Author: thefrescoapartment

Visually stunning and good value rentals

When we search for a place to rent, we usually look for those with a good location, nice decor, great furnishing and of course, a really good price. How often do we get these? Not often enough I must say. The first impression is equally important and something nice doesn’t always come with a nice price tag. But in this case, we have 2 equally fantastic units to offer!

First, we have Ameera @ SS2. This is our first spotlight of this month’s ‘poetry in a room’ condominium. This close to 1,300 sqft home is an award-winning unit with the Gold Award at The Edge–Haven My Dream Home Awards in 2012.  It is tastefully designed and deliciously furnished to the highest standard. With a touch of artistic punch coupled with a contemporary nudge, this is truly a home for the modern urbanites. Let me know if you need more pictures to satisfy that curiosity.

Ameera Residences is the first phase of a mixed development built by SDB Properties (a subsidiary of Selangor Dredging Bhd). The condo’s name, Ameera simply means “princess” in Arabic. This condo is expected to be fully completed by end of 2009 and would be ready for occupancy by the first quarter of 2010.

Ameera Residences has two sections – a low rise block and a 29-storey tower block. The low rise block has an “L” shaped building where one side of the building is 4-storey high and another side is 12-storey high. The low rise block features 53 villas, including limited edition garden villas and penthouses. At the tower block, there will be 237 condo units including 5 penthouses.

Ameera Residences is located along Jalan SS2/72, within the SS2 neighborhood in Petaling Jaya. It is accessible via Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Jalan SS2/24, Jalan 17/47, Jalan Universiti, and Sprint Highway. It is within walking distance to schools and institutions (SK Taman Sea, SJKC Puay Chai, UTAR and The Otomotif College), food outlets, corporate offices, shopping malls (Tropicana City Mall, 1-Utama) and many others.

Next, we have the newly refurbished Pantai Panorama unit. The unit was off the market for a good couple of months and what a comeback this time around. The living hall is totally revamped and was given a contemporary look and with new furniture and additional items around the unit, it gives the potential tenant a good run for their money and add in a friendly owner/landlord, this is a must go to unit if you’re looking for something nice in Pantai Panorama. As of the time of writing this, we already have 2 offers coming from 2 expats!

Pantai Panorama is a freehold condominium located in Bukit Kerinchi (formerly known as Kampung Kerinchi) in Pantai, right above the new development of 60-acre Bangsar South.

Pantai Panorama comprises of five 18-storey towers that house a total of 708 units. It was developed by AMDB and completed in 1996. The condominium is complete with full condominium facilities including swimming pools, mini mart, playground, BBQ area, spa, gymnasium, restaurant and laundrette. It is secured by 24-hour security guard service and its security is enhanced by CCTV and lift access card.

Pantai Panorama is strategically located nearby amenities and prime areas. It is just mere minutes away from Mid Valley Megamall, The Gardens and Bangsar Village. You can easily access to the condominium from Federal Highway, Penchala Link and New Pantai Expressway.


Details of each property are courtesy of Propwall.

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Happy Thanksgiving guys!

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It’s another year and it’s Thanksgiving (on the other side of the globe). We don’t really celebrate it here in Malaysia, so this is just a tribute to all my expats and foreign friends.  

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan.

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

 


Read more from www.wikipedia.com for more Thanksgiving information. Also, please do our part and donate to keep the site alive!

Mummy’s birthday!

A little late with this post as I’ve been running around lately. Nevertheless, it was 5th November, mum’s birthday! Happy birthday again mummy!

As usual, we had a simple dinner that night itself at our favourite restaurant in Sri Petaling  – Restoran Makanan Laut Soon Fatt. This place serves its food fast, big portioned and it’s delicious. Price wise, very reasonable indeed.  We had the sambal belacan kangkung (water spinach), pineapple pork ribs, spicy & sour banana leaf tilapia and the deep fried egg-fused cuttlefish. The whole meal cost less than RM100.

Once we’re done with the dinner, we headed straight home to do the cake cutting and our family photo (very simple and casual ones). We had the fruit and cream sponge butter cake. Adrian suggested we have a slightly different pose this round. The ‘dabbing’. It is pretty funny to see all of us doing that – but it turned out well and serve a good memory.

Mum had a surprise gift from us and Adrian did the wrapping and the deco. Wasn’t that shabby too. Look at the stick figures. Complete with initials. Since mum and dad go for morning walks, we decided to get her a nice Adidas Cloudfoam Galaxy 3 trainers.  We hope she liked it.

