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Savvy With Property Abbreviations

Planning to buy your first house? There’s really no better time to do so! Especially with the HOC extended till the end of 2021, as well as BNM maintaining its OPR at an all-time low of 1.75%. You also happen to have a healthy DSR? Great! Hold up, you look confused, did all these abbreviations confuse you? Believe it or not, we were once in that spot.

The process of buying your first home can be overwhelming because it is not merely a cash and carry process. Besides having an in-depth knowledge of the potential property, being well-versed with banking and property abbreviations is equally as important.

In this article, we won’t be going too in-depth on every abbreviation so that you can take your time to digest all this info. Here is our pick of property abbreviations that you need to know to help ease your way on your journey to securing your first home:

1. HOC

Introduced back in 2019, HOC is the abbreviation for Home Ownership Campaign, a government initiative intended to aid homebuyers in search to purchase their dream property and simultaneously catalyze sales of unsold properties in the housing market of Malaysia. The HOC comprises significant stamp duty exemptions on Instrument of Transfer, Instrument on Loan Agreement, and much more. Be quick though because this campaign is only here to stay till the end of 2021.

2. MPC, BNM, and OPR

Hear us out on why we place them together. The Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) is an overnight interest rate set by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) intended for monetary policy direction. Remember how we mentioned that at the time of speaking the OPR is at its all-time low and that’s a good thing? The lower the OPR is set, the cheaper it is to take a loan and thus, better capabilities of accessing capital, be it for personal or commercial reasons, and vice versa.

3. DSR

A Debt Service Ratio (DSR) is a method used by banks to gauge your ability to afford the loan that you just applied for. When purchasing a house, DSR is crucial as banks use this formula to determine the amount that you can afford to pay for your monthly property loan instalments. A healthy DSR is in the 30-40% range. In short, the lower your DSR, the merrier but should your DSR be on the high side, don’t give up just yet. You can always seek advice from your bank on the highest DSR that they accept because every bank’s DSR limits may differ.


Credit Tip-Off Services or better known as CTOS in short is a report that is issued by CTOS Data Systems Sdn Bhd, which is one of our country’s leading private Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) which archives an individual or organization’s complete credit record. Contrary to a Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) report which only tracks credit history for the past one year, CTOS reports are stored indefinitely. A good CTOS score will boost your credit application approval and ultimately, bring you one step closer to your dream home!

5. DOA

No no, it’s not prayer in Malay, but instead stands for Deed of Assignment. DOA is a legal document that is used to transfer the ownership of a property/a debt from one party to another. It confirms the transfer of ownership from the ‘Assignor’ (the individual who currently owns the property) to the ‘Assignee’ (the individual who is acquiring the property).

6. MOT

The Memorandum of Transfer (MOT) is a legal document that follows the SPA and confirms the actual transfer of the ownership of the property. It confirms the actual transfer of ownership of a property. Wait, MOT sounds very similar to DOA, yes? Signing the MOT signing signifies that the Land Title will be transferred from the developer to you. For high-rise units, once it is divided, the MOT needs to be filed at the Land Office to transfer the ownership of the unit from the developer to the buyer. The signing of the MOT is the legal confirmation of transfer of ownership and generally forms the final step of the transfer process.

7. SPA

The Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) is an extremely important document that defines the terms of a house sale. A legally binding contract between buyer and seller that confirms mutually agreed conditions such as the method of payment, defect liability period, conditions of the property, fixtures, and fittings, and other relevant clauses.

8. DLP

Do you know how our new phones and electronics come with warranty? Defect Liability Period or DLP in short is sort of the same thing but for properties instead. It is a specific period where your developer is responsible to fix any defects identified in your new home. Spotted misaligned or hollow tiles, uneven paint, or crack ceilings? It’s part of the SOP for developers to thoroughly inspect the property before vacant possession (VP), while you get all excited for your new house, knock and skim through every corner of the house! Under the Housing Development Act in Malaysia, the DLP period is 24 months for individual titles and 36 months for strata titles, beginning from the day you take the keys for your new house, so start checking away!

9. CCC

CCC stands for the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) which is also by far one of the most important documents in the journey of securing your dream home. This black and white is issued when your newly built house is signed off as completed and safe for habitation, as evaluated and submitted by an appointed architect known as Principal Submitting Person (PSP).

