6 more questions to ask when buying property

Do not hesitate to ask your property developer or real estate agent these, and yesterday’s, questions. (Envato Elements pic)

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Buying a new property is an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. There are a variety of important factors to consider before making a purchase.

In addition to the 10 listed yesterday, here are a few more questions you should ask your property developer or real estate agent as a first-time homeowner.

1. How much are the estimated maintenance fees?

The purchase of strata properties entails a commitment towards paying maintenance fees each month for the repairs and upkeep of the building and common areas.-

To better gauge monthly commitments, buyers should factor in the payment of maintenance fees in addition to mortgage repayments.

Maintenance fees are charged based on a unit’s square feet, meaning the bigger the unit, the more you will end up paying. Hence, a luxurious or facility-rich building will have higher maintenance fees, and a low-density property could comparatively have higher service charges.

The average maintenance fee for properties in Kuala Lumpur is about RM0.30 to RM0.50 psf; however, this will increase over time as the building ages. An additional 10% of the maintenance fee is payable as part of the sinking fund.

2. How many units are there?

The number of units in a development will determine its density; low-density projects offer more serenity but typically command a heftier price tag for added luxury. The purchase price and maintenance fees would likely be more expensive due to a lack of economies of scale.

High-density projects are often comparatively cheaper, with lower maintenance fees as there are more owners paying service charges.

For investors, the density of units in the building could also increase competition, making it harder to rent or sell the property at a higher price.

Facilities such as gyms and swimming pools will help increase a property’s rental demand and value.

3. What facilities are provided?

Facilities are a big-part of high-rise living, especially with luxury properties. High-rise strata properties often offer various facilities to woo buyers, and these help the building prevail over competitors.

Landed strata properties also increasingly offer perks such as a clubhouse with gym and swimming pools, plus neighbourhood parks, among others. These are unique selling points that increase rental demand and value in the future.

4. What nearby amenities exist?

The location of the house is a major consideration when purchasing a property: the closer the location of your home to amenities, the more convenient it becomes.

F&B outlets, entertainment venues, shopping malls, and grocery outlets would be useful for meeting your needs.

Moreover, current or upcoming amenities such as schools, universities, malls and commercial zones will boost rentability and help increase the property’s value over time.

5. How accessible is the property?

Accessibility by highways or rail networks will also increase a property’s value, as ease of accessibility makes a property more desirable for commercial or residential purposes.

Nearby amenities such as shopping malls and grocery stores are another crucial factor to consider. 

A property with good access will be easier to sell and attract tenants. It will also allow residents to travel to work or other locations easily, reducing commute times and improving quality of life.

You should, therefore, consider how accessible a property is before buying. Any upcoming highways or rail networks can positively impact property prices should you decide to sell in the future.

6. Is the property part of a masterplan?

A masterplan is a long-term scheme for the development of land, which may include future developments such as more condos or even a shopping mall.

Owners of the first phase of development often gain from cheaper prices and better capital appreciation, but lose out on conveniences at the early stage, and risk views being blocked by later phases.

As the entire development matures, it could be beneficial for investors who wish to sell off their properties down the track.

Remember, this list of questions is by no means exhaustive! Purchasing a property is a huge financial commitment, and you should ask as many questions as you need before committing to a purchase.

This article was written by Vigneswar Rajasurian of PropertyAdvisor.my, Malaysia’s most comprehensive source of property data, property analytics and insights.

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