Moving to Paradise?
A lot of people make the big move to Malaysia. But is it the right one for you? Are you ready to buy a home and start making monthly mortgage payments? You could consider renting instead if you aren’t ready to jump into a legally binding contract just yet. Also, buying a house is a major financial move so you’ve got to be absolutely sure about your decision before you move forward. With a rental, you can think about it as long as you like. Whether you want to pack up and go or stay for the long-term, a rental offers you the flexibility you need to move around, pick things up or go whenever you get the urge.
Residential property prices in the country usually fall within a range so it’s particularly steady. Locals hardly bat an eye when the prices rise by two percent or three percent, or fall by the same measure. With prices completely stable for the past 15 years, the real estate market has plenty going for it. In terms of rental yields, condominiums top the list for best-paying investments, which isn’t surprising considering the popularity of these units for recent home buyers over the past few years. Global Property Guide says gross returns were at seven percent for last year. Gross rental yields on condo properties usually fall within a range of five percent to seven percent while bungalows fall at a low 4 percent.
Better Rental Prices
The Malay Mail Online predicts that rental prices this year are going to be more competitive, with a lot of property investors trying to get as much of the rental income pie as they can. So it’s an especially good time to find yourself renting property. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Use a property listing site. These days, you can already enjoy easy access to property listings with online listing sites. If you’re set on finding a condominium for rent, PropertyGuru Malaysia has plenty of options you can explore.
- Screen your agent. Real estate agents know the local property market best. But you can’t just go around and hire the first one you find. While not all agents wait to devour hapless and naïve renters, you should be well aware of the risks of hiring the wrong agent. So if you don’t want to find out that your agent has disappeared into the night, along with your deposit, make sure you screen yours thoroughly. Always confirm the agent’s identity and his/her connection to the company. That way, you know you’re dealing with someone legitimate. Referrals also help a great deal to set your worries to rest. Make sure you call up these referrals to confirm whatever the agent has told you. If everything seems to be in order, that’s the only time you should proceed and not before.
- Listen to your gut. There will be plenty of warning signs when you deal with difficult landlords or unreliable agents. While you shouldn’t base so much of your perception on a single incident, if you notice a pattern emerging, then save yourself the trouble and expense. Walk away. There are plenty of fish in the sea and you can easily find better landlords and agents you can work with. Do that instead of having to stress yourself out over dealing with horrible agents and landlords.
- Write everything down. Every promise, stipulation, or arrangement you and your landlord have signed on must be included in the Offer Letter. That’s you legally covering yourself. With everything written down, you’ve got the legal proof that stands up in court in case your landlord decides to renege on their part later on.
- Never pay in cash. Make sure you pay the deposit by cheque. Don’t have a local bank? You could pay by handing over a banker’s draft instead. Confirm that the recipient is a licensed real estate company. Do your research before you sign and hand that cheque over. You wouldn’t want to be the victim of a rental scam, after all. These are protective measures that should keep you safe from rogue agents in the industry. Also, if your agent asks you to pay for it in cash, treat that as a red flag right away.
- Keep the receipt. You must always ask for a receipt after every transaction has been completed. A good, reliable agent should provide you with a temporary receipt right after the Offer to Rent or OR has been signed and the deposit been made. If your agent forgot, just simply remind the agent and ask for one. A receipt might come in very useful in the future, especially if your landlord loses their records and needs help figuring out if you’ve paid for the entire month or a few months down the road.
In the end, renting offers advantages and challenges quite different from buying a home. It can be a potentially daunting experience too, especially if you’re going at this for the first time. But with enough research, you should come out of it relatively unscathed.