10. BLR

To make it easy to digest, Base Lending Rates (short for BLR) is the base interest rate that banks internally turn to prior to finalizing the rate to charge for your home loan. To describe more precisely, BLR is the rate determined by each bank according to the cost needed to borrow the money to be lent to borrowers, which is determined by the aforementioned OPR.

Well done! You’ve made it till the very end. Of course, there’s so much more to learn in the world of property and every abbreviation actually deserves its very own article. But no worries, we are confident that you are now much savvier than when you started. Did you like what you read? Let us know in the comments down below how we can help you be better equipped in buying your new house!


Mental Stress: The Cure Starts With You

“Nobody said it was easy, It’s such a shame for us to part.

 Nobody said it was easy, No one ever said it would be this hard.”


Is the rhythm of the song titled “The Scientist” by Coldplay in your mind now? Or perhaps you might be singing along with this song.

As mentioned in the lyrics “Nobody Said It Was Easy”, we face challenges, and stress is unavoidable but a normal part of life. While everyone experiences stress, what stresses someone out varies from person to person, might be because of work, studies, family and relationship matters.

Yes, challenges to some extent might break down our barriers, push our limits. When you’re facing your limits and you feel that resistance, it can seem hard to overcome. But just by pushing yourself a little harder, you can really accomplish some great things.

Anyway, stress is inevitable, life goes on, and we need to face the reality of life. Here are some tips to help manage and reduce stress:


1. Eat healthily

The proverbial saying ‘You are what you eat’ is the notion that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food.


2. Exercise

Almost any form of exercise can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy. Examples include jogging, dancing, cycling, Yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba.


3. Take time out

You may have experienced frustration on some matters, try to stop thinking about it, listen to music, gardening, play some games, chat with family or BFF, temporarily escape from stress.


4. Green Environments

Exposure to green spaces help to relieve stress, and generally enhances psychological recovery. Exposure to urban green spaces can generate cognitive, affective, and psychophysiological benefits that reduce stress.


5. Snack / Cheat time

Have a break and have a KitKat. Oh! This is not an advertisement session! In fact, you can have any snack, preferably a healthier snack, for example, low carb snack, almonds that contain several beneficial nutrients, pistachios that are high in fibre. Of course, some snacks are acceptable but do limit your snack intake, as it might increase calorie, weight gain.


6. Get Some Restful Sleep

Stressful times can cause insomnia. You can take nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews which are often considered to be good food for sleep.

Have a warm bath, listen to calm and relaxing music, do some gentle yoga and meditation to relax your mind and body. Exercising regularly, cutting down on caffeine does help beat insomnia.

Write away your worries. If you tend to lie in bed thinking about everything you must do tomorrow, set a to-do list before bedtime, it helps for a night of quality sleep.

If you cannot sleep, do not lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again, then go back to bed.

Do consider consulting a doctor if lack of sleep is persistent and it’s affecting your daily life.


7. Seek Help

It’s OK to not be OK, we’re human, in life we go through a lot of ups and downs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, go for counselling sessions and consult a psychologist. Remember, You Are Not Alone. Take care.

When Is The Right Time?

The past decade has witnessed an upward trend in property prices. However, the past two years have taken a halt in the trend due to oversupply and added pressure to keep the prices down caused by the pandemic. Owning a property involves a long time commitment which will affect one financial situation. Much thought is put into it before an individual decides to purchase their first home or even their next one. With the declining market price, multiple campaigns and incentives, is it the right time to purchase? Even if it is for investment purposes, with the uncertainties due to the pandemic, what is the right choice?

The Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) was reintroduced in 2020 by the Government as an initiative of stimulating the property market and providing financial relief to homeowners. The joint effort between the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) and Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) Malaysia aims to help first-time homeowners. Even so, the campaign is open to all Malaysians with no limit on the number of purchases.

There are pros and cons to this campaign. Other than the stamp duty exemption and 10% discount on the price, the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) is also at its lowest. Do keep in mind, these benefits are only applicable towards newly launched projects and not applicable towards commercial units. Competitive pricing, location, accessibility and safety are among the factors that will influence buyers in making a purchase.

With the implementation of the multiple Movement Control Orders (MCO) in the past years during the pandemic, data have shown that Malaysians are more interested in spacious properties outside of the dense city areas. Landed units with competitive prices have shown higher demands compared to high-rise buildings.

