The Year was 1996. I noticed a run down Double Storey House in Taman Midah, Kuala Lumpur. It has been advertised for Auction For RM110,000. But since it was not sold it was offered again 3 month’s later at RM100,000 (About 10% Less).
I got interested because TAMAN MIDAH Is The First Housing Estate Along Jalan Cheras Main Road Which is About Only Less Than 10 Minutes Drive To KL Golden Triangle in Jalan Bukit Bintang. The address was No. 72, Jalan Midah Timur, Taman Midah, KL. The house has a bigger frontage of 27 feet because it is located at the curving of the road. At the back is the normal 22 feet.
It has a length of 75 feet long. From the front it looked like a One & a Half House. But for “feng sui” the Chinese would say it is no good because it has a Big Head and a Small tail.
In these Boom Times of the GO-GO Years I was very busy. It was near mid-night when I finally have time to view it. At 12 mid-night I stood outside the Front Gate to have a Better Look at it. It appeared run down & neglected for 13 years.
13 YEARS ABANDONED? Something must by wrong somewhere. Then a couple happened to pass by. They asked me what I was doing – looking at that god-forsaken house. I said ,”It is up for auction!”. They said, “Got ghosts. It’s haunted – and quickly walked off.”
I called Mr. Lim, a contractor friend from Kajang. (This Contractor Lim is not the Contractor Lim of Nusantara Prima, Johor, don’t get confused.). Ever obliging Kajang Lim arrived within 30 minutes.
I needed his expertise. It was almost 1 a.m. when we entered by the Back Door. When we pushed open the Wooden Door it Crumbled Apart in Pieces. Termites have done their damage after one decade!
As we shone our torch lights on the walls, the pillars, the ceilings, the floors and all the rooms including the kitchen & toilets; Mr. Lim exclaimed – “The Walls & Structure Looked Solid! Still in excellent condition.” He quoted a full restoration cost inclusive of materials, labour & new paintwork to be RM30,000. At RM100K Reserved Price. Plus RM30K for Repair Work. It Will Be RM130,000. It was to be a Real Bargain As The Malay Mail & Star Classified Adverts Showed Asking Prices In Taman Midah to be Around RM200,000 for Similar 2 Storey Houses then.
Next morning I arrived at KL High Court early. Kept my fingers crossed and hoping that I am the Only Bidder. Nobody want it for 13 years and at the last auction no bidder turned up at RM110,000. My chances must be good and I had high hope.
Then I found out. There were 18 other interested bidders for this particular house. Why didn’t they come the last time when it was RM110K, I wondered?. And why aren’t they afraid of ghosts? And don’t they know that the house is so rotten? And who are these people after all? Many other questions raced through my mind as I entered the Auction Hall.
The Auctioner as usual read out the guidelines: 1) To participate you have to bring a banker cheque of RM10K. 2) Successful Bidder is given 120 days to pay up. but no.3) was different – instead of Reserved Price RM100K , each bid up RM1K – IN THIS CASE EACH BID UP RM10,000.
My limit was actually RM130K. RM130K & RM30 Repair = RM160K. Since Asking Prices in The Open Market then was RM200K. RM160K would be a 20% Discount.(Remember Our Article On “Criteria For Safe Property Investment?) Lo and behold, Prices Moved To RM110K, then RM120K. So I quickly put up my hand and offered RM130K.
As I was putting up my hand, one rough & crude looking guy rushed to my side and said, “Put Down Your Hand & You Will Get RM2,000!” He came suddenly and I was Totally Taken Aback! Anyway, I wasn’t interested in his RM2,000, I was bent on getting the property. His urging only incensed me. I felt adrenaline rush up my blood.
RM130K was My Target Price. The auctioner calling once, calling twice started to count – Three – Two & Someone Else Put Up His Hand And Offered “RM140,000.” Again Someone Counter Offered “RM150,000.”
