Abandoned Property Monies Part 2: “I Wanna GTFU ASAP”

Sam Andi @GoodPlaceHQ

When we were in high school in Taiping, Khai Yin and I used to play in a Nirvana covers band. Being pimply dorks with piping hot testosterone firing on all cylinders, we figured that the easiest way to be popular with girls was to be in a rock band. After all, even butt-ugly rock stars like Mick Jagger got laid!

Read the first part in this series here if you have missed it.

We had read in a magazine (most probably URTV) that the dude in Nirvana had played this guitar manufactured by this company called Fender. And so we went to this one-and-only musical instrument shop in Taiping on Kota Road and bought two Made-in-China copycat “Fender” electric guitars at a small fortune of $90 each.

The funny thing was that once we bought those guitars (which we later found out were called “Fender Stratocasters”), we started to notice that an awful lot of bands had actually played the same type of guitar. Dave Gilmour, Richie Sambora, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton… the list was endless. We started seeing Fender Stratocasters everywhere… from live shows (Subculture! Koffin Kanser! Carburetor Dung!) to the hallowed pages of ROTTW (thumbs up if you know this magazine… hello Abang Rom).

I’m sure you’ve experienced something like that also – for example, when you think about buying a particular model of a particular car. You suddenly see more of the car of the same model on the roads. That’s really no coincidence – you’ve just “activated” that switch inside your mind to be especially aware of that particular car model.

Now when I tell people that I make gobs of money flipping abandoned properties, the first question that I ask is how I look for these properties in the first place. The answer is quite simple… you just “activate” your switch so that you become aware of these properties when you see them. I bet that before you even considered investing in abandoned properties, you have already come across a couple of them without paying much attention. In fact, you wouldn’t even know that those properties had been abandoned in the first place.

I’ll even wager that you’ll start noticing abandoned properties now that they are inside your “consciousness”. Your “Spidey sense” will start to tingle whenever you see an abandoned property! In fact, with enough practice, you can drive into a random Taman and immediately know if a house has been abandoned within a couple of minutes.

Now before we start hunting for abandoned properties, it’s important to look at the fundamentals of the game and understand why people abandon their houses.

Why Properties Get Abandoned?

Properties get abandoned for a variety of reasons. Below are the three biggest ones.

Reason #1: Personal Problems

My best flip was a house which was sold to me for literally cents on the Ringgit. The previous owner had told me, “My old man died in this house. I’ve been hearing strange noises in his room every night since his death. Please, buy this house off me. I wanna GTFU ASAP.”

Even more amusing: “I caught my wife with a ma lat lou on our bed one afternoon. We are breaking up. I’m not going back there again.”

Perhaps the best: “I mistakenly bought this house. It faces the southwest direction, which is incompatible with my bazi. My sifu told me that if I live in it I will hamkachan.” No. Friggin’. Joke.

Don’t underestimate the severeness of the crap that some people had to go through in their lives. Or their stupidity.

Reason #2: Property Problems

Let’s face it – maintaining a house is a royal pain in the rear.. and not to mention blood-curdingly expensive. As a piece of property gets older, you can expect the repair bills to stack up quickly like bricks in a Tetris game.

There are lots of retirees in Taiping, with their kids working mostly in Penang and in KL. When these retirees grow older, it gets harder and more expensive for them to maintain the old houses that they are in. So, some choose to move in with their kids, leaving their decades-old homes in Taiping to rot (until someone like me comes to the rescue).

This, of course, is not a Taiping-only phenomenon, but is common in many towns outside the Klang Valley, where the demographics get older with time.

Reason #3: Money Problems

Funny thing about Malaysians is that we seem to like to think that owning a house is a “must”. Problem is that there are a lot of guys who buy outside their means due to the pressure from their parents, neighbours, peers, colleagues, and their girlfriends’ parents.

Also, especially among the Chinese, there’s this quaint concept called “face”. Getting evicted from your house is a disaster of epic proportions, and will cause you to “lose face” tremendously in the eyes of your parents, neighbours, peers, colleagues, and your girlfriend’s parents.

So, what most people in this situation do is to instead face eviction, they abandon the house and move on.

Now that you know why people abandon their homes, we’ll talk about the most important criteria when you buy property – value. There’s no two ways about it – you must know how to value an abandoned property if you want to make money! We’ll talk more about this in the next guide in this series.

About Shallow Cal

Property developer and investor in the northern region - Ipoh, Taiping, and sometimes Chemor. Born and bred in Pokok Assam, a sleepy village south of Taiping. I have three chihuahuas which help me get all the dates that I will ever need.


  1. Clarification: why would you need TWO guitarists in a Nirvana covers band? lol!

  2. Superstitions… ruin more people than you think!

    What do you think of Feng Shui though?

Speak Your Mind