The Florida Flipper Adventure


Contributed by Ramlee Hasan, our principal based out of the beautiful island of Penang, Malaysia.

Flipping properties is a very hot business nowadays. However, if you want to make a lot of profit as soon as possible, you could fail in this department if you don’t follow the most basic tips associated with it.

I am writing this from the perspective of a Malaysian wanting to invest in properties in Florida. I was a real estate broker in Miami for six months back in 1986 🙂

All of the house flippers who succeed in this field do so because they understand the trends of the industry as a whole. In other words, they know how to act and react to the different movements of the market as needed. They also know exactly which deals to accept and which ones to avoid, which properties can be fixed and which ones are overvalued. Most importantly, they know that properties should only be looked at from a business standpoint rather than a personal one. This is especially true when you look at the state of Malaysian properties in 2013 where areas like Bangsar and Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). Developers like Mah Sing are also going all out and reaping all the benefits from the booming economy!

If you want to make a lot of profit in the real estate market, then you should follow these simple and practical tips to ensure that you truly succeed:

  • Educate yourself.

If you want to succeed at flipping properties, then you have to learn as much as possible about it and about real estate, in general. To do this, just read books, watch videos, and ask professionals for tips in the matter. Remember: you won’t be able to make any profit if you don’t know much about home flipping or real estate to begin with.

Research properties online using websites like or which provides good information on properties that are available for sale or rent in Malaysia. If you are looking for properties in a specific area, then see if there are dedicated websites for that particular area. For example, is a good resource on KLCC condos and apartments with good and bad reviews of each development. It’s pretty useful!

  • Get a Mentor.

Educating yourself and getting a mentor practically go hand-in-hand. Try to find somebody who has firsthand experience in profitable and successful house flipping, and then build a strategic and effective working relationship with them. By doing so, you can learn more about the industry as a whole and in a way you never would have thought possible. Here’s a good article on finding a mentor in real estate – click here.

  • Look around.

Naturally, the best way to learn about flipping properties, though, would be to actually try it out. By exposing yourself to the actual process of flipping houses, you can learn what really works and doesn’t, as well as see how things work overall. Once you understand the process, you can then increase your overall chances of making more money. If things work out well with your mentor, you might even want to consider a partnership with him later on. A lot of success stories of real estate moguls in Malaysia (Lim Goh Tong of Genting and Liew Kee Sin of SP Setia for example) hinges on the importance of getting mentors in the context of Malaysia property investment.

Reapplying The Techniques To Malaysia Real Estate

Overall, house flipping in Malaysia will definitely require time, patience, money and skills if you want to succeed with it in the end. If you are just a beginner in the field, then you might want to start with a single property before moving up the ladder. The more you learn about the process and the more patient you become, the more benefits you will then reap in the end.

In today’s economy, it would be vital to find a stable means of controlling your finances for the future. Since life changes on a daily basis, though, it would therefore be vital for you to think about the different steps you can take to really take control of your financial stability. With the aforementioned tips on property flipping, you should eventually get the means to build a financially secure future for you and your family in no time.

If you need more tips on real estate investment in Malaysia (or in Florida), email me at or and I will be able to give you advice on a nominal fee.

FSBO Tips: How to Sell Your Home Like a Pro

For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is the best option you have if you are looking to keep all the earnings from your home sale. It is also a great idea if you’re quite a control freak and you want to be precise about how you want your home sale to go. It can also be a great way to kick start your venture into the world of real estate investment. So, are you ready to sell like a pro? Also visit my last blog post for more tips. Then, carry on…

Whatever your reasons are, FSBO selling is rewarding at best and frustrating at worst. So to keep things at its best, you have to assume an inner pro even when it’s just your very first time. So I’ve rounded up some tips on how to sell your house  like a pro, in deed and in fact (aka in earnings):

  • Stage, stage, stage perfectly! This is something that a lot of plain home owners take for granted. Unless your house is naturally picture-perfect, you can’t put it out on the market au naturel. Potential home buyers wouldn’t appreciate seeing your mountain of laundry in the bedroom, or your heaping ashtray from last night’s chain smoking episode. Stage your house the way you’d want to see it as a home buyer – beautiful, neat, and neutral, where they can imagine themselves living in it. Bring out your inner Martha Stewart, I say! Flaunt that 8 Conlay or Soho Suites (KLCC) unit like a true pro!
  • Have an open house. A lot of real estate gurus don’t really advice on having an open house because it is unnecessary for you, doesn’t really bring in significant potential buyers, and is actually used by some realtors to hand out their cards and advance their own careers. But in your case, by all means, do it. You’ll benefit from it a whole lot!
  • Advertise like a pro. The odds aren’t exactly favorable to you if you see that you are in competition with professional realtors even when the selling quality of your house is pretty much equal. So advertise like a pro, go on the papers, go on the internet, and make your ‘House on Sale’ sign visible and attractive! Make use of all the free avenues for advertising that you can find and don’t ever forget about investing in awesome photos and even better descriptions.
  • Talk like a pro. When it comes to talking to your clients, they have to know that you know what you are talking about. Talk confidently – and the best (and I think is the only) way to achieve that level of confidence is to have thorough knowledge of what you’re trying to market and a knowledge of your market as well. You don’t have to talk MBA here, but talk like you know what it’s all about. And because you are selling something of your own, use your personal knowledge of the house to entice your prospective guests about it.
  • Be patient. This is what will take you further than your sweet sales talk ever can. Patience will help you get through the waiting time, the house visits that will turn out futile, and the comments against the house that you will inevitably have to face.