LBS Bina offers you affordable options to choose from. Terraced houses, townhouses and even serviced apartments. With prices as low as RM250,000 for a unit at KITA Ria serviced apartments, the property offers you a cosy apartment for a close-knit community. This guarded apartment is located in the KITA @ Cybersouth township located within the developing Southern Klang Valley.

Easily accessible via major highways including the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway through Elite Highway, Maju Expressway (MEX), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), North-South Expressway (NSE), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), and Jalan Dengkil-Banting. Strategically located between Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, KITA @ Cybersouth is close to various key public amenities, such as commercial hubs, financial institutions, governmental administration centre, international airport, healthcare providers, and many others.

With all the enticing offers in the market, isn’t it the right time for you to make your purchase?

Are You Ready?

Now that everyone is completing their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, are you mentally ready to go back to normal? To how everything was before? Admittedly, it is a big step stepping out of the pandemic and going back to our previous routine, but eventually it must be done whether we like it or not.

We understand this might be a little stressful, especially with the number of daily cases being what it is, but remember how stressed out we all were having to sit at home for months, wishing everything would go back to normal? How working from home in a mostly non-conducive environment was taking a toll on our mental health?

When we are fully vaccinated, it becomes our responsibility to slowly start returning to our obligations. Meetings need to be done face to face for better clarification, things can be done more efficiently in a timely manner, and on top of performance improvement, it will also benefit our social and mental needs. We will finally get to breathe in some fresh air daily and we get to mingle and laugh with our colleagues.

As to how we understand your concerns, we hope you understand ours too. We must keep operating if we want to keep providing for everyone. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is we can only sustain when we are fully operational, and we know this is a bitter pill to swallow. As we embark on this journey of embracing the new normal at work, we need to learn to be interdependent. Relying on each other and helping each other out will ensure that we will be able to swiftly get back into our previous work routine safely and efficiently.

We promise we will be there with you every step of the way. Experiencing back-to-work anxiety is completely normal and together, we will manage the issue. Remember that you are not the only one who is facing this – we are too. There are plenty of ways for us to address this issue and one of it is identifying our causes for concern.

At any given time, you are allowed to voice out your concerns and together we will find the best solution. Let’s normalise openly talking about our mental health and to always be inclusive and attentive of one another. This will foster a mentally healthy workspace, and given the current climate, we are each other’s resources, so we must have each other’s back.

Two years ago, we could only dream of being here, unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is a breakthrough, and we must seize this opportunity now more than ever to help our society return to what it was. We must turn over a new leaf and although it is still a little tricky, there are SOPs put in place to guide us through. We are not saying we are ready to go back to a mask-less society, but we are heading in the right direction. It is a scary step but a necessary one. If you want things to go back to the way they were, you have got to be your own hero.

What If?

What if I bought my first house 5 years ago, what if I listened to my family and friends to start saving for my own property instead of spending lavishly on trivial things. What would’ve happened if I didn’t do it properly last time and just do things according to my guts instead of doing research on things that I wanted to get. I’m sure many of you out there have regrets about not making the right decisions on things that have been done previously. Like me, my biggest regret was not buying my first property during my early twenties. But I have thought to myself not to think about the past and keep moving forward.

From what I have learned all these years, you must always grab any opportunity that comes into your life. Sooner or later, if you don’t grab it, you will have a sense of regret for not taking the opportunity that was presented to you. What if you got a new work opportunity previously but you felt that it was not the right time to move or felt that you are afraid to leave your current work for the sake of feeling secure, but years after that you felt that you should have taken the opportunity that was offered to you years ago.

But now, if you have the means to buy a house, it is the right time to do so. With the low-interest rates that are being offered to customers that want to purchase their first house. Promotions like HOC which stands for House Ownership Campaigns that will give a lot of benefits to home buyers. Now is the right time to start looking to purchase your first house. Worried that you will need to pay a lot of booking fees? Fear not. Now there are low booking fees, free legal fees, free stamp duty for loan and MOT (Memorandum of Transfer) and a minimum of 10% rebate for house purchases.

LBS Bina is known to build affordable houses for Malaysians, there’s a lot of locations for you to choose from in different states in Malaysia. Various selections of properties to fulfil your needs. Our selection of houses covers different regions of Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Cameron Highlands and Batu Pahat, Johor. These properties could cater to all your needs from every level of income, which covers Landed Properties, Condominiums, and townhouses.

