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Wikipedia needs help!

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Dear all my fellow friends and readers. Recently, Wikipedia is calling out to all its users/readers/contributors for some donation to their project which I personally think is pretty dire and deserve our highest of attention.

For the past 16 years, Wikipedia has been offering free online content (encyclopaedia) to everyone and have been the ‘go-to’ site for most of us in search of quick information. Although not entirely accurate for some ambiguous topics, most of the information by the public and anonymous writers are pretty close to its definition and would be a good enough source for anyone needing a quick understanding of the searched subject.

So, please do your part to contribute back to this wonderful project and more importantly, the society by giving a little spare change to keep this running.

The following link directs you to their donation page and its modes of payment:

Ways to Give

For the love of free information! God bless.


 

Feng shui and real estates

Feng shui, believe it or not, appears to be on many homeowners mind when purchasing their dream homes. Be it getting a bungalow, a terrace or simply a plot of land, feng shui play a big part in deciding whether the particular unit is suitable to the buyer in terms of liveability or prosperity it brings to the owners.

Most will not understand fully how it works when explained to them by the masters, yet tend to follow whatever that is thrown to them just to be sure that the opposite does not fall on them. Why do we believe in feng shui anyway?

What is feng shui (風水)?

Feng shui or fengshui (pinyin: fēngshuǐ, pronounced [fə́ŋ.ʂwèi] (About this sound listen)) is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. It is closely linked to Taoism. The term feng shui literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

Feng shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The feng shui practice discusses architecture in metaphoric terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi.

There is no replicable scientific evidence that feng shui’s mystical claims are real, and it is considered by the scientific community to be pseudoscience.

Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings—often spiritually significant structures such as tombs, but also dwellings and other structures—in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, an auspicious site could be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars, or a compass.

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House owners typically believe that a home is where they shall live and function throughout their tenure. Therefore, it has to be ‘spiritually’ compatible with their energies, making sure the house is free of bad ‘qi (氣)’ that could potentially inflict unwanted events to happen to the family. Hence, most of these home buyers would consult a master (feng shui sifus) to ‘feel’ the house and probably recommend certain adjustments before moving in.  Some would even suggest abandoning the purchase altogether. We will get to that later.

As mentioned earlier, most of us do not know much about feng shui. The rituals are passed on from generations and word of mouth. There could be certain coincidental cases where either a home owner suffered a sequence of bad events throughout or the exact opposite with the help of feng shui, and it became an omen to the rest that one should heed the belief against their ‘八字 – birth profile’.

There are many things revolving around feng shui and it is a complex representation of the Ying and Yang that one believes that would interconnect them with the forces of nature and relate them to one another.

A very basic understanding usually involve not having the toilet/washroom right opposite the stove/cooking area, placing bed(s) fronting the door or bathroom, having too many electrical items in the bedroom and so on..  But these are just the tip of what feng shui is all about. Even the cardinal directions of the house also play a part of good and bad feng shui for some. Really, as long as one believes in it, almost anything and everything poses a question to compliment its feng shui.

As a real estate agent, I don’t dwell too much on feng shui but sometimes, we do encounter stuff like this and mostly it doesn’t end up well for us (LOL). Some buyers or even tenants are particularly particular about whether the house is ‘harmonious’ with them and thus, a need to ‘feng-shui-lized’ the place before any transactions take place.

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For instance, recently we encounter a buyer who did a last-minute pull out from a purchase due to a bad review from his ‘reliable’ sifu. We also don’t really know why this was not performed before he placed the deposit for the house but in the end, the deal fell through. What actually happened u ask?

Well according to the sifu, the said house was not suitable for the buyer. That was the first hit. Why? The main entrance to the house is not perfect in feng shui sense. And it is not grand enough for incoming guests. Second, the kitchen is not spacious enough as it serves as an outlet for ‘food distribution’ around the house. Thirdly, the master bedroom ‘rest area’ (the bed area) is smaller than the ‘work area’ (wardrobe and shower area) which represents the owner toiling more than having his deserved rest.

Fourthly, the house is practically poor in its ‘qi’ distribution around the house. This is not a great ‘feature’ for wealthy businessmen – having bad ‘qis’ flowing around the house.

The final blow was that the house is facing a common pool. And according to calculations, the pool signify a potential ‘桃花運 – luck in love’ to the owner. Which again, does not bode well with the overall prosperity aura of the house to its wedded owners.

There you go. Deal off. Probably I may sound a little sour over the whole saga but say what you like. When negativity is uttered even in its slightest form bearing no solid proof that the house has no connection whatsoever with the potential owner,  it is also best said that our luck left us right there and then. It is cold and it is harsh, but when unseen forces come to play, we can only acknowledge the cruel end and be subdued by those who claim to foresee irrelative events, which also translates to their income with no remorse to their predictions, over other’s fortune.

