PROPCAFE Guide : Property Buyer Dictionary – “120 Don’t” When You Purchase A Residential Property By PROPCAFE

FORWARD

PROPCAFE founders are not property gurus but a bunch of crazy property enthusiasts who just could not stop sharing property information and experience among each other. We have a 24/7 PROPCAFE’s founders’ Whatsapp group chat ON (YES, we have founders who just do not sleep at night) and over years, we have accumulated many discussion on properties. Many situations, there were many strong statements come out from PROPCAFE founders. This article combined most of the statements which could be helpful to many. Bear in mind, don’t apply it “buta buta and bulat bulat” to yourself as some may not necessary help in your situation. Read it as a novel, if you like the quote, please use and apply it and of course remember to quote us. If you think it is bullock, then just skip it. No right or wrong! If you cannot finish reading it (how can you finish any dictionary in one go?), please come back again!

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Photo Credit: WC Khong (Putrajaya/Cyberjaya Shot)

Let’s start the PROPCAFE Property Buyer Dictionary – ‘120 Don’t’ When You Purchase A Residential Property!

A1. For Investment Purpose (General Observation)

  • 1 Don’t buy what you want, buy what the mass want when it comes to investment. It has proven to be easier to rent and sell in future instead of investing in high end properties. Niche market play, you need different level of holding power. Why try to make yourself stuck when you can roll your money?

Homework: What is the mass market entry for your target area? Remember, different area comes with different level of mass market.

  • 2 Don’t wait! Anytime is a good time to buy property for investment (or ownstay) especially it’s a good buy. Good and liquid properties hardly suffered from significant price drop.

Homework: What level is considered a good buy? Many sources to refer nowadays.

  • 3 Don’t be over excited to buy a subsales property that is way below market value!

Homework: Always check if any caveat charge before plunging in. It might be already an auction property.

  • 4 Don’t buy the property types that you are not familiar. Don’t just buy different type of properties for the sake of portfolio diversification.

Homework: Understand your own financial and exit strategy well.

  • 5 Don’t make decision solely based on the price tag and market value (over/under). Some properties and location can stir emotional feeling of purchasers, especially in a matured area with limited supplies.

Homework: Matured location comes with more transaction data, find out the supply and demand there!

  • 6 Don’t buy property without a visit to the site. It is like choosing a wife from cinema with light off.

Homework: Visit the site, day and night. Of course, peak and off peak period too.

  • 7 Don’t buy property with cemetery view! Although to some it could be WONG (brings good luck) but to majority, it is likely to be SUI (unsighted, brings bad luck).

Homework: Mr Google will help. To be 100% sure, please check local authority to know the future plan on the vacant land surrounding your property.

  • 8 Don’t be too engrossed with your rental income in the same building. It depends on luck (and to some extent, the agent you appointed) when someone can rented out higher or lower.

Homework: Understand the market rental in your building, set a range. Hit it then just take it.

  • 9 Don’t attend all property seminars just to find out how to buy more beyond your means and use smart financing to beat the system. While you are beating the system, you may dig yourself a grave yard. Don’t bet but invest!

Homework: Always buy within your mean.

  • 10 Don’t bargain for 5k or 10k to close the deal if you really intend to buy or sell the project and get trap into penny wise pound foolish behaviour.

Homework: Set your own price range, not price!

  • 11 Don’t be a sheep. Make a stand and have a view. If the deal goes lemon, you have no one to blame but yourself

Homework: Do homework by yourself! No short cut.

  • 12 Don’t be stingy on lawyer fees or squeeze them for better discount. Get a good one and pay them reasonably and make them your long term partner if u want to be remain in property investment for longer term.

Homework: Check with season investors to get one to start with.

  • 13 Don’t be superstitious on house no.8 over no.4 when picking property. No.4 which facing N/S could be carrying more value than No.8 but facing West.

Homework: Moral of the story, don’t overpay the premium due to No. of the Unit. Make sure the premium paid would not make your unit lose out the competitiveness.

  • 14 Don’t be too particular on the quality of recent vped unit and demand perfection and with full rectification from developer if your unit is meant for rental investment. Every minute wasted on rectification cost you money.

Homework: Be friend with defect workers and supervisors, there is way to make the defects rectified much faster than you. Scolding, yelling, and complaining does not help.

  • 15 Don’t believe in GRR scheme. A good deal does not need any incentives to sell.

Homework: Study and find out the “actual” value of the property. Most of the times, you will be surprise, you are paying GRR yourself.

  • 16 Don’t buy because everyone is buying or every news tell u it is a buy call. A too good to be true project especially government initiated projects, most of the time it will take longer time to materialize. If government said it is 10years then better take it as 20 years and make sure you can hold.

Homework: Go back to 101 Economic Fundamental. Find out the Demand and Supply!

