Thursday, December 20, 2012

Luxury homes and what their owners usually have in them

Luxury homes are houses and dwellings that are usually owned by people who are intent on having the best things in life or the most comfortable things that they can afford. For the most part, these individuals or families usually start off with dwellings that are larger and grander in scale than the ordinary ones. They are usually located in neighborhoods that have similar residents and houses. Some may be located in remote areas which can only be reached with the use of vehicles and other means of transportation that are usually luxurious and privately owned. Some of these luxury homes usually have features and perks that are exclusively found in the most luxurious dwellings. One thing that should always be remembered when dealing with people who can afford the little luxuries and quirks that are available is that they always want to feel comfortable and safe in their houses.

In terms of safety, the rich splurge on their security in terms of CCTV cameras and other monitoring equipment that they deem necessary to feel safe. In many cases, security people are often hired to make sure that there is always someone around the premises who can be trusted to keep the owners and other occupants of the dwelling safe. Before, panic rooms were not so common but these days there are more and more people who require the installation of such rooms in their luxury homes. Apart from the panic room, some people also outfit their houses with escape routes that only they and their family know. Alarm systems are also the norm for many people who wish to stay safe and secure in their houses. There are security companies that actually maintain the safety and security of their clients upon their request. The local police may also be connected to the alarm system of the house if this service is available.

The level of comfort that rich people have in mind may be vastly different from ordinary people. Many home owners of this caliber often see their domiciles as an extension of themselves and the comfort that they need. This means that they want their every need to be addressed as well as their every desire. In terms of needs, luxury homes often have the many amenities and facilities that first class hotels and resorts have. These are readily available to their owners at their convenience. Usually, some people have movie rooms made in their dwellings that can accommodate up to several people. Kitchens are also state of the art with every conceivable convenience available. Many of these home owners might also wish to stay in remote areas with spectacular views of the mountains or the beach or a lake. Picture windows are the norm for domiciles that offer great views to their owners.

These are just a few of the perks that often come with luxury homes. Some of these dwellings are often put up for rent while others are only accessible in our dreams.

Based on the article by Alfred Ardis

Friday, December 14, 2012

NCER has attracted RM12.3bil in investments this year

PUTRAJAYA: The Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) has attracted RM12.3bil in investments and created 16,335 jobs to date. Last year, the region attracted RM9.9bil in investments with 10,369 job opportunities, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) said. NCIA CEO Datuk Redza Rafiq said the major investments came from the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, with strong participation from Japanese investors. “Local private sector participation in the economic region grew from 19.4% last year to 39% this year,” he said after exchanging an MoA with four companies, witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, here yesterday.

The companies are Cypark Resources Bhd, Naza Automotive Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, TS Solartech Sdn Bhd and Toyo Tires Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd. The MoA will see the companies involved in the renewable energy and motor vehicle sectors expand their businesses by building new plants and exploring new opportunities in the economic region. Redza said NCER would enter the second phase of development next year. “NCIA will be looking to broaden private sector involvement, including establishing networks of business and cultivating both foreign and domestic linkages.

“The ultimate objective is to deliver growth with social equity in the northern corridor, by positioning it as a diversified region renowned for its core business clusters, with spending power generated through the creation of jobs and business opportunities,” he said. Earlier, Redza attended a meeting with Najib to discuss the development and direction of NCER. “The Prime Minister has given us the thumbs-up and said he's very satisfied,” said Redza, adding that the meeting also set an investment target for next year.

He, however, declined to reveal the figure. - Bernama

Source: The Star Online - Friday December 14, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

April date to complete structure

The link between Batu Maung on Penang island and Batu Kawan in south Seberang Prai is now scheduled to be bridged in April. “We expect the second Penang bridge to be opened to the public by September once other works have been completed and the bridge deck tarred,” Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) managing director Datuk Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib.

“We are targetting Sept 8 for the public opening.” Ismail said the project was ahead of schedule with 89% of the bridge’s structure completed. Ismail was speaking to reporters after accompanying the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas to inspect the work progress on the second Penang bridge.

He also visited the UEM Builders Bhd casting yard in Batu Kawan, where the Segmental Box Girders (SBGs) for the bridge are being moulded. Ismail said that the final SBG (8,092) was expected to be cast on Dec 20, following which a small ceremony at the site would be held to celebrate the milestone.

Keeping tabs: (From left) Ismail briefing Abdul Rahman on the bridge's progress during the latter's visit to inspect the project Keeping tabs: (From left) Ismail briefing Abdul Rahman on the bridge's progress during the latter's visit to inspect the project
Construction for the RM4.5bil second Penang bridge commenced on Nov 8, 2008 and is expected to reach 90% completion by the end of the year. Once completed, it will be 23.5km long, 10km longer than the first bridge. It will be the longest bridge in South-East Asia.

