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Buying your first property can seem like a daunting task but once you understand the process flow and have a heads up on the items you need to keep a check on, then it starts coming across as something totally doable.

It is essential to know the difference between when you want to buy a piece of property and when you are ABLE to do so. Generally, as a rule of thumb, if you are able to buy your property and lead your normal monthly expenses comfortably then you’re ready to look into the purchase. Property after all is a coveted investment, one you should definitely look into when ready.

Here are five questions that aim to shed light on and guide you through the steps before you buy.

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1. What type of home best suits your needs?

You have many options to choose from i.e. a condominium, an apartment, a townhouse, a semi-D bungalow, or even a property land where you may wish to build your own dream house. Whichever is the case, each option has its pros and cons, depending on your homeownership goals.

2. What specific features are you looking for in your new home?

It always pays to be flexible in this area but its also important to know that a home is a long-term investment so you should try to purchase that which fits both your needs and wants as closely as possible whilst keeping in budget. Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size and should also keep in mind the details such as layouts and appliances.

3. How much mortgage do you actually qualify for?

It’s important to get an idea of how much a lender will be willing to give you to purchase your first home. This depends on factors such as your debt, monthly income, and job patterns.

4. How much home can you actually afford?

You will need to look at the house's total cost (not just the monthly payment) such as the amount of down payment you can afford, how much you anticipate spending to maintain or improve the house, and how much your closing costs will be.

5. Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?

A real estate agent will help you find homes that meet your needs and are in your price range. Once you've chosen a home to buy, these professionals can help in negotiating the entire purchase process including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing the paperwork.

Keep your eye out for all those questions above and you’ll be good to go.

When you’re ready to buy a property, it pays to have a check of its location and other factors. To make things easier, here’s a checklist of what to look out.

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Which way does the house face?

This is essential to take note of especially when it makes a difference between an overly heated home with little ventilation and an airy home that has ample lighting.

What is the area like?

Take a walk around the property location and observe the area. Are there a lot of noisy restaurants around? What kind of neighbors does it have? Are there any convenience stores around? Or is it public transport-friendly?

How safe is the area?

If you’re staying in a gated community then this shouldn’t pose a problem. If not, then you would have to look at the neighbourhood to see if there are sufficient people living around the neighbourhood or sufficient public resources around.

Are there sufficient facilities available in the community?

When purchasing a property, it helps to ensure sufficient public facilities around your neighbourhood such as a swimming pool, a community centre, a sports complex etc. Facilities as such would help provide a sense of community and would make it easier for you to get to know your neighbours too.

Is the property easily accessible to major roads?

To avoid any future conjestion going in and out of the property, it helps to know which major roads the property is linked to. This would help in ease of travel in the future.

Will there be any major developments happening in the area in the near future?

Apart from determining the appreciation of the property value, this would also help in determining if the density of population around the area is looking to be increased and whether that increase is something you wish to be a part of.

Is there sufficient drainage in the area?

Check the whereabouts and levels of external drains and check if they are accessible and fully functional.

When you’re ready to buy a home, it is not just about the aesthetics of the location and the home; it is also about how the process affects you on a monthly basis. This brings us to a big word we all call MORTGAGES.

The only way to ensure you have the best-suited mortgage plan for yourself is to arm yourself with sufficient information beforehand. This article will provide you enough tips to ensure you are able to do so.

Firstly, the most important question you should ask yourself is: how much can I afford and how much can I borrow? The percentage of down payment you pay at the beginning will affect the amount of monthly mortgage payments you pay later on. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment then you will be borrowing less and therefore paying a lower mortgage payment every month.

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When determining how much you can afford to pay for your home, you must consider your down payment amount, monthly expenses, credit rating, and income. As a general rule of thumb, your collective monthly debt should not exceed a third of your monthly income. This debt includes any car payments, education loans or any other costs you have on a monthly basis. Working out your collective debt plan will help decide a ceiling price for the amount of mortgage you are able to afford. You are not ready to look at property until you are able to calculate the amount of mortgage you can afford for your home.

Determining how much you can borrow will depend on the value of your property, your income and your repayment capability. When shopping for a loan, you must consider the interest rate and the duration of the loan. The higher the interest rate, the more money you will pay each month. Interest rates can be fixed or adjustable. Adjustable interest rates change overtime whereas fixed interest rates remain the same.

When choosing your source of finance, you have the choice of choosing between conventional financing and Islamic financing. Under conventional financing, your loan consists of a principal amount plus the interest charged on you. Islamic financing works on a different concept of buying and selling where the financial institution purchases the property and then sells it to you higher than the purchased price.

When choosing your mode of financing, it is important that you not overlook tiny details such as the margin of finance, lock-in period, and even simple items like making sure a branch is within your vicinity. It is also important that you keep in mind all the other fees involved in purchasing a home. It is obviously not just going to cost you the down payment and the subsequent mortgages. Other fees such as the legal fee, insurance fee, transaction fee etc. are also involved which you will need to calculate in as well.

In general, most mortgages are calculated for either 15 years or 30 years. A 30-year mortgage involves a lower monthly payment than a 15-year mortgage for the same amount, but the total amount paid in interest will be greater. The following reference can be used when calculating the best mortgage rates: https://www.imoney.my/home-loan.

When choosing your mortgage plan it is important that you design a plan that meets you and your needs best and is carried out with the least amount of financial strain.



References:

http://www.mortgagecalculator.net/buyers-guide/
http://www.iproperty.com.my/financing/faqs.aspx#22
http://www.iproperty.com.my/news/8992/5-common-home-loan-mistakes-to-avoid
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