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This Young Man Bought An Old House In Old Klang Road During The Pandemic – And Even Renovated It

This Young Man Bought An Old House In Old Klang Road During The Pandemic – And Even Renovated It

Kenneth Tan defied the odds and is now a successful businessman in the F&B industry.

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Attaining financial security and buying a house at a young age is not something many can manage in this day and age.

It either takes a privileged upbringing, a comfortable nest egg secured by a person’s family or a good head to work out the intricacies and challenges of saving and managing finances well.

Kenneth Tan defied the odds and is now a successful businessman in the F&B industry.

At 30, the owner of KL’s Wildflower cafè managed to buy a landed property in Old Klang Road and renovate it.

What is more surprising is that he managed to buy the old house in 2022, when the whole world was battling the Covid-19 pandemic. 

How did he do it? We asked Tan recently and here is what he had to say about his achievement.

Wildflower

Kenneth entered the business world when he was very young and when asked how he put together the funds for it, Tan said this is easy if the idea is good.

For the café, he agreed to an investment sum before actually having the money in his hand and some of the money came from his savings which included what he managed to save during his university years.

When you’re young, you don’t think too much. You don’t worry as much. That’s because there isn’t that many commitments. I think funding is hard when you have a bad idea.

Kenneth Tan

Nevertheless, he did have a hard time getting all the money he needed to start the café. 

“I went to beg for money to start it,” he said.

At the end of the day, he managed to collect the funds he needed to start his café. 

At the end.. I managed to scrape together enough to start the business. Is it hard? Well I think it’s easier to start when you’re young and less calculated. As you grow older, it gets harder

Kenneth Tan

When asked what his father’s reaction was to him entering the business world, Tan said just like any other father, he thought that his son was crazy. 

via GIPHY

He still thinks I’m crazy. But I think he has a more open mind to it. I have closed many businesses over the years. He’s always ready to provide me food and a roof over my head if shit hits the fan for me, or at least I hope so.

Kenneth Tan

Financial Philosophy

Tan comes from an average-income family background.

He lost his mother at the age of 12 which made him look at life differently and forced to him mature faster than others around him. 

This perspective of life and maturity also taught him about finances much earlier in life. 

There was a lot of thinking in my early years, especially during college and university. I always thought to myself I never want to worry about money not because I want to be rich, but I saw my father worry if he had enough to send me to college or university. It was extremely stressful

Kenneth Tan

To tackle his situation, Tan learned about investing and saving.

He also added that he was lucky because at this point he was still living with his father and did not need to worry about rent and he had an old car passed down to him by his father to move around. 

This habit of saving and investing helped him out when he wanted to purchase the house.

That also meant I could invest nearly all the money I made in the early years and I did and over the years, it worked out and I sold some of my investments to purchase the house and renovated it.

Kenneth Tan

The House

He took nine months to plan the renovation of his house and the construction took about six months to complete. 

Tan said he wanted a house that felt like a gallery, museum, or hotel.

This design preference matched perfectly with Japanese elements as it was not rigid in terms of design style. 

Even in this case, his father was worried that he was moving too fast. However, Tan told him that it was the right thing to do. 

But I told him, usually when you buy an asset, when everyone is worried and feeling like shit, you get a good deal and usually the investment returns are higher.

Kenneth Tan

He added that looking back now, it was indeed a great deal as a house with a similar condition right now in the market can reach RM1.3 million compared to when he bought it at RM920,000.

Social Media Journey

Tan became active on social media by sharing his renovation journey.

He got into interior designing because of his café. 

….the cafes and restaurants ended up cultivating the interest in design, architecture, and renovation. That’s why my social media is about it.

Kenenth Tan

However, social media was an experiment for Tan.

He said that he chose to do one uncomfortable thing every year and in 2023, he ventured into social media. 

“Putting my face on camera is difficult for me,” he added. 

Soon he found out that people liked his content on home renovation.

He said the pandemic may have helped him in this matter by increasing the interest of people in interior designing as many people were forced to stay home at the time. 

Currently, social media is a hobby for him and he donates the income from social media to charity. 

Success

When asked about success, Tan said it comes to those who enjoy the ups and downs in the journey of life. 

He also added that to be successful, sacrifices are needed and that may be worthwhile for some but for others, it might not be.  

At the end of the day, you know there are sacrifices to be made to be successful. For some it’s worthwhile, for others it might not be the case. There’s nothing wrong being average.

Kenneth Tan

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