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What You Need to Know in Buying Your First Condo

What You Need to Know in Buying Your First Condo

by Khirol HazwanApril 29, 2017

Making a big and expensive purchase is always nerve-wracking. There are too many variables for you to consider before making a decision. In fact, there is famous financial advice regarding big purchases; and it is to completely think over it for at least 30 days—for you to learn whether you really want to do it in the end.

For many people, big purchases could entail different things such as a car, a dream vacation, a house and lot, or a condominium unit; although numerous individuals, who belong in the younger generation, find themselves investing in a condo unit instead of the other things.

Usually, these people love the idea of settling and living in a compactand convenient setting. If you’re one of these people and you’re thinking of purchasing a condo, then you might want to consider these things first and foremost:


Carefully read through the association rules

Every condominium management can have different and distinct association rules. This is why it is important for you to read every association rule in every place you plan on checking into. You want to understand all the rules in the place you are planning on settling in. It will not bode well for you to finally sign the lease only to find out you don’t like the rules and regulations they are enforcing in your building.


Learn all about the association fees

One important factor you have to understand, when it comes to deciding to buy a condo unit, is that there are association fees you need to pay for at least every month. You need to know about them beforehand so that you can plan ahead for a proper budget. There’s really no need for you to wait up until you are comfortably living in your unit before figuring this out.

Furthermore, you got to learn all the facilities you are paying for in your association fees. Does it include security, a gym, a swimming pool, and other recreational areas?

This is important to know about since you want your money to be put in good use as well as utilize all the possible facilities available to you for free.


Be knowledgeable about what your condo might include

Apart from the association fee, you need to learn about your entire purchase. Are you really only paying for just your condo unit? Does it not include additional storage spaces? What about parking, is that being provided to you with your condo unit?

These questions are important to ask. Don’t be shy asking the salesperson you are talking to in purchasing your condo unit. For sure, they are happy to help you understand these things.

Secure that your building is insured

No one really likes to be negative when making a huge purchase; everyone wants their investments to pull through. However, it is always nice to prepare for the worst case scenarios. By doing this, you will not be caught off guard—which is why you must ensure that your building in insured for different kinds of emergencies, such as fire and earth quake.

All these items listed above are important factors you must consider before buying your very first condo unit. Keep these things in mind and you’ll find you have a lot less things to worry about in the future!

About the Author:

Laurel SantosLaurel Santos may be a 24 year old adult but at her core she is just a little girl full of wonder. She lives in the city and works as a freelance photographer in the Philippines. She manages a small pet shop inside her village. She has a big heart for animals, especially stray dogs. She is an avid travellerbecause she believes that life is not lived within the borders of your own home.  Despite her busy schedule she always finds time to do one thing that she is very passionate about and that is writing.



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Tips to Getting Your First Home

Tips to Getting Your First Home

by Khirol HazwanJanuary 12, 2017

Tips to Getting Your First Home

If you want to purchase a home, you need to determine if you are financially ready. Buying your first home is one of the most important financial steps you will ever make in your life, so it is crucial that you take this step seriously and prepare yourself as much as possible.

Normally we can straight away dive into the myriad of property portal to look for the new property launch but most of the time having just that information is not enough to help you make the important decision. Thus, these tips can come in handy in helping you to find and secure your first home.

Figure Out If You Are Ready to Buy a Home

Home ownership is much more expensive than renting, as you are responsible for paying for any maintenance and repairs and you might have additional utility costs, like garbage and water. You will also need to pay for taxes and insurance associated with your home. If you are currently in debt, you need take the time to budget, get out of debt, save an emergency fund and at least a down payment before purchasing your first home. If you buy before you are ready, you could end up in a negative financial situation, so make sure you are ready before you even start looking at potential first homes.

Start Shopping for a Loan

Before you even beginning shopping for a home, you need to shop for a loan, according to Bankrate. Shopping for a loan first will allow you to determine which price range you can afford before you begin looking at homes. You should also contact at least three people before deciding which loan to take. A mortgage broker will look at several different loan companies to help you find the best rates, but your local bank or credit union may have several options that can save you money as well. Once you find the ideal loan for you, you can begin shopping for your dream home.


