The Blind Spots (Or Hidden Costs) When Buying A Home In Malaysia
Is one of your new year resolutions for 2023 purchasing a house of your own? Pretty confident that you’ve done the math? We hate to be your party-pooper, but as much as we are proud of you making that leap in life, we believe that you need to be made aware of homeownership costs that may have fallen under your radar. So, we have listed down different hidden costs that we wish we knew when purchasing our first property:
1. Upfront costs & legal fees
By now, you should be made known that our banks can provide financial assistance of up to 90% of the property’s price for your first two residential properties. For those purchasing your first one, the Rumah IDAMAN should be in your list! With the 90% covered for, we will still need to set aside a 10% down payment to cover the remaining property’s price. For instance, the Rumah IDAMAN has a starting price of RM250,000, and so, the down payment in this case will be RM25,000.
The following are the items you need to find out the cost of and are dependent on your property price:
Sale & Purchase Agreement (SPA)
This consists of legal fees, stamp duty and legal disbursement fees.
This comprises of legal fees, stamp duty and legal disbursement fees.
Transfer of ownership better known as memorandum of transfer (MOT)
Tax on legal agreements
These are expenditures that need to be paid there and then, so it is an absolute must to have the said sum at hand upon making the decision to purchase a home.
2. Home Insurance
To be fair, home insurance is a topic that deserves its very own article no thanks to the sheer amount of information that you need to get your hands on, so we will only be covering on this topic very briefly here.
Similar to having insurance for your health is equally important as getting a health insurance to protect yourself against unforeseeable events. Buying a home is also a form of investment and just like any other investments, you will want to have proper protection in place to cover your property.
Here are some common home insurance policies that you should know about;
Basic fire insurance: Loss or damage of the house and/or its contents due to fire, lightning, and/or explosion.
Houseowner insurance: Similar to Basic Fire Policy, with extended coverage such as floods, burst pipes, natural disasters, and theft for residential properties.
Householder insurance: Similar to Houseowner Policy, with extended coverage on fatal injuries caused by the insured items.
3. Utility charges
To ensure that your future home is ready-to-stay you will need certain basic utilities and services, such as:
- Electricity – Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)
- Indah Water – Sewerage
- Internet connection
4. Maintenance fee and sinking funds
If the home that you are eyeing for holds a strata title, such as high-rise units where you share common public facilities like the swimming pool and the gym, you have to set aside some cash for monthly maintenance fees, which will be used for regular upkeeping of the shared facilities and services, including security and garbage disposal.
You will also need to set aside money for sinking funds. The fee is collected by your residential Joint Management Body (JMB) and will be used for expenses such as building repair works. We’ve covered this topic more extensively on our previous topic here.
5. Makeover, Renovation, & Aftercare
Regardless the condition of the property you intend to purchase, you need to consider both the immediate costs for personalizing it to your liking and the maintenance of it.
Of course, with a larger property, comes a larger price tag for furnishings. So, perhaps, bigger may or may not be necessarily better, it all boils down to your needs.
Do allocate certain amount for renovation, but for LBS Bina homebuyers and homeowners, you are in luck, as LBS has officially launched the ‘LBS Bina Home Makeover with Goodnite’ campaign. In this campaign lucky LBS homeowners will win themselves a home makeover for a part of your home that you desire, from the Living to Bedroom area worth a total of RM25,000 each!
Should you be buying a subsale property that also includes furniture as part of the package, make sure you are okay with everything that comes with it, because should that particular piece of furniture happen to become an eyesore down the road, it will cost you some cash to hire someone to move it away later on.
All these lingos might be overwhelming, but what’s most important is not to be afraid from these expenditures but to be aware that they exist. Treat all of the above more as a checklist and tick it off every time you’ve gotten a proper understanding of each expenditure.
With every item checked off your list, your finances will definitely be more well-structured. A very important element of a dream home is to have a homeownership experience that is free from expenses that will take you off guard and we hope for those of you who’ve read till this point, you will achieve just that and we wish you the very best on your homeownership journey!