Buying a house is an exciting event. It will probably be the biggest purchase
you will ever make in your life. Understanding the steps involved in securing a
housing loan will help you save time and avoid uncertainty and anxiety.
This information in the following pages will give you an insight into the
various issues on financing a house and outlines the major steps in the overall
process of financing a house. It guides you through the basics, explains the
technical terms and gives you invaluable tips on financing a house.
|Buying a House
Buying a house is a major step, so it deserves careful thought and planning. If
you are buying a property under construction, you should check the background
of the developer. You should ensure that the developer:
You have the right to enquire from the developer, information on licence and
permit. You can also refer to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government for
further clarification. A developer with a good track record reduces the risk of
the project being abandoned.
Has a valid licence issued by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government
which is still in force (not expired)
Has a valid advertising and selling permit issued by respective local authority
which is still in force
|What can I
Before you commit to purchase a property, you should first work out a budget to
help you determine how much you can afford and the ceiling price on any
property you may wish to buy. As a guide, your monthly commitments on paying
instalments for your house, car and other payments should not exceed 1/3 of
your gross monthly household income.
Your source of funding can be all or any combination of the following:
Withdrawal from Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account
Loan facility from a financial institution
You should have sufficient personal savings to pay for the downpayment and
other related costs associated with buying a house. A good estimate would be
about 10%-20% of the purchase price as down - payment and another 3%-5% for
related costs, such as legal fees and stamp duties.
You could also withdraw from your Account 2 to make the initial downpayment.
Please contact your nearest EPF office to inquire about your withdrawal
You should shop around before you decide on any financial institution. Remember
that when you take up a housing loan, you will be dealing with the financial
institution on a regular basis for a period of time. Therefore, you should also
consider factors other than just interest rates. Below are some of the factors
you should consider:
An innovative financial institution may offer a more suitable loan package that
suits your needs and their application process may be faster and hassle-free.
It usually takes about one to two weeks for your loan application to be
approved from the time you submit all relevant documentation.
How professional is the financial institution in dealing with customers?
Does it offer quality service in terms of efficiency and reliability?
What are the available loan packages and which package suits you best?
What are the charges involved?
For example, legal fees, related government fees and charges, disbursement fees
and others. You should also be informed when and how often these charges are to
Applications: Documents Required
You need to provide the following basic documents before the financial
institution can process your loan application:
However, some financial institutions may require additional supporting
A photocopy of identity card or passport
Your latest 3 months' salary slip
Your latest income tax return form (Form J) or EA form
Sale and Purchase Agreement/deposit or booking receipt/letter of offer from the
A photocopy of the land title (if any)
The latest bank statements (compulsory in the absence of salary slips and/or
Form J/EA Form) dating back six months/savings passbook/fixed deposits
Valuation report for completed houses and/or
If you are self-employed, you need to provide your business registration
documents, latest 3 months bank statements, latest financial statements and
other supporting documents to support your income
Upon acceptance of the letter of offer, you will need to appoint a lawyer to
draw up the loan documentation for you. Normally, you would select your lawyer
from a list of panel lawyers provided by your financial institution. Some of
these documents need to be submitted to the relevant government authorities for
registration and to the Stamp Office for stamping.
Upon completion of the above, these registered documents are then submitted to
the financial institution and you will be given a copy of the Loan Agreement.
In general, the timeframe for the completion of this legal process should not
exceed 6 months.
|Fees and Charges
There are also related costs such as professional fees and government charges
that you would have to pay. Below are some of the common fees and charges you
would expect to incur:
|Sales & Purchase Agreement/Tranfer/Financing
|First RM150,000||1% (minimum fees of RM300)
|Excess RM7,500,000||negotiable (not exceeding 0.4%)
Please note that the type of charges and the amount charged might change in the
future. You should meet with your financial institution's loan officer for
further advice and discussion regarding any questions that you may have
concerning the type of fees and legal services.
