Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bandar Rimbayu (The Chimes) - Updated

It was the first time I went for any balloting (including any general or non-general election!). It was one nice crisp March morning that I had to wake up earlier than usual to queue for a property that I feel will be set to be a nice place to stay. For those who are unaware (or somewhat confused with my nickname), I am a Dutch-Indo-Javanese-Malay Malaysian hence qualified as a group called the Bumiputras.

Bandar Rimbayu the Chimes were launched last weekend on the 2nd of March 2013. Despite the skeptics and the blatant accusation of a property market slowing down, about 3000 people turned up for the balloting launch of the first phase of a huge, green concept of a township. The development is located 3.2km away to the south of Kota Kemuning. This part of Selangor has yet to have a retail mall. It will further increase the prices of properties in Kota Kemuning and Alam Impian as they are freehold land (minimum 700k now). Prices starting from 577k before bumi discount and there is also an RM8000 rebate, free wifi on the first year, free security on the first year (provided the Guarded Neighbourhood Scheme was approved) and free legal fees and stamping fees for SnP. Other features of the properties include Rain-water Harvesting System and Solar Powered Water Heater.

Only 115 units were made available for Non-Bumis on that day. The rest were either taken up by the internal people or being reserved for Bumis. As 3 bumis were selected on that day, an extra 3 places were balloted to Non-Bumis. The bumi quota for this launch is 50:50 which is still okay compared to other launches in Shah Alam like Laman Glenmarie 2 and Denai Alam (70:30). IJM is known for strict adherence on the market conduct set out by the authority thus Bumi Lot would ultimately means any unit taken up by a Bumi. Only 25% completion of the said phase, 50% of the Bumi leftovers would be released to Non-Bumis. The other 50% will only come after 50% completion.

My thoughts on the township? I am always skeptical about leasehold projects but I keep being reminded of the success stories of Kota Damansara and Damansara Perdana. The vast land reserved for retail and commercial, added with a green township concept somehow exponentially increased my great feeling about the township. Furthermore, people do not care already about whether a property is a leasehold or freehold. Then come the question of bumi lots and how the bumi investors should avoid buying them.

Well, if you are buying for own stay, Bandar Rimbayu seems like a nice place to grow your family. With an affordable pricing of minimum 580k for the normal intermediate 22x75 and 850k for a normal corner lot, one should see the corner lot as a great bargain, provided that the purchasers can afford. A small fry like me would settle for a nice, private, intermediate unit with a number that is desirable by all community. Being a bumi has it perks and drawbacks, especially when you are a target after many of the Non-bumi hopefuls' number was not called or when you are only allowed to sell the property to a fellow Bumi from the Malays or Kadazans or Ibans etc. Having said that, it is also worth mentioning that any leasehold properties would need the consent of the authority so the process is still a hassle. But for the bumi lots, the process to transfer to a non-bumi secondary purchaser would be much tougher. This is a reality,

However, being a responsible property investor, I do not flip or speculate. Property investment should always be a long term investment. I am buying to provide for my future unborn children who I predict would face a difficult task to buy their own landed house. There are people who flip to make short gains and these are the people who contribute to the ever skyrocketing prices of Klang Valley properties. But remember, remember, the lands are getting much lesser. And any right thinking adult would feel high rises won't be a suitable place to grow your family (at least to me). I would not worry much if there are less bumi now that are less wealthy than the Chinese Malaysians, evidently by the huge turnout of the Chimes launching.

Imagine a huge hall containing about 3000 fellow Malaysians. Only 14 Bumiputeras/Indian-Muslims came to buy! Malaysian Indians accounted about 20 hopefuls with only 4 who got lucky. The rest left grumbling and honking their car all the way out of the Holiday Villa Hotel, Subang. Frustrated. Some were heard cursing the Bumi policy as if I do not understand what they were saying. None has done it to my face however if not... there would be blood! Only kidding. I know Malaysians are mostly scaredy cats. Kidding again!

For a 550k property, if it is your first time buying a property for own stay, you would need a combined income of RM6,811 which is RM3,411 each. (based on 4.2% interest and 35 years duration). I am talking about married couple with young kids and I don't think there is any issue if your husband is a pengkid (tomboy) in Malaysia in order to qualify for a joint-loan. In my frank opinion, the price is still affordable. As I mentioned in my tweets earlier, if you still feel you can't afford it, look away. But shelter is a basic necessity for every family. Forget about your gold, stocks, direct-selling "air-market" investment for a while and simply think about providing the basic necessity for your children. In the game of capitalism, the consumer should be smart. If you think the price is ridiculous, avoid.

I was the 120th person to choose a unit and the ceremony ended around 345pm. It was so long (but the food was great) but even though I was not that lucky to get to choose earlier as my number was not picked, I was lucky enough the unit I grabbed was good thanks to my Bumi status. For the Bumis who complained about not being able to buy a landed house to stay, I urge not to wait any longer as the prices for landed properties will not go any lower for a 22x75 double storey, below 500k. Do not settle for a pigeon hole that cost 100k cheaper than half a million landed property because at the end of the day, you just want to lead a happy and comfortable life.

Next on the cards: Setia Eco Hill, Semenyih and Kwasa Damansara.