Details Published on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:30 Written by Arief Irsyad
KUALA LUMPUR: After he completed his widely publicized container home a year ago, Muhamad Azree Abdul Rahim is now planning to renovate his house.
Azree gained media attention last year after he daringly turned his back on conventional house ownership which enslaves millions of Malaysians to decades of mortgages and repaying housing loans.
The 26- year-old former web and systems developer had hatched a brilliantly detailed plan to built his own house out of shipping containers on a plot of land that he bought and in the process garnered plenty of media spotlight for his innovative and out-of-the-box thinking about home ownership and making a living.
“It has been exactly one year. Now I am planning to tear down the upper floor and add another 40 feet container unit making it as a twin house and in the middle there will be two-storey Soho office and above it there will be a rooftop garden,” Azree told Malaysian Digest in an interview recently.
In order to raise the necessary capital, Azree said that he sold half of his land to his friend who is also his business partner and will use the funds raised from the sale to fund the home renovations.
“The plan was we wanted a house and an office for less than RM200,000 because having an office in Kuala Lumpur is too expensive.
“I designed it myself, plus it’s hard to find two houses, two offices and a rooftop garden within one lot of land, and we try to spend less than RM200,000 hence each of us will spend no more than RM100,000,” he said.
Azree told us that he had already resigned from his regular job a month ago and is now working full time from home as a web and systems developer and is planning to start a business based on stevia cultivation, the healthy herb alternative to sugar.
“That is one of my career focuses. I have also entered into a joint venture with container house designer enterprise in Malaysia in addition to the business with stevia plant based products.
“That’s why I need to have a house and land as my portfolio. Hence when people come, it’ll convince them that a container house is a worthwhile concept and it could attract locals to build one.
“Because I think, in KL there’s no more RM200,000 one-storey terrace house,” he pointed out.
So, are you convinced yet about buying a piece of land and building your own home? No? Well, fret not because Azree shared some of his words of wisdom.
“First, we got to know that opportunities to make a living are everywhere, sometimes we don’t have to look for a fortune or career in big cities. Because now I’m staying in Kampung Sijangkang and I still can set up businesses. I mean, sometimes location is not a major factor for us to to make a living.
“If you feel that working in the city is burdensome, it is best to move to suburban areas because the economy is equally vibrant and traffic is a lot better.
“For young adults who feel that living in the city is the only option that they have, there is no problem with it, as long as what they spend is worth every ringgit.
“Most fresh graduate can afford to buy a car like Myvi or Axia meaning they can afford to buy a RM60,000 to RM70,000 car. So instead of buying a car that will depreciate in nine years, it’s better that they buy a land first.
“For those who are planning to get married, the husband and wife can make a 10-year personal loan, each take out a RM50,000 loan so both would have RM100,000. Buy a RM40,000 land and the rest you could use it to build a house and it is not necessarily a container. You see, we are looking for ways to solve the house ownership problems faced by many Malaysians, to find a way to own a house rather than renting and not to be too dependent on the government,” h