A short discussion with a bunch of younger friends yielded one important insight about what to look out when buying an apartment/condo…
You see, buying a home is a risk. You risk of spending a fortune buying a home that could suck. Believe me, the odds are against you if you’re as dumb as I think you are (I’ve seen a lot of sohais getting their shit ruined because they couldn’t deign to put in some effort to think, before deciding to throw in the downpayment for an apartment/condo).
How do you fancy getting your everyday stuff stolen every now and then? Stuffs like shoes, sandals, undergarments? Or even worse, getting held up with a machete while the robbers ransack your goddamn house? It is a fucking problem, I tell you. I have a friend whose place is so damn fucked up, that he even got his dog stolen! (it was one of those fancy ass dogs).
I’ve had neighbors from hell before (that’s why I hate neighbors, it’s a trauma I carried from my childhood). I had neighbors who’d rear chickens with her rotten leftover rice (whom I’ve written about here), and another Indian family whose sons would boom box the night away in drunken stupor and house fights. One day, a couple of the sons murdered the older brother and all of them were thrown in prison leaving the old mom behind (it was surreal). But your worst nightmare would be a neighbor who would rent out his/her unit to a Bangla, who in turn will grow more comrades from the mud, start chopping trees down, build ballistas, war machines and whatnots and before you realize, you’re dealing with hordes of them showing up at every corner of the neighborhood flashing war paints on their genitals to your young daughters.
And do you believe there are places where the garbage truck won’t go? It’s not in their area of coverage. Or maybe some council-man did something stupid to piss off the garbage collection contractor and as a result of that, landfill in your neighborhood. It can be a sore sight to behold, and you’d be living in filth, and before long, stray animals and flies start to appear and be too close to your comfort in your own home.
There are some jinxed area in Malaysia that have electricity disruptions so frequent, that if everytime the homeowner gets a buck from a black out, the homeowner would get to buy a new house with the money before he/she finishes the original mortgage. Ask the people in my wife’s hometown. Every household has their own generator for a reason. Stuff like these probably won’t be outlined in the brochure for your brand new apartment. You’ve got to soak it in for years, before you know it is an actual problem.
For some fucked up reasons, our governments (both federal/state) aren’t very good at city planning. A lot of apartments and buildings do not get ample parking lots because it is not part of the requirements to get the occupancy permit. Booyah! you get people parking all over the place. That’s when traffic jam becomes rampant, and going to/from from your home could be the nightmare instead of going to the office. There are shitloads of places with such problem in Penang. Ask your Penang friends.
Just to name a few.
Things like these can only percolate and show up later in years, and there’s very little you can do about it other than taking a chance to get some advice from a soothsayer. So, the question is, how can you mitigate these risks? Simple – buy a used unit. A used apartment/condo unit is a tested experiment, tried and true to its current status. You’d know who are the neighbors, and whether it has a crime problem. You’d know if there is an erratic garbage collection schedule and if parking/blackout is going to be a constant headache for you. Sure, it’s going to be harder to find, and most likely going to cost more – but it will still be a good trade off for all the bad deals you didn’t see coming above…
Both my 2 properties were bought used. I paid a little bit more, but I have less problems to worry about. I’m just saying, you do the thinking…