Search Articles

Find tips, tools and how-to guides on every aspect of property

Property advice: Tips that these homeowners would give to their younger selves


“What I would tell my younger self if I were to buy a house again.”

We asked fellow Malaysians what advice they would dish out to their younger selves should they go house hunting again.

© Tirachard Kumtanom | 123rf

Buying a house is probably one of the biggest decisions you will make in life. Truth be told, most people who have taken the plunge may confess to wanting to go back in time to tweak some of their decisions when they first purchased their homes. Unfortunately, we don’t have a time jumping Delorean in our storehouse but we did ask some readers to tell us what are some advice they would give to their younger selves if they could take that first plunge again.

? Malaysians share their worst landlord stories.
? Personal beliefs about property, as passed down by our parents. 

1. Don’t lose sight of your objectives

“I would tell him that he should always be clear upfront on the objectives of his purchase and the reasons for every visit to a showroom or unit so that he can avoid spur-of-the-moment decisions that he might regret later. This is especially crucial when he is buying a property with a partner (e.g. wife), which he will. It is always wise to have a quick recap on the objectives and their requirement before going for a viewing so that they can avoid unnecessary frustration and stress. Doing that extra step upfront really makes a difference!” – Evan Pan, owns two properties with his wife

2. Don’t forget the ‘hidden’ costs!

Ivelin Radkov | 123rf

“I would tell her to not forget the hidden costs such as legal fees, valuation fees, stamp duty, etc. Don’t just think of the money that is attached to the property. These administration fees can amount to quite a bit so make sure she budgets them into her calculation otherwise she are going to be blind sided by them. Once she’s budgeted them, she can then scout for the best deals. Some banks will absorb some of these costs which will help her save but never ever forget to factor these hidden costs in.” – Joleen Yoong, once bought a shop lot but sold it at the age of 27

3. A home is not built in a day

how to avoid bad contractors
© Soonthorn Wongsaita/ 123RF

“I would tell him that he doesn’t have to feel like he needs to furnish every square inch of his home from the first day. Furnish slowly. Take all the time needed. Just fill it first with the pieces that are essential. Also, plan for more storage space as well, because he is going to be starting a family and he needs all the storage space he can find. Oh, and your first home is probably not going to be your forever home.” – Kenny Chew, bought his first property at 30 and his second at 35

4. Be sensible and practical

“I would tell him to consider a few practical and sensible things before making a purchase. For example, he may be able to own a home, but can he afford to repair and maintain the home over time? Can he in fact afford to own a home at this point of time? Don’t be fooled into thinking that he wants to own a home just to feel a sense of achievement. If he really can afford to own a home, then when looking for a home, he should consider how long he plans to stay in that location he is looking at. That will give you an idea if it is going to be a short term or long-term investment.” – Aaron Ray, bought his first property at the age of 22

5. Pay attention to the location

I would tell her that buying a property is a major decision and commitment so she should take time to make the best decision she can.

“For example, pay attention to the community and neighbourhood she is buying into. Take drives or walk around the neighbourhood to gauge if that is where she wants to live. Pay closer attention to the amenities that are important to her like parks, wide pavements for walks or jogs, general cleanliness, etc. Perhaps she could first rent a unit in the area where she is looking to purchase, just to get a better feel of the area.” – Loke Wei Wern, bought her first property in 2013

6. The only opinion that really matters is your own

© chee gin tan | Getty Images

“I would tell him that if he is buying a property for himself to live in, don’t get hung up on too many rules. There are no rules if it’s your own home just as long as you like it. Also, no need to get hung up on the advise and words of the so-called property gurus. Take them with a pinch of salt. Their advice they give is true and valid of course, but it is not always so easy to make-happen.” – Seng Hock, bought his first property when he was 29-years old

Yes, buying your first home can feel bewildering and overwhelming but there are plenty of resources that are available these days to help and guide you through the process. For example, if you are worried about the financial commitment of the decision, there are loan calculators out there that allow you to compare your loan options and budget knowing your home loan eligibility. How about an updated list of blacklisted property developers that you should avoid? If you’re considering home loans, there are tips on things you can look out for as well when selecting the right home loan options. These resources puts you at the driving seat when it comes to making the right decisions when buying your dream home.

* For privacy reasons, some respondents’ names were changed. Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity.

Do you also have words for your younger self on buying a house? Share them with us. Drop your submission here!

? Malaysians confess their biggest fears when buying or renting a new home.
? Housemate horror stories that prove you’re better off living alone.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More Articles