Finally, this is the right time for all of you to start looking out to buy your first house or even get your second or third house that could be used for your investment purposes. Because all these promotions and offerings will not last forever, as this will only last till the end of the year. Grab this great opportunity so that in the coming years you won’t feel a sense of regret. And accompanied with the phrase saying, ‘What if I grab the opportunity to buy my first house in 2021?’.

Okay, I’m Vaccinated. Now What?

Two years ago, we could only dream of being here. Being cooped up in our homes with the number of cases only getting higher and higher, it did not seem like there was a way out. Being vaccinated is far from our imagination. We could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our spirit was low, we did not have the motivation to do anything, we missed our family and friends, we missed dining out, and we were worried we or any of our loved ones would get infected by COVID-19 – we had a hard time adjusting to the new normal.

On top of all the stress of going through a pandemic, we were still expected to live our lives as normal as possible, meeting work deadlines with a pay cut, and some even lost their job. We were living in uncertainties, and it was hard. We also had to go through a crash course on particle filtration, alcohol level to effectively sanitise, room ventilation, and a whole lot more things that we wish we knew a whole lot less about.

We also had to learn about interdependence to ensure the survival of our species. We learned about forming quarantine bubbles, donning protective gears just to go get groceries, and having only essential physical interactions. The days were suffocating, and the nights were long. We look forward to the day when we can breathe easier again, although the future seemed bleak.

And it seems like we are finally having a major breakthrough. COVID-19 vaccines have successfully been developed and distributed worldwide after months of research by healthcare experts. Vaccine rolls out in Malaysia kicked off on February 24 with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin receiving the first of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as mass inoculation campaign started.

Through the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Malaysia government has by far approved a few COVID-19 vaccines. One being RNA vaccine – genetic material from the pathogen only – known as Pfizer-BioNTech. Three being non-replicating viral vector vaccine – another virus that cannot copy itself carries the pathogen’s genes – known as CanSino, Johnson & Johnson, and Oxford-AstraZeneca. And the last one being an inactivated vaccine – killed pathogen that cannot replicate itself – known as Sinovac. Two other vaccines are currently undergoing clinical trials in Malaysia; one non-replicating viral vector vaccine – ReiThera, and one inactivated vaccine – Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

June 21 marks the kick-off of Phase 3 of National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme in Klang Valley, which would be the final phase of vaccination before heading to Phase 4: the Economic Recovery Plan. As of June 18, 4.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated while 12.4% has received their first dose. Life is slowly but surely going back to normal, so what now?

It seems like we are finally turning over a new leaf, but can we do pre-pandemic activities again? Yes, but it is a little tricky. Being COVID-19 vaccinated means the virus would no longer endanger you much, but they do not give you superpowers. You may still carry it and put those around you at risk, so until we have reached herd immunity, we still need to take precautions, but the list of pre-pandemic activities that you can do will grow.

It is completely normal to still feel scared even after you are fully vaccinated. To go back to a mask-less society or entering a crowded lift seem like a precarious act, and currently it still is as we learn more about the power of these vaccines, hence why the need to still follow the recommended SOP by MOH. Knowing the overall risk of infection in your area is also a good step towards making better decisions.

We are heading towards the right direction, but it is understandable if we are still enveloped with uncertainties as more research is currently being done. Simply returning to our old habits would be deadly. To be mentally prepared, remember that even though you have a new “force field” around you, it is not impenetrable.

It is important to refer to only credible news to not hinder the government’s vaccination effort so we can reach herd immunity faster. Do not easily trust forwarded messages you read on WhatsApp as most are fake news, and more importantly, do not forward it to others. Stop the chain, it starts with you, do not create vaccination hesitancy.

Bottom line is, yes, you can now breathe easier after being vaccinated. You can walk or sit taller and let go of some of the worries that have been lurking in the back of your mind for the last two years. Remember that getting over the pandemic is a journey, and while we race toward widespread vaccination to get back to life before COVID-19, we also must play our part in the meantime for the under 18 population who cannot yet get their shots.

Together, we will beat this and rise above it.

Buying Your First Home

There are 2 keys every Malaysian should have in their lifetime; car keys and house keys. You already have the car, and now you’ve finally reached that stage in your life where you want to have a place to call your own. Be it for personal or investment, buying your first property can be a rather daunting task if misinformed. But by asking the right questions and understanding the process flow, things might not be as complicated as it seems.