Loan Repayment Capacity
A common criterion is that your monthly loan instalment repayment should not be
more than 1/3 of your gross monthly household income. If you have savings or
fixed deposits, they can be used to support your loan application as financial
institutions may take them into account in evaluating your eligibility.
Different financial institutions have different criteria in calculating the
repayment capacity. In the case of a floating rate loan, you should also note
that your monthly repayment may increase substantially when interest rates go
For example, when there is an increase in the Base Lending Rate (BLR), the
interest rate on your loan will also go up, and your repayment would be higher.
However, in most cases, financial institutions would allow you to pay the fixed
amount of monthly repayment throughout the loan tenure and would make any
adjustment caused by the variation in interest rate by increasing or shortening
the loan tenure. You should check this out with your financial institution.
The amount of financing provided by a financial institution depends on the
market value (for completed properties only) or purchase price of the house,
whichever is lower. The margin of financing could go as high as 95% of the
value of the house.
It is assessed on factors such as:
Type of property
Location of property
Age of the borrower
Income of the borrower
The length of a loan can range anytime up to 30 years or until the borrower
reaches age 65 (or any other age as determined by the financial institution),
whichever is earlier.
Each financial institution packages its housing loans differently. You should
examine all the features of a loan package and not just base your decision on
any single feature. Pricing is just one consideration; other features like
flexible repayment terms could balance the scale or even translate into greater
loan savings. Financial institutions generally offer housing loan packages
either in the form of a term loan, overdraft, or a combination of a term loan
Loan Packages Offered by Financial Institutions
A facility with regular predetermined monthly instalments. Instalment is fixed
for period of time, say 30 years
Instalment payment consists of the loan amount plus the interest
A facility with credit line granted based on predetermined limit
No fixed monthly instalments as the interest is calculated based on daily
Allows flexibility to repay the loan anytime and freedom to re-use the money
Interest charged is generally higher than the term loan
Term Loan and Overdraft combined
A facility that combines Term Loan and Overdraft. For example, 70% as term loan
and 30% as Overdraft
Regular loan instalment on the term loan portion is required
Flexibility on the repayment of overdraft portion
|Daily Rests VS
Financial institutions may charge you interest either on daily rests or monthly
rests depending upon the products offered. In the case of daily rests, the loan
interest is calculated on a daily basis, while in the case of monthly rests,
interest is calculated once a month based on the previous month's balance.
Under both types of loan, the principal sum immediately reduces every time a
loan instalment is made.
A graduated payment scheme allows lower instalment payments at the beginning of
the loan but this will gradually increase over time. This type of payment
scheme will help house buyers to reduce burden of loan repayment for the first
few years and allow them to allocate more money for other purposes. Over time,
as earnings of house buyers increase, their repayment capabilities will also
increase thus allowing higher repayment instalments at a later stage.
A graduated payment scheme is also suitable for a house buyer who wishes to
purchase a more expensive house but is restricted by his/her repayment
capability during the initial years.
Different financial institutions may have different terms and conditions
imposed on prepayments. Check the loan package to see if it allows you the
flexibility to make prepayments or extra payments. Flexibility to make
prepayments and paying interest on a daily rest basis, may help save
considerable interest charges. It is also possible to start repayment of the
loan during the construction of the house, thus saving more interest charges.
What is important is to make prompt monthly repayments.
Prepayment of the Outstanding Loan
Many borrowers find it useful to shorten the loan tenure by making partial
prepayments with surplus savings or annual bonus. Partial prepayments can be in
any amount. However, some financial institutions may impose restrictions on the
amount to be pre-paid while others may impose a penalty. It is extremely
effective in reducing the interest charges you would have to pay if prepayments
are made during the early years.
Financial institutions may impose a penalty on full repayment of loan.
Generally, the penalty imposed can either be a flat rate or an 'x' number of
months' of interest (e.g. 1 month's interest). This is because when a loan is
granted for a certain term, the financial institution would expect the loan to
be repaid over the period agreed and has planned their cash flow on this basis.
