Thursday, December 29, 2011

Project to Refurbish an Old Single Storey House

Lately I've been scouting for any reasonable condos which are close to the LRT for own stay or investment. They have to be within walking distance and must have at least 3 bedrooms. Freehold is preferred. Typically, what I found were in the price range between RM500k to RM700k depending on the luxury and condition of the place. Take Asia Jaya in Section 14 Petaling Jaya for example - Millenium condo and Menara Jaya in the picture below and Istara condo are in this range. Millenium is plastered with ads to rent or sell, but nothing below RM500k. They are all within a 5 minute walk of Asia Jaya LRT station and ranges in size from 800sf to 1600sf.

Then it occured to me that I should widen my search to include these charming single storey houses which are just inside the 500m radius of the station. Other places include Taman Paramount, SEA Park, Taman Mayang and Section 4 Petaling Jaya. They are also 3 to 4 bedrooms and most of them having 2 bathrooms. Sizes range between 1400sf to 1600sf, quite similar to the condos and best of all, they are landed which in Petaling Jaya, is a rarity today.

Note: Picture above is not the actual house

Price? Between RM330k to RM500k.... But work is needed... From a typical layout of an intermediate unit below, one can spend about RM100k to convert the interior into a very luxurious and beautiful house..much like the lofts in old TRIBECA New York.

Most of these houses, since they are intermediate lots, need to light up the middle part of the house. So, they have air-wells or roof windows like below. The Petaling Jaya City Council actually can give approval for these airwells to be converted into a loft - an additional half a floor or mezzanine. But this will add an extra RM50k to RM60k to the cost and affect time to market as well.

So, the half floor conversion is not important. We already have 3 or even 4 bedrooms. What's essential are obviously the following:

1. The bathrooms need to be "modernized"

2. Designer kitchen

3. Rewiring to 3-phase

4. Change the plumbing system and pipes

5. new Floor and fresh coat of paint

The damage? Just over RM100k and with all the acquisition costs, can still be cheaper than a condo with questionable quality. Here in this layout below, I have proposed to convert the bathroom to a designer open kitchen while installing a shower and WC in every room. Since this is personalized en-suite facilities, the showers and WC need not be "walled-in" - how about glass? Sexy and chic ;)

The Bill of Works:

1.Demolish wall & extend Room1 RM4000
2.Build Bath 1 with glass walls, sink, shower & WC RM10,000
3.Build Bath 2 with glass walls, sink, shower & WC RM10,000
4.Demolish half wall & extend Room3 RM2000
5.Build Bath 3 with glass walls, sink, shower & WC RM10,000
6.Change roof of Dining to sky-light tempered glass RM6,000
7.Demolish Bathroom and raise floor RM3,000
8.Build modern open kitchen with granite top and cabinets RM20,000
9.Refurbish Toilet and build shower RM7,500 (for Room 4)
10.Build Room4 RM2,500
11.Change roof tiles RM25,000
12.Hardwood flooring RM10,000

13. Plumbing RM10,000

14. Rewiring RM20,000

TOTAL RM140,000






Anonymous said...

Thanks for your sharing. Hope you can continiuosly posting photos during renovation progress. We wish to see how yo turn this house around ;)

KH Lin said...

each room with bathroom? is it going to be converted like a hotel or hostel? :)

Anonymous said...

How much the rental if converted to 4 rooms? Taman Paramount don't seem like getting good rental compare to SS2 and young executive who are willing to pay seem like prefer to stay in high rise apartment/condo with facilities.

Anonymous said...

Don't you need a permit from the fire department for a hostel? If so, do you submit your plans for approval before you do the refurbishment?

Steven said...

Thanks for sharing your passion in refurbishing the units. Something that i wish to do in near future :)

Anyway, i have written a blog post on shopoffices investment my blog. Check it out.

Kevin said...


sinleong said...

This is only 4 rooms, max 5 with occupancy 1 person per room.. it's not quite a hostel. But in any case, MBPJ needs to approve the plans before starting for drainage and wiring - also to ensure the fire escapes are not blocked

sinleong said...

I think should be able to get RM600 per room at least but if done up nicely with aircon + attached bath/toilet, maybe even RM800... testing the market. yes, youngsters these days prefer condo but i still think location near the LRT and also a very trendy and fashionable interior design is important too.

Vincent said...

waiting for your end product

Anonymous said...

sounds a great idea! are these houses all leasehold?

sinleong said...

yes, in section 14. but most areas around sec 4, 2, 21 etc are freehold

Anonymous said...

how are the bathrooms ventilated?

Jobless Girl said...

Wonder what is the market rate after reno?

sinleong said...

it wont be much. even before reno, the bank valuation is still below selling price.

Ann Khee said...

Well done Sin Leong. Thanks for sharing. Please keep us update on the outcome. So eager to see the "new" house.

Anonymous said...

1. What about the cost of furnishing, electrical fittings and a/c? That should cost another RM10 at least.
2. Is the rent inclusive of utilities or shared equally by tenants? I assume your rooms are about equal size to justify sharing. If inclusive, that should knock off RM100++ off your rent collection per room.
3. How does this project payoff vs renting it out as is?

sinleong said...

true..i've not costed in furniture. thats because i've stocked them up somewhere else. however, RM10k for furnishing and aircond/lighting/fan spread over 30 years is not a big deal.
rent is not inclusive of utilities. i have found a way to split bills fairly according to usage... will share this in the next posting. i've seen student rooms going for RM500 including electricity. i think this is only do-able for 1st owners who either bought the houses 30 years ago or inherited them. for those of us not fortunate enough need to be aware that a single room with air con, water heater, electric kettle and an iron can rack-up up to RM300per month on electricity. i sent an sms to all my student tenants reminding them that they're paying a lot for electricity because our government decided to award lop-sided supply contracts to IPP who also enjoy huge subsidies for the fuel they use without passing on these subsidies to consumers. therefore, they should all register as voters and vote accordingly in the next election

Anonymous said...

show us end product pls...

Tanyea Lee said...

Hi Sin Leong,

Happy New Year 2013.
Do let us know what happened to your Section 14 investment, did it all go according to plan? Would love to see pictures of what you did to the rooms after renovation.

Best Regards,


sinleong said...

unfortunately, after all the hoo-hah... the owner decided not to sell :(