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Just want to say that my mum hold a very special place in my life and we are equally happy and grateful to have celebrated another birthday with her. We love you, mum!

Thor: Ragnarok with my bosses

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This is a hilarious show. To be honest, we weren’t expecting to have so many jokes (regular & slightly dirty ones too) in a Marvel movie. There’s one with Dr.Banner (Mark Ruffalo) which is my favourite. I’ll share it at the end of the post later.

The show is about 2 1/2 hours long but didn’t feel like it as there were enough going-on along the plot to keep it entertaining throughout. The movie warmed up quickly from the get-go where Thor fights Surtur (giant fire demon), his legion of demons and also his fire dragon. I think this is the best way to start any superhero based movie because this is what we… want… to… see!

The intensity subsides a little when Thor and Loki found Odin who then told them about an impending apocalypse in the form of Hela (Asgardian goddess of death). Another Marvel character made his appearance here. Watch to find out who it is. The moment Hela is brought to Asgard, the kill count increases and the theme gets a little darker. But to me, she is an amazing villain and they made the headgear look so cool! For a dark character, Hela did make a few jokes here and there while delivering her pre-Ragnarok executions throughout the movie.

The real fun starts when Thor is thrown into a barren world called Sakaar. This place pretty reminds me of all those space-themed movies especially Fifth Element and Star Wars – to a certain degree. It has that epic yet well-designed surroundings and interesting inhabitants. Sometimes, with the colourful settings, it does feel a little like Candy Crush too. And this where they introduced us the alcoholic Valkyrie, the Grandmaster, Korg and the much-beloved Hulk.

I have to say the gladiatorial fight between Thor and Hulk is one of the best after Iron Man’s Hulkbuster scene. But I do notice that they rendered the Hulk differently from time to time, especially during his more mellow look. Not that it matters but a little inconsistent. And he is funnier when transformed back to Dr.Banner. The Valkyrie backstory is one of the coolest and I thought they would play that Hela battle scene a little longer. Adrian loved the pegasuses…

Once the group got back to Asgard, things get messy and as usual, the heroes battle hordes of baddies and finally the big baddie herself. As mentioned, there are few funny scenes here and there but the one that stuck out most for me is the scene where they were mentioning about forming a team call Revengers and how they wanted revenge. Then when Dr.Banner was asked the same, he said – ‘err, actually I’ve not decided yet’. The scene is almost spontaneous and so close to an NG shot. Hilarious.

The flow of the story is pretty neat and tidy. Not shifting here and there too much. The introduction of Hela’s Fenris Wolf felt a little rush though. Probably not too important a character here, hence the quick resurrection scene and a minute’s fight with the Hulk. In the end, everything is settled and Thor regained his rightful place on the throne and the movie ends with a post-credit scene #1 when their spaceship was stopped in the middle of space by a gigantic space vessel. My guess it’s this guy –

thanos1We loved the movie and thought the Thor franchise is getting better and ready to rival the others if it keeps going like this. Sometimes, it would be good to inject more humour in these kinds of shows rather than just plain fighting with serious undertones all the way. Let’s see if DC is any better with the upcoming Justice League. Ciao!

Understand your housing loan repayment scheme… it’s not as straight forward as it seems

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Most if not all house buyers will require financing to buy their dream homes. While there appears to be stiff competition among banks for market share and interest rates may be kept low, house buyers are ultimately at the mercy of banks when it comes to the detailed terms and conditions of the housing loan. (Banks in this context refers to commercial banks, Islamic banks and other financial institutions).

Unfair legal fees

When a borrower takes a housing loan, the borrower is required to execute a loan and other related agreements. This entails the borrower having to pay legal fees, the amount of which varies, depending on the loan amount – the higher the loan amount, the higher the legal fees although the complicity and level of work do not necessarily commensurate directly with the loan amount.

Although it is the borrower paying the loan lawyers’ fees, the said loan lawyer is actually acting for and on behalf of the bank. As such, the loan lawyer is not in the best position to advise the borrower if there are clauses in the loan agreement which are not in the best interest of the borrower.

In addition, in the event of any dispute between the borrower and the bank, the borrower cannot ask the loan lawyer for advice as the loan lawyer is acting for the banks.

If this is the case, then is it “fair or equitable” for the borrower to pay such legal fees when it is clear that the lawyer is actually acting for the banks? Obviously not. Hence, the bank should absorb the legal fees as the lawyers are clearly there to act for the bank and protect its interest.

