Final plans for our Adventures in Iskandar

Coming Friday 14th Dec we would be collecting the keys to our Yishun 3 room resale HDB flat located in Chong Pang City. The 40yr old unit is in it’s original condition & a lot of renovation is required. I am hoping to be able to rehap the unit for $20k and completes it before CNY. Next year’s CNY I believe falls on 5th & 6th Feb. My wife & I are going to relocate back from JB into this cosy home for the next 3yrs (before retiring for good) due to the constant JAMS that had gotten worse in recent times & her impending promotion. We also intend to let out 1 of the common room at $600 for passive income to boost our savings.

The plan is for my wife to tender her resignation (Need give 3mths notice) exactly 3yrs (Year 2022) after we move into Yishun next year. There is a very high possibility that she will be promoted from her current role (Branch Mgr) into Operations. We have spoken at length about this impending promotion & we’re both of the view that if the pay rise is not substantial, she will reject the promotion & maintain status Quo. Because once u go into Operations, the amount of work & work related stress is Enormous. Since it’s the last leg of our Careers (Rat Race?), we both don’t mind putting in more sacrifices in exchange for more monetary rewards.

I will also be retaking my RES course (Property licence) and exam, hopefully I will be able to pass it. The main reason for doing so is because I will be able to save commission in future from both the renting & selling of both our Condos when I liquidate them prior to retiring back to JB with our MM2H (Hopefully can approve, already submitted on 15/11 to MOT). Who knows I might also be able to score some deals with the licence next 3yrs? I will still be mainly driving GRAB for my $4k nett salary (target) per mth.

Our target is from year 2019 to year 2022, we need to save at least S$50k per year. These money saved coupled with the sale proceeds of both our condos (with god’s grace no mkt recession etc), we should be able to clear most if not all our property mortgages in Malaysia. We’ll just live simply on the passive incomes generated from our properties. I still intends to drive my GRAB on weekends both for passing time as well as making some money for our future Quarterly Holiday Adventures! Looking forward to YEAR 2022! 🙂

Toothache troubles…

Recently felt some pain at the back of my tooth whenever i chew food & decided to visit my mom’s dentist at Bukit Indah. I never like going to a Dentist & it’s been nearly 10yrs since! Yes… i know… it’s bad… anyway i am paying the price now for bad dental care. 😭

My bottom left Molar had decayed badly bcoz of the wisdom tooth trapping food particles over years. Dentist say it is near impossible to be able to brush or floss cleanly when my wisdom tooth is blocking. I should have extracted the wisdom teeth back then when they had grown sideways instead of ignoring them. Now my molar has to go! 😭. No more molar for chewing food. 😰

I paid $150 for the Xray & another $150 for cleaning my teeth. The dentist gotta clean them twice as he commented there were alot of stubborn tar stains ( i was an ex smoker). I was expecting a reprimand from him but it never came. ☺️. He did a very good job & now i have near sparkling teeth! 😬

The doctor name is YY Tan. Pretty young chap. Very nice, patient & gentle. Excellent service. Would highly recommend. Below is his name card & address. Booked another return trip for molar extraction coming mon 17/12. Not looking forward to losing my molar & being in pain for days thereafter. 😔


Grab demand seems to be improving

Past month i have experience better fares & higher demands especially on peak hours & weekend. For the past 2 consecutive Sunday i have managed to gross more than S$400 despite driving more or less  the same 12 to 13hour shift.

Many people had asked me to register & sign up with Go Jek who announced their arrival recently. They are currently accepting new registrations & will contact these drivers later on the details for the sign up process. I prefer to adopt a wait & see strategy as Grab will definitely counter Go Jek if they lose too much drivers / riders.  Who knows staying put might turn out to be a better outcome?

Anyway last sat i did not drive as my neighbour wanted me to accompany him to Leisure Farm after knowing of my long term plan to buy a piece of small land there shall i be able to obtain my mm2h. He is a malaysian. Born in perak but went to SG to study at a young age follow by Australia. Currently a SG PR working in a company (Engineer) related to A Star. High Flyer dude but humble & down to earth. Very frugal & practical too.

