As buyers, we are often feel overwhelmed with the staggering price tags on homes these days. We wonder why does owning a home remains as a far fetch dream for many in a country with a wealth of land, cheap labour and resources?
Turning our heads and attention towards smaller home seems to be a laughable notion for many. Why would a family of four live in a 650 sq ft apartment unit?
Wouldn’t that be crazy. But let’s understand the three contributing factors on why moving into smaller homes should be done seamlessly as a coping mechanism in today’s property market.
Market trend dictates home-buying patterns. There is a RM8.56 billion property overhang occurring right now as many expensive and big residential properties are left unsold.
Realising that the matter won’t just disappear overnight, developers are slowly slotting in more smaller units in their latest projects to get people to buy at a reasonable price.
Embrace the shift. Pockets of opportunities like this are rare especially in main cities like Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown.
Mindset is another common element that buyers should start tweaking. Most buyers are still in denial when it comes to the reality of property. Bigger properties within the affordable range is unattainable and impossible especially in the city center.
The most expensive houses in Malaysia can be found in Kuala Lumpur, where houses here are priced at an average RM772,126.
Meanwhile, Kedah had the highest annual price increase with an 8.8% increase during the year to end-Q3 2016. This is followed by Selangor (7.5%), Negeri Sembilan (6.8%), Johor (5.5%), Melaka (5.5%), and Kuala Lumpur (5.1%). In fact, the average rental for a 3-room apartment in the city is RM2,698.
In order to make life sustainable in the city center, the time has come for us to seriously consider buying or even renting smaller properties.
Money constraint has been a nagging headache for most buyers. The nation is continually arguing on why Malaysians still can’t afford to buy a home and even questioned why is the percentage of rejected loans high?
Buyers are prone to buy properties that are not within their financial capacity, in return forcing most banks to reject their loans due to high liability. Buyers must come to terms that downsizing in terms of size can lead to genuinely purchasing a home within their means, not beyond.
But how do we make tiny living possible? Smart living can be the way to go. Work around these limited spaces by utilising savvy furniture and appliances.
Being Malaysians, we are prone to hoarding, buying unnecessarily as well as cluttering every single living area in the house. These negative attributes need to go in making small space works. Remember, tiny living must prioritise needs over wants.
Check out these videos. Look at how simple touches and cheap materials work wonders in making tiny living possible:
Solo and loving it!
Be it single or with a partner, smaller units fit the bill. Eliminate the need for big luscious bedroom and opt for a Murphy bed, a bed that is built in a closet, instead. You will have ample of space to entertain family and friends for any social gatherings.
Meanwhile, store your things or junk at the top of your cupboard in colourful and nicely decorated boxes. It wont be an eye sore! In fact, top open shelves are the best solution and these multi-functional storage units can be found at IKEA.
Surviving one bathroom? It is possible!
Imagine surviving a townhouse of 1,000 sq ft with 4 kids? This townhouse has some magic done with a wall of storage, a standing work station and a practical small living/dining room.
Its savvy furniture and electronic appliances located in the living area have been morphed into storage units. Creativity even goes further by using screen projector instead of a television.
In a small unit like this, rooms are sized at 65 sq ft. Work around with what you have. For instance, build a loft within these tiny rooms to store toys and to serve as an area for the kids to play in the room. Create a walk-in closet, which also caters as functioning room for the kids to do their homework or study.
The attic can be converted into a bedroom for parents as it provides the much needed privacy, away from the kids. But bear in mind that all ‘hommies’ must utilize the one and only bathroom, smartly! Perhaps parents can regulate timing for all family members!
Squeezing in a 700 sq ft. home with two kids
Quirky bedroom entrance? This is what you might come up with if you are living in a 700 sq ft apartment in the city with a family of four!
Most parents who work in the city opt to remain in the city to spend more time with the family rather than using those precious hours commuting between home and work daily.
For parents who still need their privacy, a bedroom loft provides a hidden gateway from the kids. Create a bunk bed that could also provide space beneath it, which can be used as a closet, storage area and even a working space.
A big tip in making small spaces work is to get an open floor plan unit with no designated barriers. You could come up with your own plan to allocate the rooms and living or functioning areas.
Tiny home for three
City living is a choice for most young people and couples. Imagine having an additional member to the family in a home of 645 sq ft. In this circumstances, the young couple had to sacrifice their only bedroom and made it into a baby room.
Due to limited space, they also turned the wall into a walk-in closet and storage room with a sliding door. They also included a practical changing station located on the baby cot in order to save space. To make a small room look less cluttered, the couple lit the room up with bright and colourful hues.
Meanwhile, the living area is partially changed into the couple’s room. The bed is customized by incorporating a set of sofa below the bunk bed.
Meanwhile, the house’s open shelves are used for better storage system. An item like a portable ladder is not only used to reach for the storage boxes placed on top of the cupboard but it could also be a place to hang dirty clothes!
Given ideas and practical ways of doing it, tiny living in Malaysia can be a good option given the variables in life that often deter us from getting our dream home.
In fact, some developers are showing signs of complying to the notion of bringing more smaller units into the market, especially in the main cities. Hence, such move is making it possible to live in the city with less financial burden but in smaller spaces.
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