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Home for own stay is NOT an investment?

Home for own stay is not an investment.

There’s just too many misconception about buying a property and too many people continue to spend away whatever money they have simply because someone told them renting is cheaper versus buying and that if it’s buying for own stay, that’s not an investment! Many of these advice were given by those who are sharing about financial management?

Famous quote: “It’s only an investment if it gives you return every month.” Oh, so if I am an owner and the rental paid by my tenant is lower than my mortgage, my home is not an investment?

You mean… if I am renting a home, I get returns every month? Something like this? After I rent the same home for a few years, the landlord gives me free stay for 12 months? Get serious. RM1,500 rental per month and RM18,000 per per is LOST forever. That’s definitely no gain at all.

home for own stay
Photo by Joanna Bogacz on

Let me also share with you 5 other reasons why buying that first property is DEFINITELY an investment.

Pay rental for 30 years and you get to stay free till you say bye bye

Seriously, any landlords who read this statement above and say, ‘Hey that’s me. If my tenant pays me rental on time and I like him / her a lot, then I will allow them to stay for free after they have paid me for 30 years. I am a good landlord. Caring and charitable too. By the way, I would not want to debate on this but if you are currently renting and your landlord actually promised you this, then I am happy for you. Your landlord is a really nice person. Please do not move because that next landlord may not treat you the same.

Mortgage so high, rental so low, renting means saving more money.

This is a fact which is hard to debate. I am serious. Many of my friends are renting out their units at below the monthly mortgage every month. Their tenants must be very happy to SAVE money every month. I just hope they really do something ROI related with their savings and not spend it.

Anyway, just go to any mortgage calculator, look at the actual mortgage payment per month and separate out the interest we paid and the principal we paid. If the rental from the tenant covers more than the interest portion, we are actually gaining and not losing. I cannot say the same for the tenant. May not be a lot but when times get better… we have upside potential. Tenants? Well their only advantage is that they could move on to the next property. (they better wish market is forever this slow…)

Are you an expert in some other types of investment?

Any type is fine. Whether it’s the stock market (value investing) or even speculating on some potential trends / news / rumours. As long as you could do this very well and is earning lots of returns which can easily cover the rental, then keep doing it and keep renting that place. However, if you are not, which majority of everyone I know is not, then it’s best not to waste the time and start buying a property and building up that asset. At least you have that home which price will grow slowly following inflation…

Most of us have no other choice anyway

Everyone would love to be the CEO of a startup moving on towards a billion (USD is best but RM is fine) valuation. Very few are. EVEN if you are now working towards this startup goal, please at least have a property to your name which you have the discipline to keep paying for.

Only 1% of all the employees in a multi-national of a few hundred people are the top management. Add another 4% for the senior managers and we have just 5% in total. Not many Malaysians are in this category and could be earning half a million ringgit a year or more (plus they remembered to save those money…)

Moving down, we go to the T20 households in Malaysia. (click here to read) Yes, they earn higher than the remaining 80% of Malaysian households. However, imagine if they did not buy a home and now they have retired. Do we seriously think all their earnings would have been enough for them to keep paying rental for the next 20 years? RM2,000 (rental) x 12 (months) x 20 (years) is still HALF a million ringgit! Why not take this half a million ringgit to do something we love instead of paying rental?

I am not a billionaire, not from developer, not from real estate agency and not a mutual fund agent

Nothing to buy at the end of the article yeah. Not going to tell you to buy any property to start your first-home. Go find it at many other property listing sites. No courses for you to attend too, sorry. I am not qualified as I do not buy 10 properties at one go. My advice comes from my experience and how property investment has continued to be a rewarding one. It also comes from the fact that there’s too many experts who kept telling us how to save money, save money and save money but then they included the renting as part of the saving money advice. Sigh…


Feel free to disagree and just do what you think is right. It’s your life and it’s also my life. Just remember that calculation on top yeah. Half a million. We assume rental stays exactly the same too by the way. Happy investing.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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