The best time to buy your first home

While the property market is expected to remain challenging in 2019, for those looking to buy a home for their own stay, it may be a good time to buy as sellers are more flexible with their asking prices while developers are offering attractive packages with freebies and other incentives.

According to Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index for 3Q2018, average residential property prices in Kuala Lumpur has slipped slightly by 0.6% from 3Q17 to 3Q18.

Moreover, the government is providing assistance to first-time homebuyers in the form of incentives and various affordable housing schemes.

According to the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT), these schemes and incentives can be divided into two categories:

1. Homeownership programmes and home purchase subsidies

2. Down payment assistance programmes

Under the first category, the federal government offers three homeownership programmes: the People’s Housing Programme, the Housing Loan Scheme and the Transit Home Programme.

The second category features four schemes — the First Home Deposit Funding Scheme (MyDeposit), the Private Affordable Ownership Housing Scheme (MYHOME), My First Home Scheme and the Youth Housing Scheme.

The government also encourages private sector initiatives to ease first-time homeownership. Launched by the prime minster in November last year was EdgeProp Sdn Bhd’s FundMyHome scheme which enables a person to own a home by only paying 20% of the property price.

It certainly looks like a good time to buy a property, especially for those wanting to buy their first home.

For those who wish to utilise these schemes in order to purchase a home in 2019, Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents and Consultants (MIPEAC) deputy president and Metro Homes Sdn Bhd director See Kok Loong has listed a few basic reminders to consider:

1. Buy from reputable developers

Project delays and abandonments are a homebuyer’s nightmare, so one should always buy from a reputable developer or one that is financially sound.

2.  Know what you are buying

Homebuyers should do their research and understand fully what they are potentially buying into — from the overall view of the entire development to the surrounding amenities — to ensure they get a property that they will be happy to stay in or invest in.

3.  Be certain that you are able to pay for the mortgage

Homebuyers must be very certain about their ability to make their home loan repayments punctually before they commit to a purchase.

However, if you want to avoid taking a mortgage, you could consider alternative homeownership schemes such as FundMyHome where you do not have worry about repayments.

4.  Do not overspend on renovations

According to See, although it may help to value-add a property, renovations do not provide a significant boost to the value of a house. Stretching finances to fund unnecessary renovations is not advisable.

5.  Do not overlook the importance of property management

Those who are buying a strata property are advised to look for well-maintained properties. If it is a new property, find out how much it takes to maintain the property in the long run, not just when it is first completed. Good maintenance is the key to the long term sustainability of the property’s value.

Read More: (Article by Shawn Ng)