Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to find the best home your money can buy?

There are many conclusive decisions that we all need to make in our lives. If you ask for my opinion, I think that buying a home is probably the most important of them all. For real estate investors, buying homes might become like a habit. However, for people who buy a home only once in a life time, they should make sure that they get the best home they can afford. If you are serious about finding a good home, then here are some tips to help you do so:

1- How are you going to pay?
In order for you to make sure that nothing exceeds your expectation, you definitely need to decide which method you're going to follow to pay for the house. Because I know that there will be only one option for most people (which is getting a housing loan), I won't actually talk about the ones who have the luxury of buying their homes from their own cash because I know that most of you will eventually go the housing loan route.

2- What's suitable for you?
In order for you to find the most suitable home for you, there are some considerations that you need to think of first. If you happen to have a family, then these considerations will grow bigger and bigger. Because you're the one responsible for your kids’ life quality, you need to make sure that you provide the healthiest environment you could afford to them. So if you have a family, the most appropriate question will actually be "what's suitable for them?"

3- Do your inspections:
Your only way to making sure that you get the best home for you and your family is by making sure that there is nothing seriously wrong with the property. My advice to you is hiring a professional home inspector who will check everything within the house to make sure that you get the best deal ever. When you make sure that you're not going to spend a fortune on fixes once you get the house, you can proceed with the sale safely.

4- Be a good negotiator:
Some people don't even bother thinking of this, but if you know what a house is really worth, you can bargain with the home seller to get it for the best price possible. You may already know this, but many home sellers increase their home value when they put it in the listing in order to land on a good price when negotiating with you. If you bring a good negotiator with you, you're going to make sure that you get the real value out of your future house.

Based on the article by Stephanie Moss.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wellesly Residences (WR) Contruction Status as at 23/12/11

This is the very first image of the construction site where the preparation for the building works has commenced.

OVR Construction Status as at 23/12/11

These are the latest set of images taken from the outside of the building.

And for the first time, images showing the progress on the facilities floor.

Finally, images from the top of the building - the Sky Garden.

The view is breathtaking as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Improving the Real Estate Value of Your Home

Selling your home is a bittersweet affair. While you may be excited about moving to a new residence, your current abode has served as a place where many nice memories were made. You look back fondly on the days you threw parties, witnessed small children engage in food fights and a host of other events.

Over time you may have slackened off in maintaining your home, while Mother Nature subjected it to many harsh weathers. Physically, your home has changed and so has its real estate value. Now that you plan on selling it, it's time to spruce it up in order to attract a buyer as well as allow you to command a good price.

Here are several suggestions you can follow:

• Inspect each room for cracks, leaks and similar defects. Their severity will impact your home's real estate value, so document everything that you see on a notepad.

• Write down a solution for each defect. Does it need just a quick coat of paint? Is new plumbing the only answer? You won't be able to justify a high price tag if your home's defects require lots of professional intervention.

• Do minor repairs you can easily handle. If you have tools available at home, you should have no trouble performing repairs that don't require a professional's attention. Some examples are fixing leaky faucets, replacing light bulbs, and repainting your child's bubble gum pink bedroom wall into a neutral shade that's easier on the eyes, like beige or pale yellow. These little changes can still do wonders for real estate value.

• Organize your daily living staples into one or two cabinets. Then, keep the rest of the closets and cabinets in your home empty for potential buyers to inspect. When trying to sell your home, expect prospects to snoop around a bit to see how organized and well-maintained the house is. Chances are they will check every nook and cranny, down to the hinges. Giving them empty cabinets and closets to inspect will allow them to see the quality of your home while imagining how their own things would look stored inside them.

• Keep your refrigerator clean and presentable. You wouldn't want a prospect to catch a whiff of week-old Chinese takeaway or that unsealed tub of Caesar salad dressing sitting in your fridge as you open the door to proffer him a soda. There are people who judge others based on the cleanliness and contents of this particular appliance. Never give them the impression that you're a slacker.

