, Selayang, in May and an encouraging 72% take-up rate of Everna cluster semi-detached homes, Setia EcoHill 2 at Semenyih.

skyseputehMoving on, SP Setia would also be launching other projects such as Maison Carnegie, Melbourne, ViiA Residence at KL Eco City, Setia Sky Ville at Jelutong, Penang, Setia Sky Seputeh (Tower A) at Taman Seputeh and Trio by Setia (Tower 1) at Bukit Tinggi, Klang. For the first half of 2016, S P Setia earned RM249.17mil on revenue of RM1.92bil. This is a profit margin of 13 percent. Not the highest this year but is certainly still within double digits under current circumstances.

When big names are lowering their sales targets, it does give a slightly negative perception of the property market. Let’s see what happens to all their upcoming launches to gauge the market further. As for those needing a home, the advice remains the same. Find a good one before buying. Happy following.

written on 24 Aug 2016

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Need a protection on your home purchase? IJM Land’s HomeTIPS.

Developers are creative these days. I do think it’s a good sign for buyers who want better deals. Yes, some may term these as marketing gimmick but the truth is, we should only buy because the property is what we want. We should be buying simply for the marketing gimmicks, agree? The new one is IJM Land’s HomeTIPS, or Triple Insurance Protection Scheme. It offers protection for buyers who are buying for their family and it is working with Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad and Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad to underwrite three insurance schemes offering peace of mind to all its home buyers for 36 months from the date of signing the Sales & Purchase Agreement. Below would be the actual Q&A to IJM Land and Allianz. Read to understand better.

To IJM Land:

  1. Why has IJM Land decided to offer these specific options for the house buyer insurance scheme? 

IJM Land believes that a home buyer should not have to face undue distress especially when they are embarking upon an exciting time in their lives with the purchase of a new property. Besides the obvious financial commitments of purchasing and paying for a property, life can throw all manner of twists and turns your way, and cast uncertainly over long term plans. IJM Land’s HomeTIPS, or Triple Insurance Protection Scheme, will enable you to invest in a home for your family and allay fears associated with being unable to cope, in case of an unexpected set back in life. This 3 in 1 form of protection for home buyers is a first in Malaysia, and we are proud to be able to collaborate with Allianz who are the underwriters of the policy.


  1. What are the benefits of these schemes to house buyers?

The Term Life, Personal Accident and Involuntary Unemployment benefits are extended to house buyers for 36 months from the date of signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement.IJM Land home buyers who are involuntarily terminated from their employment during the tenure of the policy, will benefit from a timely pay out by the Unemployment Insurance. Home buyers from selected properties are also eligible for a Group Term Life Scheme and Personal Accident Scheme where financial benefits are paid out in the unfortunate case of death or total permanent disability.


  1. How much does it cost to participate in these schemes?

Because we are invested in the well-being of our house buyers, IJM Land Home TIPS is offered as a generous additional benefit to the existing property purchase promotion, which includes free legal fees, free MOT and cash rebates amongst others.


  1. Are there any restrictions with regards to the price of the property in order for this scheme to be effective?

IJM Land HomeTIPS is applicable to select residential development projectswith selling prices ranging from RM300k to RM2 million.


  1. Do the insurance schemes only apply to new properties, or can second/third buyers avail of them too?

IJM Home TIPS applies to properties purchased directly from IJM Land during the campaign period from now to December 2016. The policy benefits are not transferable, and it will be null and void if the first purchaser terminates the Sales and Purchase Agreement or sells the property within three years from date of the Sales and Purchase Agreement.



To Allianz: 

  1. Why has Allianz chosen to work with IJM Land to offer these insurance schemes?

Allianz sees this as a smart and timely collaboration with IJM Land. We truly appreciate the trust given by IJM land to develop these insurance schemes where a developer / organization (IJM Land) really has the customer’s interest at heart. On top of value for money property sold, buyers via the HomeTIPS scheme will be protected with Unemployment Insurance and be eligible for a Group Term Life Scheme and Personal Accident Scheme.


  1. Could you take us through some of the pre-requisites in order for a house buyer to be eligible for the schemes?

In order for a house buyer to be eligible for these schemes, the following are the main criteria


General Requirements

1)      The buyer’s home loan must have been approved

2)      Entry Age is between 18 to 64 years old

3)      The property purchased must be by an individual / individuals. A Corporate Entity is not entitled to these schemes

Specific Requirement for Unemployment Benefits

1)      You must be gainfully employed on regular, full time basis for at least 30 hours per week for at least consecutive weeks immediately prior to your unemployment date.

2)      Your unemployment date must occur during the coverage period


  1. How quickly can I expect a payout in the case of a policy claim?

Under normal circumstances, claims will be settled within 72 hours and not more than 7 days, once all relevant information is given. For complex cases, payout is usually within one month from the date of complete documentation.