Find The Best Payment Options and Loan Types

Determine which different loan types and payment options are available to you when it comes to paying your mortgage. For example, determine the difference between private mortgage insurance (PMI) and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). A fixed rate fifteen or twenty year loan is usually the best option, when it comes to locking in a low interest rate. Be careful when determining how to cover your down payment. It is usually best to be able to put down a 20 percent down payment in cash rather than using creative financing, since you need to be able to build wealth with your home purchase in order to come out ahead financially in the long run


Be Honest About What You Can Afford

You need to be honest with yourself about how much house you can actually afford. The best rule of thumb is to keep your home expenses — mortgage, taxes and insurance — within 25 to 30 percent of your annual income. If you spend too much on your home mortgage, you might not be able to pay for daily expenses or save for retirement. It is better to go with a smaller home than you can afford and build your savings as much as possible for retirement and travel. Once you have come to a decision on how much house you can afford or how much you want to spend on your first house, you need to get pre-approved for a loan.

Getting a first home might be a new development that you can easily read through the full details of the project via PropertyGuru New Property Launch or if you are looking at secondary homes, such a property portal like PropertyGuru can come in handy as well. Either way, you will be able to deduce your affordability as these property portals will give you a clear idea on how much you need to fork out every single month.


Find a Good Realtor

After you are pre-approved for your loan, it is time to find a realtor who listens to your wants and needs. Your realtor will make recommendations and explain the housing market in your area, as well as find a home that will suit your needs within your price range. After you make an offer on your first home, your realtor will help you negotiate terms with the seller. The best way to find a great realtor is through recommendations from friends and colleagues.


Request a Home Inspection

One of the most important steps of the home buying process is a thorough home inspection. Different from an appraisal, you need to pay for a home inspection, through which you can learn about any structural problems that could prevent you from purchasing the home. From mold problems to termites to a weak foundation to a bad roof, any number of issues could keep you from buying your dream home and it’s best to discover these issues before you sign your offer on the house, since this inspection can save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the future. You can negotiate a lower price with the seller if you find out that the house needs a new roof, for example.


Be Patient During Escrow

After you bid on your house and the offer is accepted, you go into escrow. The escrow holder works to ensure that all of the documents, money and other important information is together before you close on the house. The escrow process is in place to protect everyone involved — the buyer, the seller and the lender. It can take a matter of weeks to complete the escrow process, but once everything is completed, you can sign the closing papers.


Close and Move In

Once you have closed on your home, you can move in, paint and unpack. Make sure that you change your address at your bank and on other accounts right away. You can also set up your utilities and cancel utilities at your old home to save time and money on late fees. Many companies will waive installation fees if you simply transfer your old utility account to your new address.

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Maximize Your Space: Enjoying All the Amenities in Your Condo

Maximize Your Space: Enjoying All the Amenities in Your Condo

by Khirol HazwanNovember 9, 2016

Living in a condominium is a luxury that you should definitely experience. It offers plenty of benefits especially for young professionals. Often, condominiums are strategically situated in locations where most establishments and necessities are within reach. More than that, condominiums have amenities which can help improve your lifestyle. If you decide to purchase a Fort condo for sale, here are the amenities that you should definitely try. They will surely help elevate your living experience!

Swimming Pools

During the summer, it’s fun and relaxing to take a refreshing dip in the pool. Unfortunately, not all houses come with swimming pools and if you want to have them installed, you’re going to have to pay a hefty amount of money. Of course you can always drive to the nearest resort if you feel like swimming but even that can be a hassle sometimes. If you live in a condo, you can swim anytime you want! Most condominiums are equipped with swimming pools that make residents’ stay more fun. If you find yourself wanting to take a refreshing dip to alleviate the heat or you simply want to practice your swimming skills, living in a condo where you can access the swimming pool anytime will be certainly beneficial.


Gym and Fitness Center

Regular exercise can help improve your health. However, with your busy work schedule and your personal commitments taking up so much of your time, it might be an inconvenience for you to travel all around the city just to work out. Instead of travelling halfway across the city, wouldn’t it be better to just stay at home and rest or catch up on some sleep? What you need is a fitness center that is closer to your residence. Fortunately, most condominiums have built-in gyms that you can use anytime. This is extremely advantageous! Since the fitness center is located in the same building where you live, it will motivate you to work out during the weekends or when you have free time. This is certainly one of the amenities that you should utilize once you move in your new condo.


Basketball and Tennis Courts

If you love sports, then you would definitely love staying in a condominium. Some condos offer basketball or tennis courts for residents who are fond of these sports. Playing a game or two during the weekends or whenever you are free is a good way to relieve stress, work out, and work on your skills. This can even help you meet new people! Go out and invite your neighbors who love basketball or tennis as well in order to bond with them and get to know them better.