The bridge also incorporate a uniquely designed technology known as High Damping Rubber Bearing which is designed to withstand the effects of earthquakes up to 8.2 on the Richter Scale at a distance of 300km from the source.

Source: The Star Online - Tuesday December 11, 2012
By: Hafiz Marzukhi

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The best way to buy a home

Buying real estate for the first time is one of those things that people seem to be expected to know how to do. Why is that? It is probably the largest investment an individual will ever make with their money and the importance of making a good decision goes well beyond financial considerations. Making a big mistake when deciding which house to purchase could lead to any number of undesirable results, including foreclosure down the line. If you are concerned about the pathway to home ownership, here are some tips to help you conquer this milestone in the best way possible.

Hiring an Agent
You don't have to hire a real estate agent to buy a home, but first time buyers would be wise to do so. Yes, it costs money and you're probably trying to save every penny you can right now, but there are many benefits to having an agent on your side. One of the main benefits is being able to outline your budget and what you're looking for in a house and then having appropriate listings brought back to you. This can save you a lot of time and frustration. You may also be privy to listings that aren't on the market yet, putting you in prime position to make an offer.

Take Your Time
Buying real estate isn't something you want to do in an afternoon. While you don't want to miss out on the house of your dreams by dilly-dallying on a decision, you're probably better off letting it get away than you would be buying something you only realize later wasn't your best option. It's one thing to feel buyer's remorse after purchasing an expensive stereo system at the mall. It's quite another to feel it after buying a house. Take a couple of months and really research your options.

Taking Out a Loan
This is one of the trickier parts of the real estate racket, although it usually isn't nearly as challenging as home buyers think it will be. Loan offices and banks, after all, are quite accustomed to lending money to people who want to buy a house, even if this is a foreign world for you. Don't wait until you have your heart set on a house to get loan preapproval from a financial institution. This will open up many more sellers, as some will not consider an offer unless they know the buyer will qualify for a loan.

Based on the article by Alfred Ardis

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Four mistakes new property investors often make

Buying properties for investment purposes is a good way to make the most out of your hard-earned money and secure your future and that of your family. However, it's important to remember that investment properties do not offer a get-rich-quick scheme; rather, you need considerable amounts of time, hard work and funding for your investment to eventually pay off. For those who are new to investing in properties, the prospect of earning large sums from your purchase may sound really exciting, but it's important to keep calm and think of the future in an objective manner. To help prospective investors, the head of the Berkeley Capital Group, shares the four most common mistakes that new investors must avoid:

Diving into investments without a plan - Investing in real estate is more than just buying a house, fixing it up and selling or renting it out in the future. There are many factors that will help influence the success of your investment, such as the state of the economy and future developments for the area where your property is located. It's important to think your plans through and prepare well to protect yourself from failed investments - you have to take into account factors that will affect your property and carefully assess whether it's worth the risk or not.

Not doing enough research - Before entering into the business of real estate-or any area of business, for that matter, it's best to understand first the ins and outs of the system. Doing adequate research also protects you from failed investments in the future because it helps you determine whether the property you are buying is truly profitable. More importantly, doing research on properties you are interested in will help you avoid paying more than what the property is really worth.

Not getting assistance from experts - People who are new to investing often think that they can do things themselves. Adequate research does equip you with the basic information needed to make a successful investment; however, there are certain tasks where you will still need professional assistance, such as during property appraisals or inspections for damage. If renovation is also part of your investment plans, experts can still help make the process easier for you. As a new investor, it's important to acknowledge your own weaknesses and learn to know when it's time to call in for help.

Underestimating costs - Taxes and renovation costs can take a significant amount out of your future earnings, so it's very important to be realistic about them. Don't buy a dilapidated house thinking that you'll only need a few cans of paint to make it ready for the market. If you can't assess how much you will be spending on taxes and renovation, consult an expert and get an estimate for these expenses.

Based on the article by Georgia K San

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tips on buying a profitable investment property

Although you have to consider essentially the same factors, buying a home for investment purposes is still different from purchasing a home for settlement; you have to pay closer attention to present factors that can influence future prices and you also need to consider other expenses that can offset or reduce your earnings later on. Experts in the real estate market offer the following tips to help prospective investors find a truly profitable piece of property:

Do your research.If you are a first-time investor, it would pay to study the market as well as the risks and benefits of investing in properties. Be sure to brush up on the basics, such as the various factors that affect property prices and how these cause prices to rise or drop. Also pay attention to trends and news on the market and understand how these can influence the market. It's really important to become familiar with the ins and outs of the real estate business before buying investment properties as thorough preparation is one really good way to ensure success in the business.

