Many years ago, when I was chatting with a fellow Toastmaster friend and he learnt that I was buying in Sungai Ara, he said I should have gotten a property in Bayan Baru instead. This is because Sungai Ara was not accessible and jammed all the time due to the bottleneck at the Relau and Sungai Ara traffic light junction. Few years ago, I had a very tiny disagreement with a HR professional on whether Gelugor or Sungai Ara is better. Just last week, my two ex colleagues were arguing about Tanjung Tokong versus Sungai Ara. Every time, it’s a different area versus Sungai Ara and yet I bought Sungai Ara. Am I foolish? If I was foolish then I am having the foolishness that the late Steve Jobs spoke about, ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’. I bought Regency Heights.
Accessibility. There are many roads into and out of Sungai Ara. There are internal roads leading to Paya Terubong and from there you can go to Farlim, Balik Pulau, Bukit Jambul etc. If you go down the hill from Regency Heights to the traffic light, if you turn right, you can take the road leading out to airport or go further and towards the Batu Maung / Gertak Sanggul etc. If you turn left, within less than one km, you come to a traffic light whereby you can turn right to go to Bayan Baru or go straight to Relau / Bukit Jambul. It does seem that in terms of accessibility, it scored very highly. Sure, there are jams but if you can look at me and say, ‘there are no jams in Tanjung Tokong or Gelugor or Greenland or Bayan Lepas or Gurney, ‘ then I let you win this argument. Haha.
Convenience. When I first moved to Sungai Ara, there were not that many things. In fact my father said, Sungai Ara was a forest when he was studying in USM! Today, there are fast food outlet, nasi kandar, pharmacies, wet market, clinics, chinese medicine halls and even my favourite pasar malam! There are even schools and I think the only thing missing may be a bank. Oh yeah, even dim sum restaurant and the very delicious burger stalls.
Affordable property price. This is in comparison to many ‘hotter’ areas in Penang. I can safely say that there are not that many places in Penang left whereby you can get a very nice condo for Rm500psf; Regency Heights. Even Reflections by SP Setia is also priced very slightly higher. This is not the situation if we are talking about a 1,200sf condo in areas such as Tanjung Tokong or even Gelugor.
Perhaps the only thing that is not on Sungai Ara’s side is the perception. Come to think about it, I do not really mind because it is these perceptions that enabled me to buy a unit in Regency Heights during its launch eventhough I took one month to think and decide. Oh yeah, the properties that my friend bought in Gelugor has increased in price. Even my own condo in Tanjung Tokong has also increased in price tremendously. Perhaps the point that we should all concentrate is just ‘where I feel comfortable with’ instead of where the so called popular areas are. Did I mention I have friends who even swear that the water in Tanjung Tokong is more fresh than Sungai Ara? As for me, I still like Sungai Ara and have no intention to move to my new condo in Tanjung Tokong even if I my office is nearer to Tanjung Tokong.
written on 8 Jan 2014.
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