Friday, June 10, 2011

Rasah Kemayan My Haven



Thank you for visiting this post. There is a new development reported HERE that may be of interest to you.

Come this August my wife and I would have stayed in our little retirement home here in Rasah Kemayan for 12 years already. This would be the longest in any house we've stayed in, owned or rented, since the day after I graduated and started work in 1971, although the record was already broken several years back. I've lost count how many times I moved but I remembered the toils and troubles of packing, unpacking, arranging and getting adjusted to new routines and neighborhoods.

In May 1994 I bought a piece of land in RK with a dream of building my retirement house. It would be double storey detached house with 5 rooms, 4 baths, 3 halls, garage for 4 cars and compound where children can play, where I can plant 2-3 fruit trees at the back. Since 1971 I've (and later with my wife, and growing family) stayed in rented rooms, rented double storey houses, company bungalows, a rented bungalow, some with land, others without. The best we've stayed was during 1984-1988 in a manager's bungalow up on a small hill overlooking a reservoir. And then I resigned to start my own business and had to adjust to living in smaller abodes. My family suffered for awhile when my business tumbled initially but thank God we recovered. With that we moved from house to house, 3 times in fact, within the same town, until we landed in RK and I said to my wife, let's make this our last stop, a place we will live, retire and die in.

Why RK? I was and am a sucker for spacious and peaceful living. I think people who have worked as managers or assistants in the big plantation companies and given bungalows to stay in can attest to the benefits of living in big rooms and airy halls. And kitchen many housewives would die for. Those senior managers, especially British planters, would have drivers, gardeners and guards. I had the chance to stay in 2 such bungalows in my 13 years of working for a British owned plantation company and it has benchmarked what kind of house I'd like to live in in my old age.

In 1993 the property development in Seremban took a boost. A developer joined force with a land owner to develop the 790 acres rubber land into the so-called 1388 Rasah Kemayan Golf & Country Township. At that time it was supposedly THE elite place to be in. The promotion flyer tout RK as the place for green living. The tagline? Where the grass is always greener. Here is the centre-spread of the flyer distributed.



We were then staying in another housing estate, our own double storey house. It wasn't what I wanted. My dream kept bugging me. At that time my wife and I used to get up early and drive to this newly developed township for our walk. We liked the place, and the promise given, especially on the establishment of a fully fenced up community protected by 24 hours security (which unfortunately never materialized). We bought a piece of vacant land (6824 sq. ft.) and I let my imagination roam and did research on how to best design a house for the future, thinking about space for all my children to stay together and for grandchildren to run about. I bought a software while on a trip to the States to help me create 3D impressions of the house and rooms with furnitures. I even commissioned an architect to draw up building plans for submission to the authority. Then came the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis that devalued our Malaysian Ringgit from RM2.50 per USD then to about RM4.50 (today it has strengthened to about RM3.05). It destroyed my financial planning which included provision for my children oversea education. Our money suddenly became valueless and I scrambled to revise my dream. The drawing plans did not see the daylight (I kept them for sentimental reasons) and I downsized my dream.

In our walks we peeked into abandoned houses, semi-finished houses and houses with FOR SALE signs put up at the garage walls. We decided it would be imprudent to build a house on our land that is quite isolated, although it is at the fringe of the 9-hole golf course, as nobody was building their bungalows on their lands at that time. I wouldn't want to live in a house where nobody can hear us shout in the event of an emergency. Finally we decided on a one and half storey bungalow house sited on a land that is 6125 sq. ft. in area. Since the build-up area is limited I spend some of my savings to extend a large dining hall (where my grandchildren now run freely), enlarge the kitchen and added in an utility room, my home office (my den) and an additional bathroom. All this were done in 1999, a year of flurried excitement that included 2 graduations and a marriage.

Our house isn't the fulfillment of my dream but close to it. I would like a larger house with high ceilings, bigger rooms and my own entertainment centre. But for now I am satisfied with the size and location although I still wish for a bigger house ...

In the years after we bought the house and stayed there the neighborhood under the Seremban 2 township grew faster and bigger under a more capable developer. Property value in Seremban 2 have increased significantly, encouraged by speculators. However, houses and lands inside RK remain second choice but to those who, like me, value quietness and country living, we appreciate it more except for the poorer security as compared to the newer Seremban 2 projects that are now gated.