Special thanks to Serena May, Parveen Kaur Sidhu, Mohd Safian Musa and Roger Kee Mun Chye for extra inputs.


Goodbye Is The Hardest Word :(

Follow up with my last blog post here… which of your things do you get to keep and which ones should stay with the Malaysian house when you sell it? Indeed… goodbye seems to be the hardest word…

Sorry for that slight detour… now back to the matter at hand. 🙂

Indeed, this is one of the most common and most lingering questions that every homeowner trying to sell a house has to face. See, there are many issues concerning this, among them emotional and financial attachments. I know this myself, because I was moving out from my place at Le Nouvel and it was heart breaking.

You see, emotionally, it would be normally hard to let go of your home. And worse, it is even harder to let go of the things that made a huge part of your home and that which made it comfortable – couches, beds, tables, even the electronic appliances.

Financially, too, you’d have to think about whether or not it is more efficient to sell the appliances and the other furnishings for a higher price and buy new ones or to just put up with fees on moving and temporary storage with bringing all the old stuff to the new place.

Bonus Resource: view more selling tips here from

Stay or not? That Is The Question!

And there is not a singular generic answer that would satisfy every kind of home seller and home selling purchase. Here are some of the choices you have when it comes to deciding whether or not to take your stuff with you or just sell it with the Malaysian house:

  • Entitlement and according to law. Basically, most real estate laws require the home seller and the seller’s real estate attorney to identify which things belong to “fixtures” and “personal items”. Fixtures are those things that are physically attached to the house and could cause damage if pulled out and removed. Lighting, kitchen and bathroom fixture and even landscaped plants (yes, even the ones that you traveled for miles to buy from a farm) may be classified as fixtures and should stay with the house. Personal things include practically everything that you could remove and carry without leaving any permanent damage. This is where movable furniture and appliances come in.
  • Contract. Sometimes, there is hardly a line that divides what makes a fixture and what makes a personal item. Garden furniture, the dryer, among other things may pass off as both a fixture and a personal item. If this is questionable, you may have to refer to your and your buyer’s real estate lawyer to agree on a mutually accepted contract on what to label these things.
  • Sell your house fully furnished and move-in ready. Another way to resolve this is to just leave everything as is and sell it with the house. This is selling your house fully furnished complete with all the furniture and the appliances to go with the rest of the house. This may sound like a good deal but it may be risky. You might be forced to pump up your house prices to make up for the cost of the items that went with the house and be snubbed upon by buyers, or lose so much money on buying new stuff that the price of the old house didn’t cover. Veer away from this option if your things are not really in prime condition because you might be turning your potential buyers off instead.

Ah, memories…



Condo vs Landed Properties… The Perennial Question


High-end, modern, stylish, conveniently located, prime address – these are just some of the benefits of living in condominiums. More and more homeowners looking to make the big urban leap of faith are getting their very own units in these high rise babies.

What’s not to love? They are as convenient as they present themselves. If you have the right choice and the money for it, you’d be living stylishly, grandly, and almost ideally. You may want to reconsider that offer your seller is making if he or she is selling a small house; a condominium is always a far more better option if you want convenience and live a modern lifestyle.

True enough, there are so many reasons to buy a condo. But is a condo unit – roughly the same price of a regular house, sometimes even more expensive – a better buy than an actual house? Here are some reasons why it actually is:

Condo units own prime location. Among the top reasons why these units sell like hotcakes despite their ridiculous price tag is the location. They are at the center of everything. They are always a stone’s throw away from everything that’s important and popular in a city and this drives the buyers in them. Who wants to drive several miles to school or work from home every day anyway?


These condo units are secure. From high end CCTV surveillance cameras presence in every nook and cranny of the building to even more highly technological individual home security access, these expensive homes are tightly secure. On top of that, they have their round the clock roving guards and the security entrance by the reception. For this at a regular house, you’d likely have to spend about a quarter of your home’s value to get the same level of security. Oh, and befriend your neighbors to watch your house while you’re away on vacation.

Its amenities are all worth the expense. Pool, gym membership, nursery, spa – these things would require you separate memberships and separate fees, oh and maybe separate access membership cards. If you were living in a condominium unit, you’d only have to be a resident to gain access to all these and more. Prime properties, such as Empire Residence or  Setia Eco Park, is always worth the buck, because you don’t even have to go far because these amenities are right within your complex and are shared exclusively only with your neighbors.

For investment purposes, condominiums are likely to be more easily marketable than the regular house. It has practically everything. Should you want to move out or simply buy it for the sake of investing in it, the return is more likely to come more quickly. It won’t be as hard to sell it considering you have everything taken care of by your developers and all you have to do is sell, compared to having to sell your house where you have to worry about things like curb appeal, sloping, and interior painting.

If what you’re looking for is something that gives you convenience all in one place, not to mention prime access to major landmarks and thoroughfares, a condo is the best option for you. You might have to shell out more cash than the usual home buying, but everything is well worth it if you find the right place to buy.