Since most information are available through the internet, people seem to favor mobile gadgets over books. However, you must admit that reading an actual book is very different from reading an e-book. If you are fond of books, you should definitely buy a unit in condominiums that has libraries. This amenity will surely help you unwind during the weekends. Just sit back and read your favorite book for a relaxing afternoon!

The ones stated above are just some of the amenities that most condominiums offer. They make living in a condo more exciting! If you decide to purchase a unit, make sure to inquire about the available amenities to ensure that they will suit your needs. Most of all make sure to take advantage of these amenities for an enjoyable condo living experience!

About The Author

authorimage_justinestorJustin is a digital marketing specialist for SEO in the Philippines. He loves staring at large amounts of data while trying to figure out what to do with it. He attempts to write and blog during his free time while watching anime and TV series. The internet is his playground while the world is his bedroom. He’s still trying to figure out what to do with data.

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Best Locations For Property Investment In Singapore

Best Locations For Property Investment In Singapore

by Khirol HazwanAugust 2, 2016


Infographic by  PropertyGuru . Used with permission.

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An Insiders Look Into Malaysia Property Market

An Insiders Look Into Malaysia Property Market

by Khirol HazwanJuly 16, 2016


Infographic by . Used with permission

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Thailand for Expats: A Property Rental Guide

Thailand for Expats: A Property Rental Guide

by Khirol HazwanJune 18, 2016


Infographic by DDproperty. Used with permission

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The Checklist: What to Do When Renting Out Your Condo

The Checklist: What to Do When Renting Out Your Condo

by Khirol HazwanMarch 27, 2016

You may have come across listings on sites like DDProperty offering deals when you rent a condo. This is a common activity for people that want to have additional sources of long-term income. Buying an apartment to rent it out is a smart choice since you are sure to have decades of active income from it. However, before you start renting out your unit, there are a few details that you need to be aware of so that your experience as a landlord will go smoothly.

The Checklist: What to Do When Renting Out Your Condo

The Checklist: What to Do When Renting Out Your Condo


Make Sure it is Properly Furnished

A lot of people tend to prefer a fully furnished condo over one that has barely any furnishings at all. Yes, it is an additional expense, but it does pay for itself since having furniture makes it more likely that people would inquire. You don’t really need that much to make a unit comfortable; a bed, a small dining table, a couch, a television and a cabinet or two is all you really need to state that the apartment is fully furnished. Just make sure that the furnishings you do choose are relatively durable so that they won’t easily be destroyed.


Set Rules

You need to set rules when it comes to what your tenants can do in the condo, without these rules in place, it is likely that they may engage in activities that could result in complaints from the your neighbors in the building. For example, to make extra money, some enterprising foreign workers tend to make meals that they would then sell to their fellow employees. Ordinarily this is not a problem; however, cooking that much food can put a significant amount of wear and tear on the kitchen appliances. There is also the smell of all that cooking to take into consideration. The other tenants on the same floor may start complaining about the smell and this could result in you having to deal with the admin of the building. Always set rules when it comes to what people can and cannot do within your unit to prevent such problems from causing you headaches in the future.


Investigate Your Tenants

Another important part of the checklist is to properly investigate your tenants. Yes, this may seem like a rather drastic step, but you need to make sure that they can either afford to stay in the condo or are here in the country legally. Illegal immigration is a serious concern and the penalties for harboring illegal immigrants have grown substantial over the past few years. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you are subject to a police inquiry if the people that rented your unit utilized illegal means to enter into the country. Aside from this, there are also issue regarding the capability of a tenant in being able to afford the rent for the unit.


Yes, there are times when payments get delayed due to an assortment of issues, this happening once or twice is not unheard of. However, if it happens every single month, then this can be a considerable burden since you are relying on the income from the unit to pay for your own bills. To avoid this, you should always ask your tenant for proof of their employment and ask how much they earn per month. These may be prying questions, but they can help you determine if they can afford the monthly payments for the apartment.


Set a Competitive Price

You need to set a competitive price to entice people to rent your unit. The best way to find out how much people are renting their units for is to check via various online property listing services and see the various rental prices. You can set your price depending on how close you perceive your unit is to what other people are advertising. In fact, depending on the improvements or your desire to increase the likelihood of people inquiring, you can add or deduct ten percent of the monthly rental price.


