Thursday, 22 October 2015

Can you find affordable property in KL any more? And other ramblings

Well, that depends on your definition of "affordable" coupled with "liveable", isn't it?

You can still get flats and apartment units for about 120k or 150k.. that means you need about RM500 to RM600 per month for repayment.

At that price point, you *could* possibly get a 95% or 100% loan - usually from Islamic financing - especially from Bank Islam, Bank Rakyat and so on.

So you hardly need any money down. Of course, you still need SOME money but if you're really serious about it then surely you can save it up?

During my first job, many many years ago, my starting pay was RM1,700 (very decent already considering most of my peers were getting RM1,200) and I was staying with family - so my expenses were not very high, just transport and lunch - I managed to save up 3,000 in a few months. My only indulgence at the time was to get a couple of CDs a month - back then at RM40 each, expensive O! My bus fare per day was 50 sen minibus PJ to KL, then another 90 to my office (Intrakota, so posh, got aircond) and return - so that's RM2.80 a day! Ha ... good times

Anyway, I wasn't saving up for property though at that time, I was saving up to do my Masters degree and after a couple of years - I had about half the fees saved up (about 20k) then my family said they'd sponsor the other half so that was nice. Yes, I am very grateful and thankful that I have had several advantages that not everyone has had.

Nonetheless, I'm just saying that one can save up a specific sum if one puts their mind to it.

Well, after the studies, my finances went a bit haywire - you know, hormones, spending, dating and what-not.

Looking back, after digging myself out of those problems (they were not very BIG problems but still ... could have avoided them in retrospect), it was a good learning experience.

So here I am, I would say in a fairly decent place - job is extremely busy, challenging but satisfying in the sense that I feel I am making a real difference - so that's good. Pay is not bad, can't complain. Am building up liquidity to a level that I've not had before, so am happy and grateful about it.

EPF and house value growing nicely.

So now, the way I see it, the only "problems" I have are 'happy problems' like how should I invest my money? What to eat for dinner? Where to go for holiday?

I hope that doesn't sound arrogant but I know I haven't really struggled all that hard compared to other people, but I guess everyone has their own journey.

Oops! So late already - meant to go to bed an hour ago! Yikes! Busy day tomorrow .. better get some rest.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Property price: the myth of "unaffordable"

Many columnists and politicians (especially Opposition ones) like to harp on property prices being out-of-reach to the majority of people.

This is a rather simplistic slogan that they like to keep repeating because a lot of people tend to agree with it at face value.

Such a statement is only true up to a certain extent.

To what extent, you ask, gentle reader?

Well, if you are referring to newly launched properties by developers - then hella yes, they are QUITE expensive by both ticket size and cost per square foot!

Why is this so?

This is their pricing strategy - actually they give a lot of "rebates" and "discounts" to trick you into thinking that you are getting a good deal, AND that by these methods, you can get nearly 100% financing because the banks think you've paid down 10% but the developer is helping you "cheat" on this.

Given the limited land available and the need to turn the maximum profit out of each project, developers will price as high as they think the market can bear.

Therefore, the PERCEPTION created by their advertisements and marketing campaigns is that ALL property is getting expensive.

But I put it to you that there are in fact AFFORDABLE housing available, IF you don't mind starting small - especially for 1st time buyers.

There are plenty of apartments and flats that in KL and Selangor that can be bought for as low as 80k.

Now, of course, these are not exactly posh condos - but if that is all your budget can take at the moment, then that's all you can buy!

Most buyers are a bit delusional, unfortunately. They dream of living in a brand new condo but in reality, what they can really afford is a shop-apartment.

So how? Keep living in dreamland and get upset because you can't buy a house? OR, wake up, buy something smaller and cheaper first then improve your income, buy a bigger one when you can afford it and move up the ladder progressively?

Yeah... most people will choose option 1, actually.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Bennington Residence, Setapak

Yet another "stumbled upon" development last weekend after going to the morning market & breakfast.

Went in to have a look and spent quite a lot of time there because it seemed like quite an interesting project.

Executive summary (tl:dr version upfront) - I reckon it is a Good Deal. BUY for own stay, it will be a nice place to live. Buy to flip also can. Rental may be so-so, this place looks like it will be an owner-occupied type of condo.

So here are the reasons why I quite like it:

  1. Price wise - not bad, works out to be about RM600 per square foot
  2. Option of a dual key unit AND if you want, you can convert it to a single with more combined square footage
  3. Huge sports centre as part of the deal for the land - the developer has to build it for DBKL, so there is that whole "healthy lifestyle" thing going for it
  4. Facilities are extensive - sales lady kept going on and on about it, I was like, yeah yeah - we've lived in fairly high end condos before back in the days when condos were a new thing and even back then, after a while, you won't use the pool and stuff that much.
  5. Location - very near town and surrounding area is fairly low density without any risk of some new tower suddenly popping up later and causing congestion (heh heh, this project is the cause of congestion for the original residents, sorry to say)
  6. Fairly nice, clean design
  7. In future, comes with a mall (they say want to replicate Publika wor.. erm, this is Setapak la my dear) and a hotel (ambivalent about that because ... erm this is Setapak)

Is there anything bad about this? 

  • Mmm.. leasehold but this is DBKL land, and being where it is, I doubt they'd take it back! LOL it would cost too much later.
  • Congested because the road is Jalan Pahang - despite it being widened until cannot widen anymore, the people around that area with their unchanged mentality still park at the side of the main road and cause jams. Also, being an artery road, it is just heavy with traffic all the time because it attracts new developments around it. Good and bad lar - good for having facilities & lots of shops / F&B choices due to the density but you have to deal with congestion .. comes with the territory.
Here are a scan .. sorry, need to tilt your head :)