Steps to start your property investment

Assuming that you have accumulated sufficient downpayment for a property. We also assume that you have a stable job which will enable the bank to approve your mortgage loan. What would be the next step that you should take?
Goal / Objective: Understand why you want to buy in the first place. There are so many different objectives that you may have. For example, you may want to retire earlier. Or you may want to buy one property for each of your children. Set something which is very important to you and remind yourself about it everyday.
Decide on a strategy: Focus on property rental or potential capital appreciation? The former meant most of the time, it is secondary property play and the latter, buying the right new property in the right location certainly helps tremendously. If you say I focus on both rental and capital appreciation, you are too good for this article already. Skip reading and perhaps start sharing. 🙂
Homework time: If it is your first time in swimming do you jump into the pool directly? Perhaps, if it is a 1.4 metre pool and you are 1,7metre, then maybe. Otherwise, do your homework. Start reading on property related news / articles. Subscribe to a property magazine, perhaps Property Insight Malaysia. Subscribe to newsletters from propertyguru, iproperty and any other free stuffs you can find online. Buy one property book, finish reading it and buy another and then another. Names such as Milan Doshi, Azizi Ali, Renesial would spring into mind as the more famous ones. Alternatively, skip all these and go direct to the professional workshops costing a few thousand RM. That would catapult you right into the ‘know what is property investment’ almost immediately. If you ask me, I prefer the slow and steady route though.
View, View, View: Once you are familiar with how property investment works, start to view units. The more the better as you learn a lot during these viewings. Note the surrounding, the route leading to the property, types of properties, what are nearby, what about the traffic condition, is it nearby MRT, etc. My personal opinion, view 20 before deciding when you first started. If you viewed enough, you should be able to decide objectively.
Offer and Negotiate: If you think you have viewed enough and have decided on a very attractive one, do call the agent and tell the agent to negotiate for the best for you. Tell him specifically that if it hits your target price you would buy. There’s nothing wrong to give a discount offer of up to 10% though you are unlikely to get it but no one ever tried 20% discount. If I am the owner, I would tell the agent to stop listening to your calls. Be serious. If you are not, sooner or later, the agent community would know who you are. You are in this for long term, why tarnish your image right at the beginning?
Reminder. Nothing is easy. If it is easy, why would people pay thousands of RM to listen to a 2 or 3-day workshop? If it is easy why are so many friends discourage you from buying? If it is easy, there are no need for any property magazines or sites. You just bring along a banner to any apartment, hold it up and surely some owners would see it and walked down and offer to sell to you.
The best part about property investment is, you get better as you go along, as long as you are not the impatient type because property is not a gamble. It is a long term investment just like your unit trust. Surely you do not call your unit trust agent every few days and ask him how is your unit trust doing?!
Happy investing.
written on 12 Jan 2014.
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