New Year Resolutions, Reflections, RV plans, dreams, etc

Hi Terence and all,

Reflecting on our RV plans of the past which have not materialise, I cannot help but to post this idea of an RV alternative.  I am looking to rent a condo unit either in JB or even Malacca  that can be a 2nd home for me, as I think it wil be much cheaper living there.   So I am  thinking of renting such a unit that is within easy reach of public transport and is in a good safe location.  

I am prepared to let out a room/rooms for SHC members for overnight stay either enjoying shopping, massage, makan or even for overnight MJ or for travel stops on their way up north.  This condo unit should or will be set up with cable tv, internet  and all necessary facilities like washing machine, kitchen for cooking etc.  This idea came about too from the very good response of my weekly JB trips that I had at times had to make 2 trips in a week.  

So anyone in a group wanting to really feel what is like staying in JB can book the room at a very reasonable cost to stay over for a night or for as long as they want.

Will also welcome any ideas to expand such a plan, as I think  there are quite a few things one can enjoy in nearby JB besides the cheaper food, massage, karaoke, dancing, hair styling, tailoring, car services etc, is the slower pace of life there, or taking up cheaper courses in JB.  Some special courses that cost $3000 in Singapore cost the same amount in M$3000 and therefore can be quite a saving. 





11 thoughts on “New Year Resolutions, Reflections, RV plans, dreams, etc

  1. Hi Ronald
    Let me share with you my experience of a 2nd home in Malaysia.
    Until 2 years ago, my husband and I had this 3-bedroom walk-up apartment in Malacca (near Jusco) which we bought with all intentions of using it as our holiday home and stopover before continuing our journey up north.
    We had it fully furnished complete with all creature comforts – air-cons, fridge, washing machine, oven etc,
    We never knew that we would want to sell it but in the end we had to. We were paying conservancy charges yearly in advance to avoid the hassle of monthly remittance. For the 1st two years, things were fine but later on, there was no maintenance at all. We would arrive to find the estate looking like a slum with heaps of rubbish near stairwells, bulbs missing from the common areas and letter boxes vandalised. Some units were rented out to college students/workers and as many as 12 to 15 people can cram into 1 unit. Because of such crammed conditions,some sought solace close to our landing and stairway. Needless to say, they must be responsible for the litter and graffitti.
    When we complained to the management abt the filth, we were told that not all the owners pay their conservancy fees so they couldn’t afford to pay the workers. Hence daily cleaning became weekly and then monthly. Even went so far as to suggest that I call up 1st to announce my coming that he may arrange for someone to sweep my stairwell and corridor. We were shocked. Seems that Singaporean owners were the only ones paying dutifully.
    We stopped going there as often as we would have liked. I drove up occasionally to clean and open up the place,top up my power and water account and pay misc bills.
    When my husband’s health worsened and travel for me became difficult, we sold the place (complete with furniture,fittings and everything else in it) for a song.
    We lost a lot of money on that apartment.I kept that apt for a good 8 yrs (hoping for things to get better).
    We had great plans for that place, it was near Ayer Keroh, close to the many golf clubs and places of interest.

  2. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for sharing and I also know of a friend who has 2 different condo units in Malacca that he has fully paid for and fully furnished them but to only used them for only a few times. He hardly find time to used them and also due to some disagreements with the management over maintenance cost, etc he has not been paying the monthly fees and has left his units unattended for 8 years.

    I was thinking of buying one of the unit at what I thought is a good price at less than half of what he paid for, but with the outstanding fees and possible legal action by the management it may not be a good idea after all.

    So over the many RV discussions we had in the past, the point that is often raised is not to own but how to enjoy the homestay comfort at different countries.

    So now on reflection with Mary and Joan in Perth providing homestay and personal tours the RV plan that we had started in 2006 is slowly coming along. So SHC members can always find a friend in Perth even when going alone as Catherine Ho did just a few months ago. With such an arrangement available anytime, I am surprised many still prefer to go in a bigger group instead of going in smaller group of 2 or 3 at dates that really more convenient to them.

    Back to the point of RV in different countries, so I am still looking at renting a condo or a well kept house that is within my budget in JB or Malacca. Terence and Jeff (half time in Bangkok) are rental condos in BKK viable and within a $500 budget and in good condition ?


  3. I’m currently renting a studio apartment in Bangkok but my plan possibly next year is to buy an apartment in a condominium since my short/medium plan is to relocate there. Soon Terence will have to change my handle to (3/4 time in Bangkok)!

    The apartment I’m renting now is in upper Sukhumvit which is quite a good residential area. For those who know Bangkok, Sukhumvit Road is like Orchard Road in Singapore, so upper Sukhumvit can be compared to Tanglin.

    I’m paying THB 7,000 (SGD 300) a month which is comparatively cheap. That is because the apartment complex I’m in is quite old but very well maintained. Going a few km away from town but along the same road, you can rent a similar sized apartment for about THB 5,000.

    Venturing to other areas of Bangkok, like Rachada (where our fellow SHC member, Vincent Khoo lives) the median rental for a studio apartment is also about THB 5,000.

    If you plan to live in retirement in Thailand, you have to ask yourself if you really want to be in Bangkok? For me I have to, as if you are in business you can’t avoid being in Bangkok. Otherwise I would prefer very much to live out of Bangkok, my preference being Hua Hin.

  4. My advice on short stays in the region will be NOT to buy but just rent. You are not familiar with the markets in these places and it will be difficult to make money from such property.

