“There has never been a better time to buy your first property,” proclaims Chris Tan, the founder and now Managing Partner of Chur Associates. “With many governmental policies aimed at encouraging home ownership, homebuyer protection is better than investor protection.”
Chris believes few countries offer home buyers such comprehensive legal protection as Malaysia, gleefully pointing out that not even Singapore can match. Home buyers in Malaysia are protected under Article 13 of the Federal Constitution that allows both local and foreigners direct ownership of property.
He points out that the system is based on an established Commonwealth system and is governed by the National Land Code. “In Malaysia, you can have freehold ownership which allows ownership in perpetuity and no one can take the property away without reasonable compensation,” he explains.
A MATTER OF POLICY
Though policy is not law, Chris says that the many initiatives such as MyRumahKu and MyDeposit signal the government’s commitment towards first time home buyers. These days, there are also the Home Buyers Tribunal and the Strata Management Tribunal to look after the interests of property owners and to solve disputes. He further points to the abolition of the Inheritance Tax since 1992 as yet another incentive for first time home buyers.
Chris says that when you buy a property, it can be used in four different ways:
3) Rent or personal use
It is the last item that Chris is keen to highlight as he says “banks are your best friend” as the financial institutions that provide workable purchase options.
He also draws the analogy to the king of the jungle when advising how purchasers should approach property acquisition. “Be like the lion. It hunts in packs and that is the best way to search for property,” he says.
Chris has also devised, what he calls, commandments that first time property buyers should adhere to:
Chris spells out the correct procedures and highlights the many pitfalls if the not followed. For instance, a prospective buyer should conduct the requisite background, land, CCM, and CTOS searches to remove any lingering doubts.
With regards to the multitude of legal documents that need signing, Chris suggests that the sheer volume is there to remind you of the heavy burden that is home ownership. Chris advice is to never sign any documents related to the purchase of a property in a rush. Engage a lawyer and have unclear clauses explained to you and never be afraid to ask if unsure on anything.
Chris also spells out the duties, rights and responsibilities of the parties that are involved in the sale and purchase of a property. He also advises home buyers to avoid cost-cutting measures such as sharing the services of the same lawyer, explaining that unlike an impartial judge, lawyers must take sides, and thus cannot represent two different parties in the same transaction.
This article was first published in the iProperty.com Malaysia November 2016 Magazine. Get your copy from selected news stands or view the magazine online for free at www.iproperty.com.my/magazine. Better yet, order a discounted subscription by putting in your details in the form below!