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Finance House Malaysia Malaysian Property Realtor

Beware of fraudsters impersonating PR1MA sales agents

Reading time: 2.5 minutes

Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA) advises the public to exercise caution when approached by individuals claiming to be the sales agents of that corporation.

A statement released by PR1MA mentioned there were several cases where potential homebuyers were fraudulently deceived by those crooks.

Modus operandi

First, the scammers claimed they were acting as sales agents for PR1MA.

Then, they would ask the victims to pay a certain sum of money as deposits.

They also allegedly told the victims that deposits were required since the houses were selling at prices lower than published.

Besides, those so-called “sales agents” misled potential buyers by telling them those houses were cheaper because they were part of a program co-organized between PR1MA and government agencies.

Certainly, the fraudsters would falsely claim that the program aimed to help more people from the lower-income group or the B40s to purchase homes.

The real SOP

What the public should know is PR1MA has a standard operating procedure (SOP) in regards to purchasing homes.

Most importantly, potential homebuyers do not have to pay any registration fee to PR1MA.

Other than that, PR1MA does not appoint any agent or third-party offering form-filling services or special allocations for PR1MA homes.

sales agents
Photo: PR1MA

Booking fee

Well, the real deal is, after registration, a potential homebuyer is required to submit a booking fee of RM500 in the form of a cheque or bank draft.

The booking fee is payable to PERBADANAN PR1MA MALAYSIA or if you are in Sarawak, to PR1MA DEVELOPMENT SDN BHD.

Words of caution

PR1MA encourages potential homebuyers to take extra measures to ensure they only deal with registered PR1MA agents.

To do that, they must always insist individuals claiming to be PR1MA sales agents to present their proof of appointment first.

An extensive list of PR1MA sales partners is available on the corporation’s web site.

What else you must do?

If you have any inquiries especially in terms of the booking process or booking fee, please contact PR1MA’s official channels.

The public may send their queries via e-mail to info@pr1ma.my.

Photo: PR1MA

Alternatively, they may also contact the PR1MA Call Centre at 03-7628 9898, from Monday to Friday (9 am to 6 pm).

Besides, it is easier and more convenient to register online via the PR1MA web site.

Updates on PR1MA homes

Currently, there are 56 housing projects under PR1MA open for application by the public.

Out of that figure, 11 projects are in Perak, followed by Melaka (9), Kedah (8), and Sabah (7).

Photo: PR1MA

Meanwhile, Selangor, Johor, Pahang, and Sarawak have four PR1MA housing projects open for application in each state.

For the rest, Negeri Sembilan has three projects, followed by Kelantan (2), Pulau Pinang (2), and Perlis (1).

Further information on those housing projects is available here.

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5 New Year’s resolutions that may help you buy a new home in 2020

What does RED ANGPOW do?

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Community Finance Malaysia Malaysian Mortgage Property

A housing scheme up for grabs for the young ones

Reading time: 2 minutes

Maybe some young people in this country are unaware of the Youth Housing Scheme, an initiative that allows them to get full financing to purchase their dream homes.

For their information, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) has been appointed by the Malaysian government to implement this scheme effective from 1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021.

To make your life easier, RED ANGPOW has compiled five essential facts about this scheme.

Who is eligible?

If you are a Malaysian youth between 25 to 40 years old with a household income of less than RM10,000 a month, you may apply for this scheme.

Please bear in mind, you must be married.

For those who are still singles, better tie the knot first before filling in the application form.

Yup, the scheme only covers first-time homebuyers.

Details on financing

Amount: Up to 100% from the minimum of RM100,000 to RM500,000.

Tenure: Up to a maximum of 35 years or not exceeding the age of 65 years, whichever comes first.

Interest/profit rate: Up to a maximum base lending rate (BLR) / base financing rate (BFR) -2.4%.

Financing concept: Islamic and conventional.

What do you get from the government?

Homebuyers under this scheme need to pay an installment of RM200 every month for the first two years, starting from the first loan drawdown.

Furthermore, they are eligible to receive a 50% discount on stamp duty for the loan agreement.

Documents you must bring to the bank

Besides the BSN loan application form, you have to present proof of purchase such as sales and purchase agreement, the receipt for the deposit or proforma purchase order.

Don’t forget to attach a copy of Mykad, payslip and bank statement.