Nevertheless, feng shui masters/sifus will always be in demand for some and they will strut their stuff when called upon.  And we agents, we can only do our part and to be as professional as we can and make sure our clients deserve the best home and the one that ‘complement’ them the most!

What is my 八字 again…? LOL


Feng shui quote courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui

Post Hari Raya celebration @ Avid office

Thank you Naz! We had a wonderful and *burp* sumptuous lunch yesterday and the day before, courtesy of Naz, our beloved snr. agent/lecturer/tutor/mommy/buddy/caterer.  It was supposed to be just a simple post, Hari Raya lunch date with the team but turned out the meal was more and extravagant than expected.

The meal started right off our monthly meeting around noon time all the way till late evening. Most of the Avidians turned up and had a blast. Obviously, the food was way over-ordered/prepared and everyone had more than what they ‘officially’ could.

There was biriyani rice with chicken and mutton, marvellous beef, mutton and chicken pies, nasi lemak with deliciously home-made prawn sambal, pavlova, baklava, eclairs, salted caramel apple pie, chocolate creme cake and of course, wine and sake to go with those!

The real estate market is still recovering but to make it through the difficult times, more often than not, we need to be with motivated and goal oriented individuals to push through. We don’t do this alone. Fill your daily labour with happiness and hope.  This is where you detached yourself from the negatives and the downside of the society.

Avid Estates may not be on the forefront in terms of real estate popularity and the deals it closes. But the togetherness and professionalism from the team more than make-up for it.  This is not a one man show nor it is a battle that needs to be victorious every time. It is about a war that needs to be won thru friendship and dedication.

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

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We are 2 days away from one of Malaysia’s biggest annual celebrations, the Hari Raya Aidilfitri. This is the day where most of our Malay and Muslim friends travel back to their hometowns and gather with their families to celebrate the end of the month of Ramadan and the start of the Eid.

Normally, they will host open houses for relatives and guests to feast on offerings such as curry, spiced rice, various type of meats (halal) and other local favourite delicacies. This is the time where everyone is looking forward to meeting their distant relatives or even friends they’ve not met for some time.  Some would even take the opportunity to tie the knot on this auspicious day.

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The colours green, blue, red and yellow usually dominates the settings for most.  There will be some firecrackers going on somewhere and if you’re lucky enough, you can catch some of those villagers playing with home made bamboo firecrackers (very dangerous but effectively efficient).

Generally, the Malays in Malaysia are a friendly lot and they would be the first to offer food and accommodation to their guests when it’s relevant. Malaysians celebrate the Hari Raya Aidilfitri this Sunday, 25th June 2017 which ends on Tuesday, 27th June 2017. Respect and act kindly to our Muslim friends of their tradition and culture, and you shall be treated likewise. For as long as I can remember, they stand by this proverb – HATI GAJAH SAMA DILAPAH, HATI KUMAN SAMA DICECAH. (Ask your Malay friends if you want to know the meaning) (“,)

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], “festival of breaking of the fast”) is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allāhu Akbar”, literally “God is great”), three of them in the beginning of the first raka’ah and three of them just before Ruku’ in the second raka’ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka’ah. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard فرض (obligatory), Mustahabb مستحب (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob مندوب (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before offering the Eid prayers.

The Fresco and Avid team wish all our Malay and Muslim friends, a happy and joyous Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2017!


Definition of Eid al-Fitr taken from Wikipedia.

Father’s Day 2017

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My father once said to me. “When you become a father, you have the responsibility to look after your family and provide them with the best you could”.

Those words now mean more to me than ever. After 11 years having my own family, my responsibilities grew many folds throughout and naturally, providing them with the best is the least we can do. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt about being a father, it is the value of respect and keeping a cool head dealing with everyday challenges in front of your family.

My dad is no multi-millionaire nor he is a celebrated individual in his field. He is an ordinary person with a family that he cared for very much. We don’t have fancy meals and pricey toys to satiate our childhood. We certainly don’t travel much let alone visiting countries after countries. But what we have was a pretty good family life with a lot of love and care.

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Best dad..

We never question our father’s ability to raise us in the most lavish ways. But God knows how much he must’ve tried and wish that he could. When you have a responsive father and a role model that you could look up to, he is worth more than anyone who could buy you everything in the world.

He earns our respect with the way he conducts himself and if I remembered clearly, there were not once he fell short of providing us with what he was supposed to.  My dad was never the one who speaks a lot, but he is the person who looks after the family with all his might and capacity.

