Hear Me Out at the Federal Academy of Ballet (FAB)

A Portrait of Me & My Ballet Teacher

My name is Yvonne Foong, or Ming Niang – as FAB’s staff used to call me. I am a 30-year old Malaysian author with a genetic condition that makes tumours grow anywhere in my body throughout life. In order to continue living, I started a project to fund my own life saving surgeries at the tender age of 19, to pay for my much needed lifesaving surgeries halfway across the world, in the United States.

I used to dance ballet as a child for 7 formative years before my diagnosis. My family sent me initially so that I could develop a healthy self-esteem. We did not expect, however, that the experience would benefit me much more when my life became more challenging unexpectedly.

On 12th March 2017, I will be giving a talk at the Fonteyn Studio Theatre, to share in detail how ballet has enabled me to thrive above all odds in spite of my health challenges and familial struggles.

Picking Your First Home: House, Condo, or Townhouse?

Buy House Picture

Someday, I will reach the stage where I will need to consider what kind of home would I want for myself and my future family.

While a large and significant life decision like a home purchase obviously requires a lot of thought and incorporates a complex buying process, the basic gist of choosing the perfect deal for you comes down to just a handful of questions. The biggest one is – what kind of home should you get in the first place? Just take a look into property portal like PropertyGuru and you will find yourself in a sea of different types of property for sale in Malaysia.

To choose your first home, you have to take a look at your family, your means, and your immediate future – and with a few basic questions, some key pointers, and a couple handy tips, you’ll be able to breeze through not just the process of picking one among the three, but picking the one, the actual home you’ll be living in.

Understand the Difference

First and foremost, it’s important to actually distinguish between a condominium, a townhouse and a house. While the differences are obvious, there are a few subtleties – especially in ownership. For example – while you know the difference between a house and a condo, what’s the difference between owning a condo and renting an apartment, aside from a larger one-time payment rather than monthly installments on a lease? Or how are houses and townhouses really all that different?

Condominiums

To begin with, let’s take a look at condominiums. Condominiums began as a trend in Europe and North America in the 19th century, with the first American condo being built in Manhattan, according to Condopedia. They’re defined as large community-owned properties. Each unit within a condominium is owned by a single owner, and optionally rented out to a tenant (or several tenants), but each owner also shares the costs and liability for a percentage of the building’s common space – that includes its amenities, hallways, elevators, and so on and so forth.

Once you go past that, however, you get a closer look at what the costs are. While you have to pay a single fee to buy the condo, you’ll also be faced with condominium fees on a monthly basis. These replace what you’d usually pay on a monthly basis for the upkeep of a home. Instead of swinging around the side of a twenty-story building with a bucket and a mop, though, your monthly fees go towards regular maintenance and upkeep for the entire building, together with the monthly fees of every other condo owner in the building.

However, aside from the costs for common area maintenance, you’ll also pay a monthly special assessment fee, which goes into a condominium’s reserve fund and is used in the case of a serious repair – such as a broken sewer pipe, or a broken HVAC system.

Houses (terraced, bungalow, semi-D)

When you’re the owner of a home, the responsibility for the home is yours entirely. If you’re paying off a mortgage, chances are that your lender will have to pay a certain amount to a home insurance company with the lender as an escrow account, so that in case something happens and you’re unable to continue paying off your mortgage, your insurance can partially cover the lender for their costs.
Additionally, property taxes and maintenance fees – or the time it takes to clean and trim the house yourself – all has to be accounted for when making a purchasing decision regarding a single-family house. You’re not just buying the four walls – you’re buying the lot and land, as well, and that makes it all yours. Whereas a condominium might be great for a young couple or an older couple years after their children have moved out, a larger family with kids might find it better to move into a house because of greater yard and floor space.

Townhouses

When you can’t afford an executive condo, much less a house, getting a townhouse is a great alternative. A good way to think of a townhouse is to take the condo and the house and to create a hybrid of the two. A townhouse complex is still a community project, with its own common areas and associated costs, yet each house itself has one actual owner. Each house might come with its own little porch, yet you won’t get much of a yard, if anything outside of the walls of the townhouse. For couples and smaller families, this is actually great news.

In the end, much of the decision comes from your budget and your family size. If you’re a couple, a condo might seem like a great investment – yet young couples often quickly become small families, and these are often more appreciative of a house. In that case, you could save money by renting a condo for the short term, before moving into a house of your own. Or, you could skip both, and decide on a townhouse in a nice neighborhood.

The Verdict

You will likely find yourself struggling to find the property that best suit your needs especially when Malaysia’s property for sale is mushrooming at an incredible pace. Personally, an executive condo does have a nice tiered security that makes us feel much safer but the trade off will be a smaller space. If you have sufficient budget, a fully gated houses will be the next best option when you can get both space and safety in one single package.

Sponsor Needed For 12th March 2017 Videography

Hello Supporters, I will be giving a talk at the Federal Academy of Ballet (FAB), Seksyen 14 Petaling Jaya on 12th March 2017. I have found a videographer to record the whole talk, to be shared online afterwards for raising more awareness about Neurofibromatosis, my foundation and my work. 2 video cameras will be needed to capture the event nicely. The cost for this videography is RM2,000. It includes editing work as well.

Would anyone like to sponsor this cost for me? Otherwise, I will just be using money from my own pocket. If you would help me pay for it, then I can save my money for other needs especially my health care. If you are interested, please WhatsApp me at +60173629042.

As the sum is not big, 1 sponsor who can fund the cost fully would be sufficient. So anyone who can fund the whole RM2,000, please contact me. Please WhatsApp as I am deaf.

Thank you.

My Books Are Back To Me

Since January 2015, I directed all proceeds from the sale of books I authored to my foundation fundraising, hoping that doing so will boost support for the project and speed up the fundraising progress. Many books have been sold for that purpose and funds received were duly placed into the foundation fund. However, a few people misunderstood my intention, falsely speculating that I was using foundation funds on myself.

The foundation I am building has been my dream since the day I was diagnosed 16 years ago as I have always wanted to assist humanity in a big way since I was a child. To prevent the aforementioned misunderstanding from becoming widespread and hampering my dream, I have decided to redirect the funds from the sale of my books to myself, for my own livings, from December 2016 onward. As for foundation fundraising, I will henceforth focus on getting sponsors for the foundation. No longer using my own intellectual properties.

May this make things clearer. Books for me. Sponsors for foundation.

Swiss Watches For Sale

I personally own two Swiss-made watches, which I no longer want to keep anymore and would like to sell them. Money received from this sale is for my own use especially my healthcare expenses. Would you like to bless me? Give me the funds and I will give you the watches!

Watch no. 1: Corum Admirals Cup Champion 40
Price: RM17,500
Note: I received this watch together with Her World magazine’s Young Women Achiever of the Year 2008 Award. It is an automatic watch that does not need batteries.

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Watch no. 2: Flamingo by Bernard H. Mayer
Price: RM2,500

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To order these watches, please email me at yvonnefmn(at)gmail(dot)com