Real estate has always been lauded as the safer and less volatile investment compared to stocks, gold or currency. It also tends to be less intimidating to new investors, as it is a tangible investment.
This common myth has led many new investors to invest in real estate without the careful consideration it requires.
Generally, real estate has boosted capital appreciation in the long-term, and investors also have the option to rent it out for additional income or to lessen the burden when it comes to loan repayment.
Nevertheless, there isn’t a single formula you must follow when it comes to buying a home, but there are factors that should make the top of your checklist, especially when opting to purchase a luxury property.
So, don’t ignore these five important factors when you are purchasing a premium property.
The location will always matter
“Location! Location! Location!” has always been part of the property mantra, as it defines the exclusivity of a property and remains one of the main deciders when it comes to buyer preference. Many seasoned investors credit the location is the main deciding factor in their real estate investments.
In elite and prime areas, residential property prices tend to appreciate rapidly because of the surrounding developments. Last year, properties in prominent areas such as Bukit Bintang, Mont Kiara and the KLCC area recorded a 4% rise in capital value year-on-year even though the property market was suffering from oversupply.
Furthermore, despite a depreciating ringgit, homes within these neighbourhoods were more attractive than properties in the capital cities of Indonesia and the Philippines!
In Malaysia, such areas include the city centre or specifically, The Golden Triangle, which refers to the commercial, retail and entertainment hub of the capital city. This prominent area is defined by Jalan Imbi, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan and surrounds KL’s iconic landmark, the Petronas Twin Towers.
Properties within close range of the golden triangle are known to attract affluent individuals and tend to register a greater capital appreciation compared to other states within the country. This is primarily because it is the heart of the capital city and marked as a tourist-heavy location.
Additionally, developments such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and its connectivity factors such as easy access to public transport boost its reputation as a property hotspot.
Furthermore, based on figures tabulated by Global Property Guide, apartments or condominiums near the twin towers registered higher rental prices compared to other areas within the KL region. The monthly rental figures ranged between US$878 (RM3,522.10) for a one-bedroom and up to a whopping US$2,567 (RM10,297.52) for four-bedroom unit nearby the twin towers which further proves that location is imperative.
The Mews, a premium condominium located in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, fits the bill. It is a high-rise premium serviced residence that is approximately 750 metres from the twin towers and 3km away from the famous Bukit Bintang shopping strip – prices begin from RM1,350,000 for purchase, while rental starts at RM4,500.
The location should be the first point to check off when investing in a premium residency as this plays an important role when it comes to capital appreciation and rental yield.
Do a background check on the developer
Just like any other major decision, failing to do research before finalising your choice might be your downfall because it is important to know who is on the other side of the contract.
However, many potential home buyers are recognising this fact as it was reported that developer reputation is among their top concerns because horror stories of developers leaving their buyers vulnerable after abandoning their projects are quite common.
So, to mitigate the risk of being left high and dry by the developer, it’s best you assess the developer recognition and their property track record.
As cliché as it may sound, a developer’s popularity within the real estate industry matters because this determines whether they are a trustworthy company to invest your money in. As a consumer, you can measure this through their awards as well as the success rates of their previous projects.
Moreover, the developer will also be taken into consideration for future buyers of your property if you are selling it off, as each developer has a reputation for quality.
When it comes to luxury properties, Eastern & Oriental Berhad (E&O) is one of the renowned developers in the industry. The Mews is jointly developed by E&O and Japan’s largest property developer Mitsui Fudosan Group. The project was also crowned as the Best Luxury Condo Development within the Klang Valley at the 2018 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards.
Furthermore, E&O has a great property track record within Malaysia after establishing prominent residences such as St Mary Residences and Dua Residency, which are also located within premier areas of KL.
They are also behind award-winning condominiums in Seri Tanjung Pinang in Penang, which reportedly garnered interest from the Japanese, Europeans, investors within the Asia Pacific as well as Malaysians alike. Recently, the Quayside Seafront Resort Condominium won Gold in EdgeProp’s Best Managed Property Awards 2018!
Additionally, E&O also has a track record outside of Malaysia with properties in London.
Evaluate its exclusivity
There are many other aspects, besides location, that cements the property as a high-end build.
First off, you will often hear the term “density” within the selling points of a property. The density gives you an indicator of the privacy, security as well as upkeep of the development in the future.
Luxury properties are usually less dense which means there is a limited number of units per floor/block. This makes it more exclusive to its occupants. A highly dense condominium will also mean longer waiting time for lifts, and possibly congestion entering and exiting the compound during peak hours.
Here are the advantages of a low-density condominium:
- Privacy: As we’ve mentioned, you get more space because there are fewer occupants sharing, especially when it comes to the amenities. You have exclusive access to facilities such as the pool, lounge and gym without having to worry about a crowd. Furthermore, you wouldn’t have to share other necessities such as the condominium lift with many occupants, so you avoid the long wait time.