  • 17 Don’t buy emotionally, take a break, go outside (from sales gallery), get some fresh air. Don’t make decision in the sale gallery.

Homework: You can go to sales gallery many times, but always make your decision before enter the sales gallery to swipe and sign your cheque.

  • 18 Don’t buy just because of ego or try to impress other investor friends by quantity. A good property investor always pay more attention on quality of his investment portfolio instead of quantity.

Homework: Know your capability of handling the quantity of properties and amount of installment.

  • 19 Don’t buy the LRT/MRT hype, unless it’s confirmed or WIP.

Homework: Always verify the news and best if you can see the tender notice! We can still see the talk on MRT3 in 2025!

  • 20 Don’t discount student rental or commercial rental even if they do offer lower rent. Most of the times, they are better paying masters than some dodgy individuals as Malaysia doesn’t have a national tenants verification database. Don’t get blind on high rental offer.

Homework: Get a good agent to filter and make sure all valid documents in place.

  • 21 Don’t increase rental unnecessary if your tenant pays promptly and take good care of your unit.

Homework: Understand the market situation, demand and supply at least surrounding your property.

  • 22 Don’t rely on property forum to gauge reception, many have his/her own agenda in promoting or discredit certain developments or developers. Genuine discussion is hardly found nowadays.

Homework: Get information from different sources.

  • 23 Don’t reverse your final confirmation when agreed to buy or sell. No one will serve you or buy/sell for you in future if you can’t keep to your final decision. Word is Gold in property investment.

Homework: Make up your mind earlier.

  • 24 Don’t get too happy on how much you have already gained (vs. market value) during the purchase process. It’s like count the chicken before it is hatched.

Homework: Check the market value will do then lock it in your spreadsheet and move on.

  • 25 Don’t forget the “Location of the Location” factor. Not all locations in demanded areas such as SS2 or TTDI is good. Same applies to KLCC, not all KLCC properties can demand the same liquidity and price.

Homework: “Segmentise” the demand and rental price in one location. You will be surprise to see big differentiation there.

  • 26 Don’t get suck into crazy package. Free car? Really? Or for some cases, free kitchen and what nots. Make sure you can get cash discount equivalent instead of tangible freebies. Cash is and always be your dear friend than some consumables.

Homework: Know the actual/market value of the property. Study the market price in the location. Price in the right “premium”. How to determine the premium? That’s will come after you buy many properties later.

  • 27 Don’t just borrow x 3. Gearing, gearing, and gearing. Never ever over-geared your debts service ratio and cry at night silently before going to bed every night. Property investment supposed to be your passive income, and not your daily nightmare.

Homework: Talk to few of your mortgage bankers, they can tell your whether you are over geared. Average number don’t lie, in this case.

  • 28 Don’t buy outer view, if you have doubt or not sure what will happen on the vacant land infront of the property. Go for inner view or pool view unit to mitigate the risk of unpleasant outer future view. View is not everything.

Homework: Mr. Google and local authority will help.

  • 29 Don’t buy the properties that come with many agencies (to sell). Think twice before you plunge in. Do ask yourself the question why can’t they sell it internally? Don’t you worry on a developer that cannot afford to have marketing arm themselves? Are they serious on their property business? Even external agencies may keep the developer cost low, why so many?

Homework: Check out the external agencies appointment with developer. Ask them the reason. Then see whether it is logical. If it is “bullshit”, then just skip it.

  • 30 If the property is still for sale from developer after VPed, it is likely overpriced (when first launched) and oversupplied.

Homework: Check the launched price and understand the demand and supply of the location.

  • 31 Don’t subscribe into the statement of “Good thing not cheap, cheap thing not good”. It is not always true, especially for auction market. U may find good deals in the market, like many do.

Homework: Focus on the properties you want. Monitor the market price and auction market, execute you plan when it hits your floor price.

  • 32 Don’t Invest in a property that more than 50km away, or 10 zones away (international standard = 1 zone equal to 5kms radian) from your existing own stay property. Renovation and arrangement will cost more time (to travel) and money (sub it to outsider for help)! Tiring journey to “enjoy”. It also impacts on the maintenance of your tenanted units on later stage as well.

Homework: Mr Google Map can do wonder.

  • 33 Don’t take the title too seriously. Leasehold in good area could be better than freehold in unproven area.

Homework: Know the market value.

  • 34 Don’t listen too much from property gurus and miss out on own homework before purchase the property.

Homework: You are doing it now when reading this article. PROPCAFE standard is always to spend 200 hours on research before buying a property.

  • 35 Don’t expect all of your investment will be your cash cow. Market goes up and down all the time. Sometimes you made, sometimes you lose and most time you break even, in term of rental return and capital appreciation.

Homework: Study micro and macro factors. Put them together to make up your mind.

