For first time home buyers, the horror stories are true: finding a home can be incredibly stressful, if you don’t know where to look. Want to be able to find your home sans the ton of stress? Read on for a few tips to help you get your house hunting onto solid ground.
House Hunting Tips
- Buy only what you can afford. A lot of people believe buying a home is a major milestone. But don’t sink yourself in debt simply because you want to acquire that milestone. It’s not worth it. What you need to focus on is to find the right property for you. And by right, that means the property that would provide you with the type of space you desire without emptying your bank account.
- Don’t go for the biggest homes, says HGTV. One thing you have to remember about property prices is that your home is only as good as the value of the other homes in the same area. So if you’ve bungalows all around you, that could lower your home’s market value dramatically, even if it is easily triple the size of the house in the corner. So when it’s time to go shopping for a house, don’t always go for the biggest housing option.
- Have a checklist, Fox Business It’s hard to keep details straight sometimes, especially if you’re looking at house number ten. Some of the features of the houses might start to blend in your mind. One tactic to help you get those housing details straight is to keep a checklist of all the houses you’ve visited, alongside their features. That way, you know, at a glance which properties provide you with more of what you need than what you want.
- Use tools. Handy tools like property portals now simplify the house hunting process in a major way. With sites like Property Guru, finding a house for sale in the areas you want—Selangor, Penang, Kuala Lumpur—is easy. Browse through the photos of homes that appeal to you until you’ve got a substantial list of prospective homes to visit.
- Calculate costs. According to The Malaysian Insider, of the new properties that came up in the market in Kuala Lumpur in 2014, property prices were around the RM250,000 to RM500,000 price range. Most of the homes, in addition, were around the RM500,000 to RM1 million mark. That’s a whole lot of zeros. You need to know you’ll be prepared for the costs. However, you need to factor all those zeros on top of your monthly expenses and your monthly mortgage. Then there are the other costs—home insurance premiums, repairs costs, remodel expenses, home association dues—and you’ve got yourself a mountain of bills waiting for you. If you think you’re wholly up for the financial challenge of paying each and every one of these bills, then you’re go ahead and start looking for a home.
- Research on funding. The best case scenario involves you paying for your home in cash. However, few have that kind of financial wherewithal so the next best thing for you is to get financing assistance. Shop around for the right financing. Banks can offer loan options but you must have an excellent credit history. Otherwise, it’s highly unlikely that your loan application at the bank would get the “go ahead” seal.
- If you’re a foreign home buyer. The Malaysia My Second Home Programme is ideal for foreigners who want to put down roots in the country. If you’re a foreigner, then you can look into this option and see what perks and handy benefits you can finagle out of the programme.
- Keep your money where it is. Six months before you apply for a financing loan, remember not to touch the majority of your funds. Keep it in the bank. Live off some other money source, if you have one. Lending institutions are going to take a look at your finances stretching back to the past six months. You’ll want your records to be squeaky clean so you’d get better chances at having your loan approved.
- Don’t fall in love with a home. This can get in the way of you making an objective buy. So keep a steady head on your shoulders. Even if you want option A, you know you’re better off with option B especially given the huge difference in cost. Don’t turn this into an emotional purchase. With so much of your financial future at stake, you’ll want to be sure you’re making the best decision for you and not simply because you got blown away by a particular property.
Remember that buying a home doesn’t have to stress you to exhaustion. With plenty of tips and time, you’ll know enough to navigate Malaysia’s real estate market competently enough.