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First time buyer? Deciding on own stay or home-stay?

I do not want you to get rich FAST from property investment. Heard of the higher returns equal to higher risks line? As a licensed auctioneer looking at the auction market, I realise that there has been many cases where a few properties within the same development belonging to the same buyer which was being auctioned at the same time. Guess why? The buyer had overstretched by taking on more debts he could handle OR he had been persuaded to buy many units to get higher amount of cash back.

The person persuading told him that the risk is low because he has all the cash and can keep paying for a few years until the property prices increase again. By the way, if it’s this easy, the Malaysian property market would have crashed long time ago. This is why I always tell everyone that property investment usually starts from 2nd property onwards. The first one? Look at it for own stay, stop paying the never-ending rental even if you seem to be enjoying low rental versus the so-called property price today. Why own-stay then?

Higher Due-Diligence. If I buy because I believe the property will increase in price, I will buy simply by listening and the decision could be totally emotional and quick. If I buy for my own stay, it has to be something I like. Something which meets all my expectations. The layout design, the number of rooms, the kitchen, the area / neighbourhood, the overall development, the facilities and even all the amenities which I want are nearby. If one particular unit could pass such a thorough due-diligence, it will pass through any slowdown and it will continue to be loved by many and not just us.

No risk, almost. If we pay rental, then it’s totally no risk since we can move anytime. Buying a property does carry a little risk BUT what happens when we rent the place we stay and bought another place and market slows down and we hate that particular home we bought and yet we could not rent it out and thus have to pay both sides (own stay and investment unit) at the same time? Hopefully for a few months but what if it’s for a very long time? Think about it seriously yeah. It has happened to some of my friends.

Starting investment journey. There are already many who bought a place, stayed in them for a couple of years and then upgraded into a bigger once when their salaries rose in tandem with their career growth. They continue to pay for the home they stay but that first home would most probably be sold for some extra money or rented out with a higher rental than the mortgage. This is SLOW but this is usually steady unless of course that first property we bought had overstretched us to the limits, then of course, that upgrade property after a few years will not be happening.

Most of us are usually working professionals. The strategy we will have to use will be a different one compared to a full time property investor for example. It will also be very different from someone who has lots of cash for example. This is why it’s perfectly okay to be slow and steady. Buying a property is usually a super expensive decision. Making the right choice will be essential if we do not intend to fall into the bankrupt Malaysian category.

By the way, MOST bankrupt cases are not due to property for own-stay yeah… It’s usually due to personal finance stuffs like over spending, using too much money and thinking that everything I spend, I will be able to pay back via instalments… Happy starting your first property investment via own stay and not home-stay. This may not be applicable to everyone yeah. Some hates slow and steady and prefers fast and high returns. Cheers.

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Next suggested article: Starting the property investment journey right

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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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