  1. What is the scheme about?

It is called the HomeTIPS, or Triple Insurance Protection Scheme.

The scheme offers three insurance arrangements which give peace of mind to all IJM homebuyers, from the date of signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

The unique assurance of this insurance is the Unemployment Benefit, in the case where IJM Land homebuyers are involuntarily terminated due to economic reasons from their employment with the policy term.

The others are eligibility for a Group Term Life Scheme and Personal Accident Scheme, where financial benefits are paid out in the unfortunate case of death or total permanent disability, is also offered to homebuyers of selected IJM Land properties.


From the Media:

  1. How is the IJM House Buyers Group Term Life Scheme different from other MRTA policies available on the market?

Typically, the MRTA covers the duration of the loan tenure and it is on a reducing amount.  IJM Land’s HomeTIPS extends its benefits for only 36 months but covers the purchase price, rounded down to the nearest rm50k


  1. Is there a Takaful option for these insurance schemes?

No there isn’t.


So, is this scheme for you? Well, you would have to decide. As for projects that you would like to buy to enjoy this, do google and take a look at IJM Land’s projects then. Happy viewing.

written on 24 Aug 2016

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Gifts are good, just remember to build on it; invest.

I watched all the badminton matches during the Olympic Games from the quarter final onwards. Yes, every single match involving Malaysian shuttlers. This time, everyone played well beyond what is expected from them based on their world rankings. Our mixed-doubles, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying entered the final and eventually lost to a superior Indonesian pair that night. Based on their ranking, even the quarter-final is already an achievement. Today, I read that they would receive units of LakePark Residence from JL99 Group who are one of their sponsors.

lakeparkAccording to the report in, the units are over RM1 million each. It’s situated in KL North. Take a look at the image. If you do have interest, do google online for more information. As for the property site for this development, it’s here: LakePark Residences. According to the property development group in its Facebook page, these units are for the pair as a token of appreciation and encouragement.

When we look back at history, it is always very sad when those who got gifts, especially monetary related ones lose them all in the future. More often than not, due to the inability to manage or grow it. Of course, some may even have invested them wrongly. All these monetary gifts are very important because a sportsman could not play forever. That’s why these must be accumulated and invested properly. Assuming, they use only the RM150,000 each (from RM300,000 for the pair) to put into Fixed Deposits. This RM150,000 would still grow to RM212,000 in 10 years time. Of course, it should also be used to settle credit card debts first too.

Another calculated risk would be to get a property instead and rent it out. Buying one where the target market is stable could be a safe bet too. Alternatively, a blue-chip stock can be another choice too but read and understand the company’s business before continuing. Utilities maybe more stable than food, for example. Just need to be very careful not to be sucked into pyramid schemes which guarantee returns which are out of this world. I love sportsmen who gave their everything to Malaysia. However, after the sporting days are over, their future depends on their investments today. Wishing all our Olympic heroes all the very best.

written on 22 Aug 2016

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My First Home – KL Edition 3.0 Full Day Seminar

img-20160823-wa0010.jpgFirst, it’s important to invest. Second, it does not have to be property related. Third, investment should be based on an informed decision which is supported by knowledge. If it’s property that you are looking for, readon. Humour of the day. Market is good, too expensive to buy. Market is slow, wait before buy. Market is bad, don’t dare to buy. Truth is, if we have no intention to buy, any market does not matter. However, is this is what we really want? Well, if we have intention to buy, it’s extremely important not to buy the wrong one. Most of the time, the first property would either start our real estate adventure or set us back many years!

Whenever I visit any property fair, I always sit down to listen to the talks arranged by the organiser. Learning has no ends and listening to different speakers would mean different perspectives. Who knows, one may be very relevant to what you intend to do? Some speakers would tell you that primary properties are best for first-time buyers due to the many incentives today. Some would recommend secondary instead since there are undervalued ones and you can start staying in your own home instead of paying rental. Honestly, I have bought both primary and secondary properties. It does not really matter! Just choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Do drop by an upcoming one day seminar to learn from four really popular property experts who are full-time sought-after speakers. They include Chris Tan, a lawyer whom I recommend very much as it is easy to understand and digest. Miichael Yeoh who will basically share how to have the highest chance to get your loans approved. Ishamel Ho who’s the CEO of Ho Chin Soon Research. We also have the Personal Finance guru, KC Lau. The fifth speaker is Charles Tan (yes, that’s me). He is working full-time and property investment is just a part-time interest. Details as follows:

Date: 24th September 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 9 – 6pm
Venue: Wisma MCA, KL.
Entrance fee: FREE, but registration is required. 

See you there.

written on 23 Aug 2016

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