Buying your first house? Here are some tips

I am not a whiz at buying property and definitely not the next Robert Kiyosaki or Faizul Ridzwan who made millions at a young age. I find the industry to be a high capital driven industry, complicated and needs a lot of luck. Having said that it doesn’t mean that I don’t find it as a great choice of investment. Like any kind of investment you have to be willing to learn and I can’t stress that enough. The very reason why a lottery winner go broke the next day or the minute one retires their life savings finishes up in wedding events and a branded liability of a car. Lack of knowledge.

For a girl making it on her own in the city in my early days and after that a small family of my own, I have been renting for the past 7 years. If you total up my rent money it already cost me a staggering number close to RM 50,000!! It could have been a down payment of 2 apartments. But before you stop renting you really have to study your money. Which I will highlight in another post.

I think it’s a normal scene in the city as many of my friends goes through the same pattern. You’d later get into the safe zone investment like ASB loan or putting the money in ASB yourself for saving, unit trust fund and insurance policy plus saving; OR the mid-risk zone like expanding you EPF investment, gold/silver investment, small capital entrepreneur-ish investment, small scale stock market, buying house to live in; OR the gut-full zone like really into stock market and bonds, commercial properties, houses for rental, commodity business, franchises, big capital businesses etc. These are basically the typical trends of options. I am slightly conservative with a lil bit of spunk when it comes to investment so my choices would be the safe to mid-risk area. There is a reason for that. No 1, I do not have big capital and do not want to take such high risk as am married with a child, so I’d rather start small and let it grow. No 2, any investment, it’s really important to be knowledgeable and with whatever time I have in hand I have to be selective in spending it (of course there are many way to speed the process and I would share that in future post as well). Nevertheless, my husband and I bought our first house when I was 29. Part of my before 30-to-do list.

It was an unforgettable experience although it was not my first property. It took us close to 6 month of serious searching to finally land on a property that fits out criteria and budget. Buying a house to live in especially if it is your first, there is a huge risk of buyers being less objective and more sentimental. In my opinion, your sentimental attachment better have concrete reasoning so have your emotion checked. For example you like the property because you can see the value and not because the show room looks beautiful.


We finally settled with a property in the middle of KL with its own huge lake and park. We have to lay down a few ground rule so we do not get emotionally driven and burst our budget. First things first, we could not afford a second hand unit because a 10% down payment is a big deal and we rather spare that for saving (I told you, conventional. But those who think otherwise, good for you). So early on we knew it has to be a new development project where the booking money is not so expensive. Part 2, go to banks and check your loan eligibility and match it with your affordability. Lay down all your commitments and spares. Its important so you don’t live a fairy tale world. Now the fun yet tiring process begin, part 3, which is the house hunting. As much as you can use an agent or search online, it is best to view the project site and the showroom so you know what you are getting yourself into. We knew landed properties are off our grid due to our budget, unless we are willing to move further away from the city. So it quickly become an apartment search. Every weekend we spent searching and visiting various projects. As we move along, we developed a few ground rules on what we can and cannot compromise when it comes to buying one.

The grand list; 1) Within the agreed budget or lower, lower of course better. Scrutinized your budget and some said rule of thumb it should be less than 20% of of your monthly earning. If you are comparing medium to high end units at 850 sqf to 1100 sqt in KL it can cost roughly from RM 500,000 to RM 700,000 in 2016. Anything higher is ridiculous unless it’s really 5-10 minutes away from KLCC even with traffic or it has gold plated floor. And if it is on the high side of that price range please be strict on your wishlist as you deserve it. 2) No high voltage cable. You’d be surprise the number of projects arising in the city at those area as the land cost is cheaper. 3) Within KL address and without traffic should be less than 20 minute to work and even with traffic it should take less than 20 minutes to the nearest train station 4) More than 900 sqf 3) Atleast 3 rooms and 2 full bathrooms, 5) Must have a balcony at whatever size (affordable apartments in KL are usually less that 1000sqf, so without a balcony you will suffocate) 6) Less than 1000 units per project (anything higher would tend to look like low cost units) 7) no less than 2 parking units allocation and finally 8) we can compromise with an OK level facilities and it may not be grand if all the 7 above are fulfilled. Alhamdulillah, we managed to get all on the list. My advise is to list down what your big Yes and big No when it comes to living in a unit. But to make the list you need to know the market therefore be on the ground and collects data and photo and go online and engage with other property buyers to learn more. As you move along and you understand the market you would definitely revise the list and make it more realistic.

KL and all its glory

Before locking the deal please check on the project owners. Look at their previous track records if there is anything funny or issues in their history. Any issue like corruption or unfinished project for example. And do compare the project development with others of the same timeline so you have a good feel if the project completion is according to timeline and not rely on the sales people solely. In the end, you do need rezeki factor to play its part too. If its meant for you, its yours, if its not there is something better.

Warm regards, ILT.

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