Choose properties in a promising area.If you have done your research right, you will eventually come across "promising" areas where you can buy properties that will yield great profits. Promising does not necessarily translate to upscale properties that fetch high sale or rental prices, or cheap investments that allow you to return your investment quickly. A promising location is one that offers special features that are truly attractive to tenants. These features include schools for families, entertainment hubs for young professionals, or low-cost housing for college students. These promising features may differ with each type of tenant, and as such, you will have to...

Consider the type of tenants in the area. It may be tempting to choose a piece of properties based on what you would want yourself, but it's best to think of what your target tenants would like instead. When choosing properties, ask yourself what features your tenants would like or need. For instance, if you are catering to the college crowd, easy access to amenities, such as Laundromats, grocery stores or coffee shops may be important. If you plan on having families or young professionals as tenants, the property features you need to prioritise will change accordingly.

Take into account future expenses. As an investor, you need to carefully consider the expenses that will later on influence how much you earn from your investment. These include expenses for home repairs or renovations to make the house attractive to tenants and the taxes you will have to pay for on a regular basis. Make sure to include all these into your cost calculations to ensure that you will be able to afford purchasing the property and eventually earn back your initial investment.

There are several factors to contemplate about when deciding for a property that you will eventually turn into an investment. Some of these aspects might be the same as an estate deemed to be a residential house, but some are not.

Based on the article by Georgia K San

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WR Gurney Plaza Roadshow (12-18/11/12)

Here are some images taken from the on-going roadshow at Gurney Plaza. The Chic Urban Living Redefined concept is really getting a warm reception from the crowd at this popular shopping and lifestyle destination. This roadshow is rather unique as WR will be sharing the limelight with D'Majestic - another exclusive project by PJ Group located within the KL's Pudu Corridor that features a 5-storey luxurious suites and 9- storey `Residenz' tower.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Malaysia - the 10th friendliest nation

PETALING JAYA: Forbes Online has rated Malaysia as the 10th friendliest country in the world, based on HSBC's recent Expat Explorer Survey, “Better quality of life, a satisfying social life, easy local travel and better housing than in their home country helped put Malaysia in fifth place overall though many reported difficulty integrating into the local community (often because of a language barrier),” a recent Forbes Online article stated.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak lauded the article and tweeted yesterday, “We welcome the world”. Forbes Online listed Cayman Islands, Australia and Britain as the top three friendliest destinations for expatriates. Referring to the survey, the article stated that the three nations were the “easiest to befriend locals, learn the local language, integrate into the community and fit into the new culture”. It quoted an expatriate living in Cayman Islands who gave the place the thumbs up for not having any income or payroll tax, hardly any crime and for being pollution-free, besides an all-year summer.

Canada took fourth place in Forbes Online's World's Friendliest Countries 2012, followed by New Zealand, Spain, United States, Bermuda, South Africa and Malaysia. The HSBC survey, which is in its fifth year, looked into various aspects of an expatriate's life including economics, namely income, disposable income and a measure of luxury; overall experience; and raising children abroad which took into account childcare, health and well-being and integration of children.

It also noted that expatriates living in Asia such as in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong found it difficult to integrate with the local community compared to many English-speaking countries mainly due to the language barrier. According to the survey, Malaysia was a top destination for career-driven expatriates and a great quality of life but noted that many looked at it as a temporary base. A total of 5,339 expatriates from 97 countries took part in the online survey which was carried out from May 11 to July 3.

The Star Online - Monday 29th October, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

The showcase at Penang Times Square

This was WR's first visit to one of the latest lifestyle hotspots in Penang - the Penang Times Square. The PIP Property & Home showcase may not be have the same magnitud as the other more prominent property events but it is nevertheless, a good platform to showcase your properties and create even more awareness in the market.

Monday, October 22, 2012

PIP Property & Home Showcase 2012

WR will be at this event. Please do come visit us and find out more about Chic Urban Living redefined.

Venue: Penang Times Square
Booth: A6 (1st floor, Concourse Area)
Date: 26 - 28/10/2012
Time: 11am - 10pm

Friday, October 19, 2012

Malaysia Property Market 2012/2013

Generally, property prices in Malaysia have appreciated dramatically between 20%-100% beyond the affordability of most people giving rise to much discontent in the last few years especially in the state of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Low interest rates, high liquidity, high labour costs as well as compliance costs and inflation which leads to rise in building material costs are some of the major elements that contribute to this surge in prices. Is Malaysia experiencing a 'property bubble'? It is a question yet to be answered.