Please refer to the BSN website for further details.

housing scheme
Photo: BSN

Other information

Payment will be made via monthly crediting to GIRO/GIRO-i account.

Also, homebuyers are responsible for paying the legal fee.

Just in case you don’t know, this scheme is implemented through a smart partnership with Cagamas and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).

So, you may also opt for withdrawal from your EPF account.

Finally, loan applications are subjected to credit guidelines set by BSN.

Before we depart

The Youth Housing Scheme is only limited to 20,000 homebuyers during the two years of its implementation.

What you are waiting for, young people?

Hurry up and submit your application while stocks last.

Other articles:

5 New Year’s resolutions that may help you buy a new home in 2020

What does RED ANGPOW do?

Categories
Finance House Lifestyle Malaysian Property Realtor

So you want to hire a real estate agent

Buying a home, including in Malaysia, can be a nerve-wracking experience especially when it comes to negotiating the price. The more so for those who are just about to purchase their first houses without the assistance of any real estate agent.

Unless you are good at haggling, the probability of getting the seller to come into agreement with your proposed price is quite slim. Even worse, you may skip negotiating after being dazzled by the glittering first impression the house gives you.

The most convenient way to keep those butterflies away from your stomach when confronting the seller is by hiring a real estate agent.

An experienced and honest real estate agent will be your worthy companion in the process of negotiation since he or she knows every trick of the game in the industry. Besides, they speak in the same language as the seller or his or her agent.

That is understandable because they make a living by negotiating for the best price on behalf of their clients and most importantly, they help you make an informed decision.

Why hire an agent?

There are a number of reasons for hiring a real estate agent. First, they are well-trained and experienced in the art of negotiating the most favorable price possible for their clients.

Maybe you are a good haggler yourself and capable of persuading the seller to give you a 3% discount. Yet, hiring a real estate agent may get you a better deal, let say, a 5% discount on the final price.

To make it clearer, if the seller opens the price at RM500,000, you may get the house at RM485,000 after you are done haggling by yourself.

In comparison, the agent may get the seller to agree to part with his or her property at RM475,000. Do the simple math and you will find there is a RM10,000 difference between those two approaches.

Second, real estate agents can also be your only true friends in this cruel and wicked world. Well, that sounds a little bit melodramatic.

In some ways, a good real estate agent performs better than your Facebook BFFs. He or she is willing to go the extra mile to ensure you get the best deal for the house by checking the defects, applying for a home loan and insurance, identifying nearby amenities or finding out the crime rate in the area.

The fees ain’t free

The best things in life are free, so they say. But, that saying is not applicable to real estate agents. That is understandable because negotiating for the sale and purchase of real estate is their main source of income.

As stated by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA), the commission fee for real estate agents is set at a maximum of 3% of the property sale price. That rate is only applicable for the sale and purchase of properties in Malaysia.

How about the minimum rate? Well, the least you must pay is RM1,000 per property. Let say the sale price of the property is 30,000 and if you apply the maximum commission fee of 3%, by rights you are supposed to pay only RM900 to the agent.

But, in this case, you still have to pay a minimum commission fee of RM1,000 to the real estate agent.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
Photo by iStock

So, take some time to do the calculation first to help you decide whether it will be moneywise to appoint a real estate agent to deal on your behalf.

Technically, the burden of paying the agent’s commission fee is borne by the seller. Nevertheless, the seller may transfer the cost to the buyer by adding the commission fee to the final price.

Don’t be surprised, you may end up paying the very same price that the seller asks initially.

Calm as a cucumber

After some deliberate thinking, you agree to appoint a real estate agent. Then, comes the moment for both of you to take a look at the house you are interested in buying.

The best thing to do is to let the agent do all the talking and negotiating. After all, that is the main reason you hire him or her.

Yes, you may chip in once in a while but keep it at a bare minimum. Avoid being perky and showing you are very interested while inspecting the house; otherwise, the agent will have a hard time to get the best price from the seller.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
Photo by Pexels

Taking a picture of the house or a selfie in front of it is definitely a no-no. Don’t do that, even when the seller is not around.

Some nosy neighbors may see you doing that and relay the information to the seller. Once the seller learns you are excited about the house, it will be hard for the agent to get the best deal for you.

Words of advice

Please make an effort to verify you are dealing with a REAL real estate agent. If someone approaches you and present his or her business card with the Real Estate Negotiator (REN) number printed on it, don’t take it at face value yet.

