My 7-year-old daughter decided she prefers to live in a condo instead of a house. She reasoned condo facilities offer more fun. We simply can't afford to buy a condo as well, I explained to her, as we still "owe" the bank for our house.
We are privileged to be able to buy our own house. Many still cannot afford their first home as the property boom in Malaysia put house prices beyond reach for many first-time home buyers.
Owning one's abode
Why is buying so important? My mother, who bought her first house plus a little small rental property, believes the monthly rental guarantees a comfortable retirement especially once the mortgage is paid, based on her simple calculations.
Her belief certainly resonates with many Malaysians who assert owning real estate provides retirement stability in old age. These properties are then passed on to the next generation to give them a step up the social ladder in our society.
If putting down roots is key, then buying one's home works out cheaper depending on your rental versus loan repayment amounts. This is especially true when one stays in her own home five years and beyond.
Help is near. In Budget 2015, measures are introduced to help first-time buyers to get on the property bandwagon in regions like the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor. First-time buyer must be a Malaysian, aged 35 and below, earns RM3,000 and below from a full-time job which she has held for at least six months. Ideally, she should be debt-free, which means being able to borrow up to one-third of her salary.
Assistance she can get through My First Home Scheme includes:
1. 50 per cent exemption on stamp duty to first-time home buyers for houses worth between RM100k and RM400k.
2. 100 per cent financing if buying home costing between RM100k and RM220k.
3. Repayment tenure can stretch up to 30 years.
4. Choice ofaffordable homes from projects developed by property companies like MK Land, IJM Land, LBS Bina and Mah Sing Group.
Buying the first home is a BIG deal. Dream home is built on strong groundwork so invest one's savings, build a deep pool of down-payment and, when the ideal house is unearthed, be a proud owner who can live the dream lifestyle!