In our latest installment of the Real Estate Blogging Series, we investigate the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring landed properties instead of condominiums.
Back in the day, a Malaysian homeowner’s question on the type of house that he should purchase is limited to villa, bungalow, cottage, or whatever strikes his fancy. Today, the choice has now been reduced to just two: condominiums or condos vs actual houses. This is especially true in Greater Kuala Lumpur, or places like Penang or the Iskandar Region, Johor.
A homeowner basically has categories or areas of consideration when choosing the type of home to buy (what we call here at Single Pointe as LCSMF factors):
The prices of homes and condos in Malaysia (especially in the Klang Valley) these days are almost similar and almost the same mortgage loans apply to both. Note that if you want a guide on investing in Malaysian real estate click here instead.
Because of the density in population and the limits in space available for home use, condominiums are more common in the urban areas – especially in the Kuala Lumpur city. That is why they are a popular choice among homeowners who want to live close to the city center where commercial districts are located. We have got clients who insisted on condominiums in the crowded KLCC enclave simple because of these factors, but who could blame them? KLCC apartments are fabulous if you can afford them, and to sample, here are a couple which will blow your mind:-
Homes, on the other hand, are more common in the suburbs (Puchong, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya). Lots here are generally bigger and so houses get more space allotment for bigger yards and a relatively bigger square footage in the interiors of the home. They are a bit farther from the city, but are very popular among families with school-age children.
Convenience and Security
Because condos are in urban areas, they are generally closer to where businesses and jobs are more abundant. It has more choices for public transportation (MRT and LRT) and as is the case in most condos, it has a doorman/receptionist and sometimes even a security guard.
When you buy a condominium, you only pay for the living space, and pay in part for the shared amenities. Common facilities found in condominium units include swimming pools and fitness centers, and that makes it very attractive to homeowners. Some of the best condominiums in Malaysia are found in Mont Kiara – for example, Kiara Designer Suites, Lumina Kiara, MK10, and MK28.
Safety in homes is generally relative to the safety of the community it belongs to. Public transportation in Kuala Lumpur is really not up to par to be honest; so you may need to have your own car for transportation.
Maintenance and Fees
Because of the ‘community’ like atmosphere in condominiums, owning one means the builder or the contractor would be responsible for maintaining your fixtures, etc. But because you become a part of the condo’s ‘association’, you will have to pay your association fees to remain a member, as well as pay for maintenance fees of the shared condo facilities. That is, on top of the monthly mortgage you pay to your lender. Don’t forget that!
You are also not allowed to make any changes to your condominium unit without getting permit from the association and the condo management. Some have got very strict guidelines – for example, Setiawalk in Puchong (developed by SP Setia – a very reputable real estate developer in Malaysia).
Having a house, on the other hand, allows you to do pretty much whatever you please with it. You can add or remove anything without getting necessary permissions from anyone. You also do not have to pay association fees. But, because houses are generally bigger and the land surrounding your property is still your responsibility, you will have to solely shoulder the maintenance and repair costs it incurs.
The decision on whether to get a house or a condominium rests solely on your needs, your capacity to pay off the costs of living of either choice, and the lifestyle you live.
Hope that helps! 🙂