My heart was pounding hard as Emotion Overtook Reason as I offered “RM160,000!”. And I won! When the Hammer came down, the auctioner approached me and enquired, “Who are you and where did you come from? And why didn’t you come and bid when Prices was RM150k , dropped to RM140K and dropped RM10K at every subsequent auction until the last time at RM110K 3 months ago when there weren’t any bidder?” And why did you bid at Such High Price?” I Was Speechless.
I said,”I myself don’t know what I have done” He was quite amused. Suddenly, I felt confused. I am supposed to bid until RM130K & I got carried away. Was I provoked by that strange guy who told me not to put up my hand? Anyway, it’s too late for regret now. What it’s done, it’s done.
Even at this Rotten Condition, I managed to get a RM100K loan from Scotia Bank. And I decided to advertise the house For Sale in the Newspapers. Wow! The Response Was Fantastic! The Phone rang non-stop all day& all night. More than 50 people called. The Advertised Price? RM199,888.
This House Has A Bigger Frontage Of 27 feet wide. All Other Houses Were Advertised Above RM200,000. No wonder there are So Many Interested Buyers. I gave them the address and told them to view it before commenting futrher. Of couse, they all ran away after viewing it!
Except for One Woman. She called and offered RM100K for it. I told her no. I can’t sell it below my actual cost – RM160,000. She didn’t believe my words. She insisted vehemently that I must have bought it for only RM100K. And since it is in such a Horrible Condition I should just get back my cost at RM100,000. She kept Calling In The Morning, Calling In The Afternoon & at night – causing me to turn off my phone!
Talking to such people can make you vomit blood, really. So I told her, “Since you didn’t believe me, please don’t call me again.” Then work started. And 2 months later I put the house For Sale again at RM238,888. Again More Than 50 people called. In fact more and more people are interested. But there is no genuine offers. Then I received called from That Same Woman Again.
“Why Have You Raised The Price From RM199,888 to RM238,888,” She protested. “I need to pay RM30,000 For Renovation Work, Of Course I have to raise the price!” I replied. Then she said, “You should now sell at the previous Advertised Price Of RM199,888,” Again I said I can’t as my cost has gone up. She started to tell me her long story about her familiarity with Taman Midah (Also known as Bolton Garden) and which politician she knew. I said,”No use talking. RM238,888. That’s it.”
Finally,the Day Arrived. The House Renovation was completed. I advertised it once more at an even higher price of “RM279,888! Again I received many enquiries. But no real offers. And guess what?
The Same Pestering Woman Called. “Why You Keep On Raising Prices Higher And Higher All The Time?” She queried. “I have perfect right to raise prices in a Rising Market.” She countered, “We can now offer you the previous Asking Price of RM238,000.” I said, “Sorry, that was then. Prices Follow Market Forces. And please don’t waste my time anymore.”
One Day A Man Called,” Could you give us RM5,000 Commission if we get a Buyer For Your House? Our Agent Fee is about 2%.” I said, “If you could get a Buyer For RM275,000 I will give you RM5K as your Commission. I will take back Nett RM270K.” And one day he brought a RM5,000 deposit.
From the Date Of Auction To Renovation, Sale & Final Payment Took One Year”. I made mistake in Over bidding. But A Rising Market Saved The Day!
TODAY 16th July 2013 A Similar House 22×75 Double Storey in Taman Midah is Valued At RM600K to RM680K.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF. WHAT HAPPENED BACK THEN IN THE BOOM YEARS OF 1990 – 1997 In K.L. Is Being Repeated Here In Iskandar. Every 3 Months Prices Move Upward.
At Horizon Hills 2 Storey Houses are Now Going For RM1,000,000.
Denia Developement Will Be Launching “HELENA” A Double Storey Superlink House at RM550,00 in September 2013. A Soft Launch in On Now with Early Bird Discount. 24×70 feet, 2 Storey for Less Than RM550,000 Is The Cheapest In Nusajaya. Better Act Fast To Secure The Better Units. Moreover, there is a 10% Discount Right Now Till Launching Time In September 2013. Act Now. Don’t Delay! Again, sorry for Singaporeans – quota for foreign buyers already full.
Wishing You All The Best!
“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore there be any kindness I can show or any good I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”