In the coming year or so RK will be brought under the administration of Seremban City Hall (yes, Seremban will be a city soon!) and hopefully the township (frankly there is no town as the entire RK is residential) will undergo upgrading of basic infrastructure especially the roads and drainage. Presently, RK is quite private as the main thoroughfare does not lead to anywhere. But there are talks that a new link to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport through RK may be built. As a 'senior' resident here I seriously doubt the viability as another new town, Bandar Sri Sendayan, which encircles RK together with Seremban 2, will make better choice to link to the airport, bypassing RK.



With this confidence I can safely say that RK will remain a haven for people who want to escape from urban living. After all we are 45 minutes away from both the airport and Kuala Lumpur by road.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,
Hard work is the Backbone of Success”,
Is the famous proverb, around the world.

But what’s more,
No one can Work,
Let alone do hard work, without their Will Power.

So,
It’s your Will Power, which makes you do what you do.
It’s your Will Power, which brings you Success and able to built a heavenly home,a home you can call your own.
It’s your Will Power, which kept you going thru hard times and keeps you happy during the good times.
And,
It’s your Will Power which is the backbone of Hard work.
Congrats Peter and your family should be proud of you.
regards and God Bless fr AL MAL.

Peter Yew said...

AL, I was bought up under the philosophy that we should work hard to establish our foundation before we really go out to enjoy life. Well, I think I've made it, couldn't have gotten a better family and a better career. I think by and large I am contented. Looking back I've done better than my dad and I know he would have been proud of me if he is still alive. Nice word about success and willpower. Have a nice Sunday.

tml said...

Hi Peter,

Am glad I got to read your posting. My family is considering a semi-d at RK this very moment.

It is meant as a family / weekend home for a start and later on a home to retire and we look forward to hopefully make our decision soon.

Thank you for sharing.


With best regards,
tml

Peter Yew said...

Hi TML,

Nice of you to stop by. Glad that this post is useful to you. I stay behind a row of semi-D which is great for retired couple as it is manageable. If you will have family members coming by often and overnighting maybe a bigger house will be more suitable, but again what is important is the upkeep and the neighborhood. Whatever your choice I'm sure choosing RK for its tranquility will not disappoint you. Have a great weekend. Peter.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for house in RK and I stumbled upon your blog. Very informative and more reliable I guess...thanks. Hana

Peter Yew said...

Hi Hana,
I hope we can welcome you as our new neighbor soon. Since this post I can say that more people are interested in the value of RK. Bungalow lands are definitely precious assets since no developers are selling residential lands anymore. Those who prefer to buy and build their custom designed houses will find RK the ideal location. After all we are no longer the isolated township that non-residents use to have the impression. Being encircled by Seremban 2 and Bandar Sri Sendayan, RK is getting noticed by real estate agents. Peter.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Peter. Will see...would be a blessing to have a neighbor like your family :-) Have a good day. Hana

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, thanks for sharing your thoughts about RK. I'm planning to buy a bigger house for my parents in Seremban. At the same time, I'm considering this to be a long term investment. Is RK a good place to invest in?

Jacy

Peter Yew said...

Jacy, RK is a quiet neighborhood to stay. I see more people moving in based on more traffic and renovation work carried out. May not be good for investment as property appreciate slowly. Check your neighbors before you buy as well as the overall cleanliness. Security wise it is reasonably safe but be pro-active. Nobody can guarantee you anything. Wishing you a happy house hunting. Peter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, gled to know you have found your haven. what is the property price like? SemiD, double storey and single Storey. My wife and I have 2 kids. Any good schools around? What is the state of the country club?
Regards, Andrew.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Peter.
I may be going back to Sban this weekend to sview some houses. Hope to find a nice place for my parents to settle in very soon :)

Jacy

Peter Yew said...

Andrew, sorry I didn't moderate your comment earlier. Can't comment on property prices in RK, some houses are auctioned at cost or less, best to get a real estate agent to track for you if you want to make this place your home. There is a new Chinese school at nearby S2 Heights and 2 primary and secondary sekolah kebangsaan in S2. No school inside RK which is fully residential. Clubhouse? I don't use it but would rate it average.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, I guess you are busy and I do appreciate your reply. I was born and bred in Melaka, but have worked (and got married) in Penang all my life. My wife and I plan to move to a quieter and cheaper place and raise our 2 young children. It was great reading your blog, as it gave some useful information. If you can recommend a real estate agent , that would be great. Does the RK country club have a website? Regards, Andrew.