- Better upkeep: Condominiums are mini-communities that must work together to ensure the amenities are well maintained. Low-density condominiums often have tighter communities and a strong management body to keep track of the occupants and ensure everyone abides by the rules. With higher density condominiums, although the maintenance fee is lower, it is harder to keep track of everyone within the building.
- Tighter security: With fewer people within the building, this means security will be tightened and there will be fewer strangers entering the building. It is also easier for security guards to keep track of visitor identities to avoid any mishaps.
The Mews is considered within the low-density range as it has 256 units spanning across two 38-storey blocks, which translates into 128 units per tower. Additionally, these units are also one to three-bedroom (925 sq feet to 2,066 sq feet) and penthouse units (2,615 sq feet). Essentially, this equals fewer occupants per floors due to larger units.
Moreover, the lifestyle associated with living in a premium condominium contrasts against the average apartment and condominium blocks.
For example, The Mews is a serviced condominium and its residents have access to a concierge, which includes laundry services, housekeeping, shuttle services to take them to key areas around KL’s golden triangle, as well as a personalised service to assist in requesting a taxi or a ride-hailing service such as Grab – this isn’t a common offer when it comes to a usual property purchase. The concierge also safeguards the owners’ unit keys so that agents can easily arrange a rental viewing without troubling the owners!
Other than that, The Mews has numerous facilities equivalent to a holiday resort, such as a poolside lawn, rooftop garden, function room, gym, spa pool and playground.
Check its finishing and furnishing
There are rationales why luxury properties are set at a certain price point and one of the main reasons is due to the building materials and furnishing equipment used – basically, you pay more for a better-quality product, just like any other purchases you make.
For condominiums, quality is reflected in the finishing and furnishing of your living space.
Thus, when purchasing a premium condominium unit, it’s best you zero in on these two factors as you would not want to spend extra on renovations to meet the luxe standards.
However, as attractive as furnished units are, it does not mean the quality of the fixtures and furniture are up to par with its luxury status. So, you should take note of the finer details such as flooring and other fittings or furnishing that come with your purchase.
The Mews, which carries a GDV of 538 million, includes premium elements such as solid wood flooring, full-length shoe cabinet, built-in wardrobes, kitchen cabinets completed with premium quality kitchen appliances for each unit.
They also include a 2-in-1 washer and dryer, lightings, ceiling fans and air conditioners – these units are usually labelled ready for move-in and you only have to fork out extra for loose furniture. This is a much simpler option compared to dealing with the extra costs of purchasing your own equipment or fixtures when you purchase a bare apartment unit.
Know the best time to purchase
When it comes to buying property, there are other costs to consider besides the property price itself and these extra expenses could mark up your budget by thousands.
Thankfully, buyers can save a lot when you buy straight from developers because of their sales packages. Often, developers offer to absorb certain fees, such as the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and legal fees, so that the buyer does not have to be burdened with the extra, equally exorbitant costs.
One of the best time to purchase luxe condominiums is when the developers offer attractive sales packages because these are not a year-round deal.
Currently, The Mews are offering great discounts and sales package that include instant rebates such as free SPA, which means you can save more if you make a purchase this year – last year, the Mews has sold 75% of its units despite the lacklustre property market!
How much are you essentially saving? SPA legal fees are usually 1% for first RM150,000 and 0.7% of the remaining value of property within RM1 million, while loan facility agreement legal fees are 1% for first RM150,000 and 0.7% of the remaining value of loan within RM1 million. You check out the other extra costs here.
But, are you financially ready to invest in a premium property?
A premium property is priced above average and ranges within the millions but make no mistake, it can be a worthy buy (as we’ve explained above), especially if you can afford it.
While only the banks can approve our loan, there are ways you can gauge whether you will land the keys to a luxe home or not.
- Check your credit score: When it comes to mortgage loans, having a good credit score is imperative. Your repayment record of all your existing loans will be reflected in your credit score and banks use this to gauge whether you are capable of sustaining the loan. You can check your credit score here. A strong credit score will be between 661 and 781, while a figure below 46o is weak.
- Debt service ratio: This determines the loan amount that you are eligible for. The DSR is calculated by dividing all your monthly debt repayment obligations with your monthly take-home income. Bank Negara recommends that a percentage below 60% is passable.
- Check your savings account: When it comes to applying for a home loan, you will have to present your savings account(s), investments and assets. This will show the bank that you have enough money to sustain the high loan repayment of a premium property. So, it is best you review your portfolio before you hand over your documents.
Nevertheless, experienced real estate agents will know the ins and outs of a property purchase as they have dealt with numerous homebuyers. Thus, you can always consult the experts should you have any concerns about your affordability rate!
Visit The Mews and book a viewing appointment today!
Visit The Mews and book a viewing appointment today!