September 6, 2014
Everyone has their ideas about a good location to buy. Some would swear by their area and would never buy anywhere else. Don’t believe me? Ask a Penangite who has stayed in island to move to the mainland and tell me what’s the answer. Even for those living within the SAME ISLAND of PENANG, different areas would elicit different response. ‘Water murky’, ‘Too far’, ‘Too jammed’ and more. This is despite the fact that you point to them that you have been staying there and you do not find such problems. Okay, coming to some tips on what constitute a good location to buy.
1) Mature Neighbourhood. Normally this is where everything is conveniently located. You will also find that the development is not dusty. Everyone seems to know everyone and you feel more relaxed. Shops which you need to frequent are nearby and somehow there are many famous restaurants as well as a mall, a market, many schools, including SRJK(C)s etc. Malls, especially, I love.
2) LRT /future MRT stations. The more the better. Let me tell you that once MRT starts, the lifestyle may change. Thus, it may be wise to buy nearer to these places. Do note though that since the number of available stations are now many more than previously, do not concentrate only on areas where everyone is buying. Do not pay premium on top of premium!
3) 10 Minute rule. If the neighbourhood is growing, then use the 10 minute rule. Can you have access to whatever is in (1) above within 10 minutes? If answer is yes, then I think you have found a good place with high potential for capital appreciation. Always remember, every so called new area would somehow grow to be matured area and more new areas come up.
4) Public spaces. Lakes? Parks? Basically huge ones built for the public. Even if you have not been to one before, try going one in the evenings. Walk along the jogging track or just accompany your kid at the playground. You will see lots of people there and your kids would love it too. This is so important and it is FREE too.
5) Easy access. Don’t think distance. Think duration. 6km vs 20 km is not big difference if both needs 45 minutes to reach the city centre. However, if the area has many alternative roads for you to use, that’s the best. That’s why buying within Petaling Jaya does not necessary meant better than the fringe areas instead. of course if you can afford, then by all means buy anywhere you think is most convenient to you.
6) Future developments? I prefer to buy in newer areas where there are still plots of lands not yet developed. Find out first though on the owners for such lands. Most of the time, you can know if you buy Ho Chin Soon’s books. In Penang, I always tell everyone that I stay in the cheapest property in an area where every other property is more expensive. People laughed but I like it and it works because when everything else increases in price, my ‘low’ priced condo would follow too.
Some of these reasons may be at odds with one another. Do not worry, I have never believed there is such a thing as perfect property. Perhaps the perfect property for you at this particular point in time may not be the perfect one for you five years down the road. You may like the SOHO unit which is still affordable and you can reach office in 5 minutes but once you have a wife and your wife got pregnant? 🙂 Take care, make the best choice objectively and you will be just fine.
written on 31 Aug 2014
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