Peter Yew said...

Hi Andrew,

I've been busy so didn't see your comment until now. I really would suggest if you are on your way south from Penang to drive into Rasah Kemayan to get a feel of your potentially future home. I think you will be able to make a better judgement as to its suitability for your kids especially. RK is quiet as it is fully residential but you need to consider other factors like neighbourhood, house design and quality and of course price. Unlike buying into a brand new development, RK can be considered matured with more than 12 years of occupation so you will get a better feel as there is less likelihood of surprises, if you know what I mean. I haven't used any agents so I'm afraid I can't recommend one. But if you like a house for sale with an agent contact, or even direct owner sale, you can go from that point onward instead of appointing one to search for a house of your specs unless you are short of time and in need of a house quick. Best of luck to you in your house hunting. About the clubhouse website I doubt there is one but if you are here you can drop in to take a look. Peter

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, that sounds like good advice. We will have a look for ourselves. Allow me to ask you a few more not urgent questions. Do you pay maintenance fee? Is there a residence association? Thanks. Andrew

Peter Yew said...

RK is not a gated community so residents don't pay maintenance fees. However, arising from security concerns, some sections have formed their own security arrangements to have patrol guards or guard houses. The entire RK is too open to have a successful security scheme which was tried before and failed due to poor responses. There is a RA but membership is not encouraging. Early this year a police beat base was set up near the entrance into RK at the roundabout. Its effectiveness in reducing crime is still unknown. To my knowledge RK is relatively safe. Individual household need to secure their properties rather than rely solely on guards or police. Hope this help. Peter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Andrew

Anonymous said...

Peter, I have another question. I am told that major rennovations need permit from the Majlis Perbandaran Seremban. What about instaling door and window iron grills, autogate and kitchen cabinets? In Penang, we don't need to , but NS may have different rules. Regards, Andrew.

Peter Yew said...

Andrew,

We are under Majlis Perbandaran Nilai, not MPS. To your question, no. Only building extensions or a permanent nature. Example, awnings not required. Hope this help. Peter.

Terence Toh said...

Dear Peter, i intend to relocate to RK soon, is RK near to nearby amenities like hospitals, clinics ? Thanks again, from Terence

Peter Yew said...

Sorry Terrence for saying this. Surely you would have researched for the answers you asked if you are relocating here. In any case the answer to your questions is yes, private hospital and government clinic are within 5km radius of RK and so are several hypermarkets, police stations, fire brigade, courts, land office and soon the immigration office will be within a few km from RK as well.

Dharma said...

Dear Peter,

Thanks for a very informative account. I own a house in Rasah Kemayan too which I have rented out for a pittance. But it's good to hear about the positive side to living there.

regards,
Dharma

Peter Yew said...

Dear Dharma, I'm sorry that you couldn't get a decent rental income. RK houses are best if owner occupied to appreciate the peace and serenity. Maybe you will decide to stay back in your own house one day. Many houses are sold by absentee owners to genuine homeowners who renovate them to live in. This is a good sign for the community. Another good sign is the springing up of new projects within RK. The latest is the 28Villa project in RK3 near the roundabout, comprising 28 units 3-storey semi-D houses. Another 29 units by the same developer nearby is on the card. Overall we are seeing the township coming alive. Recently the clubhouse was converted into an international school. Not sure of the response but surely property buyers and businessmen are eyeing the potential of the sleepy enclave home to the birds. Peter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, I was in RK a few months back, and I must say its quite a nice place. Being adjacent high profile projects like S2 and Sri Sendayan helps too. Happy New Year. Andrew.

Teddy said...

Hi Peter,
I am contemplating to uproot my family of 2 teenage kids from Penang to RK in the near future as i am at the so call twilight of my career. I'm 53 going on 54 this year and i felt its time i look into changing my career as life in the factory is very very pressurise and i am thinking of doing some kind of internet business funding from the sale of my penang house. I use to work in Seremban 25 yrs ago and i have close relatives in seremban and many in subang jaya.
Your blog is almost heaven send as i was not too sure about this place although i have seen this area 2 years back. My only concern is the security as i notice that there are many vacant houses as well as general neglect of the public amenities eg roads , drainage etc etc. My other question is: What kind of house would RM 250-300K buy?