Run a check with relevant authorities such as MIEA first. In fact, you can go to the MIEA website and perform a search there.

Or, to save you from the trouble of appointing a fake real estate agent, just pick one that suits your criteria from the long list of REN members listed on the MIEA website.

Happy hunting and may you get the best deal for your dream house.

So you want to hire a real estate agent
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Analysis Dining Finance Food Lifestyle Malaysian Public Transport Urban

Cheap prices don’t last forever

Reading time: 3 minutes

More than a year has passed since the abolishment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in June 2018 and the reintroduction of Sales and Services Tax (SST) three months later.

From the very first day of its implementation, GST has been accused as the culprit in driving prices up, especially essential consumer items like food and non-alcoholic beverages.

So, most Malaysians expected prices would at least be stabilized after GST was no longer enforced.

Yes, the prices on a great number of products were cheaper when the GST rate was set to zero from June to August 2018 though the same situation was virtually nonexistent for services.

But, good things don’t last forever, especially when it comes to cheap prices.

The usual suspects

That was evident in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Malaysia November 2019 report released by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia on 20 December 2019.

CPI (read: inflation) has increased by 0.9% within a span of one year from November 2018 (121.0) to November 2019 (122.1).

prices

Well, the usual suspects in driving the overall index up were Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.5%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (1.7%), Education (1.6%), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.5%), Communication (1.5%), and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (1.5%).

Besides, the CPI has also increased slightly by 0.1% within a month since October 2019.

The spike was contributed by the increase in the index of Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels by 0.4%, Miscellaneous Goods & Services (0.4%), and Health (0.2%).

In the same manner, the first 11 months of 2019 witnessed an increase in price index at the rate of 0.7% compared to the same period a year before.

For Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, the index has increased by 1.5% in November 2019 in comparison with November 2018.

To be more specific, the hike was caused by the food sub-group of Vegetables (2.0%), Food Products not elsewhere classified (1.6%), Milk & Eggs (1.4%), Fish & Seafood (1.3%), and Fruits (1.1%).

Costs more to eat out

Since prices of food items are generally up, the cost of eating out was a bit higher in November 2019 when compared to the same month in 2018.

The increase of the price index of this sub-group was caused by the rise in the prices of Rice with Side Dishes, Food Made from Noodles, and Fried Chicken.

prices

Absolutely, cooking at home will always be the cheaper alternative for those who are not willing to fork out extra money for dining out.

The expensive states

Meanwhile, two federal territories and two states had CPI higher than the national rate of 0.9% in November 2019 and the winners were Kuala Lumpur (1.4%), Selangor & Putrajaya (1.3&), and Pulau Pinang (1.1%).

While all 14 states experienced an increase in the index of Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, six states and two federal territories registered rates higher than the national index for that category in November 2019.

The highest rate was recorded in Selangor and Putrajaya (2.0%), trailed by Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang (1.9%), Perak and Johor (1.8%), and Kedah and Perlis (1.6%).

Core index

For core index, the rate climbed by 1.4% from November 2018 to November 2019 and three groups which contributed significantly to the increase were Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.5%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (2.1%) and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (1.8%).

Please take note that the Department of Statistics, Malaysia excludes the most volatile items of fresh food and administered prices of goods and services from the calculation of core index.

prices
Up, down, or stay the same?

What lies await for us in 2020? Will the first year of the new decade see the utopian dream of zero inflation rate finally come true?

With the introduction of sugar tax last year and digital tax this month, let us all pray the dream won’t turn to a nightmare.

Don’t miss reading these articles:

Slow climb out of the housing property market doldrums in 2020

Condominium Near Train Stations

Categories
Analysis Finance House Lifestyle Malaysian Mortgage Property

Slow climb out of the housing property market doldrums in 2020

An article published in Star Property recently discussed some interesting points of view by experts on, among others, the outlook of Malaysia’s residential property market in 2020.

Despite the downward trend in this market segment, all of them agreed that there will be some slow and significant improvement during the next 12 months.

Property overhang
Photo: Pexels

Knight Frank Malaysia Managing Director, Sarkunan Subramaniam believed that pricing is the only cause for property overhang in this country right now.

He mentioned several other contributing factors such as mismatch of products, expected yield, unfavorable location in regards to accessibility, distance, lack of amenities and product type.