It is a true fact that Malaysia property market has been doing well in the past couple of years. However, the Malaysian Government intervention has taken place recently. Malaysia Government is trying to 'cool' the local property market and prevent the property prices from rising further by introducing several 'cooling' measures.

Under the Central Bank's new lending guidelines which took effect on 1 January 2012, loans are now approved based on net income rather than gross income. The volume of loan applications for residential properties declined by 3 percent year-on-year in August 2012, leading to a decline by 12.7 percent in loan approvals, according to OSK Research. This trend is said to be an indicative of the residential property market cooling following tightening measures by Central Bank. However, it is not rational to conclude that the demand for local property has been decreased based solely on this single data as the loan volume might actually remains relatively constant; it is probably just means that people are still able to borrow, just that they have to apply to a few more different banks nowadays compared to last time.

Under Budget 2013, the real property gains tax (RPGT) rate for properties sold within two years was increased by 10 percent to 15 percent while the rate for properties sold within three to five years was raised from 5 percent to 10 percent. This second year of hike in RPGT acts as a very first step to contain the issue of rising property prices although it is less likely to have an impact in curbing excessive property market speculation, according to property analysts.

The various minimum limits for foreign purchases imposed by the Government for different states also aim to protect the interests of local Malaysians. For instance, the minimum limit for foreign purchases of all properties is RM1 million in Penang while landed properties is in higher limit which is RM2 million starting from 1st of July 2012. However, the limits are considered low for foreigners who are cash rich. The developers will most probably rising the property prices in order to target and attract these potential foreign buyers. Besides, these foreign purchase transactions constitute only 2.26% in the year of 2011 in Penang. Thus, there is a big question arises as to whether these limitations will be effective enough to control speculation in Penang properties that is continuously driving up in prices.

It is believed that the property prices in Malaysia will continue to rise, but at a slower pace in the coming months and will continue to rise in the coming year of 2013 because the local buying interest will remains strong due to increasing affordability, the local buyers see homes as hedge against inflation and have no other options in alternative investments. Additionally, the cooling measures taken by the Government is said to be not good and effective enough to prevent property prices from rising further. Besides, there are many foreign buyers who are very interested in buying Malaysia property. For illustration, there is a lot of interest from Singaporean in buying Johor Bahru property. The Malaysia property market is expected to grow despite rising property prices in the near future.

Based on the article by Alecia Tan

Friday, October 12, 2012

Luxurious Condominium - Living a life you fantasized

Everybody has their dream house. Then, others have their dream condo! Getting a condominium unit is becoming popular these days. Most young couples prefer getting a condo unit rather than a house, primarily because it is financially easier to acquire, not to mention it is more flexible in payment terms. Due to the fact that most condo developments are also conveniently built near every important site such as schools, office buildings, supermarkets, churches, parks, and transport stations.

Imagine how effortless it would be to get to work (or school) or to dash to the grocery when you run out of some supplies. In an aesthetic sense, condominiums are mostly fine-looking, with trendy styles ranging from neo-Asian to Mediterranean to ultra-modern, even futuristic. It is all so nice to go home to your loved ones in your luxurious condo after a tiring day.

What is a luxurious condo like? Despite the differences of people's taste and style, they all seem to agree on the qualities of a perfect condo and condominium community. Why do you think people should choose for a luxurious and remarkable condominium? Other than its proximity to key locations, it has plenty of lush greenery that are soothing, calming, relaxing. The ambiance is pleasant and inviting, and the whole community is secured at all times. It has disaster management as well as fire protection systems.

Luxury condominium community have a good combination of urban and rural elements. You get the nature vibe right in the heart of the city. There are sensible amenities. Pools, cabanas, gyms, and clubhouse are standard. There are also jogging paths where you can have rejuvenating morning jogs and a field for sport activities such as tennis/badminton, basketball, and the likes. Biking trails are starting to get in style, too. They have a well-organized parking area. The infrastructures are of fine quality.

A dream condo is spacious and clean, and offers spectacular view of the world outside your private little world. The place is warm and hospitable towards locals and foreigners alike. It is a primary consideration if you are looking for an excellent condominium living experience. While some people want the freedom to decorate, select color schemes and style the interiors of their own condo unit, others prefer a fully furnished one. Luxury condominiums give its clients both choices.