Peter Yew said...

Dear Teddy, security is of primary concern and while agree RK has several abandoned houses and undeveloped bungalow lands many of them have been bought over and renovated and new houses built on them. This means buyers are finding value in their purchases. More so they can tap into the surrounding business and recreational facilities of Seremban 2. Several government departments and health clinic have moved closer, including the police station.

Like I said before, security must be your own business and not left entirely to the security guards. They can only do so much. If you plan your house well and live and unobtrusive lifestyle that don't attract unnecessary attention your house should be secured in RK. House prices have gone up in the last 1-2 years but for 250-300K you can still find double storey semi-D houses within this range. They face the main dual carriage highway and may be a little noisy and dusty, but certainly not as bad as in the Klang Valley. Your concern will be on the build up space and may need to add on by enlarging the hall or additional room. There is also a mosque a distance away and depending on the actual unit the call of azan may not be disturbing.

My best advice is drive around, ask questions, check the actual neighborhood you are interested and get in touch with the seller or agent. Family opinion and agreement is very important. If you don't get them to agree you may regret moving into a place you like but your family don't. All said, this is a nice place to retire. Good for people who like a quiet and country like environment which is as stress free as you can get, yet very near to highways and KLIA.

Anonymous said...

Wow, another guy interested in retiring in Seremban. Anyway, Peter,we visited Seremban a few times, drove around a lot and did a lot of research. We like Seremban 2 and S2 heights a lot. Yes, the prices of thehouses there are relatively higher, like KL prices 5 years ago. RK was nice. We were shown a semi-d by an agent and the owner wanted RM350K neg. Large land, but the build up was surprisingly small.Needed investment to enlarge and spruce up. The condtion wasn't great and the location was in an isolated area behind the golf course, I think. RK is certainly quiet and has potential, but we were looking for something else. Andrew.

Peter Yew said...

Andrew, the house the agent showed you isn't in a good location, the better ones are the well occupied areas of RK3,4,5 and 6. But RK is not for everybody. I'm happy you spent time to scout around and see for yourself the real neighborhood before you decide. I hope you will ultimately find a house that fits your dream and budget. Happy hunting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,good things are probably coming to RK. I just in the news read a major developer, Bolton has agreed to buy the golf course for redevelopment. Happy CNY to you and your family. Andrew.

Peter Yew said...

This means some developer has found pearl in RK. Thinking about it all the land inside will appreciate in value. Sure you won't live in RK? The birds are still singing as I write this. Happy Chinese New Year.

Unknown said...

Dear Peter, thank you for a nice blog. i'm looking for a retirement home, where i can plant real tree, not just pots of flower. Was searching looking at seremban in general. How is RK. any updates? I've seen prices increasing or maybe this just because our ringgit gone down?

Pharre said...

Hi Peter,
Stumbled upon your blog while in search of RK S6 information, a great walk down the memory lane of your experiences, "Success,no substitute for hard work." Wish you happiness in your golden years in the serenade of mother nature.
I was checking on a bungalow at RKS6, wondering if the location,safety, facilities and surroundings will suit my needs as I am into retirement too. Hope it works,God Bless All.

Rubiah said...

Hi Peter. I like what you write about RK. I'm currently staying in KL but have a house in RK 6 renovated well kept with matured garden.Every week my hubby and I (both retired) will drive down to this lovely country home.. tending the garden and do house cleaning, chores done out of love for this house hoping that we would someday come back and stay but children and grandchildren kept us back in KL. With heavy heart we've decided to sell this property to someone who would love it as much as we do....

Peter Yew said...

Hi friends who commented in recent months. I'm sorry for not tending to my blog as often as I should. It is as if I've allowed my once pretty garden to overgrow with weeds. I'm back and I hope to write more often. Sorry to Rubiah that you have to sell off your retirement house (I'm careful not to call it home since you didn't move it). Pharre, RK is a wonderful spot of God's creation, a little green acre in Seremban for those who want to get away. But RK is going to be busier in the coming years. I heard an access road to KLIA will be built through RK via Sri Sendayan. Some people like it, some don't. Personally I feel the time has come to lose some privacy for convenience. KLIA will be less than 45 minutes away once all the new highways are in place.

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