Malaysia Real Estate Market Is For The Blind

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I have been an investor in the Malaysian real estate market for the last seven years or so. I am a regular seeker of Malaysia property and so I scour online resources and property portals such as iproperty, property guru and MetroSherpa.com. It’s hard work, but it’s all worth it – I have been getting about 10x ROI for each of my properties in Malaysia which I flip on average. It’s a good moneymaker, definitely!

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What I Look For In A Malaysia Property

The answer to this question (which I get a lot) is pretty simple. A good piece of Malaysia property has to satisfy these criteria and more:-

  • Good rental rates. This is a good indicator of property value. I tend to go for areas where there is high expatriate density, such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (or more famously known as the KLCC), Bangsar, and Mont Kiara.
  • Good neighborhood. This is perhaps more qualitative than quantitative. Before I purchase a piece of real estate I would go and check out the neighborhood myself to get a good first-hand experience about the place. There are lots of property for sale which are of good value, but I still want to be sure that my real estate investments are validated qualitatively so that I can assure myself that it will all pay off.
  • High capital appreciation rates. I profit by buying low and selling high. Here, I look at the history of the property prices in the same area. Does it have a good record of capital appreciation?

Want the best real estate investment you can ever make in Malaysia? It’s simple if you know how!

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to finding a good piece of real estate in Malaysia to invest in, of course. Everything comes with practice! Also, if you are a redneck American like me who has never been to Malaysia then you will need to find a good local realtor or real estate broker to do the due diligence for you. Meanwhile, it’s also advisable to do some research online – PropertyReviews.my has got a good collection of impartial reviews of Malaysia properties. Check it out – I like it a lot!

I will share more tips and tricks on how to find the best real estate agent in Malaysia who will help you zero in the best properties to invest in. Watch this space!

Coming Back To Kuala Lumpur (Soon!)

Dear readers,

I am still on holiday here in Philadelphia (been here since Christmas), and I will be heading back to KL soon enough. While I was away, I was contemplating of getting a Vipod unit here in KLCC – sorta regretting that I didn’t jump on the bandwagon three years ago when the project was launched at RM900 PSF. Checking at my favorite KLCC website KLCCcondominiums.com.my it seems that the asking prices are now RM1,500 PSF. Seesh…

Meanwhile, I read that Cecil Chao (I absolutely adore this guy) is heading back to Malaysia to launch a new project just next to his KLCC condo masterpiece Parkview (I have since sold my unit) – read this news coverage. I like his work – and I look forward to his new project because frankly, the guy delivers.

Much love!

Joseph’s Innovative Malaysian Real Estate Investment Methods

These are indeed interesting times as far as Malaysia real estate investments are concerned. The 13th general elections is coming soon, and the uncertainties which are plaguing the country would be over soon. Or so one hopes…

The Malaysia property market has been rather quiet for the past eighteen months or so, with buyers generally adapting a “wait and see” approach to real estate investing (see my previous post here). There are some real estate brokerages which have since gone down under, and this is higher than the regular churn rate in the industry.

I love the Petronas towers. They are simply fabulous!

I love the Petronas towers. They are simply fabulous!

So is the property market outlook bleak? Not quite, says real estate experts based out of Klang Valley – click here for an interesting newspaper article.

In order to make a profit from real estate investments, one has got to think out of the box a little in their quest to look for good investment opportunities. As they say, knowledge is power. Therefore, the savvy property investor would look for properties by reading up on local newspapers and magazines. My favorites are The Edge (it has got a good property section in every issue), the new kid on the block “Focus Malaysia” (R&R pullout is awesome) as well as the daily reads in The Star.

Hotspots In Malaysia Real Estate Market

In my humble opinion, these are hotspots in the Malaysia property market in 2013 -

  1. Mont Kiara is definitely making a comeback after a rather lackluster 2012. New shopping centre at Solaris Dutamas (known as “Publika”) is already drawing in the weekend crowd. Condominiums in Mont Kiara which deserve a second look – MK28, MK10, Lumina Kiara (which also has semi detached bungalows) and Kiara Designer Suites (entry level luxury condominiums suitable for the single person or those with small families).
  2. Kuala Lumpur City Centre, or known better as KLCC. The heartbeat of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. There can only be one! The Avare is famous for being one of the more upmarket apartments in KLCC, and that says a lot. Recently, two units in the Four Seasons condominiums have been sold for – wait for it – RM37 million apiece. Now, that’s madness to some, but to someone with cash to burn, it’s wise investment. Much better than parking your cash in a bank, don’t you think? But still… for that obscene amount of money you can probably brush your teeth with caviar every morning with enough change to raid the Genting Highlands casino for a weekend. You gotta be a real hustler to be able to afford a unit in KLCC… Marc Residence or Troika anyone?
  3. Bangsar. Could be aging, but still, some of the bungalows and semi detached houses are still fetching good prices. Worth a second look. Also, some good apartments as well – One Menerung, for example. Suitable for humans, a little overkill for cows.