  • 36 Don’t try to get too many opinions from too many parties in your decision making process. You have your own criteria and usually only you know what best for you.

Homework: Try to get more information from many parties and sources, not opinions.

  • 37 Don’t convince yourself to invest a property with assumption of “move in for own stay if cannot sell or rent out”. The two criteria can’t tango together. Better buy one strictly for investment value and later resell and use the capital gain to buy something for own stay.

Homework: Make up your mind first whether it is for investment or ownstay. Then only move on to other aspect to evaluate the property.

  • 38 Don’t just look at new project! Primary market purchase gives you profit after 2-3 years later whereas sub sale property may get you immediate profit when you buy, either through positive rental income or sub sale. So, don’t limit yourself to primary purchase direct from developer.

Homework: Spend more time with trusted agent to get the first hand undervalued properties. Alternatively, raise your hand in auction room.

  • 39 Don’t rush to queue to buy one as the crazy hype may impair your judgement in getting a suitable unit. Don’t just buy because others are buying.

Homework: Find out what’s the hype about. Talk to the person or source that “release” the hype.

  • 40 Don’t put on the criteria of traffic congestion in deciding to buy the property. Heavy traffic location always turns out to be one of the highest capital appreciation projects for mass market segment.

Homework: Study more on demand, supply and market value not traffic. High traffic could be bad for super high end enclave project.

  • 41 Don’t just follow the developer. Keep the mantra of ‘location, location, location’. A project from a well-known developer in unknown area could be worse than a project from new developer in an establish area.

Homework: Study the profile of new developer. Make sure the premium priced from well-known developer justified.

  • 42 Don’t assume that property booming period (2008-2012) is a decade event cycle, it comes once every blue moon which you cannot predict. Be careful what you buy for flipping or for rental income.

Homework: Keep on eyes on the latest cycle and move your strategy accordingly. No one can believe US. Interest rate near to zero so many years. Same should apply to property cycle.

  • 43 Don’t be upset. There is always a better buy ahead, missed out one good deal will not make you poorer.

Homework: Get yourself updated all the time on property news/information. So, you won’t miss out a good deal next time. Follow our Facebook!

  • 44 Don’t assume well known developers translate into good quality delivery. The end product quality much depends on the main contractor that they appointed. Many developers are just a “marketing companies”, they sell but not build. Same applies to the maintenance under warranty period. Of course, developer plays a role to manage the contractor but sometimes it can be hard to manage when it is completed and many defects come in. It will take time to solve it.

Homework: Visit more completed sites rather than show units. Note down the main contractor information.

  • 45 Don’t assume all developers can delivery as in BBB days (good economy). When buy from new developer with no track record in property development, make sure you did a thorough check on the directors’ background and their ability to execute the project. During property booming time, any Tom, Dick and Henry can build and sell properties, but not when the economics hit the snail. Many newbie developers that have no financial backing might find themselves in a dark hole to crawl out, especially young directors that never gone through recession prior.

Homework: Check out SSM information, it won’t cost much to know more about the developer.

  • 46 Don’t buy from a developer that don’t spend money on marketing even the reputable old name, if your intention is to flip it. The market audience/buyer has changed, many love the hype and instant brand creation. Old way of selling property nowadays does not push the price up in short term. This is solely based flipping perspective.

Homework: Flip newspaper more and read more social media. Understand what own-stayers want.

  • 47 Don’t forget that “You made when you buy, not when you sell”. Because everyone can sell, it’s the price discrepancy between buying and selling that counts.

Homework: As an investor, do homework earlier than the rest and jump in to get the “best value” units. When market is slow, winner or loser is likely to depend on the price and unit that purchase compares to other owners. If you cannot beat external competitors, you must make sure you can beat the internal one (not just to throw price of course!)

  • 48 Don’t ever put in the mentality of “just follow the Top 10 biggest developers will do”. This will not work in the challenging property market such as at current. Even good developers are throwing prices, give better discount and incentives to move their unsold stock. Earlier buyers usually are the ones that suffered from either stagnant price movement or lower price movement.

Homework: 200 hours on and offsite research please.

  • 49 Don’t borrow from loan shark or ‘ah long’ to buy property or swipe your credit card to buy. Seriously, no property is worth the capital appreciation of what these credit ‘institution’ charged for the fund. Don’t always think that you are so brilliant that can have a cheaper fund or can make higher return than from this funding source. When situation turns, you will be in deep trouble.

Homework: Do you financial planning. If you cannot afford, don’t put yourself in trouble.

  • 50 Don’t buy from property fairs (especially the Bumiputera fairs), developers participate to clear overhang stocks. If the properties are such a good buy, even bumi released units, they will sell out in no time and no need to wait for property fair to clear stock.

