A New Chapter Begins

If you know me or follow this blog, you would remember that we’ve been living in a condo in Kelana Jaya when we first got married and had all our kids.

Three years ago we sold that condo because we sort of outgrew the unit, and we’ve been renting a house.

I was pretty contented with renting a house, but we kept our eyes open for any opportunities since the property market was really down and it’s a buyer’s market.

After 1 year + of searching (and changing our minds a few times), we’ve found a landed house with a suitable location, size and price.

We went through many rounds of thinking, calculations, and spreadsheets, and we decided to take the plunge and commit to the purchase.

That was all decided in April 2019 and we received the house right before Christmas last year. Right now we are in the middle of some refurbishment work.

The inside of the house pretty much looks like this now

I know you must be thinking … “wah, a landed house in PJ, you must be loaded“. Actually no… we chose a smaller affordable house and the down payment came from selling the condo. Plus we are borrowing a lot from the bank.

OMG I have to tell you it’s not straightforward to get this house. There were so many difficult moments in the transaction.

I will try to document the various experiences I’ve gone through here on this blog for future reference.

Gung Hei Fatt Choy to all readers. Wish you and your family good health always.

Fixing Up the Laundry Room

We have this small room near the kitchen that we turned into a laundry room. It doubles up as part of our kitchen pantry / storage area.

When we first renovated the condo 6 years ago, I wanted to paint the walls. But nobody really went to that area except to wash clothes so it was low priority.

Then the wedding and 3 kids came, and it was abandoned. Slowly, it turned into a place for cockroaches to breed.

A couple of weeks ago my washing machine malfunctioned. Turns out there was a sock stuck in the drain outlet filter. After clearing the sock, the floor was all dirty so I cleaned it really good. Then I saw the walls again.

So last weekend we got some paint and I spent 7 hours painting.

Here’s the washing machine area before painting.

We chose two colours to match the blue floor tiles. Nippon 4245P Folkstone for the “wet” wall that looks grey; and Nippon 848 Flirtation that looks like light blue and purple.

Both colours looked lighter on the colour cards, so I guess one lesson is to buy one or two shades lighter than what appears on the printed cards.

We bought Odour-less Premium All-In-1. RM123 for 5 litres.

This is the washing machine from a side angle, so you can see the grey colour.

I repainted the ceiling too with white paint.

There’s some pipes coming from the ceiling. The previous color was light blue, but it was stained with some brick dust from drilling during renovations. There were also some water stains.

After repainting it looks grey. From this angle it stands out against the white ceiling, but if you look from the side, it blends into the wall.

There’s a PVC panel running across the wall that I’ve also painted over.

Some parts of the wall are uneven. I’m not sure if it’s concrete or cement. Not sure how to smoothen it so I just painted over the bumps.

This is a view of the opposite side of the room where we keep a storage shelf.

Fresh new look after painting.

Too Expensive to Move

I’m finding my condo to be a bit too small as my kids grow older. At the moment we’re all still sleeping in the master bedroom together. There’s a queen sized bed and three single mattresses for the kids.

Rachel has turned five years old and she will need her own bedroom soon.

Sometimes it’s quite… err… “inconvenient” sleeping in the same room with the kids. What a nightmare if the kids were to wake up at an inappropriate moment.

We have another bedroom reserved for guests that doubles as the kids playroom. At the back of the condo there’s a small room that has been turned into a store room.

Doing the Math

Before getting married, my original plan was to start off with a small condo. In my naivety I only expected 1 child and I didn’t predict house prices doubling after 5 years.

But we’ve had 3 kids in the span of 4 years. The value of my condo has also doubled, but even after selling it, what could I afford to buy? A slightly bigger condo?

My salary cannot keep up with the demand because our expenses continue to increase every year, especially daycare and kindergarten fees.

No Relief

It’s not helping that property developers seem to be releasing premium and luxury class properties nowadays.

I don’t know who keeps buying these properties at crazy prices, and where they’re getting this money from.

More bad news. In the past few days our stock market is dropping so fast, and the value of the Ringgit has depreciated so much.

I’m not going to blame anyone. Some people want to blame the government but I hardly think this problem is their fault.

And what can the government do really? If you’re the seller of a property won’t you want to sell for the highest value? Even if you slap speculators with 15% RPGT, they’re earning 85% profit that they will promptly invest in another property.

Property prices can only come down if there’s no demand but I can only expect demand to increase.

Staying Put

We’ve just decided to see how things turn out in the next few years. One thing for sure, property prices will never go back to the way they were a few years ago. My only hope is to earn more money.

I’ve already started some small home refurbishment projects on the condo. Perhaps I’ll spend a little bit of money making our condo a bit more comfortable and be satisfied with what I have.

Maybe it’s time to convert that back room from a store room to a bedroom.

I am aware of the fact that I’m fortunate to even own a property when thousands out there are even worse off than me.

Staying in the condo does have advantages. We have facilities to use. There are security guards around all the time. There’s only one entrance so I don’t have to worry about burglars from any windows, back door or roof.