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By Nilam Ghazali
There are times when our journey in search of a dream home would end up as a nightmare and a torturous limbo for some. It can be an excruciatingly painful pill for homebuyers to swallow and assumingly turning a new leaf in life would instantly be sufficient to cure the hurt. But the effects can be long and haunting.
Through PropertyGuru’s ‘My Home, My Journey’, readers who have endured such journeys share their moments of bitterness when it comes to purchasing properties and in most circumstances, their first homes.
We share some of these riveting stories with you and hopefully, we can learn from their experiences and take their words of wisdom in deterring any bad decisions among other homebuyers.
Patrick Lee was extremely determined to get his life in order. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase an up and coming development in Puchong upon the conviction of a salesperson whom he met a few years ago.
One day, Patrick and his girlfriend made an appointment to visit the show unit of the development. Upon their arrival, they were unlucky enough to meet a pushy salesperson who forced them into putting down an immediate downpayment.
Succumbing to such persuasion and promises of freebies and ‘ang pau’, he paid. Things did not turn out that rosy soon after. Patrick was denied the promised freebies of two air conditioner units as he overlooked his S&P agreement prior to that.
To keep things afloat, he rented out the unit to a foreign family that often skipped monthly rental payments and eventually took half of the unit’s appliances upon evacuating. Moments like this, disparity starts kicking in and in most circumstances, owners would eventually have to ‘let go’ of the property.
As first time buyers, due diligence is crucial. Researching and asking questions to the rightful authorities are the important steps that need to be taken. In Patrick’s case, no one was there to guide him. He embraced the lesson with an open heart and is hopefully, not deterred from buying properties in the future.
Pung Chen Chun shares a rather nostalgic take from his experience of buying a home in the 70’s. A journalist of a Brunei publication based in Sabah, Chen Chun was adamant in moving his family of three out from their rental home.
An idyllic area called Fairview Pak grabbed his attention as the property that he wanted was priced at RM130,000. Despite not earning enough, Chen Chun managed to come up with the downpayment of RM30,000 in three years. The first two years looked promising as the house was taking shape but the third year proved to be devastating.
“One day, before I was due to pay my third installment of RM10,000, I visited the site to discover that the roof trusses had disappeared. The developers’ office said the contractor did not follow the building specifications and there was a slight delay. Not suspecting anything, and worried that the money I had may ‘disappear’ if I held on to it, I decided to pay,” he shares in his entry.
Weeks turned to months, he soon found out that his dream home was literally sinking into the ground. Apparently, the engineers and contractors failed to detect ‘a subterranean stream that, when disturbed by piling, began to suck in anything built upon it’.
The developers were scot-free and left the project high and dry. Sadly, the housing laws back in the 70’s weren’t strong and efficient enough to protect buyers, which included buyers of abandoned projects.
“My only regret is that while many of the housing projects abandoned during my trying times were subsequently revived, the land on which once sat Fairview Park was somehow taken over by another developer, and new houses have since been built. How could the land not be encumbered when the project on which it sat failed?” he questions in his entry.
Chan Hen Yock’s experience is another to share. Property purchasing isn’t a walk in the park or even can it be equated to impulsive buying. In Hen Yock’s situation, being a first time buyer can be extremely dangerous especially if it’s done without consulting the professionals.
It started off one day as Hen Yock approached the management office of his desired condominium. Without doing any surveys or researches, he approached a lady from the office and enquired about available units. Clearly, a grave mistake to do!
The lady immediately recommended him a unit that was up for sale. Well, let’s put it this way, the rest was history. The lady acted as his ‘agent’ or ‘middle person’ in getting negotiations and transactions done between him and the owner. And lo and behold, the unit did have a few surprises up its sleeves. A decade later, Hen Yock is still living in that unit while dealing with numerous problems.
“Today I’m still staying in the unit perpetuated with problems such as a leaking ceiling. The condominium is also poorly maintained. The lifts break down at least once a week. The pool is green. The corridor is dimly lit,” he mentions in his entry.
He recently got to know that his ‘middle person’ had actually received RM6,000 from the previous owner for her help in getting rid of the unit and left her role at the management office right after the deal was done.
Which story got your attention? Did you relate to any of the entries as highlighted and empathize the writer due to similar experiences? And which story gave the biggest life lesson that homebuyers need to know before making the biggest decision of their life?
There are a lot of relatable stories that can be found through ‘My Home, My Story’ competition. But which entry deserves the winning prize money of RM10,000? Vote for your favourite story by logging onto PropertyGuru