Homework: Good to go property fairs to collect information and understand the “overhang” stocks in the market. Property fair is a good place to know more, not to buy more.

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A2. For Investment Purpose (Observation on High Rise Property)

  • 51 Don’t forget your property’s surrounding. Usually views are temporary, especially in a highly built out area. High floor doesn’t mean anything, next door property can be higher than you.

Homework: Site visit and check with local authority.

  • 52 Don’t assume liquidity is the same for different layout and size. Condo larger than 2000sq usually very illiquid in sub sale market due to unaffordable price tag to mass market.

Homework: Don’t just look at per square feet price but also the absolute price.

  • 53 Don’t be too engrossed with the image of pride of KL skyline KLCC view, especially for investment properties. The premium imposed by developers usually not worth the additional cost.

Homework: Balance the premium and view. If view is crucial in this market segment, get the “medium premium” unit not “crazy premium”.

  • 54 Don’t be too fascinated by the building facade and ignore the fundamentals, rental demand and location of the property.

Homework: Back to 101 of property investment. Reading this article will definitely help!

  • 55 Don’t buy affordable home for investment purpose as there is little product differentiation amongst units, and there is capped sub sale period.

Homework: Affordable housing is meant for those who can hardly get a property. Be an ethical investors. There are money elsewhere! No homework needed, skip it!

  • 56 Don’t buy high floor inner views, the premium is not worth it.

Homework: Get the information like distance between buildings from the developer! You don’t want to end up with high floor but facing window/wall/balcony.

  • 57 Don’t buy mickey mouse 🐭 residence or office setup such as so(x)o at non-prime area with far rung unpopulous location only for the sake of lower entry price.

Homework: Do more research on the segmental market demand and pricing differentiation between landed, highrise and pigeon holes products. If the differentiation is small, forget the mickey mouse units.

  • 58 Don’t forget the factor of high density with no product differentiation when it is for investment, meaning floor plans for all units are either the same or with very little variations. It usually translates into lower gain on sub sale as potential buyers will have a field day to cherry pick in the same development.

Homework: Check out those completed projects with more than 1000 units. You will usually find out the answer there.

  • 59 Don’t just think about the location in broader sense. For example, KLCC properties, location of the property must be on the main artery road or at least the ground of building is visible from main artery road, and not some hidden alley street, back lane or ‘lorong-lorong’ if you expect your property to fletch premium in both rental or sub sale.

Homework: “Lorong” doesn’t jive with KLCC tag. Drive your car around, if you have difficult to find it from the main road, forget it!

  • 60 Don’t buy property with high tension cable view. Even if you don’t mind, there are many subsales buyers mind, or take the opportunity to press your price down because of the unsighted view out.

Homework: Site visit! Make sure there are massive discount if you insist to buy it.

  • 61 Don’t buy property with too futuristic facade or complex design. Beautiful thing usually hard to maintain. Even if it can be maintained, the maintenance fees will be high. Also some developers may not be able to build futuristic design concept to the artist’s impression or cutting corners to save unbudgeted construction cost. Vertical garden or hanging garden comes to mind.

Homework: Check out the developer’s previous project. If they never built such futuristic or complex design, then discount the beautiful façade delivery from them.

  • 62 Don’t overpay the premium for the high-rise above shopping mall where the mall is sold by strata title and not managed by a reputable retail team.

Homework: Check out the demand of amenities and sustainability of mall in the area. Be prepare to see slow take up or shop opening in the mall. Everyone will be waiting for each other as no concrete plan or strategy to make the commercial to be successful in the mall.

  • 63 Don’t forget the cost and time of renovation for investment purpose. It is best to buy partial furnished unit fitted with kitchen and aircon to minimize the up fitting cost (and it also formed part of your loan financing, hence reduced your actual cash outflow before rented your unit).

Homework: Do your maths on renovation cost on “roti kosong” unit. Opportunity cost can be huge if installment is large and it takes long time to get your carpentry to deliver the necessary kitchen cabinet or furnishing

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A3. For Investment Purpose (Observation On Landed Property)

  • 64 Don’t buy property that facing inner T junction or backing T junction external road as it will always see the unit “For Sale”.

Homework: Thorough check on development plan and direction. The best, check the architecture plan if possible.

  • 65 Don’t buy the corner unit with super large parcel of extra lands which normally will not turn the property super valuable for investment purpose. It will reduce the demand drastically due to affordability.

Homework: Measure the extra land psf price to see whether it is worth for the price to compare with absolute price for other corner unit.

  • 66 Don’t wait. For investment, it’s always better to buy the initial phases of a larger development because developers’ price push inflation will ensure the future phases won’t be priced lower than the earlier launch. Make sure you have confident of the developer and its execution of the masterplan.

Homework: If there are many phases and huge lands to be developed, make sure the developer is reputable enough (with strong financial capability) to execute it.

