A reader asked me if he should consider an old neighbourhood but closer to his parents or a newer and modern landscaped neighbourhood around 10km away. The prices are not too different because one is a mature neighbourhood while another is newer and in a ‘far-away’ place. I gave him this answer. ‘If you love your parents, buy the closer one.’ Seriously, between property and family, there’s no need for any debate. Staying closer means great home cooked food too. However, assuming family is not within the equation, then what could be some of the things we look at before we decide? Here are 8 potential considerations to think about. Only based on my personal opinion yeah. Any differences in opinions, feel free to comment yeah.
#1 – Convenience. By convenience, I meant a location which has the most of all that you need within 15 minutes. 15 minutes is because after a while, you will not feel it much. Some of the things you want to be near to? Restaurants, lots of them. (not cafes…ok,keep costs lower). School (for your kids). Mall (the bigger the better, provides more choices). Supermarkets (I prefer Hero over Econsave). Your office (Yes, this is towards the last consideration because you may NOT stay in your same job forever…..)
#2 – Connectivity. No expressway(S) within 5km, better don’t buy, regardless of MRT / LRT / KTM / Monorail / BRT. One expressway is NOT enough lah. Two or more, within 5km from your home would be best. Waze will help you decide which one to take. After expressways, then yes, within 5km away from MRT / LRT / KTM / Monorail / BRT as long as these connect to your office. Else, change your job. (Haha). Buying next to the public transport station is perfectly fine, as long as you are okay to pay a premium of anything from 20-30% extra, if not more. (So, instead of RM500 per sq ft, it would be easily RM600 per sq ft or higher.)
#3 – Neighbourhood. (landed) If you feel unsafe even when you drive around the area, skip it. If you see some playground, take a look at the facilities, are they in good shape? In many good neighbourhoods, the playground is well maintained. It does not need to be an expensive neighbourhood! The landscaping around the neighbourhood, is it well trimmed? What about the trees, the grass and the leaves on the road? The good ones would usually remain good because the council is doing its work. The drains (preferably monsoon size), are they clogged? (This is not a joke. Clogged drains usually mean LOTS of mosquitoes…)
#4 – Condition of the unit / compound (high-rise). Here’s a full article on how to evaluate one. 12 tips on inspecting condos
#5 – Property price. It’s usual for people to buy homes with emotion. Tamper this with some objectivity. Understand what are the prices around the area. Please do not be the buyer who bought at the highest price. It’s not hard to check it out these days. Here’s one: brickz.my Alternatively, there are so many property sites that we can refer too as well.
#6 – Developments nearby. If there are vacant pieces of land, do we know who are the owners? Do we know what would be built there? Ask the real estate negotiator. They better know….. If it’s owned by a very branded developer, I think it’s fine. If the new development does well, it helps to bring up the price of your property too. Are there planned expressways just outside your home? Do note that it may take years and during those time, you may have to face jams and put up with noise and dust. (However, once completed, these new infrastructure tend to help your property price increase too. It’s a choice…)
I am very sure there are some other considerations but I think these should be within our considerations when we are buying our new home sweet home. Make it a sweet one. If we fail to buy a good one when we buy the first one, it will take us a long time to buy the second one while we suffer with the first one. Happy buying and staying.
written on 1 June 2017
Next suggested article: Buy, rent out and keep 10-15 years, why not?