Another significant importance is the location of the condominium. If it is built within a tourist destination, or a melting pot, then it would be perfect! Diversity of culture is always interesting, plus it gives the added benefit of value appreciation should the time come when you decide to sell your unit for a new one. And if you are not ready to sell it yet, then maybe you can rent it out to tourists when you are going to be away on a holiday. You can generate really handsome income from doing so.

Considering all the things discussed, a truly luxurious condo is a place that you can call your sanctuary; it is your own little paradise; a place where you really want to be.

Based on the article by Jennylyn P Pereira

Friday, October 5, 2012

Determining How Much Real Estate You Can Afford

Real estate is one of the largest investments most people will make in their lifetime. However, it is also one of the safest investments to make. When you buy a home and maintain it for the long-term, the value is likely to increase. There will be times when the value dips and you find yourself wondering if you made the right decision. However, if this is a home that you love and want to remain in, it is worthwhile. Before you do make any buying decision, understand the actual cost of this property to you.

Determine What You Can Afford
Prior to buying real estate, most experts tell homebuyers to focus first on what they can afford. Work with a lender to determine how much of a loan you are able to obtain. When you do this first, you do not end up looking at homes out of your price range. Additionally, you should not simply believe that what the lender tells you it will lend to you is what you can afford. In other words, determine how much you would like to spend per month on a mortgage payment. Then, determine how much of a home that can get you.

Using Calculators
There are various mortgage and loan calculators available to use online that can provide you with a wealth of information. It can help you to see how much the loan will cost you, for example. An amortization table is a spreadsheet of information that shows you some key important facts including how much each of your mortgage payments will be. It also shows you how much of each payment goes towards the interest and the principle on your loan (separately) so you can see where you are in the cycle. It also gives you a few big figures including the total amount of interest you will pay to buy the home and the total cost of the property, which includes both interest and principle.

Use these figures to help you to make a wise buying choice. When using a calculator like this, you can see the difference if you make just a few changes in your monthly payment. For example, if you choose to pay your mortgage every two weeks, you will shave years off your mortgage life and thousands of dollars off your balance.

By working with these tools as well as your real estate agent, you can find the right home for you. Focus on the investment. How much of a down payment will you make? What interest rate do you qualify for from your lender? All of these factors play a role in the overall monthly payment that you will make as well as what you can afford in the long term.
Based on the article by Aloysius Aucoin

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Construction of second Penang Bridge 84% finished

GEORGE TOWN: Construction of the second Penang Bridge is surging ahead of schedule, with 84% of the project completed. Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd construction director Hamizol Ngah said work was about 2% ahead of plan as of Sept 20. “We are two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline. “We aim to have 90% of the bridge completed by end of the year,” he said in a briefing for state officials at the China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (M) Sdn Bhd (CHEC) office in Batu Maung.

Rapid progress: Work on the second Penang Bridge is two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline. Rapid progress: Work on the second Penang Bridge is two months ahead of schedule from the September 2013 deadline.

Hamizol said if work continued as planned, the two ends of the bridge would converge at the main navigation span in early April next year. The 24km bridge will then be on record as the longest bridge in South-East Asia. Hamizol said the bridge would have a lifespan of 120 years and the ability to withstand earthquakes up to 7.5 on the Richter scale by using the “High Damping Rubber Bearing” system. State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, who was present at the briefing, said two traffic dispersal projects on the island end of the bridge were expected to kick off next year. “The Federal Government had approved RM262mil to upgrade the coastal road (Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway) from the entrance of the second bridge to the mouth of the first Penang Bridge.

“Aside from that, RM161mil has been allocated to upgrade roads leading south to Teluk Kumbar from the Batu Maung Interchange.” He said both projects were expected to be completed about a year after the second bridge opened to traffic in September next year. “We expect about 30% of the first bridge's traffic (70,000 vehicles per day) to move to the second bridge, so we think traffic will be manageable until the two upgrading projects are completed,” he said. He also said the state had been informed that CHEC, one of the contractors for the second bridge, was not involved in the building of the Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge that collapsed in China on Aug 24. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had previously called for an immediate safety audit on the second bridge following speculation that China Communications and Construction Company Ltd, the parent company of CHEC, was the contractor of the collapsed bridge in Heilongjiang province.

Source: The Star Online - Wednesday, 3rd October 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WR Queensbay Mall Roadshow (20 - 23 Sept, 2012)

Wellesley Residences will be at the ever-popular Queensbay Mall showcasing the Chic Urban Living Redefined concept of this luxury condominium that is strategically located in Harbour Place, the first Metrocity in Butterworth.