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B1. For Ownstay Purpose (General Observation)

  • 67 Don’t choose west or east facing if possible, for landed investment. It takes longer time to sell normally. Time = Money.

Homework: Orientation is the first thing to check for landed property investment.

  • 68 Don’t buy those projects that besides or near sewerage pond. Although these days some sewerage ponds are odorless to some extent, but the price appreciation might not be shared with your future sub sale buyer.

Homework: Site visit. See it and smell it.

  • 69 Don’t assume that “unwelcome foreigner” or students will not be your neighbour even though currently no sign of having it. When market is slow, investor can be desperate, no matter how luxury or high end is the property.

Homework: Understand the demographic in your interested location and talk to management office. The rest will be out of your control.

  • 70 Don’t over subscribe on the readiness of broadband services promised by developer, most likely than not, they are not ready at VP. In many cases, it take months for TM or Maxis to set up the infrastructure.

Homework: If it is so important to you or always want to move in very early, check around the fiber optic infrastructure nearby your interested property. Nowadays, developer will use second tier broadband service providers as they are more keen to expand the business.

  • 71 Don’t assume nothing will change in the surrounding of your property. Be wary of buying property next to main artery road as it might turned to highway or lrt/mrt track built on it.

Homework: Check with local council or any other source that has the planning in this area.

  • 72 Don’t buy property in the view of “moving in” without consider all other factors in longer time horizon. The change of scenario (p/s: trust us, the only constant factor in life is ‘constant changing’) in few years’ time such as growing family structure or taking live-in ageing parent(s) may cause the property stuck in not so rental friendly segment/area.

Homework: Make longer term planning, especial it is for new under-construction property.

  • 73 Don’t buy property with a restricted master bedroom’s space that have no room to fit a king size bed. Ageing, snoring and horizon expansion of body sizes will make it very uncomfortable to share the matrimony bed for life with your partner (to someone it does matter. Lol). Serious note, master bedroom always need more space for other reason e.g. to put in baby cot in future or add in more cupboard etc.

Homework: Always check the scale and size of master bedroom.

  • 74 Don’t buy property that besides an under-construction project as it will bring u pain of noise and dust pollution, not to mention possible of break in crime. Of course, if you love the place so much and this issue is secondary to you then ignore this.

Homework: Nothing beat site visit and check out with local council on the empty lands besides your property.

  • 75 Don’t buy property that too far away from the parent or in-law’s house. With a baby or kid, it becomes very taxing on travelling time for all families to visit each other for bonding and emergency purposes.

Homework: Weigh up the need of being near to your parent or in-law/relatives and privacy. Some prefer to be away to maintain a better relationship in long term. It works both ways.

  • 76 Don’t believe fully what sale agent says, data don’t lie. Do your homework, trust your instincts and facts.

Homework: Take back the information and check with Mr. Google then only ask relevant and important or specific question from property investors. Asking question of whether this X project a good buy, is a rubbish question!

  • 77 Don’t believe fully in artist’s impression. That is how they make their living on painting your dream home. To play safe, discount 50% on what the “artist” is trying to sell to you.

Homework: Check out the developer’s previous project and its brochure.

  • 78 Don’t buy property that join name with your girlfriend, boyfriend or relatives to avoid any future complication should your relationship went sour in near future.

Homework: Take the worst case scenario and put in black and white on the action with the persons if you really intend to do it. No point to predict the future relationship as it will always change.

  • 79 Don’t buy too near to river or monsoon drainage system to avoid flash flood or stagnant waterway during drought season. It’s a breeding ground for mosquito too.

Homework: Site visit, site visit, site visit!

  • 80 Don’t let Feng Shui master to choose the property for you. You are the one who stays there not him. And you can only blame yourself when everything doesn’t go right, with or without Feng Shui master.

Homework: Go to the unit and feel it. All human comes with special talent. When you step into the unit, you will know whether it fits you or not. Save the cost of Feng Shui master to renovate your house nicer!

  • 81 Don’t sign SPA before obtaining at least a loan offer from bank, no matter what sort of promise the SA told you so, such as obligation free cancellation and etc. (Unless you plan to buy with cash 😉 )

Homework: Apply loans to 3 banks if you are not confidence on your affordability. Pre-loan check is possible too. Make more friends from mortgage sales.

  • 82 Don’t wait for the property price to come down only to buy for ownstay. Try to get yourself always ready to buy but to press the price down. There is difference between waiting for price drop and pressing for price drop.

Homework: Always put an eye on the price of the property that you are interested to understand the market price, not to wait for the “durian runtuh”.

  • 83 Don’t hope a miracle will happen in a brand new township to have full population and amenities in short term. Usually township needs time to mature and comes vibrant approximately 10years!

Homework: Understand the master plan of the township and developer planning. Add another 5 to 7 years on top of developer’s plan.

