A reader, Ms. A dropped me an email the other day asking for my opinion in buying a landed property in Ipoh. It was in Meru. She said she has viewed the place and likes it but still would want a second opinion. I think she was looking for third opinion because perhaps some of the friends she spoke to told her that that area is not the best. Actually, to many people, areas such as Ipoh Garden South, Canning Garden and even Bercham is considered better compared to the newer or inferior areas. I gave her 3 brief questions. If her answer is positive, she would have her answer already. They are as follows:
If you are buying for your own stay, there’s just three criterias that I would consider.
1) Do you and your family like it?
Have you seen the show house, does it look great? Have you imagined which room would be for which family member? How about the garden plot, have you imagined what will you be planting there? Perhaps a papaya tree, perhaps some vegetables? Are the ceilings tall enough? Higher ceiling means more spacious. What about the environment, do you feel comfortable with it even if it is not in a prime area with lots of shoplots etc? Are your family members liking it as much as you?
2) Is it near enough (<15 minutes) to majority of the places that you go to every week.
Example, if you need to send your kids to school everyday, are you able to send them there within 15 minutes? For Ipoh, I would say 15 minutes is the maximum time before the Ipohans tell you that it is FAR. Of course for KLites, this would most probably be 20 minutes on the low end. If you just love a certain cafe and you must drink a cup of coffee day everyday, is it within 15 minutes away? 15 minutes, under a no jam condition would meant up to 10km away. So, do have a list ready of the places you would like to go daily. Not weekly. If weekly, put it as secondary.
3) Can you afford it.
Haha. Very important. Are you liking it so much that you are thinking to maximise the budget you allocated for a home? Always remember, buy within your means. If everyone stretched to their very maximum limit, it meant the whole market is in danger. Don’t contribute to the problem. Also, if everyone thinks objectively, I think the developers also would not dare to price it as high as the moon or the stars in the sky. I seriously do not think any landed property in Ipoh, except for bungalows should be priced higher than RM1 million. Come on, it may be better for you to buy a few secondary properties next to each other, renovate it, have a huge place and it is still less than RM1 million. Sorry to developers who are selling over RM1 million properties. Above is just my personal opinion.
The below ‘other’ reasons are so secondary that you should not be thinking about them.
1. My friends said that area is not good. (Are they buying or are you buying?)
2) My friends do not stay around there. (Unless you visit all your friends everyday, please do not even think about this)
3) My relative said that the area he is staying is much better. (If you agree with him, then please buy nearby. Do note that majority of everyone would tell you his / her area is the best. Including me. )
4) I buy this home to stay and I also want capital appreciation. (If you are buying for capital appreciation only, then I seriously don’t think Ipoh is matured enough. Come on, in my parent’s home in Ipoh Garden South, even on the same row, the prices can range from RM300,000 to RM450,000. Please, think objectively)
Hope this answers and happy staying. I hope one day I will go home to Ipoh too. Home Sweet Home.
written on 15th Sept 2014
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