Exorbitant fees for simple letters

The banking sector in Malaysia is a very tightly regulated industry. Any fees that banks intend to charge must be approved by Bank Negara. It is disheartening to note that borrowers continue to be charged exorbitant fees which seem to have the explicit blessings and consent of Bank Negara. Instances of borrowers being charged unreasonable fees for copies of redemption statement, EPF statement letter etc are common.

Allocation of monthly repayment to principal and interest

This is a story about three friends who took a housing loan (HL) of RM500,000 ten years ago. They were offered the same HL interest rate of 4.2% (base lending rate of 6.60% less 2.40%) but took different loan tenures as follows:

Albert took a 20-year HL. Eric took a 25-year HL and Jamie took a 30-year HL.

After servicing their monthly loan instalments diligently for the past 10 years, they decided to fully settle their housing loan using a combination of their EPF monies and own savings. When they asked for a redemption statement to find out what was the principal sum outstanding, they received a shock of their lives.

Albert, Eric and Jamie were under the impression as they had served 50%, 40% and 33.3% of the loan tenure, their principal sum outstanding would be RM250,000, RM300,0000 and RM333,333 respectively.

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So, when their respective redemption statement showed that Albert, Eric and Jamie still owed respectively RM301,654, RM359,415 and RM396,652, they got a big shock.

So, why did they still owe so much more than what they had thought? The answer lies in the allocation of the monthly instalment towards covering the principal sum and interest charged by the bank.

In an equitable world, the monthly instalments would be allocated on a “straight line basis” to cover the principle and interest charged. Thus, a borrower who served 10 out of a 20-year HL would only owe 50% of the original loan amount.

However, the reality is that the borrower still owes 60.3% of the original loan amount.

The typical borrower will always be “penalised” for settling his loan before the maturity date. Even in the penultimate year of the original loan tenure, the actual amount outstanding is still higher than the theoretical amount, which should be the amount outstanding had the allocation of monthly instalments been done on a straight line basis.

Is it fair and equitable?

Most borrowers do not know or even understand how this allocation is calculated. Is such an allocation “fair and equitable” to the borrower? Under such circumstances, are borrowers supposed to accept that the bank’s own generated computer system has calculated the interest correctly and allocated the payments in the correct manner?

To the borrower, they have paid 10 out of a 20-year loan, he should only owe balance 50% and not 60.3%. Is this manner of allocation not just another unjust way for the bank to generate higher profits after all the bank did receive the payments on time and in full every month. It is the dream of every borrower to be debt-free as soon as possible and it is not fair to the borrower to be penalised in such a manner when he wants to settle his loan early.

That said, borrowers have no choice but to accept the calculation of the bank as correct and final. If the borrower were to reject and not pay the required sum, the loan will not be considered as repaid in full. The borrower could even be blacklisted and even have his property auctioned off by the bank to recover the remaining sum outstanding if the borrower refuses to pay up.

It would be more transparent and equitable if the monthly payments made by the borrower are allocated in a “straight line basis” to interest and principal equally over the

tenure of the housing loan. Short of that, borrowers are at the mercy of banks.

Some banks operate like a “cartel” and standardise their fees to be charged to customers. One wonders whether such unfair practices are condoned by the regulators like Bank Negara.

It is also interesting to note that banks are exempted by the Malaysia Competition Commission allowing banks to agree and collude on unfair fees, penalties and practices to be charged to borrowers.

Unnecessary expenses

Loan agreement “printing charges” – sold between RM150 and RM350. The banks’ solicitors need to purchase a standard loan agreement from the bank (via soft copy) and adds the borrowers’ details in order to complete the loan agreement. The banks charge the lawyer and the lawyer charges the borrowers.

Standard loan agreements are now downloaded from the bank’s website or from the soft copy. The bank no longer needs to print them and should not charge for such documents. Alas, this has been continuing till to date.

Lopsided terms and conditions

Lopsided terms and “add-on” products are aplenty if the borrower wants to identify with them. It would be good practice to remove or qualify the banks’ arbitrary powers.

Conclusion

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) had on Sept 4, 2014 made representation to the Finance Ministry (MOF), Bank Negara. Housing and Local Government Ministry in the presence of Association of Banks Malaysia and Islamic Banks of Malaysia in the form of slides presentation on some observations and unethical practices of some banks.

HBA is looking to work closely with MOF, Bank Negar and all related stakeholders to level the playing field for housing loan borrowers in the long-term interest of the banking industry. We had proposed to set up a working committee to resolve all unfair practices. MOF and Bank Negara have a legitimate interest in the final shape of the banking industry into operating a principled and towards a “customer friendly arena”.


Article picked from http://www.penangproperytalk.com

Source: StarProperty.my