  • 84 Don’t think of buying a property if you can’t afford to at least pay for the down payment of 10% of the property price, and needed some sort of zero entry or installments arrangement in order to afford to buy from developer for own stay. Even with the help of family, you may struggle to maintain or renovate it. Some also wrongly estimate the affordability, after the help of family, when he takes over the keys. Disaster may happen.

Homework: You know the best on your financial capability. If you FAMA decided to chip in, make sure can handle the future “cost” of having a property.

PROPCAFE 120 DON'T BUY #85
PROPCAFE 120 DON’T BUY #85 Photo Credit to Joonz
  • 85 Don’t buy property that come with haunted stories/murder/suicidal case for own stay, no matter how much below the market price. Especially, those do not dare to watch haunted movie.

Homework: Key word search (ghost, haunted, murdered incident etc) on google to the property that you intend to buy from subsales.

  • 86 Don’t make your own decision, if you intend to buy own stay property to setup family, do let your wife be the decision maker (well, mostly). A happy wife is a happy life.

Homework: Bring her to view the property or sales gallery. Make sure she is ok on all aspects that she would be expected for a family home. Make sure she is fine with open kitchen if no wet kitchen, size of bedroom and living hall. Sometimes, if the house is too big and too many staircases or split areas, make sure she is ok too!

  • 87 Don’t discount the family plan if you are planning to have children in near future (say within 2 years). Make sure you factor in the “family grow factor” and look for suitable size property and not start hunting for new abode when it’s happened. It’s usually quite stressful to having to relocate your family after short period of time.

Homework: Family plan!

  • 88 Don’t wait for show unit to be ready in order to make decision. It’s usually translates into higher price when compared to the earlier entries.

Homework: Learn how to visualize based on layout and scale model. Visit more completed properties to learn the skills.

  • 89 Don’t overly impressed on the artist’s impression video, brochure, master plan and show unit but ignore the track records of the developer to deliver as promised.

Homework: Visit more sites and properties from the developer.

  • 90 Don’t buy the property too close to mosque or temple or church if you cannot take the noise, jam, illegal carparks, and crowds during specific day/time.

Homework: Site visit to “test” your tolerance level.

  • 91 Don’t expect perfect home. Each home will have some imperfection. It’s up to owners to turn the negative energy into positive force.

Homework: Don’t rush to make decision for ownstay purpose. Multiple visits will help. If the more you go, the least you like it, means you need to visit another unit or properties.

  • 92 Don’t underestimate the noise (and dust) pollutions from the main road or highway. Not everyone can bear this imperfection on longer term.

Homework: Site visit to “test” your tolerance level.

  • 93 Don’t just look at the actual distance or time distance mentioned in the brochure. When buy for own stay, make sure amenities are close by and not have to drive 15mins to 30 mins just to enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner in restaurants or café. Life is short, make sure it’s productive.

Homework: Again, nothing beat site visit. If you cannot even stand on the visit, forget it to do on daily basis.

  • 94 Don’t over excited on buying new “HOME”. When buying new home off the plan for own stay, make sure the floorplan suit your requirement, and not carry out major renovation when vped. It does cost significant move in budget.

Homework: Go through every aspects on the layout and estimate the cost to renovate if major changes are required before you make up your mind. Knock this wall down or revamp the house is “no no” as it doesn’t add any value when you intend to sell it in future. Sometimes, you own taste of layout can be a disaster in subsales market when you want to upgrade.

PROPCAFE KLCC Zoning - Zone 2

B2. For Ownstay Purpose (Observation on High-rise Property)

  • 95 Don’t discount the need of ventilation in kitchen for ownstay purpose. Avoid unit with kitchen where no window!

Homework: Check the layout properly!

  • 96 Don’t buy a property without a yard or balcony for ownstay, it makes laundry and waste disposal management a nightmare, not to mention smoker’s puffing habit in an enclosed area and disposal of cigarette butts.

Homework: Normally property comes with choices, with and without balcony. For ownstay, no brainer.

  • 97 Don’t buy condo with split or standalone carpark podium especially for ownstay. Carry your grocery or shopping item from carpark block to your residence can be exhausting when many properties comes with bridges and open space walkways.

Homework: Ask yourself and imagine whether you can do it few times per day, not to mention you suddenly think of your stuff leftover in the car when you are already at 40th floor corridor!

  • 98 Don’t buy property with no car park or only one car park bay for ownstay. Not all properties such as KLCC where tenant has less interest on parking bay. Usually Malaysians have more than one car per household. It will usually end up parking outside the condo which posting security risk especially for the ladies in retrieving their cars on daily basis.

Homework: Know your requirement!

