Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to child-proof your condo

Condominiums may be especially popular among the young professional and retired set, but one of the best aspects about them is their potential to appeal to just about anyone. And yes, that includes parents with babies and young children. In some ways - the lack of in-home stairs, for example - condos are especially well suited to child safety. There are plenty of other steps parents can take to child-proof their condo and make it even safer for their kids.


Given that many condos are up a few stories, it is especially important to make sure your windows are safe. If they can be opened more than 4 inches, they pose risks to kids. You can buy products that limit how far your windows can be opened. Products called window guards, which are designed to prevent children from falling out of windows, also are available. If you have blinds on your windows, be sure the cords are out of reach of children.


Electrical outlets intrigue kids of just about every age. Wherever you have them in your condo or loft, your kids will find them and try to stick into them their fingers, silverware or anything else they get their hands on. Investing in some outlet covers is a good idea. There are a variety of types available, depending on how often you use the outlets.

Child locks

Kids have a habit of getting into cupboards, drawers and other places they should not. In some cases, it is simply annoying when they get into something and make a mess. But it is far more than annoying if they get into your medicine drawer or the cupboard where you keep your cleaning supplies. That is dangerous. Install child locks on anything you do not want your kids to get into, including the toilet.

Kitchen gates

If you live in a condo, you probably do not have to worry about a gate that prevents your kids from falling down the stairs. But consider buying a gate that keeps them out of your kitchen, especially when you are cooking. Many gates are easy to set up and take down, and given the open layout of many condos, you will still be able to see your kids, even if they are locked out of the kitchen.


Make sure your furniture is stable, especially if it is heavy. It is ideal if you can set the room up in such a way that you can anchor tipsy furniture to the wall.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Install smoke detectors in every room in your condo. It is also a good idea to have at least one carbon monoxide detector.

Based on the article by Andy Ashbury.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Malaysia's property market 2011

At the recent Property Market Outlook for 2011, Malaysia's Valuation & Property Services Department released the figure that a total of 342,179 property transactions worth RM96.77bil were recorded between January and November last year, which means that last year's transactions almost reach the RM100bil mark. This is the first time transactions value has reached this figure. The event was organized by the Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector.

In view of this development as well as considering Malaysians penchant for property investments, it was unlikely that property values would fall again in the near future. It may not rise as much as last year, but the uptrend is there. The property value rose between 30% and 40% last year. This is the first time property went up so much there was never such record growth for the property market in 30 years.

On average, the price of the condominium rise between 60% and 100% between 2003 & 2008. The condominium market, in comparison to the rise in value of landed properties, rose as high as 40% in just one year. Hence, on average the rise in condominium prices is about 20% per annum. In Kuala Lumpur alone, the capital city recorded more condominiums changing ownerships at 10,333 units compared to terraced housing at 3,756 units. Nevertheless, terraced houses still dominates the property market, especially in Selangor with 27,165 transactions, Johor with 12,555 transactions and Penang 4,358 transactions.

On the outlook of the Malaysian economy and the Malaysian property market, it was very significant that the transaction volume between the 11-month period increased 12.2% year-on-year, but the value of transactions increased at a higher rate of 35% from RM71.67bil to RM96.77bil. The economy recovery in Malaysian has stimulated the overall property market.

With regards to the loan market for property sector, the purchase of residential properties made up the majority of bank loans at 58.8% compared to the purchase of non-residential properties at 22.1%. The remaining 19.1% attributed to the construction and other sectors.

Credit expansion for the property market leaped from RM342.09bil as at the end of September 2009 to RM391.25bil as at the end of September 2010. In other words, the residential property sub-sector is still the main mover of the market. In this residential market, transactions in Kuala Lumpur recorded a growth of 8.2%, Selangor 7.2%, Johor 3.6% and Penang (island) 9.7%.

In conclusion, 2011 is a good year for the Malaysia property market. The potential is great and serious investors should seize the opportunity to earn some money from property investments.

Based on the article by Hong Yie Chong.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Penang International Property Expo 2011(18-20/03/201)

Ocean View Residences will be there at the ever-popular annual PIP expo at PISA Penang. With 85% of the units sold, this is the best time to be a part of the OVR family and as well as the Chic Urban Living community at Harbour Place.

The OVR booth looking great in good company...

There was plenty of crowd and quite a number of them were quite fascinated and wanted to find out more about OVR and the Chic Urban Living concept.

