By Adlene Hanna
You’ve finally saved up enough to make a down payment, or qualified for one of the many first home schemes available in Malaysia.
Now, it’s time for you to go house-hunting and seek out your future home.
It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and end up regretting your purchase, or worse, selling off your house just a few years after buying it.
How exactly does this happen? And how do you avoid it? Read on to find out.
Failure to get pre-approved
The first thing you need to do is to calculate your expenses. You should do this even before you start house-hunting so you can get an idea of your budget and how much banks are willing to loan you.
It’s important to get pre-approved first, so you don’t get your hopes up on properties you can’t afford.
Sure, it’s fun to dream about owning that luxurious home and even trying your luck to apply for a loan for that massive price tag, but before you get pre-approved for a loan, it’s best not to put anything in motion yet.
While looking to get pre-approved, you’ll also get a good picture of your own credit score so you know where you stand financially before committing to such a huge responsibility.
Your CCRIS report will give an idea of your overall financial health, which lenders will use to gauge if you’re a creditworthy individual.
Meanwhile, your CTOS score is what lenders will use to find out if you’re able to repay your debts on time, based on your track record for previous payments.
Underestimating additional expenses
You should never spring for a house that’s exactly the price of your means.
Other than the 10% down payment, you also have to think of the legal fees for the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), as well as stamp duty.
You’ll also need to consider the cost of making the house your home, such as renovations, paint, furniture and more. All these can easily come up to a five-digit cost.
It may sound like a lot but it’s an investment that will be totally worth it when you come home after a long hard day of work and unwind in the comfort of a house that is all yours.
Deciding too soon
Before you start your hunt, put together a list of everything you want from a home and cross out any properties that don’t fulfill them. This will not only make it a lot easier to decide, but also ensure your comfort in the future.
Even after you’ve decided on a specific property, view it a few more times at different times of the day, to see if the overall surroundings are to your liking and if you can spot anything new that you missed in the earlier visits.
Don’t be pressured to make a quick decision for a property that is in high demand, as you might not be able to get your loan due to a price tag higher than the valuation, or worse, you will end up having to pay the difference with your savings.
Failing to focus on the location
In real estate, the mantra “location, location, location” is everything. It’s not just about the proximity to your family or work, but also about the neighbourhood itself.
Try to get to know your potential neighbours to find out the community lifestyle, do some research online and ask your agent about upcoming developments for the neighbourhood.
Another hot question is, what are the traffic conditions like? You don’t want to be trapped in a living nightmare where even going out to run some errands will be a hassle!
You’ll also want to check the nearby amenities and facilities. Is a cheaper price tag really worth it if you’ll need to travel half an hour just to get groceries?
Not planning ahead
As your family grows, your house will not magically grow with it. Nor will it move with you if you get that new job that’s further away.
Before deciding on a home, ask yourself: what’s my life going to be like in five years’ time?
As always, your finances should always be your top priority, so stick to what you can afford for now.
It’s highly recommended to always have some extra cash for rainy days and stick within your means, especially in these uncertain economic times.