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pros and cons of conservation homes

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houstongirl
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pros and cons of conservation homes

Postby houstongirl » Tue, 30 Dec 2008 10:02 pm

Any advise on what to expect if renting one of these homes. Has anyone had any experiences? I am single US female and will be taking on a job in April that requires a lot of travel. I am assuming the upkeep is more and maid service (read through the forums) will be most useful in keeping up these houses. Any other information will be most appreciated.

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road.not.taken
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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 31 Dec 2008 6:53 pm

I think a lot depends on when the place was last renovated and whether it is a landed proprty or a shophouse.

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Postby houstongirl » Thu, 01 Jan 2009 1:28 am

I will add that to the list of questions (date of last renovation). Much thanks. From the other research it sounds like I need to ask, if the place has A/C, fans, approx. amount of monthly utility bills, and age of major appliances.

One more question: Are renters allowed to paint the walls - I assume that permission is needed but is it generally done?

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Postby road.not.taken » Fri, 02 Jan 2009 7:49 pm

Oh sure, you can paint the walls. It of course depends on who your landlord is -- Premas has 3 colors you can choose from, all off-white, but if you buy the paint, they'll paint any color you like.

If it's a house/bungalow just get ready to lay out a lot of your own cash on maintenance. I'd say on a monthly basis we probaby spend $1500 - $2000 per month including the gardener (4 guys for 6 hour/6 times a month). This doesn't really include throwing away moldy spices, clothes, leather goods, recovering upholstery, reframing ruined art work, etc...

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Postby houstongirl » Fri, 02 Jan 2009 11:59 pm

Three shades of white -- that's too many choices -- :-)
Maintenance ounds semi-painful!
Proceed with caution, take the blinders off, eh! Thanks, again.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 03 Jan 2009 12:21 am

There is one thing about conservation homes and Black & Whites. It may well be one of the few areas where RNT & I see eye to eye on. You will either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground.

In either case they are a handful as they are old! The concrete is rotting in most of 'em. If you have casuarina trees around them you will have leaky roofs as the needles tend to blow up under the roofing tiles and then swell when wet allowing more to accumulate until they have been lifted enough to allow any wind blown rain to enter.

I'd give my eye-teeth to have never left and had I been able to rent out my flat at a good enough price I'd have done it and moved back into one. I lived in black & whites for 15 years. My wife was born in one and lived in them for 50 years before we moved out in '99 when we bought a flat here.

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Postby houstongirl » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 5:55 am

It sounds to me that if you are not romantic about the maintenance, these are good to live in. I am coming from Houston where there is no preservation of the old, so it will be a treat to live in a house that has history granted the problems.

Sounds to me that I should check in with the neighbors on both sides of any property being considered before jumping in to a 2-year contract. Perhaps even check if a short term lease is possible with a clause for extension without an increase in rent. I read through the forum posts where the rent increases are monumental upon contract renewal.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and your time. They have been most helpful.

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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 05 Jan 2009 8:11 pm

It really depends on what you're after and if you mind having a non-paying part-time job -- the management of the maintenance. It is considerable. But there is a wide range of decrepitude on the conservation house scale. The renovated bungalows on Mt. Plesant are much tighter and easier than the broken down tree house we live in. An Emerald Hill shophouse would be easier by far than both.

I'm not sure what insights you'd get from your neighbors. There was an interesting article in yesterday's New York Times about housing in Singapore which summed up the local attitude towards neighbors as: "after work, come in, close door."


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