Dad, if you could recall, there was once I threw a tantrum when I couldn’t get some Star Wars activity books from a book fair (equivalent to Big Bad Wolf now) and you went all the way back to the crowded place the day after to buy me a few. I still remember. I  probably wouldn’t have done it for Adrian. I don’t see this as an act of pampering. I see this as your way of showing me how much you loved me and not wanting to disappoint me even for such trivial matter.

To have you as my dad is truly a blessing. You have done so much to raise me up and given me countless advice and wisdom that the only way to repay you is to care for you and not have you worry about me. Happy Father’s Day dad, and I love you!

Adrian made me a Father’s Day card this round. He did so to last year but the work was a little shoddy. This time, it’s a better one. I guess my boy loved and respect me like how I did to my dad. The card was filled with words and scribbles of how much he loved me and thanking me for taking real good care of him.  He even bought a book marker for me with his own lunch money. ♥♥♥

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The Fresco & Avid team wishes all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! May you be forever blessed with the most wonderful gift a father could have- the deserved love and care from your children and loved ones!

Wedding reaffirmation

11th June 2017 was a momentous date for both of us as it was our wedding reaffirmation day @ RLC (Renewal Lutheran Church). After 11 years of tying the knot in 2006, we finally come full circle and guess it’s time to renew our vows once again. Caroline always wanted to do an English and walking down the aisle wedding procession. The last one we had was a simple ROM and a 40-tables wedding feast.

With the help of RLC and of course our good buddies, Albert & Kah Ling, and the selected guests who turned out that day, we made that possible. There were 9 couples participating in the event. We were the 6th couple in terms of wedded days.

Albert helped us with the nice placard for guests signatures and gifts were ready the night before by Caroline and my MIL. Helen helped out with the wedding gown and make-ups. Thank you, guys!

The session starts at 7pm but most of us were there by 5pm. There was a light cocktail prepared by RLC before the main event. All the guests were on time (not the usual Chinese dinner timing.. ahem) and the session starts with each of the couples walking down the aisle following the order of marriage days, ascendingly.

Adrian leads the way and the cheeky boy almost danced his way to the front. And he was so handsome with his white-greyed coat. The rest of the couples also have their children as the flower girls and page boys. They all looked so wonderful!

The couples exchanged vows and rings and by the time the last couple did theirs, everyone was so happy and look forward to their fabulous dinner. The Big Rajah, a premium full services Malaysian food catering and events planning company, is RLC’s favourite caterer. And this time, it’s no different. Their Indian food was super duper delicious. Mutton curry, biryani rice, roti canai, pappadam, dahl… there were even some great ‘kuih-muih’ prepared by some of the RLC members.

Everything went really well as we catch up with friends and family members throughout the night and taking loads of pictures.  *Sorry if the pictures didn’t get to show some of our other guests. We have them in our hearts already though!

Capping off a memorable night, just want to say I love you Caroline Goh. Thank you for having me as your husband and have us the most wonderful boy one could wish for in Adrian.

 

 

Another case study… for agents (Part 1)

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In general,  in real estate, there is a lot of weird and dirty tricks being deployed to come out on top. This happened recently to our fellow agents.

Scenario:

  1. Agent A and Agent B co-broking on an RM 530k apartment
  2. Agent B brought a potential buyer for viewing
  3. Buyer came but insist on bringing the girlfriend for a second viewing
  4. Both came a week later and was satisfied with the unit but needed to renovate the unit extensively. The buyer said he needs to get his contractor relative to do a site visit to estimate the cost.
  5. This happens the following week. However, Agent A couldn’t make it (it was a weekend and with things to follow up) and told Agent B to take care of it during the visit and try to close the deal.
  6. Buyer finally decides to make an offer and both him and the owner came to an agreeable price.
  7. However, while waiting for the buyer to come out with a cheque (earnest deposit), the owner called up Agent A and told him that a lady agent by the name of C****tine from M****City called him and says she will drop by to hand over the cheque for the purchase.
  8. Agent A was dumbfounded. Nevertheless, still get the owner to entertain the lady and see if this was indeed true as he nor Agent B could make it to the unit.
  9. The owner called back not long after saying this offer and cheque came from the same buyer Agent A and Agent B is working on.
  10. Both the agents tried calling the buyer and the lady agent to confirm the whole fiasco.
  11. As expected, none picked up their calls.
  12. Moments later, the buyer texted both agents and mentioned that he has not made up his mind buying the unit.
  13. Agent A felt something amiss and did a search on the lady agent. Her name, number and face popped up in one of the property portals.
  14. He sent the pic to Agent B.
  15. To be continued….