My first condo buy (updated)

I was asked this question many years ago and I am still asked this same question today. Why did I buy my first condo? What attracted me so much that I decided to buy? What was the question lingering in my mind which made me make my decision only after 1 month? For those who are buying their first property, especially a condo, what would be some helpful considerations? How did I do my risk management, if it does not work out?
When I bought my first condo in Penang many years back in Sungai Ara, many friends gave me the ‘why’ look. Reason being in Penang, if you do not buy in places like Gelugor, Greenlane, Sungai Dua, Tg. Tokong area, there’s something wrong with you. I did not really care too much because personally I like Sungai Ara and I bought my condo due to the few reasons below.
Cost psf, objectively. It was RM196 psf, for a condo with a Balinese style theme which was the rage then. Of course the cost of land then was much lower. Sungai Ara was not exactly the type of place which is chased by a lot of people. Equivalent in Klang Valley? I’d say, Damansara Damai? Or even Kajang or even Sungai Long. the difference is that Penang is still an island. Of course today, what you may want to look for would be value to buy. I’d think value to buy would be anything RM300 psf and below. (Secondary market only). There are not many around, I know but there are definitely still some today.
Everyone loved it. Your gut feeling may be right but when everyone you brought to see the property loves it, then it should be a good decision. I think when you buy, why not get a second opinion. Not those who owns no property. Not those who loves the opposite type of properties that you like. Bring those who has experience in buying properties before and are your close friends. Chances are they may be able to be more objective than you because sometimes when you love something you may just forget about objective judgement.
Potential. The question remains, but before it is fully developed or buy when it is developing? When I bought into Sungai Ara, shops were not that many. However, I could many rows of shop houses being built and the developer is a very reputable one. The whole development belongs to them. That was how I could tell potential is there because the developer cannot be stopping if they still have lands there. Today, there are clinics, specialty restaurants and even a bank! FYI, banks will only open in places where the population can support its existence in terms of ROI.
With these three reasons, you have just managed your risk of buying that particular property. There will always be risk. Even if you put your FD in bank, how do you know that particular bank would not collapse? Robbers may take your money if you have kept it under your bed. So, managing it becomes important and these are the few reasons for my first condo buy.
updated on 2 March 2014
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