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The Best House In The World Is The One That Makes Us Feel At Home

A cheeky good friend asked me a question the other day – pointing out that since I my own preferred location area – surely I will be biased when I write articles on certain areas. To which I replied, “It’s not just the areas that I would be biased. I would also be biased when it comes to landed versus high-rise (properties).”

Moving on, I also have my list of favourite developers and this list changes over time which means that I keep changing my own opinions!

By the way, even the areas that I like may change when I get to know more about the characteristics of the location more closely. One thing which will never change is this:- The best house in the world is the one that makes us feel at home.

I still remember the nal time that I visited my rst apartment unit spanning 730 sq ft in Relau, Penang. Both my wife and I were sad even though by then – we were already staying in a much bigger sized condominium unit comprising 1,258 sq ft – an upgrade of 500 sq ft above our rst apartment unit.

That smaller apartment (730 sq ft) made us (my wife and I) feel at home for more than four years. It gave us a home we could call our own for the very rst time in our lives. It also gave my sister and her brother a place to stay when they rst moved to Penang for study and work respectively.

I still remember when I rst moved to Penang in 1998. Then, I was renting a room in Georgetown which was a small room which was “built-in” with some space in the living hall. So yes, I could hear everything that was spoken right outside my room. That room did not give me any feeling of a home.

After a few months, I moved to a semi- detached double-storey home nearby the Penang prison. That house is easily worth around RM2.5 million today as it can easily park ve cars. The room I stayed in back then was big for me at 350 sq ft but it did not give me the feeling of a home because the owner and the family seldom spoke to me. Thus, my routine was to just arrive home, park my car, go to my room and at the very next day – leave my room, drive my car out and go to work. I stayed there for awhile until my current wife moved to Penang where we rented a small apartment unit.

This rented apartment was not my rst choice because the swimming pool was on the ground oor and everyone driving into the apartment’s grounds could see me in my swimming trunk or my wife in her swimwear.

However, it was the one unit we could afford in terms of the rental – being located near enough to our place of work. No matter how much we tried to make the place comfortable though – we could never call it a “home sweet home”.

This changed a year later when we found a place which we could afford to buy and started to carry out renovations there. We lled it up with furniture and electrical items of our choice. We also proudly showed the unit to our parents when they dropped by. We also held a house- warming party for over 50 of our friends.

We even responded happily to my wife’s brother when he asked if he could have a place to stay at and my sister continued her studies in Penang.

Personally, I think the best house does not really concern the area, type and even the developer. Instead, it is the one that makes us feel the most at home. And usually, that’s the one in which we invest a lot of effort into.

So yes, I will still be biased. Always make the best of what you have – instead of trying to buy properties somewhere else which you can’t really afford or have to overstretch yourself too much.

After the acquisition of our rst property, chances are – we will have enough moeny to upgrade to a better one a few years later. Chances are also – the owner whom we were renting from would also be buying another property in a few years’ time.

Happy making yourself at home!

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