Friday, August 12, 2011

Adventure in Buying Auction Property - Part 2 (The Reno)

And so, on Monday 30th of May, 2011, I met Halim, paid his dues (total RM1,850 including RM50 for stamping fee), and got the stamped Proclamation of Sale. Quite excited actually. Can't wait to go see the apartment. And anxious too. Since I only paid RM2,900 for the 10% deposit, I still have balance of RM25,600 to pay the bank. But I put the anxiety aside and wanted to work on the place soonest possible.

And one good thing about being a resident in a small taman and lived there from the earlier phase, I got to know some people who do small renovation works. So the next day, I brought this Indonesian fella to the place. Before he came, there's a iron welding shop underneath and I talk to the guy about door grilles. I forgot how much he quoted but he said about RM12k to do up the whole house. Asked him how he knows and he said, he has seen many abandoned units and that's how much it costs to fix them up.

So brought this Haris guy to see the place, talk to him about things need to be done:
  1. Paint the whole apartment.
  2. New doors for entrance & toilet.
  3. Windows for living room and main bedroom.
  4. Table top for the kitchen (I know I don't have budget for the cabinet proper).
  5. And cleaned up the house.

After nego and stuff, I got RM2,500 for the above jobs. He wanted to do wiring too but then, I thought he probably is not an expert in such thing. Plus, I know this guy from surau that work for a living in wiring stuff and since I talked to him a few times before buying the unit, asking advice about the place etc, I thought it's just good ethics to talk to him.

Brought Raja (raja of the Malay heritage, not Rajagopal or such) to the house and he said he's doing the same thing at another block and he charged that guy RM1,600.00. Told him I honestly don't know how much is the fair price but since I already know him, asked him to take a look, do the wiring, and tell me the price later.

He showed me around the apartment and it turns out that almost 100% of the wires already been taken out. Some people eh. And since it's like that, it just makes better since to re-wire 100% again.

The kind of person that I am, is that sometimes I just go with the flow and don't look into much details. Like with Raja, I took that he's an honest person and just go with him on the wiring cost. Of course, I'm not like a sufi shaykh who can look into a person's soul and knows what's going on inside. If you find a real sufi gem, there's a vast difference between them and normal ulamaks. I think the arabic word for them is murshid, and a murshid is who guides people. In the arabic sense, you can't guide people if you don't know what is wrong with their ego/nafs and how to subdue those egos.

When he was here in June 2011, Shaykh Hisham said there are 800 bad characters in a person. But if we diagonose ourselves, we think that we may have only a handful :). So a real gem doesn't only tell us how to be good but also guide us and plod us to the right path. They are as a craftmen who twist and turn the clay to make good vase :).
Shaykh Hisham in Jogja, 2010
So in the end, I spent RM2,200 for wiring the whole apartment, lights in all rooms, fan in living room and wall fans in the bedrooms.

Renovation didn't include piping works since we weren't sure how healthy the piping system was. In the end, some connections to the water tank were loose and we re-routed the shower pipe so that it's more location friendly. The sink outlet was also clogged so we re-piped that too. And I asked the fella to drill the concrete wall and add a faucet for washing machine outside the kitchen area. This all came to RM660.

Once everything fine and dandy, I look at the place and thought, might be nice to paint the floor. At least anybody who lives there doesn't feel the cold blooded cement. So called an architect friend and he suggested epoxy paint. Those kind that you will find on factory floor or Ikea parking lot. So bought a 5 liter can for RM140 and paid RM200 to Haris to paint it.

Now for the utilities, apprently you have to pay any arrears to Syabas and since the water account was cut off for more than 6 months, you have to engage their contractor to put the meter there. I didn't think then about asking discount for the arrears so I just paid them RM162.20 and another RM350 for the contractor.

TNB was easier since the meter was already there, I just showed them the Proclamation of Sale and they just changed the name. And paid RM220 for the deposit.

And I forgot about the grille. By now I just don't want to shop around so I went to one place I know just before Petronas on LDP and after some discussion, he quoted me RM1,450. Not for the whole house but for the essentials.

I also bought some curtain railings from hardware store and an aluminium ladder, just in case anything happens and I would have one handy to put at the place. These amount to RM206.

I'm not gonna do the math here but all in all, I spent RM9,980.20 to make the place liveable. Plus the auction price of RM28,500, total amount spent was RM38,480.20.

I think the original price was around RM42k. So the money we spent was quite worth it since it not only cover the whole house but also some fittings also. My apology to the original owner. I hope he's doing alright.

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