How Do Malaysians Prepare Themselves For First-Time Home Ownership?

30 Aug 2019

Purchasing your first residential property is usually the biggest, and most major, financial decision of your life! However, the idea of being financially committed to one property for decades would make anyone pretty nervous.

“Is this the right home for me? Can I really afford it? How I wish I had a crystal ball to see if this property’s value will appreciate or depreciate in the future!”

These are just some of the things that tend to run through one’s head when trying to decide on a property purchase.

Hence, it’s not surprising that many potential first-time homebuyers tend to adopt a wait-and-see approach – both in relation to their personal finances and the property market – before they commit to such a major investment. 

However, such a cautious approach is not at all beneficial in today’s buyer’s market.

While new residential projects continue to be launched, there still remains a large number of unsold units in urban areas around Malaysia. This has caused a cooling of the Malaysian real estate market.

To counter this, the government is actively encouraging home ownership among Malaysians through its Home Ownership Campaign (HOC), which gives exemptions on stamp duties and instruments on securing loans.

All this means just one thing for potential first-time homebuyers: there’s no time like NOW to finally purchase your very first home!

It’s high time for you to take full advantage of these favourable circumstances. Read on to find out how to prepare yourself to make one of the best financial decisions of your life!


1) Prepare a budget

It’s all about the money! The first step to owning your dream home is budgeting for it.

For starters, have a look at your savings. This will give you an idea of how much you can put towards the property’s downpayment (usually 10%) and other incidentals. These often include legal fees, stamp duties, insurance, and renovation costs.

Next, decide what would be a comfortable amount of money you can put aside every month to service your home loan.

Make a list of all your monthly expenses and figure out what you can spare. Don’t forget to also factor in monthly expenses for your new home, like utility bills and maintenance charges.

You can then do some simple calculations to find out the price range of properties which you can afford.


2) Do your research

Now close your eyes and imagine yourself in your dream home. How does it look like?

Do you see yourself in the compact convenience of a high-rise condo like M Centura, Sentul? Or with the wide open spaces of a landed property like Meridin East, Pasir Gudang?

How about something close by to commercial spaces like Sensory@Southville City, KL South? Or somewhere closer to nature like Ferringhi Residence 2, Penang?

Read up about the pros and cons of all these different types of properties, and don’t forget to also check out the neighbourhoods – established amenities are very important!

Next, cross-reference this list with properties that are within your budget range. Be realistic – you may have to forego some criteria that are further down your list.


3) Compare prices

You’re getting closer! Now you have a list of dream properties that you can afford. But which would be the best choice?

It would be easy to simply choose the cheapest of the lot, but the price tag doesn’t have to be your ultimate deciding factor.

Consider other things like appreciation potential, rental demand, number of parking lots, and ease of access. This will help you compare prices more intelligently. Ultimately, look for a property which is more value-for-money, rather than the cheapest price tag.

For added peace of mind, narrow your list down further to projects from experienced developers with great track records. Well-known and trusted developers like Mah Sing, which has been in the business for 25 years, is always THE safest bet.


4) Secure funding

Failing to secure a home loan is often a major worry among first time home-buyers. And this fear is not unfounded: around 60% of home loan applications are rejected by Malaysian banks yearly!  

Home loan rejections can affect your credit score and may cause you to lose your property booking fees and deposits.

So, if you want to avoid being another statistic, make sure that you keep track of your credit scores before you actually approach a bank to take out a home loan.

The two main reports that tell the banks whether you’re a trustworthy person who’s able to make prompt repayments for your home loan are CCRIS and CTOS.

With healthy reports that can be achieved via paying all your bills on time, managing your debts so that it’s minimal as well as avoiding applications for new credit, you’ll be able to get that home loan approved in no time!


5) Identify special campaigns by property developers

Now that you’re equipped with a pre-approved loan and the knowledge to make a good purchase call, it’s time to make your decision!

Pro tip: If you’re spoilt for choice, look out for developers that run attractive campaigns offering special packages or lucrative rebates to buyers.

For example, Mah Sing is one of the major participants in the government’s HOC campaign. Did you know that they’re offering a minimum 10% discount off the purchasing price of 15 participating properties in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, AND Johor?

If that isn’t tantalising enough, Mah Sing is also celebrating its 25th anniversary with more special offers to reward its buyers.

Mah Sing’s “Lock & Win” campaign gives eligible purchasers the chance to win from a fantastic pool of prizes worth RM2 million! Who knows, you could win the grand prize of RM50,000 cash, or that fancy hotel stay voucher might just have your name on it!

This campaign is also running in conjunction with Mah Sing’s ongoing “Refer N’Reward” campaign which, as its name implies, rewards you for referring your friends and family to purchase Mah Sing properties.

So, what are you waiting for? With the HOC extension coupled with such amazing deals from reputable developers like Mah Sing, your first dream home awaits you!


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