It’s very important to differentiate between wanting to buy a property and being able to buy a property. Always remember, if you can buy the property and manage your monthly expenses comfortably, then you’re ready to consider the purchase.


Here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself before deciding:

1. What type of home best suits me?

There are many types to choose from; a condominium, an apartment, a townhouse, a semi-D bungalow, or even a patch of land to build your own dream house. Each has its own pros and cons, which you need to weigh to better suit you.

2. What am I looking for in a new home?

A home is a long-term investment, which is why it’s very important to consider a property that fits both your wants and your needs while keeping within your budget. Location, neighborhood, size, and layout should be part of your consideration.

3. How much mortgage can I actually get?

It’s important to get an idea of how much a lender will be willing to loan out for your first home. The amount may vary depending on your debt, monthly income, and job patterns.

4. How much home can I 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 me find a home and guide me through the purchase?

A real estate agent will help you find homes that best suit your criteria. Once you’ve decided on a home to buy, these professionals will help you with the entire purchase process including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing the paperwork.

Just keep in mind these 5 questions and you’re good to go. All the best!

Factors To Be Considered Before Buying A Property

After months of searching, you’ve finally found your ideal home. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are a few things you might want to consider:

Which way does the house face?

This is essential, 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 and observe the area. Are there a lot of noisy restaurants around? What are the neighbours like? Are there any convenience stores around? Is there public transport nearby? This is to give you an idea of what to expect before you move in.

How safe is the area?

If the property is within a gated community then you’re all set. If not, then you might have to look at the surrounding houses and see if there are ample residents living around the neighbourhood. You might also want to check if there is sufficient public resources around.

Are there sufficient facilities available in the community?

It helps to ensure sufficient public facilities around your neighbourhood such as a swimming pool, a community centre, a sports complex and/or playgrounds. These amenities provide a sense of community and is a great way to get to know your neighbours.

Is the property easily accessible to major roads?

It helps to know which major roads the property links to. This will help with the ease of traveling, avoiding any future congestion going in and out of the property

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?

Examine the whereabouts and levels of external drains and see if they are accessible and fully functional.

All You Need To Know About Mortgages

Finding the right home can be tricky, from the location, to the type, the design as well as size. But eventually it all comes down to what you can afford. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s very important to differentiate between wanting to buy a property and being able to afford one.

Here, we’ll be talking about mortgages and how you too can finance your home the right way.

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, thus lower mortgage payment every month.

When determining how much you can afford to pay for your home, there are a few things you might want to consider:

  1. down payment amount,
  2. monthly expenses,
  3. credit rating, and
  4. income.

The simple rule to follow; 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 determine a ceiling price for the mortgage you are able to afford. We advise you to calculate the amount of mortgage you can afford before considering a property.

The amount you can borrow is determined on the value of your property, your income and your repayment capability. When looking for an ideal loan, do 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.

As for the financing, you have the choice of conventional financing or 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.

It’s important to pay attention to every little detail, like the margin of finance, the lock-in period, as well as branch location. It’s just as 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 items you would need to calculate in as well.

Generally, 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:

Always remember, choose a mortgage plan that meets your needs best and is carried out with the least amount of financial strain.



GST And The Property Sector

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in Malaysia back in April 2015. Prior to its inception, spending spiked before decreasing drastically after its implementation. This decline is expected to continue as consumers and businesses alike adjust to the new taxation.

The list below contains information regarding GST and how it might affect the property sector:

  • GST is a consumption-based taxation system which works as a replacement for the existing Sales and Service Tax (SST).
  • The introduction of GST in Malaysia is not a new idea; the first announcement of a possible implementation was made by the government a decade ago back in September 2004, but was postponed twice before its implementation.
  • GST will be charged on all types of supply of goods and services in Malaysia (except for goods prescribed as zero-rated and exempt-rated).
  • The Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (REHDA) has forecasted that residential property prices may rise by 3-3.5% after GST.
  • The Royal Malaysian Customs (RMC) has also forecasted that housing prices may increase by 0.5% to 2%.
  • A purchaser of residential property will not be subject to GST since the supply of residential property falls under the category of exempt-rated supply.
  • Even though residential property developers are not allowed to claim any input GST incurred on their business purchases, the cost of their own purchases will increase. Due to this, the developer may adjust its selling price to reflect the extra costs due to the unrecovered input GST.
  • As for commercial and industrial properties, the cost is expected to increase as those sectors will be subjected to GST.