Based on the article by Arvin Cubil Mejillano

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Things to look for in a Profitable Rental Property

Are you planning to diversify your assets by taking advantage of the current dip in the prices of real estate properties? While rental property ownership is by no means a passive investment, it can actually provide you with an additional source of income but also profitable tax benefits. However, buying a property that you can rent out is the tricky part. A small mistake in this important stage might make you end up paying more than you initially intended. Here are a few tips that can help you make a sound buying decision.

The first step to investing in a rental property is to make sure that the property you bought can help you withstand fluctuations in its value. Whether you are working solo or with a real estate agent, you have to understand what the value price of a property constitutes. While you can try making low-ball offers until you finally get the deal you want, the best way to find great bargains is to act quickly once a potential target is in sight. To get a feel for the demand, you can also try to benchmark the rental price of comparable properties in the area.

In most communities, rental properties are usually treated as businesses rather than areas of residence. Usually, towns calculate occupancy by measuring the square footage of the unit so properties you consider four-bedroom homes may turn out to be only a two-bedroom home when rented. If you were asked to renovate the property you purchased, you should also remember that township-enforced renovations could be quite expensive. It is best to make sure that the property you purchased is in accordance with rental regulations in your area before trying to earn any income from it.

When investing in rental properties, you should also remember that it is more practical to buy those that are located near your primary residence. Absentee landlords usually resolve maintenance problems less quickly so they end up paying for bigger expenses. Even municipalities are not too fond of landlords who do not live close to properties they rent out so they usually face high fines and citations. It is best to buy a property that is no more than twenty minutes away from your primary residence so that you can remain available to local officials and tenants at all times.

The size of your property will greatly affect the rates of your tax so buying a land that is bigger than an acre is not really a wise move. Aside from the extra taxes it will cost you, you will also need to worry about bigger expenses when it comes to keeping it well maintained. Unless you are planning to build another rentable structure on the lot of your property, investing in a huge rental property will not be in your best interests. Remember, the value of rental homes is not directly proportional to its size in square footage.

These are only some of the most important things that you should keep in mind when buying a rental property. Once you have found a property that meets the aforementioned criteria, you can be sure that you will be earning lots of money from it for many years to come.

Based on the article by Shawn M Mac Gavin

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yahoo! lists Penang among world's top 10

GEORGE TOWN – An online travel guide has picked Penang as one of the top 10 islands in the world 'you must see before you die.'

Yahoo! Travel writer Gary McKechnie ranks Penang eighth on the list of the 'must visit' places.
Other islands listed are Bali, Vieques in Puerto Rico, Easter Island in Chile, Ischia in the bay of Naples (Italy), Chiloe in Chile, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Key West in the Conch Republic, Galapagos in Ecuador and Palm Islands in Dubai.

These destinations offered something that could not be found anywhere else, said Mr McKechnie in his article '10 Islands to Explore Before You Die' (

He praised Penang as Malaysia's food capital and suggested that visitors did their 'food crawl' along George Town's street stalls.

He recommended that foodies head to the area adjacent to the Kek Lok Si Temple in Ayer Itam to feast on delicious food of rice, noodles, fish, shellfish, chicken, pork and vegetables. He also suggested visitors try out lor bak, lok-lok and ikan bakar. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penang moves up the big league

The first thing that strikes you about Penang is the island's old world charm. Lining the streets of George Town, are well-preserved heritage buildings and shophouses each with its own history. The streets come alive at night with inexpensive and delicious local fares that can be found at every nook and cranny. A few streets away, however, symbols of capitalism and progress are apparent. Next to Peranakan influenced shop houses and colonial buildings are shopping malls and modern skyscrapers. This unique architectural and cultural townscape that combines both the traditional and modern is what makes Penang so charming. In recognition for this unique trait, George Town was accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in July 2008. This has further boosted Penang as an attractive tourism destination.

However, Penang is not just banking on its tourism industry to keep its economy afloat. It is also home to various high-tech electronic plants located within the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, in the southern part of the island. In recent years, however, the state has been experiencing a gradual decline of foreign direct investments due to cheaper labour costs in China and India. As such, Penang has been repositioning itself as a hub for medical tourism to further improve its attractiveness as an investment destination. Besides perennial favourites like Kuala Lumpur and Johor, Penang is fast emerging as popular real estate investment destination among foreigners and Malaysians looking for a second home.

