How to choose your first home?
Know your budget
Dreaming of having a luxury condo or landed property with five bedrooms, setting up with sea view will make you disappointed if you don't know what you can afford.
You should check your all your bills including your utilities bills, restaurants bills and etc. so that you know seriously your average monthly budget. You should know what you can afford after deducting all your expenses and see what is left on your monthly salary. Considering along your saving and other expenses such as car loan, insurance and income tax, you should now know roughly how much you can pull out for a month for a home. For example, a RM400k+ home will make you fork out RM2k+ from your salary if you take a loan about 30 years.
Even you have saved enough first deposit fees for your home, you should take consideration on house insurance, legal fees, S&P fees, individual/strata title fees and etc. After knowing your budget, you can now easily filter those properties that you can afford within your budget.
Understanding your needs & wants
There are many other things to consider too when choosing a home. Due to budget constraint, we know that sometimes we need to make some sacrifices. It will make your decision easier when you know what you really need than what you only want. There are consideration such as how many rooms in a house do you need? Do you have a big family? Are you married with kids and is there any schooling options nearby? Do you own a transport and is there any public transportation easily accesible nearby? Even nearest entertainment available might be your consideration of your needs or wants. And the list goes on.
Try to create a checklist for what you need and want and bring it along with you for your next visit to property fair. Once you have it, it will at least help you remember what you like and dislike about a potential home that you are considering.
Location, Location, Location
One of the most important consideration of choosing a home is the location of the property. Check nearby amenities such as schools, parks, hospital, restaurants, airport, hotel, public transportation, shopping, road access and etc. The distance to your workplace might be your major consideration as you will need to travel from home to work at least 5 days a week. There are other location factors too such as closeness to family and friends, flood prone areas, low crime rate, environment and who is going to be your neighbour?
Landed or High Rise?
Another main choice to make is either getting a landed or high rise property. Consider if security is your main concern. Landed property tend to have more break in case comparing to high rise. Yes, we do have gated and guarded landed house nowadays. It does help to reduce but it doesn't 100% prevent break in case from happening.
Secondly, consider if you are going to have pets or not as most high rise do not allow owners to have large pets in their home. Think of how many cars do your family have and are the parking lots enough for you. Check the high rise surrounding if there is legal road side parking available too. You have to consider if your family have elders with you. Landed with staircase might be a problem for them too. There are also maintence fees, sinking fund, garbage fees in high rise comparing to non-gated landed property and see if you willing to pay for them.