By Radin Ghazali
Marriage is often than not seen as ‘the adventure’ of one’s lifetime. Living and breathing literally in the same space or air as the other could be an unchartered territory for some. Many have adjusted well to the idea of a married life while some have stumble and fall. And imagine sharing not only a life but a property together? Bearing the finances or cost as well as maintenance and furnishing together!
A property is like having a child. It can be prosperous when you have one or plenty. And it could also be tedious when you are battling for it after a nasty break-up. Sharing the joy as well as the pain, PropertyGuru spoke to those who are currently at both end of the spectrums to prove that the vows don’t lie. For better or for worse, till property do us apart!
If Only I Could Break the House into Two!
Emancipation seems to be what every divorced individual would want from a tedious and perhaps volatile marriage. And Ms. Lulu* seems to believe so.
“I just wanted the marriage to end after years of arguments and miscommunications. I was resilient throughout the years but how far and how long can I take it?” said Ms Lulu who was granted a divorce from her husband of a decade last year. The marriage gave them three kids as well as a bitter taste of life after divorce.
Ms Lulu was liberated from a verbally abusive marriage yet life continues to be topsy-turvy due to poor handling of the divorce settlement, which includes their shared home.
“It’s hard. We are now still arguing over the house that we co-owned. And how are we splitting it? I mean you can’t break the house into two nor can we have the other still cohabiting underneath the same roof. Then it would defeat the whole purpose of getting a divorce in the first place,” she quipped.
Ms Lulu and her ex-husband bought the house two years ago and hence the financial responsibility is still considered fairly new.
“The initial deal was he would fork out the downpayment and I would be responsible for the monthly mortgages. We managed to get the necessaries and hence, bought our first home. But it has now turned into another bitter custody battle,” she explained.
They were given solutions. Among them were selling the house in order to divide the money to both individuals or having one buying out the share from the other. But such solutions seem to be a distance remedy for both individuals.
“We are cash strapped at the moment. Furthermore, where are we going to put the kids if we ever sell the house off? We will be starting from scratch when it comes to buying properties as individuals. Imagine going through the agonising process all over again, alone? Plus, I don’t think I could afford another lawyer to be involved in this matter. Enough with the pending legal fees that I am facing from the divorce,” said Ms Lulu.
The whole ‘custody battle’ worsened as one day Ms Lulu came back from work to a partially empty house.
“He came and moved half of the things to his new rented home! The house was almost empty with furniture like the sofa, dining table, television set and even bed frames were taken. Again, even with a house at hand, I still had to start fresh in getting new things for the place or else my kids would end up sleeping on the floor,” she exclaimed.
Is life now tougher than expected and are there any regrets?
“I won’t deny it. It’s harder than I thought. I got my freedom but I definitely underestimated the repercussions of the divorce has on crucial matters like property, in this case, our home. But no regrets. Life goes on and I just have to deal with it,” she said.
Couple Buys Together, Stays Together
Don’t be wary or start fussing over the nightmare of a relationship ending badly while having a property together. There is always calm in every turbulent sky! Take married couple, Feizal and Aniza for instance. Sharing the same passion and appreciation for properties has made them stronger than ever. They have four properties between them that include both landed houses and high-rise units around Kuala Lumpur!
“We had our own properties prior to our marriage. I have to say that we were already into the idea of owning properties, be it for investment, rental or own stay. Somehow we knew that the property market can be unpredictable and it would be great to own properties at an early stage of our careers.
“Young people would often misconstrue the idea of buying properties early. They assumed that you need to have high income in order to afford one. But that’s not necessarily the case. Bear in mind that the monthly repayments will remain as it is while your salary by all means will increase be it through annual increments or changing jobs. Hence, owning a property at a young age is very much feasible,” explained Feizal.
For this lovely couple, their maturity and intelligence in dealing with finances and prospects for the future can be inspiring to many young couples. Their property journey has always been thinking ahead of their time while being inspired by their parents’ words of wisdom.
“Well, our fathers would tell us that we wouldn’t want to dwell with the could haves or should haves. They encouraged us to act upon it quickly and not regretting when it comes to helming such big responsibility like buying properties,” said both husband and wife, echoing each other’s opinions.
The couple that has been together since their university days also admitted that there will be sacrifices when it comes to owning a handful of properties.
“You can’t live in the moment. You wouldn’t have the cash to spare for leisure or even for overseas trips because you need the money for monthly mortgages, maintenance as well as renovations,” explained Feizal in regards to the gives and takes.
The proud parents of two girls and another bun in the oven are currently in the midst of renovating their fourth property that will be used for their own stay. The double-storey property is located in Zoo View, Gombak.
“We needed a home that could support our expanding family as well as our parents. And we found the right landed property somewhere in Zoo View that needed some fixer upper. It was crucial for us to get a landed home. The perks of buying landed properties are immense. It is easier to carry out expansion and renovations especially when you have a good size of land to work with. You definitely can’t do that with high-rise units,” concluded Aniza.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy
Image sourced from Pulse and Telegraph UK. Pictures of residential properties provided by Aniza