He owns 2 🏡 here in Cascadia. One he use for staycations & the other he intends to rent out soon. Recently his neighbour rented out his unit to a big msian family who owns 4 cars. They are quite noisy & it is driving him nuts! 😂. He spoke to them on a few occasions & it is better now but i think he is not comfortable hence the visit to Leisure Farm. Like myself, he is a very private person & values privacy alot. Leisure Farm should appeals to him.

We set off at 9.30am & arrived at Leisure Farm around 10.15am. Drove him around the Estate & stopped by the clubhouse / show gallery to gather more information. I think he is quite keen as he asked alot of questions & requested to have the sales & marketing mgr’s contact for further liason. When we left, he was telling me that good neighbours are extremely important even if u own a bigger piece of land & he hopes we can be each other’s neighbours. 😂

We stopped by Forest City for a quick look. The construction i must say is crazyily fast!!! From my last visit 1yr+ ago with just a show gallery cum shopping tower + hotel, now there are Completed Massive Apts all over! Damn they are fast & all these on reclaimed land? 🧐. Anyway both of us looked at the high density apts staring us in our faces & frowned. 🙊. Next we went to Sunway Iskandar for a quick sushi lunch & returned back to Cascadia.

We had a brief discussion on Leisure Farm otw back & he seems genuinely interested in buying a piece of land there for the right price & topology. He even commented that he will only decide to buy after engaging a Fengshui master to conduct an audit. As he is the creater of our Cascadia Watsapp group, he mentions that he will be buzzing some good neighbours here to see if they share our interest on Leisure Farm. It will be cool if we could have a cluster of us there in future as immediate neighbours.


Short 1 day trip at KL

Booked a 1 day stay at Expressionz at Tun Razak (KL). The rates for a small 1 bedroom studio was fantastic. $125 myr before tax & extras. I used my $55 Air BNB credit and only end up paying $80+ myr for the stay. Love it! 😍

The unit i am staying is actually part of a 2bedroom Dualkey unit. This is the small studio unit thus price was attractive. I estimate it is around 300+ sqft. It comes equiped with most stuffs we need. My best friend (childhood buddy) has a Dualkey unit here as well & he also put it on Airbnb (manage by an  Operator). So far he seems to be getting btw $300 to $400 per night for his unit. Decent numbers.

This is the view from my unit on the 37th floor. Nice City & Twin Towers view. There is a nice Infinity pool at the top (40+ storey) which gives a great all round paranormal view of the city skyline. There is also A free shuttle bus (4 trips a day) that ferries us to 6 of the major shopping malls within the Golden triangle. Nice gesture.

Time to leave this nice project for lunch (Bricksfield’s Indian cuisine!) follow by a meet up with my MM2H agency Joystay at 3pm to complete the formal submission of my mm2h application. Been preparing & waiting for this day since 3mths+ ago. Glad it will be over with in a few hours from now & i can focus on other stuffs going forward. Missed my home in JB alr.


Completion of HDB sale

Tomorrow we are going out early in the morning to complete my mom’s HDB purchase of the 3rm resale unit at blk 101 chong pang city. However, the keys collection in the presence of the HDB officer will only be a formality as we are granting the sellers a six weeks extension thus we’ll be returning the keys back to them. Hopefully they do not need to delay the handover any further.

As the unit is in original condition since day 1 (40yrs old), alot of renovation needs to be done in order to make it cozy for us to move in for the next few years. We (me & wife) plan to stay there (after CNY) for a maximum of 5yrs before we will call it a day (Retire from workforce) & we’ll subsequently rent out the whole unit (MOP 5yrs) for passive income (cash 🐮). I only have a max budget of $25k to work with. Hope can stay within budget & yet achieve a decent reno outcome. 🙏🏻

Tomorrow we will also be running to afew banks to tie up the last bit of loose ends for my mm2h application. Once those are sorted out i will be able to email (tomorrow evening) the complete set of application to my agent Joystay for formal submission to Ministry of Tourism (Finally!) The amount of documentation & leg work needed to get all things in order is no walk in the park. Hopefully from then on everything will run smoothly & we can be given the approval for the visa. 🙏🏻


Domestic Hourly Helper!

