Monday, November 25, 2019

Using professional home inspection service to check property defects

Home inspection is part of the essential process right after receiving vacant possession of brand new home from the property developer. Normally it is conducted by the buyer (new owner) of the property, and there is a 24 months defects liability period whereby the buyer can report any defect found in the property to the developer, and the developer has the obligation to rectify and fix the defects reported by the buyer.

There is another common scenario of home inspection. When the buyer is going to buy a pre-owned property, he can request to perform a home inspection to the property on sale, and get the seller to fix the defects found before signing the sales and purchase agreement (S&P) with the seller. This is because pre-owned property is normally sold as-is, without the 24 months warranty period as in the case of new property. It is imperative for the buyer to ensure the property is in good condition before signing the S&P with the seller. After the property is sold, the buyer will need to use his own money to fix for any problem with the property.

While home inspection can be performed by ourselves, it also worth to consider using professional home inspection service from a company that provide such service, because they have the knowledge, experience, skillset and related tools to perform detail home inspection. In addition, a complete home inspection can take several hours to finish checking, and another several hours to prepare the property defects report. Home inspection service charge is normally within 3-digit RM, depends on the size and type of the property to be checked.

The Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) has already established a guideline called the Quality Assessment System in Construction (QLASSIC), which is a system or method to measure and evaluate the workmanship quality of a building construction work based on Construction Industry Standard (CIS 7). When engaging with a home inspection service provider, you might want to ask if their service is conformance to QLASSIC standard or equivalent.

After confirmation to engage for home inspection service, the buyer will need to set an appointment with the service provider to visit the property to perform the inspection, which will usually take a half day.

The home inspection specialist will then visit the property with all the required tools, including camera (or handphone with camera), torchlight, magnifying glass, ruler, spirit level, stickers, electrical outlet tester, etc.

The scope of home inspection encompasses checking on house components and fitting of:
  • Architectural: floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, stairs, drain, furniture, etc.
  • Mechanical and electrical: lights, power, switch, socket, plumbing, sanitary fittings, etc.
  • Specification compliance: area size measurement, fitting quantity, material used, etc.
  • Water leakage testing in toilet, bathroom, balcony, basin, sink, etc.
Stickers will be used to mark down any detected defect point, and photo will be taken for documentation.

After the checking, a home inspection report will be compiled and delivered to the buyer.

The report will normally contain:

i) a summary of inspection result:

ii) a floor plan marking the defect areas:

iii) description of the defects with photo taken:

The home inspection report can easily go between 50 to 200 pages for normal home, depends on the amount of defects found.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Online converting service apartment commercial electricity tariff to residential with myTNB portal

If you live in a service apartment which sit on a piece of commercial land title, you might be paying higher electricity bill every month if your electricity usage is charged based on commercial tariff.

You can file an application with Tenaga Nasional (TNB) to request to change your commercial tariff to the cheaper residential tariff, either by visiting to TNB branch in your area and submit the paper form, or submit the online form in myTNB portal anytime anywhere.

Either way, your application will be processed pretty soon. Normally, your tariff will be changed to residential rate during the next business day after online submission.

You can click here to access to myTNB portal. If you haven't created an account in myTNB, you will need to register for one before you can login.

After login, go to the Apply menu, and select the option "I want to do something else".

Then, select "I want to find out more about other services".

After that, select "Change My Tariff".

There are 4 steps to fill in the online form. Make sure you select "Domestic" as premise type, and select the correct residential type.

At the end of the process, you are required to submit a scanned copy of your MyKad. The name on the MyKad should be the same with the name printed on your electricity bill.

If you confirm to submit the application, you will be charged for RM10 stamp duty, which will be reflected in your upcoming electricity bill.

Upon successful submission, you will receive an email like below.

However, there seems to be no further notification on successful tariff change. You can login to myTNB after 24 hours later to check if your electricity tariff has been changed to residential rate or not.

For your information, current TNB commercial tariff is as below:

and current TNB residential tariff is as below:

If you don't apply for the conversion to residential rate, you might end up being charged double or more in your bill for same amount of electricity used in your service apartment unit.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

My CyberPower UT800EG 800VA/400W UPS with built-in AVR

It is really value or money to use RM128 to get a branded Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system with capacity of 800VA/400W to provide power protection for my desktop computer and Internet connection devices.

This CyberPower UT800EG UPS has a very compact size, about the same with a typical  2-bay network attached storage (NAS) system.

It is very easy to operate, with only one on/off button. It uses 3 LEDs and a beeping buzzer to show its status and condition.

Selling at this kind of cheap price, it is within my expectation that it only has basic UPS function that generates simulated sine wave (instead of pure sine wave), and basic Single Boost, Single Buck type of Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) function. It has electromagnetic interference (EMI) filter and radio frequency interference (RFI) filter.

It uses internal current limiting  and a fuse for overload protection. It has a relatively low surge suppression rating of 125 Joules.

Beside its cheap price and compact size, another thing I like is its 3 universal type power outlets. With this kind of power outlet, I can directly plug in my equipment within the need to use special kind of IEC-320 power cord.

Another thing I like is its patented energy saving feature called GreenPower UPS Bypass Technology, which is claimed to be able to save substantial amount of power consumption.

When use with normal desktop computer and 27 inches LCD monitor, it is able to provide slightly more than 10 minutes of power outage protection.

