Azizi Ali - Nak Simpan Ke Nak Jual?

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Q&A: Should I keep the property or dispose it?


I bought a condo a few years ago for RM255,000 from a developer, thinking that the value will go up. The condo is supposed to be in a good area. However, after a few years, I noticed that the value of the property has never gone up and in fact, now I believe that the value is lower than my purchase price. I’m quite lucky because the condo is very near to a University and thus I have no problems getting a tenant. Now I am renting it for RM1,200 per month (partly furnished).

My question is whether I should keep the property or should I dispose it? At the moment, my rental does not cover my monthly installment, what more the maintenance fee, which is very high among all other properties I own.


Hi Norlia,

As I understand it, you’re losing money every month as the rental cannot cover your mortgage; this is before adding the maintenance fee. Worse, the price is lower today than what you paid for, which takes some doing as prices in many areas have risen significantly in the last couple of years.

Anyway, Norlia, don’t feel too bad about it – we all lose money at one time or another. I too have lost money before. It is not something that I’m happy or proud of but hey, this is real life! After all, even billionaires, e.g. George Soros and Warren Buffett, have also lost money.

Next, and this is a critical lesson in building wealth, you must learn to cut your losses. Once an investment has turned south – a polite way of saying that you lost money – sell it. Sell it, salvage what is left and use the money as capital for a better investment. If you don’t cut your losses, you may actually lose all instead of just part of your money. It also means that you will have less capital for the next investment. Worse, it will continue to haunt your insides as you are constantly being reminded of the error.

Actually, common sense will tell that we cannot win all the time. We do not score 100 percent in every exam; what makes anyone think that they can win all the time and therefore score 100 percent in investing – a subject that very few people are experts in? Actually, if we can win 80 percent of the time, that is a good batting average already. Most people win less than half the time, which explains why not many people are rich. At the same time, winning 80 percent means that we will lose 20 percent of the time. The trick is to know what to do when you know that you have lost. The answer is to cut the loss, salvage what is left and move on.

Until you learn to do this, it will be difficult for you to build wealth. Now, I’m not saying that it is easy or something that is fun to do. What I’m saying is that you must learn to do so if you want to become a successful investor and build serious wealth.

In your case, you should consider selling off the apartment so that you can move on with your life. Drop the price so that it will attract buyers. Yes, it may hurt when you sell it at a loss, but the hurt is only once. If you keep the apartment, it will continue to hurt you every month. 

Finally, and this is extremely important, make sure that you learn the lesson and do not repeat the same mistake again. As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

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