Yesterday the Domestic helper i engaged came. There were a total of 3. 1 local lady in her 40s & 2 indonesian ladies in their 30s. I had never engaged Domestic cleaners before so i also don’t know what to expect. The Boss told me that they will start from the 2nd level & work their way down & it will take them approximately 3-4hrs to complete. They used most of our cleaning tools & supplies. I thought they would have brought their own? 😅

Anyway i left the house for some marketing (my mom is at home) and came back 2hours later. They were still on 2nd floor!!! Half an hour later they came down and proceeded to attack level 1. We went upstairs to laze around at our Family corner & watched TV. Our Dogs were kept at the yard throughout. They did not bark too much fortunately. Must be the cool weather. Was raining constantly.

I took the opportunity to inspect level 2 and was impressed. Especially so on our toilets. They were very thoroughly cleaned! All the tiles were thoroughly scrubbed & the last time i saw my white wall tiles so clean was the day i gotten keys to the unit! 😂. Both my mom & wife agreed that they did a good job. So i was quite relieved & happy knowing that they will also do a good job downstairs.

Nearly 5hrs later they were done! They were all sweating profusely & i felt abit bad. We offered them cold 💯 plus drinks & they gladly downed them in a hurry. I paid the local lady $200 instead of $180 as communicated prior & gave the other 2 indonesian ladies each $20 as a token of appreciation for their hardwork & Job well done. My house had never been so cleaned since Day 1. Felt really good. 😊

They were recommended to me by a friend of mine (boss of M Lighting 💡) after she knew that my mom broke her right hand. She told me they were good & she was right. They were a God Send! I subsequently signed up with the cleaners for a weekly session next 3mths at $150 each. The boss said next cleaning session she will only send 1 cleaner as most of the dirt & grime had been cleared today. Going forward is mainly just maintenance.

My mom knowing that i have engaged them for the next 3mths was delighted. 🙊. I think in her heart she must have been longing for an extra pair of hands to help to upkeep our 🏡. It’s no joke really. Past few weeks due to my mom’s broken hand me & wife on our off days spent a large part of our time doing house chores, watering the plants & cooking. Being a Full time house wife is Tough! Staying in a landed house + 3 dogs & a small garden is even tougher! Makes me appreciate my mom more… 😊. Next week we’ll get our MM2H application ready for submission. 🙏🏻 can get approval next year so that we can engage a permanent Live in maid to assist my mom. In the mean time we gotta rely on Domestic cleaners.

Questioned by JB CIQ again!!!

Yesterday was the 4th time past 3mths we had been Questioned by the JB CIQ’s immigration Officer about our stay in JB / Msia. As usual the officer says that we’re not supposed to stay in JB w/o some kind of valid visa / permits. He let us go reluctantly after i told him that we’re in the midst of applying MM2H. 😑

Today I received a letter from my MM2H agent (Joystay) from Ministry of Tourism. It was addressed to SPF (to obtain my Certificate of Clearance). Gotta make a visit tomorow morning to Police Cantonment Complex to get this LGC / COC done. As per online it states the application needs appx 10 working days to complete. Just nice end of the mth i can consolidate all my documentations & prepare for my MM2H submission.

I must say applying MM2H is no walk in the park. There are alot of steps & documentations required. Alot of certifications needed from the relevant authorities. And the biggest Obstacle is the show money $500k myr (consecutive 3mths) follow by $300k myr FD Lien is tough on us (due to our overcommitments on properties both in SG & Msia). Will be very tight. Hopefully everything will turns out well. 😅

Only with the MM2H visa can we truly have piece of mind to continue our stay in JB with our 3 dogs (they are our greatest joy right now). We checked with 2 pet relocation companies in order to relocate all 3 of them out to SG will cost us $25k myr & 3-6mths of Qurantine. I am very reluctant to pursue this avenue so 🙏🏻 MM2H will be successful & we can remain status Quo. Don’t like this uncertainty facing our lives right now… 😔

Changes to MM2H application?