An early termination of the loan would therefore disrupt the financial
institution's cash flow planning. As such, some financial institutions do not
charge a penalty if sufficient notice is given (as stated in the terms and
conditions of the loan) or if the settlement is made after the required minimum
period to maintain the loan with the financial institution has passed.
The primary documentation involved in applying for a housing loan is the loan
A Loan Agreement is a contract signed between the buyer and the financial
institution. A Loan Agreement contains major provisions such as the terms of
the loan, principal sum of the loan, interest rates, default interest rate,
penalty charges and repayment terms. It also sets out the duties of borrower
and the lender and in the event of default, the rights and remedies of each
The other common legal documents that you may need to sign are Deed of
Assignments, Charge documents and Power of Attorney.
Remember that throughout the tenure of the loan, your property is charged to
the financial institution (i.e. the financial institution has a claim over your
property). Whether you are buying a completed property or a property under
construction, you should obtain an explanation from the attending lawyer on the
major clauses of the agreement and the implications of each clause.
This documentation may be required if you purchase a fully completed property
from a houseowner. The financial institution will appoint a property valuer
from its panel of valuers to appraise the property. The valuation fee for this
service starts from a few hundred ringgit upwards, depending on the value of
the property and you will be charged for this service.
It is extremely important to take insurance coverage when you purchase a house.
The most important factor is that it gives you and your loved ones peace of
mind, in the form of financial security if an unfortunate event should occur.
There are two important insurances to consider:
Financial institutions have their own panel of insurers and most of them can
arrange insurance on your behalf with the annual premium charged to your loan
The House Owner/Fire Insurance policy
This policy provides coverage for your property against natural disasters such
as flood, fire, riot, strike and malicious damage. For properties with strata
titles such as apartments or condominiums, you need not buy the insurance
because the Management Corporation (MC) would have taken up insurance on the
entire building. You should ensure that you obtain the sub-certificate of the
Master Policy issued by the insurance company from the MC and present it to the
financial institution. This is necessary so that the financial institution is
aware that the property has been insured and will not buy another fire
insurance on your property. In such a case, you will be required to assign your
rights under the policy to the financial institution.
The Mortgage Life Assurance or MRTA
This type of policy provides for full settlement of the outstanding balance of
the housing loan with the financial institution, in the event of total
permanent disability or death of the borrower. Premiums can usually be included
in the loan amount, and the repayment period of the premium is usually spread
over the loan tenure. The premium is only incurred once. There are no monthly
or yearly premiums to be paid. In the event of early termination of housing
loan, you will generally have the option to request for a refund of the premium
for the balance of the unexpired period or to continue the insurance coverage.
The financial institution disburses (pays out) the loan once it has received
advice from its lawyer that the legal process has been completed and the loan
documents are in order. At this time you will be informed of the date and
amount of the first instalment you have to make.
Duties of the Borrower and Financial Institution
Both borrower and financial institution have certain rights and duties during
the course of the loan. Some of the more important ones include:
Right to have access to all information that would affect your borrowing
Right to be treated professionally, courteously and without prejudice
Right to be consulted on changes to the terms and conditions of your loan
Right to have accurate information on a regular basis on your loan account
Right to enforce legal action in the event of a breach of contract
Right to have full relevant disclosure of information on borrower's credit
Right to correct and truthful information on the borrower
Right to timely repayment of interest/ instalments of the loan
Right to enforce legal action in the event of default/breach of contract
A Loan Officer can provide invaluable assistance, and clarify issues which you
are unsure. Take the time to discuss your housing loan questions with a loan
officer at length so that you can choose a loan facility that best suits your
Duty to read and understand all terms and conditions of the loan
Duty to observe the terms and conditions of the loan at all times
Duty to enquire and get clarification on all aspects of the loan to their
Duty to make prompt payment on the fees, charges, interest and instalment of
Duty to discharge borrowers' obligations as described in the loan agreement
Duty to consult borrowers on any changes made to the terms and condition, fees
charged and other relevant information
Duty to attend to all queries made by borrower