Construction status as at 18/03/2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Find your dream home online (09/03/2011)

Before you set off to look for a new home, it's best to already have an idea of what you want. By knowing what you're looking for, you will be able save both time and money.

Remember that there are so many factors to consider when you're looking to buy a new house. One of these is location. Ask yourself if you want a home in the countryside or in the city. Whatever you decide, make sure that there are good schools and a good public transportation system nearby. You want your next home to be convenient for everyone in your family.

When it comes to home itself, decide how many rooms you need. A three-bedroom home might be too small for you especially if you want to have a library or playroom for your children. There also might be amenities that you want your new home to have as well.

Once you have established a list of what you want, don't head to the nearest open house announcement just yet. In the past, looking for a new home literally involved going door to door to view the homes for sale. Nowadays, things are so much easier.

With the advent of technology, you can now search for your dream home online. Thanks to the internet, you can now search for your new home without getting off the couch!

A lot of websites are dedicated to showing off various real estates whether they are for sale or lease. These sites have pictures of both the interior and exterior of the home in 2D and sometimes, even 3D.

Just as in social networking sites, you can even vote for a particular home that you like and see how it fares with other voters. You can also leave comments or ask questions about the property directly on the site.

Through online searching, you can narrow down your choices in homes using your own criteria as basis. You not only save time and money this way, you also get to have fun.

Based on the article by Nate Morrow.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

To buy or to rent a house?

In Malaysia property market environment, is it more viable to buy or rent a house?

Most people prefer to own a property because the loan you pay to the bank is equivalent to the rental you are paying, but one's financial ability will play a big part in the decision to buy or to rent a house.

Property buyers are advised to assess their finances before buying a house to ensure their ability (for example debt ratios not too high). Especially for the first timer, they should consider the stability of their jobs to ensure they will be able to service the loan repayment. If a person's debt ratio in relation to his salary is already approaching 50%, chances are banks will not approve the housing loan. If a person mortgage amount to be paid is more than half of a person's salary, the bank may have doubt in the person's ability to repay and hence require more evidence of good financial situation in order to approve the loan.

As per to date’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) policy, house buyers can utilize their EPF savings to purchase a property. Couple with the easy payment schemes offered by banks and first-time house buyers are qualify for loans of up to 90%, owning a house has become easier than the years before.

During Budget 2011, the Government mentioned it will implement a scheme called "Skim Rumah Pertamaku" or "My First House" through Cagamas Bhd, which will provide a guarantee on the 10% deposit for houses below RM220,000. This scheme is for first-time house buyers earn less than RM3,000 household income per month. With this, the house buyers will receive a 100% loan without paying for the 10% down payment. On top of that, first-timer will also be exempted from stamp duty of 50% on instruments of transfer on house prices below RM350,000. The Government also proposed that a stamp duty exemption to be given on loan agreement instruments to finance such first-timer.

For those who rent a house in today's environment of rising prices, he or she will never benefit from the appreciation in the property value. Moreover, even if the value of the property does not increase over time, the mortgage balance decreases and equity accumulated.

Many people also see property as a way to fight inflation. With the sight of inflation creeping up, any delay in buying a property will result in paying more lately. In terms of disadvantages in owning a house, there are many variable costs involved, for example the quit rent, assessment, service or maintenance fees and insurance among others. Selling the house may also not be as quick as, say, disposing your share investments in stock market. The whole process of selling can take up to a year, depending on the location of the property. If there is already a potential house buyer, the process can be shortened for up to 3 months.

The following scenario is a quantitative example between buying and renting a property.

A typical average 2-storey terrace house at the edge of Kuala Lumpur city, may cost around RM400,000 and the rent is RM1,500 a month. The net yield comes up to 3.8%, a reasonable yield for landed property. Assuming the household income is about RM7,000 a month, this means that the ratio of the household income per year to the property price is 4.76 times. To buy this house based on 90% loan financing at a fixed interest rate for 30 years, you would have to pay a 5% interest, which means a monthly expense of approximately RM1,900 a month. Hence, it is clearly better to rent than buy.

Still, this analysis is based on what is considered the typical housing type. Different considerations may apply for different types of housing units in different locations. Another powerful motivation in favour of buying rather than renting is the social imperative to own a home. Owning a house allows you to raise credit as and when it is needed, for all kind of purposes. Hence, this is a powerful motivation for property ownership.

Based on the article by Hong Yie Chong