Recently there were news that MM2H had been suspended / scrapped by the current PH Govt. As we’re in the midst of collating & preparing our Documents for the MM2H submission, i immediately emailed my Agent JoyStay for updates. Fortunately the agent replied that MM2H is still available & urge us to not delay our submission as things can go south anytime. 😖

The Agent said that the approval timeline might be delayed from the initial 6-8mths to 9-12mths. Reason being MM2H is now being taken out from the portfolio of Ministry of Tourism & placed under the purview of Home Ministry. They mentioned that the checks will be more Stringent & they also have no idea how will the approval be like going forward.

Although i am happy that Msia had a new Govt (promises to be clean & fair), there seems to be abit of a bias currently towards Foreign Investors. I hope that in the months ahead the New Govt can be more assuring & jump the gun less often with half baked announcements. This is not the first time they had announced something & had to either back track or u-turn. This is certainly not encouraging for FDIs.

Anyway in another 3 weeks i hope to ready my MM2H application & have it formally submitted. This visa thing had been weighing on my mind past months & i will be very glad to get it over with (while waiting for the results). Hopefully we can get the approval (10yrs visa) & we can thereafter settle down (Get a maid + do some home improvements) in JB in peace & for the long haul. 🤞🏻


New tenant for my Centris unit

My previous Japanese tenants (couple with young daughter) had decided my unit (936sqft 2beds) was too small for them (stayed at my unit for 3.5yrs & recently add a baby boy to their household). They decided not to renew after their lease ends 30/9 & shifted to my neighbouring blk’s 3bed unit.

My agent found another Japanese tenant (MD of a Japanese Co) & secured a 2+1 years lease for me at $3.3k per month. Quite a good deal i must say in today’s market. New tenant would be moving in coming Mon (8/10) & i only have exactly 1 week to get the unit ready (minor touch up required).

Me & wife would be staying over next 2days (Fri & Sat) to complete the touch up as well as enjoy it (cheap staycation 🙊). From day 1 since we bought the unit back in 2015 (bought with Tenancy) we never had a chance to hang around. Centris is located on top of Jurong Point and it is extremely convenient. We plan to catch a movie 🍿 🎥 or 2 over the weekend. It’s been years since we last went for a show. 😓

Rents had been sliding since we bought. Back in 2015 the unit was tenanted for $3.8k. Renewed for $3.7k in 2016 (2yrs) & extended for another 6mths at $3.5k (2018). Now only left $3.3k and it is considered very good as past 3mths URA history shows average rents are fetching around $3k for Centris. Fortunately we did a 3yr fixed mortage loan with BOC last year at 1.68% ($2.3k per mth so still positive cash flow!). Hopefully come 2020 the rental market will recover. 🙏🏻


My mom broke her wrist today!

While driving in SG (Grab) my wife called me to inform me that my mom had slipped in the bathroom & might have broke her hand. I immediately rushed back (Jam) & rushed her to Regency Specialist Hospital located around Pasir Gudang area in the East.

The registration was swift & we saw the doc within 30mins. The Xray confirmed that my mom had fractured her wrist when she tried to break her fall. She was given 2 choices (minor surgery) or cast. Doc says both are ok but surgery will expadite the recovery process & the bone will heal better (more straight). However my mom insist no surgery thus we opted for cast.

Poor mom gonna be out of action for 2months. She say she eat till 65yrs old first time broke her hand. She regretted not wearing her anti-slip slippers when she went to the toilet earlier (reminded her many times). Normally she would have worn it. Haiz… accidents…

Gonna look for a contractor to replace the bathroom tiles soon (to anti-slip ones). Should have done it earlier. Heart-pain see my mom suffering in pain & agony. 😭. Falling down in old age can be very dangerous. Better be safe than sorry. 🙏🏻