Setup a Proper Payment System

Setting up a proper payment system is another important step that you need to take. Are you going to drop by the unit on a particular date in each month in order to collect rent or would you prefer post dated checks? Do you think that bank deposits would be easier or should the tenant use a money transfer service to send you the payment? There are a wide variety of different payment options that are available. When deciding on which one is best, choose the option that you are the most comfortable with since you will be using it for the next several years.


Being a new landlord can be a daunting experience; however, as long as you follow the details on this guide you can be well on your way towards becoming a great one.

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9 House Hunting Tips for Homes in Malaysia

9 House Hunting Tips for Homes in Malaysia

by Khirol HazwanMarch 18, 2016

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.

9 House Hunting Tips for Homes in Malaysia

House Hunting Tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.


In Conclusion

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.


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Your Quick Guide to Buying a Condo

Your Quick Guide to Buying a Condo

by Khirol HazwanMarch 18, 2016
Your Quick Guide to Buying a Condo

Your Quick Guide to Buying a Condo

Buying your condominium unit, or any property, requires careful planning and sound decision-making. To help you acquire the most suitable condo unit for you and your family, here are five quick steps to serve as your guide.:

Step 1. Know Your Reason for Buying

People buy properties for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you intend to have a home where your family can live comfortably. Maybe you want to make an investment by renting out the place to tenants. Whatever your reason may be, knowing your purpose in buying one can significantly help you in making the right decision.

If you wish to buy a condo for sale on Property Guru, you should also consider your finances. More often than not, people acquire property through bank financing. Unless you can afford to purchase a property in cash, you might want to check first with your bank regarding their rules on lending. Aside from that, you should also take note of other fees you would need to pay, such as stamp duties, legal fees, agent’s commission, as well as income and property taxes among others.


Step 2. Narrow Down Your Search

Set a specific budget when looking for property to purchase. Carefully consider all the loan requirements you would need to comply with, as well as the necessary fees you would need to pay. A word of caution: only buy what you can afford and never purchase a property that is way over your budget. According to Bloomberg News, governments like Singapore, strictly implement that lending must not exceed 60 percent of a person’s income to ensure that he will be able to stay on track when it comes to loan payments.

You also need to decide whether you’ll be staying at the condo or you’ll just open it for rent. Check out properties located in the prime districts of your area. If you are planning to live in it, you should set up a few guidelines to help you in choosing the right property. You could also make use of the following criteria:


  1. Accessibility to public modes of transport
  2. Proximity to your place of work or business district in your area
  3. The type of amenities you would need
  4. The availability of parking space, if you need one
  5. The orientation of the condo and the view from your window or balcony
  6. The size of the unit


Once you determine your budget and preferences, decide whether to hire a real estate agent or not. He will be the one to look for properties that will match your criteria. Just remember to finalize beforehand how much the agent’s commission will be so as to avoid unnecessary surprises once you have decided to buy a property.


Step 3. Make a Short List of Your Choices

Create a shortlist of your two or three favorite condo properties. Just keep in mind that when you visit a unit that you are interested in, make sure that it is in the best possible condition. Pay close attention to the minute details such as floor condition, wall cracks, and leaks, among others.

Afterwards, contact your bank to have your loan in-principle approved. Prepare all the necessary paperwork while waiting for the bank’s approval which may take a few days. Once approved, you are now ready to make an offer for your chosen property. You should also hire a solicitor and check with the bank if they subsidize the required legal fees concerning your purchase.


Step 4. Buy it 

Once the seller accepts your offer, he will then proceed with the sale process. He will transfer the Property Title to you and will have you sign an Option to Purchase (OTP) agreement. To do this, you need to pay one percent of the agreed purchase price. Urban Redevelopment Authority states that the option is valid for only three weeks and should you decide not to exercise it, you may forfeit 25 percent of your booking fee.

Keep in mind that upon signing, you should take note of the completion as well as the final inspection dates. Also, make sure that the details and items guaranteed by the seller are all accounted. Afterwards, you or your solicitor must coordinate with the local bank to have your loan released.


Step 5. Go for the Final Inspection

The entire sales process usually lasts between eight and ten weeks, still depending on what you agreed upon in your OTP contract. Once the unit is ready for the final inspection, check and make sure that everything is good, including the furniture, fixtures, and fittings inside your unit.

Before you purchase and invest in a condo unit, be sure you have all the right reasons for buying one. Refine your search and carefully weigh the factors you need to consider. Use this guide to find the right one for you.

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