  • 99 Don’t buy property with super high maintenance fees if you can barely afford it or don’t like to pay it (which everyone does), usually it related to either super low density or projects with host of fancy amenities which one will not use them regularly. Once retire, it will eat up your saving pretty quickly. Weigh the own affordability well before commit.

Homework: Ownstay home normally for longer term means you expect it to be there and stay for long time. Build in the inflation rate of 10% per year. Do your maths and decide.

  • 100 Don’t buy mass market units which don’t have wet kitchen, or at least an open air yard if you cannot stand on the odour at corridor or your unit. Your neighbor will be frying fish n veggie every day. This is no high end market with proper expensive exhaust n ventilation.

Homework: Understand the limitation and know your tolerance level.

  • 101 Don’t assume all windows can be opened, especially the property is for ownstay long term purpose! Try to avoid those building with completely sealed windows and heavily relied on air-conditioner for ventilation because once the air cond breaks down, you will be in sauna land, not to mention long term health risk of inhaling recycled air that usually carried harmful gems.

Homework: Check it out with developer. Point it to the scale model and get the answer then compare to the specification mentioned in the brochure.

  • 102 Don’t assume the more the facilities the better! If the condo offers two or three swimming pools and hosts of other ‘wellness’ and sporting amenities, it usually means you will be paying for unused and un-necessary facilities. It translates into higher maintenance fees.

Homework: Check out those properties that come with such facilities and understand the cost of it. Talk to those JMB/JMC/MC members in those projects if you have any.

  • 103 Don’t ignore the important of powder room. If you have visiting day guests often, make sure you buy property with dedicated guest powder room or toilet and not using your bedroom’s ensuite as guests washroom and proudly display your “bedroom scene”, no matter how well presented your private bedroom is. Usually the maids’ bathroom is not designed for guests’ powder room as well.

Homework: Check out the layout. Know your own set of requirements.

  • 104 Don’t ever assume that no one will or can dry their clothes at balcony. Dream of perfect condo facade after moving in. This is Malaysia!

Homework: Nothing can be done unless you know you will be the chairman of JMB to impose the most hated rule (with fine) in the property and becomes the common enemy.

  • 105 Don’t make assumption that no pet is allowed in condo. Malaysian loves pet. 😄 House rule can change too from DMC.

Homework: At least check out the DMC first to see anything has stated there. Make sure it will enforce or not to change when JMB takes over. At least, to mitigate it.

  • 106 Don’t miss the Rule of thumb on space when buying own stay property. If one person staying, minimum space required should be 500sq. if 2 persons, then 1000sq. Too small of space, it’s hard to maintain harmonium in the household.

Homework: Try to do some homestay at 500sf unit. If you think you can live with it for long term. Go for it!

  • 107 Don’t assume that you will fully utilize the gym facilities and gave up your outside commercial gym membership. Gym needs companion. It is no fun to do alone in an empty gym room at condo. It won’t last long.

Homework: Ask around to confirm this statement. Lol.

  • 108 Don’t assume want to get high floor because of the superb view (usually, not necessary). When the lift is malfunction, you need more patient and yes, you need super strong legs.

Homework: Balance the view and practically. Unfortunately, this is Malaysia and quality of services can be disaster sometimes.

Malaysia Property Trend 2015

B3. For Ownstay Purpose (Observation on Landed Property)

  • 109 Don’t believe the developer’s sale pitch to build another “Desa ParkCity” alike landscape environment. Not many developers, even the reputable one, can deliver fantastic landscape and environment like Desa ParkCity, not to say can afford to maintain it.

Homework: Visit the site that developer delivered. See it by your own eyes.

  • 110 Don’t buy property that kitchen not at the ground floor or entrance. It’s always a big “no no” to housewife. Practicality comes into picture.

Homework: Check the layout and ask your wife!

  • 111 Don’t purchase a 3-storey landed property with master bedroom on top floor if you are now in your late 30s. Constantly taking 3 flights of staircases will not be gentle on the ageing knees and most probably will ended up in the guests bedroom on ground floor in the matter of time.

Homework: Try the staircase at the show unit. Do it 5 times within 30mins. Then take a rest and think about it.

  • 112 Don’t assumed individual titled FnG is equal to strata title development. Many FnG developments are now turn to be rainbow colors development. Your neighbor may turns the whole house to Disney’s pink or demolish the whole unit and make it a “special one”. Even the development comes with DMC, unfortunately the main regulators are still the local council which has much relax rules when comes to repainting and renovation with individual title properties.

Homework: Ask right question to developer – Strata title or individual title. Not so much about whether there is fence or guardhouse or not.

  • 113 Don’t believe in developer telling you surau or mosque will be built next to your house after 20 years, due to low Muslim population. The surau might be under construction the moment you get your key. Bear in mind that developers have no say on the building of mosque or school on the allocated parcel if local council has decided to do it with sufficient funds.