According to the Malaysia Property Incorporated (MPI), a trade body that promotes Malaysian properties internationally, in 2008, Indian investors was the fourth largest in residential property investments in Malaysia after Singapore, the United Kingdom and Korea in the three states. Today, Penang has the third-largest economy, after Selangor and Johor.

The island is irregularly shaped like a tortoise with a hilly and forested interior that divides the island into two. Balik Pulau which is located on the west coast, is the sleepy part of Penang that is served by only one main road cutting through hilly terrains and scenic reservoirs. The main buzz, however, lies on the east and north coast. In the Batu Ferringhi and Tanjong Bungah vicinity, luxury hill top condominiums and villas can be found with breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea. These areas are considered prime locations.

Being an island, land prices come at a premium due to the scarcity of land versus the limited number of high quality developments. Local building regulations here also limit hill top developments for safety reasons. Anything built 250 feet above sea level is not allowed. As such, most high-end residential developments are built in Batu Ferringhi, Tanjung Bungah, Gurney Drive and Queensbay.

The growing popularity of Penang as a retirement home for foreigners and the rising affluence of Penangites are helping to fuel demand for high-end homes. And developers in Malaysia have been quick to act on consumers' appetite for luxury properties. Market watchers are confident of Penang's real estate sector saying there is still plenty of room for growth, judging by the influx of quality developers here.

Although Penang's infrastructure has yet to be fully developed, the island offers a slower pace of life and a rich culture. Foreigners also find Penang very affordable. Unlike Bali and Phuket which are too tourist centric, foreigners get to enjoy the same cost of living as Penangites. Perhaps, it is for these reasons, Penang has the most number of Malaysia My Second Home retirees.

Based on the article by Khalil Adis.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paying with prime land


KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang government will pay developers with prime land around the Gurney Drive tourist belt to construct three bypass highways and a sea tunnel linking the island to the mainland costing around RM8bil.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the mega project will be the state's biggest infrastructure exercise and is meant to resolve the island's severe traffic congestion problem.

The proposed traffic alleviation projects are a 6.5km sea tunnel connecting Gurney Drive to the northern side of Butterworth, a 4.2km road from Gurney Drive to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu expressway bypassing the city centre, a 4.6km road linking Bandar Baru Air Itam to the same expressway and a 12km dualcarriage road from Tanjung Bungah to Teluk Bahang to pair with the existing coastal road.

We estimate that the project will cost RM5bil to RM8bil depending on the bids from prospective contractors,” he told a press briefing here yesterday.

He said the “competitive land swap” payment will be a win-win situation for both the government and the developers.

“The government does not have to pay money and the developer gets prime land that will triple in value after the projects take place. This is smart economics,” he said.

He added that developers could also propose to implement toll payments to recover costs.

A pre-qualification exercise will be issued today on the Penang government website and a briefing will be held in the state on Nov 29 for interested bidders.

Lim explained that the project would undergo a lengthy feasibility study and construction is only expected to commence in 2015.

“We target the completion to be in 2020, although it can be earlier,” he said.

In GEORGE TOWN, non-governmental organisations have called on the state government to wait for the state Transportation Master Plan to be completed before proceeding with the proposed sea tunnel.

Society of Logisticians Malaysia president Chang Kah Loon said a consultant had been paid some RM3.2mil to prepare the master plan, which is expected to be ready by March so it “doesn't make sense” not to refer to it.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president S.M. Mohd Idris demanded for details of the project.

“Where exactly is this piece of land located? Will it be reclaimed land? Because if that is the case, SAM is against it because it will adversely impact the fishing community,” he said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A comparison between a condo and a house

People can gain plenty of benefits when they purchase or rent a condo. However, it's also common for some individuals to have a hard time when it comes to deciding between owning one or getting a house, often because they assume a house would be more convenient in the scheme of things. Even so, many people prefer houses over some of the other options that are out there.

Deciding on what type of property to buy, or even rent, can be difficult for most people. Oftentimes, this is due to the risk that can be involved with doing so, but people also want to ensure that they're investing their money wisely. Those who have never lived in a condo tend to compare them to an apartment, which not everyone is keen on. However, this particular choice can generally be far more convenient and in several ways. For instance, there is the security that some people enjoy when they live close to others, which also gives them the opportunity to meet people. Investment wise, a condo will often appeal to people who prefer this type of living over a house, which could also make it a great rental property as well.

