BY Alia Mokhtar
American politician, businessman and professor Kenny Guinn once said that there is something permanent and something extremely profound in owning a home. Buying your dream home can be daunting and a confusing journey especially for those who fall short in understanding the rudiments of this process.
For this reason, buyers become victims of owning bad properties and succumbing to debts caused by the lack of knowledge which leads to making bad decisions.
It is crucial to understand the basics of buying a property with these essential guidelines.
Know your needs
Define and identify the purpose of buying a property before making a purchase. This applies to young professionals who long to live within the urban cityscapes offering the desired lifestyle or a family-oriented suburban lifestyle or a landlord wanting to earn an extra income through rental yields.
Recognising the current profile would ease the search. However, it is important to determine if the current profile would change in the coming years and the requirement for a different locale and dwelling would be needed then.
Choosing the right property
The ideal home should fulfil the required needs and given the current property scene, Malaysia has a vast platter of properties to choose from. With a right tracked goal, defining the type of property that best suits would be easy.
Another important aspect to consider is the title. There are houses built on freehold titles and some on leasehold of 99 years. Not only that. Today, many dwellings come in residential and commercial titles that are priced differently and adhere to different property legislations. Log on to www.hba.org.my for further information.
Location and surroundings
Location is subjective and differs from buyer to buyer. A great tip is to find a place that befits all the needs and is convenient.
Additionally, look at the surroundings and identify if the property has been built on ex-mining land, swampland or reclaimed land. Is it near amenities, transmission lines, oxidation pond, or fringe of industrial sites?
If there is a lot of vacant land nearby the desired home, it is best to speak to the local council on what are the possibilities of a development taking shape around the vacant land.
Connectivity and distance
With many different networks of highways and public transportation modes available, homebuyers should always consider the willingness to fork out a sum for commuting on these highways to reach their destinations as well as readiness to travel the distance. It is wise to put aside funds for travelling expenses.
This should always be a priority for buyers especially those looking at new townships and developments as well as for who are heavy users of public transportation.
Condition of property
If opting for a secondary property, it is important to inspect the house to avoid additional expenditure. Get quotations on refurbishment works from contractors and get a pest control company to inspect if the house requires treatment.
A new development would require the same treatment.
Can you afford fixtures?
Make sure there are sufficient funds allocated for fixtures and furnishings. Get a contractor or interior designer to estimate the cost required to fix and furnish. This estimate would give the buyer an idea of what needs to be spent on top of the monthly repayments.
Don’t fixate on purchase price only
There are many costs to bear when buying a property aside from the given price. Many buyers fail to factor in the costs of legal fees and stamp duties among others.
They also need to include utility bills and maintenance fees apart from the monthly repayment.
Consider student loan debt
A National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan borrower is required to service the loan on time as it would affect the housing loan’s approval.
A buyer should be able to obtain a loan to finance the purchase if all the requirements are met. Before looking at a property, know how much you can afford and what margin of financing is available to prepare yourself for the purchase.
The buyer should prepare all the necessary documents and keep all records clean to be able to obtain a loan.
Who is the developer?
Do a background search on the housing developer’s financial and track record to avoid being a victim of a developer who has a history of delivering late or sick project or abandoning projects.
Also conduct checks on the developer or any of their directors who are blacklisted by the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government on www.kpkt.gov.my.
In addition, ensure that the developer adheres to the delivery of vacant possession with water flowing and electricity duly installed with the ownership papers (title deed).
Buyers should also research if the property is regulated under the Housing Developers Act (HDA) legislation and with statutory sale and purchase agreement (SPA) or one of those not under the protection of HDA.
Property 360 Online
Property 360 Online is a news portal focused on major issues, views and major market movements in the Malaysian real estate sector.