Photo: Greater Kuala Lumpur Development Facebook Page

On a different note, Sarkunan viewed that several areas like Desa Park City, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, and Damansara Heights are capable of luring the upper-income group, high-net-worth people, and foreigners.

Besides, the spillover effect of Tun Razak Exchange is expected to benefit the Imbi and Pudu area once the financial district is open for business.

Secondary property market

For 2019, Sarkunan explained that the secondary property market experienced a higher level of productivity in 2018 due to the shift of the base year for real property gain tax from 1 January 2000 to 1 January 2013.

He added, among other factors that stimulated that market are the improved processing procedure for the Malaysia My Second Home application and the revision of price threshold for foreign buyers for unsold high-rise properties in urban areas.

Steady demand
Statistics provided by NAPIC as of the second quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia Deputy Chairman, Aziah Mohd Yusoff said, reasonable price and good location are among the factors which will ensure the steady demand for residential properties especially terraced units and condominiums.

She also believed the secondary property market, mostly in the residential segment, is experiencing a correction period due to poor market sentiment and strict lending rules imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia and the impact would likely to continue next year.

Affordable houses

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents President, Lim Boon Ping forecasted, the residential property market will continue to be driven by affordable houses, mainly units sold under RM400,000.

For the past few years, he said, more than 60% of the total transactions were made up of residential properties.

Laissez-fare approach
Photo: Pexels

Finally, the Association for Abandoned Building Owners Malaysia Chairman, Dr. Mohamed Rafick Khan implied that the government should take a laissez-fare approach toward the residential property market.

He believed, the housing market must be free from the hands of the government because market forces will correct itself.

What the government should focus on, then? Mohamed Rafick said the government can spend more time on town planning and public transport systems which in turn will stimulate the demand for property.

He also forecasted the property market will not see an oversupply in affordable homes for the next three to five years despite the government has been consistently pushing developers to build more houses in that category.

Lower profit margins and risk are said to be the reasons behind developers’ indifferent response to that call.

Mohamed Rafick concluded prices for new properties will be expected to stay high although the price will be slightly reduced in the secondary market.

Points to ponder

Although things look a little bit promising in the near future, prospective homebuyers should exercise caution before deciding to purchase new homes.

Maybe the worst is yet to come for the residential property market in Malaysia if the domestic and global economies don’t show any sign of improvement next year.

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Condominium Elite Finance House Lifestyle Malaysian Mortgage Property Serviced Apartment Urban

5 New Year’s resolutions that may help you buy a new home in 2020

It is less than a week left before we say goodbye to 2019 and greet welcome to 2020. Now maybe a good time to think about what your New Year’s resolutions will be.

If buying a home is at the top of your list, it will be helpful to have resolutions that can keep your financial health in shipshape

Cut down on monthly subscription services
Photo: Pexels

Yeah, it surely seems convenient to have monthly subscription services especially when the payments are automatically deducted from your credit cards.

But, one of the downsides of doing that is you may not realize those payments can hurt your credit rating.

To make things worse, the guy from the bank’s credit risk department may pull your report before you settle your credit card balance in full at the end of the billing cycle.

To avoid that kind of unpleasantness, only subscribe services that you need and better still, settle your bills by paying in cash via debit cards.

Pay your debts on time
Photo: Pexels

Easy to say but hard to do, all the more so for bad paymasters. Please keep in mind, nothing makes lenders happier than loans paid on time by borrowers.

Your ability to pay loans, credit cards, and bills on time will reflect positively on your credit history.

Anyhow, some people may think that it will be easier to secure loans if they haven’t borrowed money from any financial institution or made purchases using credit cards.

That is considerably untrue because your home loan application may be rejected due to your nonexistence in the credit realm.

Always monitor your credit
Photo: Pexels

You never lag in paying your loan installments and bills. So, you think your credit rating is OK. Then, you go and apply for a home loan.

All of a sudden, you find out the bank rejects your loan application because your best friend defaults on his business loan and of course, you are his guarantor.

You can save yourself from this unpleasant situation by checking your credit frequently. At least, do so once a year.

For Malaysians, you may get your credit scores from rating agencies like CTOS, Central Credit Reference Information (CCRIS), and Experian Information Services Sdn Bhd (Experian).