When it comes down to a house versus a condo, the latter tends to hold several conveniences over owning a house. One example of this would be having fewer maintenance issues to worry about. Most units will come with a maintenance fee attached to it, which is usually a reasonable fee that is paid once a month. These fees go toward maintaining the building and the surrounding property. This means that owners don't have to concern themselves with this particular area, unlike with houses. Some may also feature certain amenities, like a gym, swimming pool, parking and security.

Owning a house often means that more expenses can come into play. Not only do people have to worry about keeping their outside space in good shape, but houses typically come with a number of problems that the owner will need to take care of on their own. This could be anything from a broken window to a faulty roof. Things like this can become quite costly over time.

Many condos these days tend to offer wonderful selections where layouts are concerned. In fact, quite a few these days will even feel like a house, but without all of the hassle that can be involved with owning one.

In the end, owning a condo can be a wonderful investment to make. This is especially the case for those who like a low-maintenance lifestyle and can appreciate having amenities and other conveniences nearby, but without having to pay extra for it.

Based on the article by Adrianna Noton.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Buying a Condominium - Elements to consider

If you are thinking of buying a condominium unit, making a decision hastily is not good. It is advisable to take some time to evaluate your options. When evaluating options, there are some elements that must be considered before coming up with a decision. They are the following:


Generally, choosing a location will be dependent on your preference. If you are the kind of person who wants to live away from the busy streets of the city, then you can choose a condo that can be found in the suburbs. This will be very ideal especially when you are planning to have a family in the future. Fresher air and cleaner environment will be healthy for your growing family. On the other hand, if you prefer convenience in terms of going to work as well as in coming home from work, accessibility to supermarkets, hospitals and schools, then a location within the metropolitan area is definitely what will suit your taste.


Size will be another element which you must take into consideration. A small space is certainly not suitable if you have a large family. But if you have no kids, then it will be alright. An advisable size is something that will allow you to move around, ample enough not to be too restricting.


Prime condo units normally have many facilities within the complex. The entire complex can have a swimming pool, gym, sauna, hot tubs, basketball court, tennis court, playhouse and a lot more. If these things are important for you then you have to make sure that facilities like these are present.


A well maintained complex is an ideal place to live. It means that the environment is clean and the facilities are in good condition.

Interior location

If you prefer a more quiet location within the condo complex, corner units are great. Likewise, having a higher budget can mean that a penthouse is an option. With this option, you will enjoy the serenity you love.


All of the mentioned elements will affect the price. Hence, your budget will still determine what kind of condo you will be able to buy.

Based on the article by Connor Stephens.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tips to buying your own residential property

It is the dream of many couples to eventually have their own residential property that they can call home. But as this will require you to invest a lot of money then this requires careful thinking. If you are thinking of buying your own residential property then here are a few tips on how to do so.

Firstly, know what you want. Most people start looking around to buy without have a clear idea of exactly what they want. It's simple. If you know what you want then there's a good chance that you will get it. To avoid wasting time and energy on property hunting trips, you can search online for a picture of your dream home. Also make a list of the requirements you would want your home to have. This makes it clearer and more concrete.

Secondly, set your budget. Decide early on what your budget is. This way you won’t waste time looking at properties too far above your price range. Decide how you are going to finance your purchase. Are you planning to paying in cash, get a bank loan or borrow money from a private lender? It is vital to get these things in order first so that when you do find your dream home you won’t have a hard time acquiring it.

Lastly, consider the neighborhood. Make sure that you a buying a home in a safe community. Check the crime rate in the neighborhood. Also check if it is accessible by local transportation. You wouldn't want to have trouble getting around. The closer it is to your work place the better since it will be more convenient for you.

Based on an article by Connor Stephens

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Queensbay Mall Roadshow (20-23/10/11)

Wellesley Residences will be holding its very own roadshow for the first time at one the most popular malls in Penang Island - Queensbay Mall.

Following the footsteps of its predecessors, Wellesley Residences was very well received since its official launch last month with about 40% sold so far.

