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Investing Elsewhere…

Investing Elsewhere…

Hi! Michelle here. Completely off-topic.. last night I was asked by a friend if it was wise to invest on a property in a much different location– in her case, somewhere outside the United States. She was thinking of buying and selling or renting out old condominiums for profit. Her question caught me offguard, probably because we were in the middle of discussing the latest episode of Mad Men, and her question lacked a proper segue.

She considered my “expertise” on the subject, and without hesitation I told her, “yes”. Why not? It’s the best time for real estate right now– especially in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and even Hong Kong. Given the fact that I’ve lived in all those locations gave her enough confidence that what I’m saying is indeed– credible.

The world is in your hands! The world is in your hands!

We checked online for properties that can be deemed investment-worthy.. the current trend in Asia is the fast rise of condominiums in cities, especially in Kuala Lumpur and Adelaide. There’s this one nice condo in Bangsar— a happening community, apparently in Kuala Lumpur– that particularly caught my eye. She had her sights on The Troika, another highrise posh condominium in Malaysia. After a few glasses of wine we ended up sleeping on the couch, and woke up holding calculators– probably there was a bit of a drunk-computation activity that happened the previous night.

I’d get back to you and let you know if my friend will eventually hop on the first plane to Asia. 🙂

Take care!



May 17, 20130 commentsRead More
Green DIY – It Will Do Your Soul A Lot Of Good!

Green DIY – It Will Do Your Soul A Lot Of Good!

Today’s article features parts from our partners at – which is NECarbonChallenge’s representative in Malaysia.

Everyone has a dream house. I, as a kid growing up in the streets of Selangor, Malaysia, want a lanai that goes straight out of my dining hall, and floor-to-ceiling windows and a huge library and reading nook behind my walk-in closet. The problem is, this house only exists in my imagination and not in the houses that are up for sale anywhere. An apartment which would be ideal for me would be one at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), but that would be a little out of my league in terms of affordability. 🙁

This is the reason why some people consider building their own home over buying a pre-built one. But would it be a better choice? Which will make a more practical move, economically, especially in Malaysia?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of building your own home:


The biggest advantage to building your own home, and quite frankly the foremost reason why homeowners decide to take this challenging step is getting a home that is fully, truly yours – built how you want it.

You would not have to complain about your kitchen bar being too off-center or having too much space used on your kitchen, or the windows being too small for your taste. Oh, you would not have neighbors living in the exact same looking home too. 🙂

Building your own home also gives you the freedom and the privilege to choose the exact materials that you want to see in your house. Houses in the Petaling Jaya district, for one, have spacious homes and lots that you can definitely utilize. You would not have to worry over having to change anything to match your preferences. Now things will be different if you are in a rather cramped property development such as Mont Kiara or Ampang, for example.

And then of course there’s that sense of personal gratification over seeing your home built from scratch. It’s your dream home and you’ve seen how it came to be, that much of a satisfaction is priceless – and something you can never achieve with a pre-built home. This point is driven home in one of Trulia’s blog post which can be found here.

There are, on the other hand, some Malaysian developers (particularly those in the greater Kuala Lumpur area) which give a lot of customization options to buyers (reputable developers such as Glomac and Mah Sing come to mind), and so there is a middle ground. Condominiums such as Troika (in KLCC) are flexible to some extent when it comes to customization options.

Also, having your own design means that it’s easier to take our Carbon Challenge!


However, the biggest disadvantage to building a house is that it is generally more expensive as opposed to buying a home. Mortgage lenders in Malaysia typically do not easily grant construction loan so it may take a bit of time to get the financing on it started. That is, unless of course, if you are not going to pay with cash.

Also, building your own home takes a lot of time. Whilst you only have to drive up to your pre-built home on moving day, construction of a new house may take months and sometimes even years to finish. Plus you would have to work as much as the weather permits you. Weather disturbances can disrupt your construction progress way more than you can imagine. This is especially true in the context of the unpredictable Malaysian weather. 🙂

During this downtime, you will have to settle down somewhere else if you do no longer have your old home. Renting a place during the construction will cost you both the rent and the ongoing construction costs. Property hunting in Malaysia can be daunting, but at the advent of online property research tools (such as things are indeed easier now than, say, three years ago.

Choosing the right materials to go in your home could also be time consuming. Unless you leave it all to your builder – which practically defeats the purpose of building the house according to your preferences – you will have to go through the process with your engineer/contractor. It is only fun in the beginning, trust me. I speak from experience! 🙂

Then again, having your own home according to how you dreamed your home to be is a satisfaction that is beyond compare and beyond measure. You just have to decide whether or not all the hassle is worth it. Not many Malaysians build their own homes, but those who do will reap the rewards.

Finally, we do have some workshops lined up in 2013 for those who are interested in building their own homes. Click here for more information.

Resources mentioned in this article –


  • Address: H-08, Setiawalk, Pusat Bandar Puchong, 47100 Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Telephone: 013-3540586
  • Email:
May 2, 20130 commentsRead More
Green Real Estate – Good Investment?

Green Real Estate – Good Investment?

Times are indeed changing, as we have made countless efforts in trying to preserve our environment and the world that we live in. In the housing and real estate industry, many steps are taken to ensure that every home, building, or commercial complex will do its part in making our planet a safer place for everyone. Thus, the emergence of “green” real estate has played an important role to date in making residences and office spaces more eco-friendly.

What Exactly is Green Real Estate?

Many factors are taken into consideration before property can be considered as “green” or eco-friendly. A lot of buyers and sellers have taken the path towards green living, and this is relatively shown by the amount of eco-friendly properties and houses being built on a daily basis.

In Asia, specifically in Malaysia– there have been countless of residences that are going green. Marc Residence, for example, is conceptualising on ways to promote green living. Another good example is Singapore’s Mon Jervos – it’s the country’s flag bearer of green development!

Green Houses

A lot of components come into play—insulation, for one, is a key determiner of green buildings and houses. Since heating and cooling contribute to high energy consumption and higher bills, a proper insulation that adheres to green standards will make it environmental-friendly. A building with proper insulation will result into a safer environment.

Technology also plays a part in making property green. The invention of solar panels that allow natural sunlight to enter a house or building is a big step for real estate to go to the green side. It has a lot of benefits, too—cleaner and cooler spaces, a relaxed and calming atmosphere, and most especially—lower bills to pay.

Careful construction within an area is also taken into consideration before a property can be considered to be eco-friendly. Who wants to live in a home that is a result of 100 trees being cut down? No one. Studies have shown that more and more people are becoming aware of the Earth’s growing problems every day, and would probably consider knowing all the details first before buying any house. This is one reason why green real estate has been getting a lot of attention recently, and is slowly having a higher market value compared to properties that haven’t gone green yet.

Benefits of Going Green

The number one reason why people nowadays are choosing green homes is because of the low costs that green houses and properties accumulate in the long run. Lower costs, lower bills to pay, and lower energy consumption have made it easy for people to change gears and head towards the green direction. Here is a quick guide on how to save consumption and therefore save on bills. Aside from all the savings you are able to get, you can be sure that you’re doing the environment a great favour. With the growing popularity of green housing and green real estate nowadays, you’d be sure that you will have a lot of options. It’s time for you to do your part now.

Wise words from: M!

April 3, 20130 commentsRead More