Resist the temptation to take big fat loans
Photo: Pexels

Forget about buying a new car or taking your family overseas on an expensive vacation. In any case, hold your horses until your home loan is approved.

Lenders are also particular about your debt-to-income ratio or to put it in layman’s term, the amount of your debt payment divided by your gross income.

Your loan application has a greater chance to be approved if you have a lower debt-to-income ratio.

The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the less likely you will face trouble in repaying the home loan in the event of financial hardship.

Don’t change jobs
Photo: Pexels

Although it sounds old-fashioned, the saying ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ always rings true.

Potential homebuyers should stick to their current jobs as a career move especially to a different industry may raise some alarm to lenders.

Job loyalty can be a positive factor in backing your home loan application as it allows financial institutions to forecast your future income easily.

Besides, the job market in Malaysia doesn’t look good these days due to unfavorable economic conditions which began last year.

On a final note, we at Red Angpow would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. May 2020 will bring success and happiness to all of us.

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Condominium Elite Finance House Insurance Lifestyle Mortgage Property Rental Urban

5 questions you must ask before buying a house

So, you want to buy a house. Unless you have stacks of cash at your disposal, purchasing a home requires a long-term financial commitment that may last until the next generation.

Be it a landed or a high-rise property, it is highly recommended for you to gauge your state of readiness before sealing a deal with the developer or the real estate agency.

To make life simpler, we have compiled five questions potential homebuyers must ask themselves as part of their homework prior to making the great leap forward.

1. Do I have the financial capability to purchase a home?

Well, maybe you have saved up enough money to pay the downpayment and all other costs related to the purchase. Or, you may just withdraw some money from your Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account.

Thinks look quite good for now. But, after signing the sales and purchase agreement, you find out that you may have to fork out more extra money to install iron grilles on doors and windows. Perhaps, the house needs some repairing to be done.

Besides, don’t forget to calculate other monthly financial commitments like a car loan, an education fund for your kids, study loan repayment and personal loan.

Finally, please make sure you have enough money to cover your expenses and the most important of all, to support your living and family.

2. Buy or rent?

Most of the time, it can be cheaper to rent a house rather than buying it. Of course, owning a house provides you with an indescribable sense of accomplishment (although technically, the bank owns the house until you have the loan in full).

Renting is practical when you don’t intend to stay for a long time, the rental rate is lower than the monthly loan installment, houses are ridiculously overpriced in the area you plan to live or you will inherit your parents’ house.

However, renting too has its downsides. Maybe you are unlucky enough to encounter ‘the landlord from hell’ who shirks from the responsibility of forking his or her own money to pay for the maintenance of the house.

Worse still, the landlord may bring a potential buyer to take a look at the house while you and your family can only stare in horror at the unwelcomed guests.

3. Should I sign up for a home mortgage insurance plan?

The only certainty in life is death. Grim as it may sound, every homebuyer needs to consider this fact, especially for those who are above 40 and planning to pay for their home loan installments for the next 30 or 35 years.s

Yes, you have to pay an additional sum to insure your home loan but at the same time, it bestows peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones.

Financial institutions in Malaysia offer two types of mortgage life insurance namely, Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) or Mortgage Decreasing Term Assurance (MDTA) and Mortgage Level Term Assurance (MLTA).

Please consult your friendly banker for further information on MRTA/MDTA and MLTA to help you choose which one is the most suitable for you.

4. Does the house have a good resale or rental value?
Photo: http://www.pexels.com

Some people buy houses for the sake of reselling or renting them. Nothing wrong with that as it is not illegal making money that way.

Since cheap houses are hard to find these days, please perform an evaluation to ensure the prices will not plummet in the long run.

Find out the resale and rental value of other houses within the same locality and other factors that may influence the prices such as the availability of amenities, public transportation system, or crime rates.

If the forecast looks gloomy, find a house somewhere else.

5. Do I really need to buy a house at the moment?
Photo: http://www.pexels.com

Most of the time, newlyweds get pretty excited about buying a dream house to shelter themselves and their yet-to-be-born children.

The trend has always skewed toward homeownership especially among those with a higher level of education.

Still, always think about the future because you may need to relocate due to a change in jobs or business locations.

Don’t simply jump into the bandwagon just because everyone else is doing it. The road lies ahead is full of uncertainties and you may be in for a rocky ride.