Homework: Masterplan, masterplan and masterplan. Check with local council if any plan in place.

  • 114 Don’t forget the masterplan especially for own stay and buy into brand new township. Make sure the developer builds its commercial same time as their 1st phase residential launch, so that when your house is ready, so does the commercial. Not like some developers that usually only start to build commercial only when there is sizeable staying residents (such as Sime Properties or I&P). One or two mamak stalls just won’t fit the bill as vibrant commercial zone.

Homework: Visit the site and surrounding.

  • 115 Don’t just look at the scaled model. For terraces or link house, make sure the car porch can park at least 2 cars, side by side and not in tandem. If tandem or only can fit one car under car porch, most house owners will end up street parking and fight might set off between neighbors to occupy these curbside street space. Also some developers purposely built elevated street curb to deter house owners to street park their cars, at the end all cars will end up parking on road proper, making the interior road extremely tight for passing vehicles and poise unnecessary risk to pedestrians and road users.

Homework: Check out the width and length of the car porch. Take out the width that taken up by the columns.

  • 116 Don’t just think about the house but ignore the security. Given a choice of non G&G with larger built up and gng with smaller built up in the same area, always choose the one with G&G or F&G. Your family will thank you for your decision given the crime rate in Malaysia, generally.

Homework: Check out the security features given by the developer.

  • 117 Don’t assume the developer will build a nice guardhouse or change the façade at later stage if the developer never built a nice one before, even it is near to a million ringgit property.

Homework: Visit the guardhouse of the properties that delivered by the developer.

  • 118 Don’t build a private pool in your house and hope that the sub sale will be easier and can fletch premium when you want to sell it. Malaysians do like pool, but not in their own backyard and maintain it.

Homework: Think twice whether it is necessary for you to have your own pool especially there is pool facilities in your community.

  • 119 Don’t buy landed property with super large balcony on 1st or 2nd floor, or roof top garden which can host party. It will end up totally un-utilized due to the weather and lifestyle of majority of Malaysian. Maintenance of roof top garden also a hassle unless you have green thumb and willing to put in the time and effort.

Homework: Visit your friend’s house to know the truth.

  • 120 Don’t buy the link house that next to corner lot when you buy into non G&G housing estate. It is always a chance that it will turn out to be play school or kindergarten. It’s not only noisy, but traffic management could be a nightmare during drop off and pick up hours.

Homework: Be cool when you choose the unit.

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CONCLUSION

PROPCAFE loves to share but sometimes can be biased too (we all human afterall). The above “120 Don’t” are meant for reference purposes especially for those who want to start invest or choose a ownstay property. Well, to meet all the requirements above is impossible, so do you own prioritization and weigh the importance of each factor based on your own criteria and try not to repeat the mistake. But, don’t take it too seriously if some statement totally does not make sense for you. Sharing is caring, do share your view with us and readers here. Let’s make this article and post to be the most valuable reference for all property enthusiasts.

Tell your mates: If you want to know what to consider when you are hunting a property for whatever reasons, please read

“120 DON’T” WHEN YOU PURCHASE A RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY!

Yes, exclusively shared by PROPCAFE!

Enjoy! Happy Property Hunting!

15 Comment

  1. This is epic and freaking awesome! Please continue the good work PropCafe!

  2. This is the farmost best article for someone noob like me who want to buy a property. Kudos!

  3. This is so interesting! Refreshing and simple to understand. I cannot think other point to add on. Complete guide for property buyer!!! Excellent!

  4. salute to propcafe GURU’s……..

  5. Thanks for the tips! Appreciate it much!

  6. It is a bit lengthy but fun to read. Enjoy every single “Don’t” shared. Very useful for someone like me who is first time buying property. Good effort. Keepidup.

  7. It does not seems like a dictionary to me. It is more like a property bible or propcafe kungfu book. Respect you guys! I will make use of it when the time comes. Great sharing

  8. Caffe Corretto says: Reply

    Hi guys, thanks for the support. We r not guru and you don’t see us sell tickets! Lol. But we are more than happy to share here.

  9. Caffe Corretto says: Reply

    JC…ya, our kung fu all exposed.

  10. Very Comprehensive guide to property selection Understand the risks so have to know things
    to avoid

  11. Good article but a bit too long. Imagine I was reading from my mobile 📱small scree. It seems forever ! I would suggest you split it into few parts for easy reading. Thank you propcafe

  12. Caffe Corretto says: Reply

    JoonL…can always come back to read….haha…in train, toilet, flight, car as passenger, garden, etc. Lol

  13. really long, i am reading in desktop and stopped at point no 40. I was wondering why it’s like never ending.. then only found out i am still half way.. haha Great article!

    1. Thank you Tim! Hope you will come back to continue the remaining before we took it down 😉 Just joking

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