This UPS comes with 2 years warranty, which registration can be made online.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My HuntKey SZL307 3 gang universal socket power extension with USB power output and surge protection

I just bought this HuntKey SZL307 3 gang power extension for about RM50. It has all the features I wanted, namely:

  • Long and thick power cord (2 meter)
  • Universal power sockets
  • USB fast charging ports
  • Independent on/off switch for each socket
  • Surge protection against overload, voltage fluctuations, surges and spikes
  • SIRIM approved

This HuntKey SZL307 power extension comes with 2 USB charging port with fast charging output of 5V/2.4A, handy for charging mobile devices without the need of their power adapter.

Its surge protected sockets are universal type, can fit in various types of 3-pin plug and also 2-pin plug.

Unlike its competitor Belkin SurgeMaster which only has one on/off switch for all the sockets, this HuntKey SZL307 has individual on/off switch for each of its 3 power sockets, and there is LED indicator light for each of the switches.

It comes with 3 years warranty. Most importantly, it is SIRIM approved with a SIRIM sticker on it.

There are other variants to this product, such as the HuntKey SZL407 which has 4 gangs and selling at a more expensive price.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Using handphone to pay Selangor & KL street parking and parking compound with Smart Selangor Parking mobile app

The traditional ways of paying street parking to municipal council is no doubt inconvenient, be it using the parking meter or parking coupon.

Using parking meter means you need to get ready some shillings, park your car, find and walk to the parking meter, feed the parking meter, print out the receipt, walk back to your car and display the receipt on your car's dashboard.

If you need extra time, you have to wait until the parking period on the receipt is about to expire, then rush to the parking meter, feed it and print out another receipt to be displayed on your car's dashboard.

Using parking coupon means you need to buy the coupon from its sales agent, estimate your parking time, scratch the parking coupon(s) after you parked your car, and display the coupon(s) on your car's dashboard.

If you need extra time, you have to walk back to your car, scratch additional coupon(s) and display them on your car's dashboard.

With the initiative from Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU), now you can pay for street parking in Selangor state as well as in Kuala Lumpur area by using their Smart Selangor Parking mobile app, available for download in Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

In addition, you can also pay for parking summon compound in Selangor state and Kuala Lumpur area using the same mobile app.

Although the user interface of this Smart Selangor Parking app is quite ugly looking, it is indeed a very handy app for you to pay street parking and parking compound in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. You can use it to monitor the remaining time before your parking period expire, and use it to extend your parking period with ease too!

This app supports payment to multiple councils in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, and it is able to detect your location and automatically decide which council you should pay your parking to.

The supported councils are:

  • Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (MPKJ)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK, newly added recently)
  • Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ)
  • Majlis Daerah Kuala Selangor (MDKS)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Sepang (MPSepang)
  • Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA)
  • Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ)
  • Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL)

Before using the app to make payment, you need to reload it in a similar way you reload other e-wallets in your phone. Note that the money you loaded into the Smart Selangor Parking app cannot be withdrawn at this moment, so it is not recommended to load too much money into it.

Then you need to register your car number plate in the app. You can in fact register up to 10 number plates under one user account in this app, and select which car number plate to pay for the parking when you use it to make parking payment.

Despite there are still many rooms for improvement in this app, I still strongly recommend it to car owners in Klang Valley area, as it is really very convenient to pay for the parking.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Using Boost to make cashless payment at merchants that accept UnionPay QR code

One year ago, Boost, the e-wallet operated by Axiata Digital, has announced its partnership with UnionPay.

Now, the UnionPay services in Boost e-wallet is finally launched! If you activate the UnionPay services in your Boost account before 31 December 2019, you can get RM3 cashback from Boost.

To activate the UnionPay services, tap on the UnionPay New Payment Service under Explore Exciting New Features in Boost's Home screen.

Then, tap on UnionPay Malaysia under Enable other Payment Services, and follow the instruction to enable it.

Don't worry, if you don't like the UnionPay services in Boost, you are given the toggle to disable it.

With the Boost UnionPay services, you can make cashless payment with Boost at all merchants that accept UnionPay QR code. You just need a handphone with active Boost account with enabled UnionPay services, and no need to have any UnionPay card or UnionPay account to make such payment.

Payment using UnionPay in Boost is similar to using Boost QR code payment. Both modes of you scan the merchant's QR code or the marchant scan your payment QR code are available. The payment amount will be deducted from your Boost e-wallet accordingly.

In Malaysia, UnionPay is widely accepted in airports' duty free shops, hotels, Chinese restaurants, e-commerce marketplaces, convenience stores, and other places that display the UnionPay acceptance signboard.

If you are not a Boost user yet, you can download the Boost e-wallet app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. When you register a new Boost account, remember to use this Invite Code foocnm9 so that you can get RM3 cashback after your first spending of RM10 in a single transaction with Boost.

Note that you can load Boost e-wallet using BigPay prepaid card, which in turn can be loaded using your credit card, debit card or bank online transfer. In this way, you can earn AirAsia BIG Points from loading Boost with BigPay.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Toothpaste tube squeezer

I bought this toothpaste tube squeezer recently at the price of RM1.00 per piece only, and found it is pretty useful to help you squeeze out the last drop of toothpaste from its tube when it is near empty.

It assists in squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube by pushing force onto itself.

This small little plastic can be used for soft tube packaging of various semi-liquid products, including cosmetic skincare cream, lotion, sun screen, water colour paint, gel, glue, etc.

There are also other types of soft tube squeezer available in the market. I think this type is the simplest and cheapest among them.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.