When I was in my late 20’s, I decided I should and could afford my own place. Being in Sarawak, the option of buying an apartment or condominium was out of the question because Sarawak is rich with land and there’s plenty of landed property available, although it may be priced higher than some places in West Malaysia.
With my loan eligibility reaching RM250,000 (Thank you Pak Lah for increasing this!), I found myself torn between buying houses at three different location, namely one along the Batu Kawa-Bau road, one at the Sg Moyan area and another in Gita/Matang area. The prices of each houses I’ve scouted were similar with every location and type of house having its own advantage.
After some intense thinking, I finally decided to purchase a single storey house in Matang as it was close to work, and it was just a stone throw to mission schools which I figure would be my future kids school. On top of that, it was close to town and internet connection was already available. The price was also just right, and I was never fond of double storey houses.
To be honest, the thought of not having enough for travelling or enjoying life never crossed my mind because I figure my own place would allow me to have a roof over my head, and allow me to forget completely about the impossible house prices.
… and so I signed my sales and purchase agreement to buy a Semi-D house worth RM245,500, which had some 9 points of land. The house at that time was still under construction.
WHY IS IT ‘THE BEST DECISION I MADE’?
Fast forward to 2015, I have to admit that my decision back in 2011 to buy the house was probably the best ever decision I’ve made when it has come to my finances.
Not only do I have a house of my own, but I also have more financial freedom as my pay increases yearly due to my position in the civil service. Contrary to popular belief, travelling abroad was still possible although the destination was somewhat confined to neighbouring ASEAN countries for now, largely due to the weakened Malaysian Ringgit.
Proper financial planning was key to being able to do so (travel) although I must admit that there are plans to go to Europe in the near future.
The impact of owning a house has also helped me financially as banks seem to be more keen to offer financial assistance after they know I own property.
In fact, I was informed by my clerk that my maximum loan limit was increased to 70% because of the house I own, in which a person without a house would have their maximum loan capped at 60% of their total income. The maximum loan is basically the maximum amount of money you can borrow after deduction of numerous recorded payments from your payslip is done.
The house I bought has also had its value increase to at least double in the past year and it is now right in the middle of every facility one would need, hence making it very convenient to do almost everything.
I can’t really say (or put into words) how much more does owning a house benefits me, but I guess it’s suffice to say that I can still enjoy (or have more) financial freedom due to this purchase. The privacy and authority which comes with the fact I now have my own place only makes it even more amazing!
SO… SHOULD YOU BUY A HOUSE EARLY?
This is perhaps the dilemma of any working adult, especially those just starting their careers. However, if you ask me, it’s a huge YES mainly because properties are getting more expensive, and even if they aren’t (which is unlikely), the locations of new properties aren’t getting any nearer to major cities (assuming you want to stay in the city lah).
That said, if I were to give anyone any advice on planning the future, I’d recommend that one spends less on cars, but invest more on a house because cars will only lose value as they grow older, while a house gains value as the years go by.
On top of that, if you really need a car, perhaps it would be wise to just settle for a Perodua Axia (or any cheap small car) now and focus your finances to buying a house because at the end of the day kan, there’s no point driving a brand new Honda CR-V, but ending up having to park it under someone else’s roof – if you get what I mean.