    There are many stories on how property plans and retirement plans can go awry which will put you off retirement even.

    Most Sgpns are interested in property because of their ‘experience’ in the property market in Sgp. Unfortunately not many realise the windfall from the property market is declining as our growth slows. Most still harbour dreams of making similar windfalls in property as in the past 20 or 30 years. Ng Teng Fong and the Far East Group have not been making their supernormal profits these last 10 years or so, despite their mgmt, expertise and experience. Closer to the consumers experience, most of those who bought property in the last 10 years have made little if any.

    While many still expect the heady growth of the 80s, they forget that Sgp has a limited land mass and had very strong growth in the 80s and 90s. So this quantum jump in property values from the 50s to the 90s are simply not forthcoming. Factor in the interest expense and you will find that profits are very slim indeed.

    So most Sgpns extrapolate their experience from Sgp to other countries, notably M’sia, Thai, Cambodia, Moluccas, Phil etc. No doubt there are some savvy investors who have made money in A’lia, UK, USA,

  5. Sorry about I shall be brief as I was cut off unexpectedly. Perhaps there is a cap on lines somewhere.

    To continue, most extrapolate their experiences but find the results unsatisfactory. You cannot keep beating the horse to go faster. Similarly you cannot make more property profits by simply building more. There has to be a foreign input, like in NZ from more immigrants, or econmic growth, like in A’lia and Sgp. If the incomes of the residents cannot match or grow in the same speed as the increase in the property values, then it is only a matter of time before one slows down for the other or the other catches up, which is inflationary, anyway. Look at Sgp in the early 90s, strong bull run in late 80s (88 to 90/1) If not for the govt measures then to allow for upgrading, letting the private sector buy the HDB flats, also the reduction in downpayment, there would have been a change in trend in the property market during the Gulf war. As it was this was obviated because of the govt policies at that time. And we had the longest running property market till 1997, overextended by the policies then.

  6. Most books tell of stories by great magnates who made money from property. But these are property developers. They make money from timing the market, having a good contrarian eye for location, know the inside track on future city planning, like mrts, big or bigger development projects, schools, demand and supply changes and econmies of scale in dealing with contractors etc.

    For us mere mortals, let us develop an eye for location, like Jeffrey Lim when he mentions Hua Hin, or demand equilibrium, like Ron Wie. But first, before putting in a lot of money, rent and live there first. If we make a mistake about the neighbourhood, or the facilities, (not the condo, but the supporting facilities, like police, insurance, transport, schooling) we can just pack our bags and leave.

    I think a better idea would be to rent for 1-3 months and leave there like a local. The costs are definetely easier on our pockets.


  7. Hi Ronald,

    Actually I support yr idea of having an apartment in each
    major city for holidaying or simply renting out to SHCians
    or other Sinagporeans.

    I’ve a close friend who have an apt in Makota (Malacca) &
    1 in KL. The only time he encounters problem is when he
    forget to pay maint. fee and as a result, his water & power
    were cut off by the MC. It’s unfortunate that the problems of the non-paying owners hilited by Amy spread to other
    owners who paid their dues regulary.

    So, I would said a lot depends on the housing developer and
    managment committee thermselves.

    And to be safe, it’s better to get some locals who know the
    market well before plunging into the investment. Renting is
    also a wise decision if we don’t want to commit 100%.


  8. Hi RonaldW,

    You are a well known personality when topics like travelling to Malacca and JB are concerned. I guess u have made a few trips to these places with a number of SHCians.

    It’s good you and your participants share your trip happenings as this will encourage other SHCians to join you or form new groups. I think your RV ideas in these areas can then materialise.

    Terence Seah

  9. Hi Ronald

    SHCians are now looking to stretch their dollar and also overseas for their holidays. Your idea of renting a flat in JB may involve making a financial commitment yourself. Why not tap the market of owners who have bought into overseas properties but can put them into better use especially if vacant or have rooms to spare.

    James #7 made a valid point. I have a plan where I see possible RVs in Perth, S’pore, Malaysia etc already owned by SHCians managed/coordinated by someone in SHC. It may not be a lucrative job, more service to other SHCians. My plan may need further brainstorming and may not be workable. I don’t mind exploring the idea further with you or interested people. I believe that if you have the right people you have the solution.

    Happy New Year and cheers

  10. Hi Ronald I hve a condo/hotel unit in Malacca place was formerly Riviera Bay now is changed to Everly Resort next to Shah’s Motel, this is by the sea and half an hrs drive either to town or to the golf course. I hve owned this place for the last 12 yrs and it was being rented back to he hotel , the place was quite well maintained as it was run by the Mandarin Group. Since July this year new management bought over and they do not want to continue the guaranteed rental so its been empty and I am paying maintenance fees and a minimum electrictity. I did not want to rent it out reason being that if I don’t get reliable people then they will stay and aferward leave the place dirty and also not responsible leave the aircon on or don’t lock the door properly then I end up having to pay a high electricity bill and what a mess it will be cos I don’go there only once or twice a year at most.
    PS – Can consider discussing with you for rental but my priority is to sell at a very good price if someone is keen to buy over. We can have a game of golf and discuss further.
    Janet Loo – my new email address

  11. Hi all,

    I have double storey terrace in Jb and would like to rent it out at a reasonable rate.

    Located near Tebrau City(Jusco), it is a gated and guarded precinct and facing the Mount Austin Golf Resort.

    Those who are keen kindly reply to



    *With regards to the RV, those interested can come in to JB and explore the possibilities.

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