Harbour Place has made quite an impact on the property market not only on the mainland side but on the island as well. So, it comes as no surprise that its presence here did not go unnoticed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Second Penang Bridge latest update

Full speed ahead



THE building of the second Penang bridge has reached 65% completion — some 2% ahead of schedule. Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor said if work continued to progress well, the bridge could be completed two months before the projected date of November 2013. “Some of the bridge’s packages are ahead of schedule while some are behind, but on average it is 65% completed. “The development of the project is progressing as scheduled and I’m confident that the bridge will be completed before November 2013,” Shaziman said.

He said the 2% of work that was ahead of schedule provided a good “buffer” for the contractors ahead of the monsoon season. “There are many factors when it comes to construction projects of this size and this one is being conducted in the middle of the sea. “The pace may differ from month to month, but if conditions are favourable, construction may finish two months early,” Shaziman said.He added that construction was targeted to reach 70% by the end of the year with the overall cost of the bridge unchanged at RM4.5bil.He was speaking to reporters during a visit to the bridge’s Pier 90 where work on the superstructure is currently progressing.

During his visit, pressmen were also allowed to climb to the surface of the bridge for the first time. Shaziman also expressed disappointment that there were no industrial trainees working on the second Penang Bridge this year. “I have asked the implementing agency to get in touch with universities that have engineering schools, to send their students to this project.

“Last year, we had more than 50 university students during their practical training here. Perhaps there has been an oversight by the universities or some are unaware (of this opportunity) this year,” said Shaziman, adding that he would get in touch with the Higher Education Ministry about the matter. He said work on sizable projects like the second Penang Bridge was invaluable for students who wished to expand their knowledge and experience. “We want the local workforce to benefit as much as possible from this project,” he said, and urged the companies involved in the construction to also hire more local skilled workers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Malaysia can look forward to Green Homes

Gone are the days when the concept of 'green living' was only reserved for the conservationist groups and tree huggers. What started as an alternative lifestyle movement has become a pivotal effort to conserve Earth's depleting resources in a bid to create sustainability and a healthier environment. We have started living our green lives but have you given much thought as to whether your home should do the same too?

A sustainable property employs a few methods to reduce pollution, emissions and unnecessary waste. Many forward-thinking property developers in Malaysia have taken to creating sustainable communities and selling the concept of a green lifestyle, in their projects. Many downstream property companies have also begun embracing this new paradigm by actively conducting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs that contributes towards a sustainable environment.

In an age where preservation is imperative to the Earth's subsistence, eco homes are fast taking over the market in Malaysia, not only for its increasing trend but also its contribution to long-term investment, and the fact that the country possesses the ideal location and climate for green homes. Today you can find such communities blossoming in various parts of the country such as Setia Eco Park, 11 @ Mont Kiara and Hijauan Residence, all located within Kuala Lumpur's vicinity. Urban developer YTL Corp has commissioned Bird Island in Kuala Lumpur as the proposed site for the YTL Green Homes Competition, which challenges international world-class architects to create the most ground-breaking and environmentally-friendly home ever built.

It was announced that Kuala Lumpur will host the 3rd International World Class Sustainable Cities Conference (WCSC 2011) this coming 20th and 21st of September 2011. The conference will showcase a number of successful green practices that have been implemented around the world, to be considered for future development projects across the country. A local municipal council based in the state of Selangor called Majlis Perbandaran Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) has deliberated on the possibility of awarding RM500 rebates to homeowners who partake in eco-friendly practices at home. This includes discounts for energy-conserving home upgrades like solar-powered water heaters or even cycling to work. This initiative was recommended by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry's Low Carbon Cities Framework and funding for this project will be channeled from the PJ Sustainable Development Trust Fund, which will require RM50,000 for the project to take off after a proper assessment has been regulated.

The concept of eco-friendly homes are increasing in popularity in Malaysia. If you already own a property, you can make conscious choices on your lifestyle to create a green home; or if you are currently looking to buy or build property, you can begin looking into making the right choices by being mindful of the consequences of your development, as well as the effects the property has on its surrounding environment. Either way, you are working towards the future of Malaysian homes and living.

Based on the article by Larry Lim