Online Resources

Online, I usually go to sites like PropertyReviews.my (heavy on editorial pieces on property) or PropertyGuru (heavy on classifieds). Sometimes, specialist sites like KLCCcondominiums.my is also very useful, and much better than generic writeups in property portals which seem to be rather watered down. Pick your poison!

- Joseph (joseph@simpleassemblymehole.com)

Real Estate Investment – Some Beginner Tips :)

Hello, Joseph here again.

Last week I had received an email regarding my blog post here, and I thought I’d share some tips with the sender which I am posting here.

In a nutshell, real estate investment refers to the management, ownership, rental, sale or purchase of real estate for profit. A lot of people have trouble looking into this kind of investment because it requires a bit of money. If you are interested in investing in real estate yourself, then you should know that you need to be flexible and determined, as well. Here are several tips that can help you succeed in the world of real estate investment:

  • Decide on the Length of Your Investment.

For starters, you will need to decide whether you want to invest in real estate for the short term or for the long term. Since investors have to keep paying for their mortgage, their dues will decrease and their equity in their property will increase as time goes by to add to its total net worth.

If you decide to invest in real estate for the short term, then you can make a decent profit this way. Let’s say you buy a property for almost $50,000. If you do a few repairs on it and take its selling costs into consideration, then you may have to spend $65,000 in total. If you end up selling the property a few months after buying it, though, then you can sell it for $85,000 and make a profit of almost $20,000. Cool, isn’t it? :)

  • Consider the Property’s Location.

When looking into property investment, the property’s location will definitely play a vital role. In fact, whether you plan on renting or buying a property, one of the first things you should think about is where the property is. After all, as much as you can make improvements to any piece of property, you can’t really change its location. So, try to pick out a property in a busy city or town instead; there will usually be more demand there.

  • Look for Bargains.

If you would like to make more profit from your choice of property, then look for HUD repossessions or foreclosures nearby. Some great places to find bargains for these would be the local newspaper, online real estate investor sites and courthouses. All of these places tend to list various kinds of properties that you can look into. Before making a final decision, though, it would be highly advisable to check what their surrounding areas look like. If the neighborhood has a lot of boarded-up houses or looks run down, then you might want to steer clear of those properties overall. If you’re into upmarket properties in the KLCC area, check out this resource.

  • Take Your Time.

Patience is a virtue, so take your time studying each property that you are interested in and become more familiar with them. Analyze the real estate thoroughly and if you find any problems with it, just walk away. And if you’re a seller, remember to always be patient and make the effort to refurbish the apartment before you list it. For some tips, click here.

  • Negotiate.

Find out the different terms that sellers and agents use in the world of real estate. This way, you can avoid confusion and know exactly what is going on at all times. By following all of the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble generating some good cash flow and increase your net worth in the long run.

Hope that helps! :)

-Joseph

Common mistakes when buying a home

Many people who buy a home are in fact first time home buyers. First time home buyers are different from other home buyers in that they’ve never been through the process before. Because first time home buyers haven’t been through the home buying process before, they aren’t able to tell if any part of the process seems odd or out of the ordinary. Many developers and real estate agents prey on first time home buyers because they are easy targets. If you are a first time home buyer getting ready to purchase your first home, make sure that you protect yourself from financial and emotional heartache. The following paragraphs will discuss in detail some common mistakes associated with buying a home. This is relevant to the Malaysia real estate market or elsewhere.

My first piece of property. I’ve gotten emotionally attached to it so much that I cried when I sold it!

One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a home is not getting a home inspection. Most people who skip the home inspection do so if the home they are thinking about purchasing is brand new. Buyers think that since the house is new, there can’t be anything wrong with it. Unfortunately, this is completely false. No matter how old the house is you should always get an inspection. Even though it costs money to get an inspection, it can save you a lot of money in the end. If the foundation is bad and you don’t get it inspected before you purchase the house, it could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars.

Another mistake people make when buying a home is showing their emotions. It is very important to not show your emotions in front of your realtor. Your realtor is a sales person that works closely with the selling agent. Sometimes, your realtor and the selling agent are represented by the same real estate firm. If your realtor knows that you like the house, they will not try as hard during negotiations to lower the price. If you give off the impression that you can walk away from any house you see, your realtor will try even harder during negotiations to get you a fair price on the house.

A final mistake that people make when buying a home is stretching their budget. Even though it can be tempting to stretch your budget as far as it can go, it isn’t always a good idea. Even if you are in a good place financially right now, you never know what is going to happen next year. If your budget is already stretched out now, what would happen if you lost your job? Are you sure that you can really afford that KLCC condominium? You need to make sure that your budget has breathing room so that you can still make your mortgage payments if you face financial hardships down the road. This way, you will not run the risk of facing foreclosure because you can’t make your mortgage payments. Here’s a good article on the dangers of messing up with your mortgage -

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-philip-neches/resolving-the-mortgage-me_b_819727.html

Since you now know more about common mistakes people make when buying a home, you should be able to get through the home buying process without any missteps.