Sunday, December 27, 2009

Investing in Students Accomodation - Casa Subang

Since I am targeting investments in students accomodations and after a visitor in this blog prompted me, out of curiosity I visited Casa Subang. I learnt that besides Segi College, there are students from Summit College and Pantai College nearby living here besides those from Taylors further away. Taylors provide a shuttle service for the students.
The access road to this building is via the back of Summit as well as via neighbouring Mydin hypermarket's car park. Unfortunately, the access to the USJ1 area where Casa is located is not so good. I found myself stuck in traffic for almost half an hour trying to get out.
However, despite the access issue, due to the students population, the occupancy is actually very good, almost 100%. There are also ample car parks in the building but the car parks are dark and water logged, very badly maintained much like the rest of the building.

Security access uses a keycard system and there are several security guards on duty at the gate house above. Some students managed to get in without any car park access card because the security personnel know them and there are ample car parks anyway.

There are facilities like basketball courts, tennis, there is a very nice swimming pool and restaurants and laundry shops. To get to the basketball court above, one has to go through a very dark and smelly stair case. There was a decomposing rat inside the stair case.

There are about 4 or 5 of these mamak shops below on the swimming pool deck which serves affordable food to the residents. As you can see, the trolley from a neighbouring hypermarket even found its way into the building, past security and everything.

However, due to bad business or the weekend, many of the shops are closed below.

In terms of convenience for students, as long as they do not intend to wander beyond this is actually not quite a bad place. But I must emphasize on the quality (..or lack of) of the maintenance. It's hard to imagine that this building is new and things have already fallen apart. The security fire door below for example may not be able to provide much security, nor protection if an emergency happens. I also did not see any fire hydrants. I am surprised this building received the CF (or not..?)

Typically, the picture below is how the corridors look like. Dark, dinghy and water-logged. This visit was at around 5pm on a weekend and there seems to be a lack of light. It is easy to slip and fall or worse, get mugged.

About 10 to 12 students share a unit ranging from 3 to 4 bedrooms in various sizes. One college appointed a warden who regularly visits the dorms but he does not seem to notice all the obvious signs of delapidations of the place which endangers the students.

Now, this explains why there were rat carcasses in the staircases. There is no rubbish bins. Rubbish are just left in the open for god knows who to collect. I can't describe the smell as I need to go for lunch after writing this.

I have no more kind words to offer. I know it's cheap to rent. Students pay RM250 per month for a bed and they share 2 to 3 to a room. With 10 students to a house, one would collect RM2500/month for an investment which returns almost 10% yield. So, it makes me wonder who makes this kind of money and think that students deserve to live in this kind of dump. This is Malaysian standard. If we want to change, we have to change from this attitude. Because if students live in dump, when they grow up they think its alright for their future generation to inherit a dump country. That's why we are still a shit hole despite having all the resources.


Helmy said...

Sin Leong,
Nice article. Unfortunately, I think Malaysian property conditions are gonna stay like this for years to come, and I don't know how we can ever change. As for us property investors, I think the only way is for us to do proper research before investing, so we don't buy crappy properties like you highlighted in this article

sinleong said...

Thanks, Helmy. How's your Mutiara Villa doing? At one point we used to vomit blood over the maintenance of Mutiara Villa. Those of us who paid maintenance fees for the past 15 years have never seen any audited accounts on how the money was spent. There is a new management now, make sure you insist on seeing the accounts every year. Look forward to meeting you in the next management corp meeting.

Helmy said...

Hi Sin Leong,
My Mutiara Villa unit is ok, thanks for asking (except for the rent issue that I told you about last time, but working on it now)
You did mention about the audited account problem last time we met. Will keep myself informed about it. Thanks. However, didn't know I have to attend management corp meeting. Glad you informed me. Will try to attend :)

sinleong said...

sorry... i meant the AGM...

Anonymous said...

I visited the area yesterday, to look around for a place for my daughter to stay, while studying at Monash. I had a brief look, but not with your thoroughness. Do you think maintenance would improve? Also, in your honest opinion, is it worth investing or just rent?


Nahar said...

Sin Leong

i'm now become one of ur fan, keepup with the good articles.
what do thinks about investment in subang ville ehsan apartment, focusing to the student rental.

thanks in advance

sinleong said...

to be honest, i never heard of subang ville. where is it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sin Leong

What is your opinion of Sunway Suriamas as an investment for student accommodation?

ethan said...

if students live in dump, when they grow up they think its alright for their future generation to inherit a dump country. That's why we are still a shit hole despite having all the resources. => Well said! We have a bigger role besides collecting rental