14 Questions To Ask When Buying A Home For The First Time

By: Jency
2nd Apr 2022
Buy & Sell

Purchasing a first home is almost like a rite of passage for many people. Ask anyone who has the experience of purchasing their first home and they will tell you that getting those keys in hand was one of the proudest moments in their life. But those happy feelings can quickly start fleeting into apprehension when one starts to wonder if they made the right choice or if they will be able to sustain their latest huge investment in the long run.

If you are a first-time home buyer, consider asking these questions to yourself, your property agent and also your bank before taking the big leap.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  1. What Type Of Home Do I Want?

    Some buyers like the idea of purchasing a sub-sale home while others will only settle for a brand new property. The same goes to buyers who have preferences on landed or high-rise residences. Before you start checking out property listings, determine what type of property that you would most probably be inclined to purchase, so that you can save time by cancelling out the others.

  2. What Is My Budget?

    It goes without saying that setting a budget is crucial in a home purchasing process, but there are many buyers who make the mistake of looking into properties that are way beyond their affordability only to set themselves up for disappointment later. If you are unsure about the price range that you can afford, talk to a financial advisor or bank loan officer who can assist you.

  3. What Are My Expectations On The Neighbourhood?

    Are you looking for a quiet neighbourhood or do you prefer a busy area with nightlife? Ask yourself what are the factors that you hope for in a neighbourhood and what are the drawbacks that you can accommodate. For some people, factors such as heavy traffic, noise, electrical pylons or sewage treatment plants nearby are an absolute no-no, so if you are one of them, do a thorough inspection of the surrounding area to ensure that you do not end up purchasing in a neighbourhood that you are not happy with.

  4. What Are My Future Plans?

    Decide if you are buying a home for long-term or short-term stay. The duration of your stay and your future plans can give you a picture of the type of home you should be looking out for. For example, if you are still single and are purchasing for a short-term stay for yourself only, it would not be sensible to purchase a 5-bedroom house. Other future plans to consider include staying close to your ageing parents, purchasing a property nearby schools for your children and such.

Questions To Ask Your Property Agent

  1. How Long Has The House Been On Listing?

    Apart from finding out what are the factors that may be negating the sale of that house, a longer time on the property listing could mean that there is a slight chance the seller might accept a lower price just to be done with the sale, which would work out for your benefit.

  2. Does The Seller Have To Purchase Another Home Before Moving Out?

    If the seller has to purchase another home first before moving out, then your timeline of moving into the home may be affected. This is because the time it takes for the seller to find and buy another house along with the risk of having their loan application rejected may impede your chances of closing the deal in time. If you are not in a hurry to move in to your new home, then by all means, it is safe to proceed with such arrangements.

  3. How Long Did The Current Tenant Live There?

    It is important to know the duration of the current tenant’s stay as it may give a clue about anything that you need to look out for. If they have only lived there for a short period of time, there may be some inconveniences attached to the property or neighbourhood that you need to find out about before making your decision.

  4. What Are The Major Renovations Done?

    There have been instances where the owner tries to push their home for sale because they have made unapproved renovations to their home that raised red flags for the local town council. Some renovations, such as adding an upper-attic to a single-storey house can cause a backlash that mostly lead to getting summons or notices to demolish the unapproved renovation. Unscrupulous homeowners use such situations as an excuse to hastily sell-off their home. It would be a pity if you end up purchasing such properties, so always check with your agent and if possible, the local town council, if you suspect of any major renovations that may be problematic.

  5. Can You Explain The Home Purchasing Process To Me?

    As a first-time buyer, the whole process of purchasing a home may seem intimidating, especially if don’t have someone experienced guiding you through. Ask your agent to explain to you the steps involved in purchasing a home from start to finish so you have a clearer picture of what you’re getting into. If the agent you’re dealing with seems very aloof in describing the process with you, choose another agent who can do the job better as it is a huge financial investment that you need to ensure is in the hands of a responsible agent.

    The real estate role is to make an introduction of the condition of the house and guide you with the communication with the seller.

    Buyer is entitled to inspect the condition of the property and the documents of ownership of the property before placing any deposit, so ask for a copy of title, sale and purchase agreement and other documents for verification and conduct land search before paying your deposit. If you are asked to pay the deposit first before being allowed to have copies of the documents, it is a sign that something is not right.

    Some properties’ titles are subject to conditions and restriction, in which this may include that any intended purchase would require the consent from the state authority. Such processes mean additional months before a transaction can be completed.

    It is crucial that you must consult and engage a qualified competent conveyancing lawyer to give you advise as to the steps, processes and all the nitty gritty involved in purchasing property.

Questions To Ask Your Bank

  1. Am I Eligible For A Home Loan?

    You would need to disclose most of your financial information such as monthly income, other loans that you are servicing, etc. to your bank in order for them to evaluate whether you are eligible for a home loan or not.

  2. What Type Of Home Loan Would Be Suitable For Me?

    Among the types of bank loans available in Malaysia are full-flexi, semi-flexi, basic term and Islamic home loan. Each type varies in features, benefits, pros and cons. Find out which type of home loan will be best suited for you by getting the full rundown from your bank.

  3. What Are The Interest Rates Like?

    Apart from the Base Lending Rate set by Bank Negara Malaysia, every bank offers different Floating/Fixed Interest Rates that you may find to be very confusing if you are not familiar with the whole works of home loans. Being a first-time homebuyer, talk to your bank officer on how these numbers will add up to your benefit and what is the lock-in period for the loan.

  4. Should I Go For MRTA or MLTA?

    Mortgage Reducing Term Assurance (MRTA) is an insurance plan that decreases the total sum assured over a period of time to cover the loan amount that you owe to the bank. This plan is more like an insurance for the bank that is offering your home loan, in the event that death or Total Permanent Disability (TPD) prevents you from paying the monthly loan. The Mortgage Level Term Assurance (MLTA) on the other hand, is a plan that offers life insurance and savings, which will greatly benefit your dependents should you no longer be around or are unable to continue servicing the loan. Your bank will be able to advise you according to your needs and situation.

  5. What Is The Price Range Of Property I Can Look At?

    Although selecting a home is entirely up to you, it will be wise if you could talk to your bank beforehand about how much you can afford to put in for a property, especially since this is your first time purchasing. Banks will assist in rounding up a figure for you based on your income, current commitments and assets under your name, credit scores and other details. Apart from the purchase price of the property, your bank will also advise you on all other expenses that entail the process of buying a home, which will eventually help you weigh your options based on what you can afford.

We hope that the above guide will help you with the right questions to ask before you make the decision to purchase a home. Remember that you should always seek to clarify any doubts with the concerned parties before deciding on a property. Happy home-hunting!

The statement and information in the articles are the opinion of the writer and meant only as a guide. Any property purchase, rental or lease involve many legal issues and other complication depending on the individual facts and circumstances. Readers and Users are strongly advised to seek professional advise including from qualified and competent lawyers, bankers and/or real estate agent to verify the information and the statement before embarking on any purchase, rent or lease of any property. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we exclude and disclaim liability for any losses and damages of whatever nature and howsoever cause and arising including without limitation, any direct, indirect, general, special, punitive, incidental or consequential.

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