For Hasfudhail, 35, he’d go above and beyond to get his family out of their 480 sq ft low-cost flat and into a space where they can finally feel at home.
But here comes the crisis! Hasfudhail had close to zero in savings, and his job as an Assistant Agricultural Officer in the government sector was not going to be enough. This did not deter him, as he took on extra work and tried his hardest to find a solution that would fit.
And after years of long hours, time spent away from family, and meticulous research and planning, it finally paid off! He got his savings in check and found a great prospective home. His journey made him realise some mistakes he made when he was young, and he learned a lot in the process.
For Hasfudhail, Mistakes Were Made Early On
Having lived with his family for many years after he started working, it was only when he turned 25 that he moved out to live with friends in rented homes. Hasfudhail said, "I watched a lot of influencers from Facebook giving advice and saying that you should buy a home before you reach 30." So, at the age of 29, he decided to get his very first home.
He had scoured the internet and PropertyGuru to search for homes he could afford, but his current salary was “Only RM1,500 after deducting my car payment," he lamented. He went on to say, "That was my mistake … buying a car before getting my first home. Now the bank will see that I’ve bought a car already, and my credit is not strong enough for a home loan."
In the end, he could only afford to buy a 480 sq ft low-cost flat in Bandar Teknologi Kajang. But to Hasfudhail, "While the environment of a low-cost flat is not that good, for the beginning of your life, it’s still OK." Despite this small setback, he rolled with the punches and made the best out of the situation, staying active in his flat committee to encourage improvement in their services. However, when he got married a year later, he started to see things a little differently.
Happy Wife, Happy Life. Hasfudhail Took That Saying Seriously
Now, 30 years old and married, Hasfudhail slowly realised his low-cost flat was not fit to grow his family. He explained, "My wife was not very happy with the home because she grew up in police barracks. She felt sad when she moved into the flat. So, I kept that as motivation to give her a better home one day."
On top of his wife’s unease with the home, something that happened to one of his neighbours affected him deeply as well. "This might be a little morbid, but someone in the flat had passed away. What shocked me most of all, was noticing how difficult it was for the family to transport the body down flights of stairs because there was no lift," he said with a heavy heart.
Soon enough, he was adamant about moving out. However, they were not ready financially to move on to a better home as Hafudhail realised he had no savings. "It wasn’t till I got married that I realised I needed to save. So, we had to figure out how to save money. For us, I took up a part-time job, invested in unit trust and looked into financial assistance policies Malaysia had to offer," he explained.
A part-time job seemed like a great start for Hasfudhail. "Our money was tight, and our financial commitments were not too many, but still, we were only left with just enough to sustain ourselves. So, I had to work," he said. E-hailing services were a growing business at the time and he decided to take on a job as a driver on the weekends.
To save for a new home in mind, Hasfudhail had to work out the math. "I had to collect RM400-600 per weekend to save for a home." Which meant he had to spend at least 6 to 8 hours on the road each day to meet his goal. Now that he was working on his savings, the home search was on!
He Searched Up And Down For A Home Fit For His Family
He started his search with the help of PropertyGuru. He said, "I wanted to find a sub-sale house, and the website was very easy to use. It made it easier to narrow down the search to homes in areas where you can find the specific type of home, square footage and how many bedrooms you wanted." Besides the website, he joined PropertyGuru events. "The staff at the event helped me calculate what price range for a home would be affordable for me. They helped me a lot," he said. He managed to work out that a home costing RM150K was surprisingly within his budget.
He adds with a laugh, "There are even games and loads of free gifts." He took to the PropertyGuru website to be extra sure about his loan approval. "I used the Home Loan Calculator on the website. It was really helpful and I felt how it worked was similar to the way the banks did it." Hasfudhail explains. One of the plus points for this was "it made it easier to get an understanding of how much you can afford without having to go to a bank," he said.
Hasfudhail left no stone unturned and engaged with real estate agents to show him possible homes. However, he had a problem: "to buy a sub-sale home with a bank loan, you need to come up with a deposit and get that amount ready in cash. Which means you need a lot of savings." His slowly growing pool of savings was yet enough to get him and his family their new home.
Finally, he decided to wait for a government loan. He said, "I got advice online that said, using a government loan is suitable for your second home." At another property event, he had a glimmer of hope. He found out about Rumah Selangorku, a subsidised government housing scheme. However, he was told, "We are not eligible for Rumah Selangorku because it would not be our first home."
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The Search Went On
Things got serious when a new addition to his family came along.
In 2020, his daughter was born and now he was in dire need of a new home. He explained, "I have a child now and I need a home that’s more comfortable for my family." His 2-bedroom home was not going to be enough for his growing daughter and with plans to have three kids, he needed more space.
So, he went to speak with Lembaga Perumahan & Hartanah Selangor (LPHS) to see if there was anything they could do. Luckily for Hasfudhail, there was! "I was told that the conditions were more relaxed now since there was no high demand for the homes. LPHS stated that I had to stay in my first home for 5 years or more then I would be eligible for Rumah Selangorku for my second home," he explained.
Here comes another obstacle. Hasfudhail was short on money for the deposit. His deposit was around RM3,000 but he only had RM1,500 in savings. However, Hasfudhail’s aunt came to the rescue! With her help, he was able to cover his deposit and he used his EPF to repay his aunt. Finally, in June of 2022, his family received the good news that his loan was approved and now Hasfudhail can expect to move his family into their new abode by next year.
Congrats, Hasfudhail! Ever the loving husband, Hasfudhail has also decided to eventually give their new home to his wife. He explains, "I intended to give this home to my wife. For now, it’s in both of our names but after 5 years I’ll be able to change the ownership over to my wife."
While Everything Turned Out Alright, There Were A Lot Of Lessons Learned
Hasfudhail truly learnt how important it is to save and not saving was probably one of his biggest regrets. He says, "The mistake I made when I was young was a massive one." Hence, his number one advice to people who want to get a home in the future is to, "Have savings … and I mean cash! Once you have that, then you can start thinking about buying a home. Then, you need to think about when you plan to get married or start a family, what type of home you want, so you can plan for it better."
While he made the mistake of not saving, he said, "This is life. I just had to plan again, and I’ll try not to make the same mistakes again. As long as we’re alive, we have a chance to make up for our mistakes." He also believes you should not be afraid of hard work to get the home of your dreams. He explains, "You need to work harder to get to where you want to be, and it takes a lot of effort. You might need to work more and have less time for fun but in the end, you’ll find financial stability.” he finally adds with a smile, “Most importantly, a happy wife."