Inside Iskandar: Quick tips for home buyers

INTERNATIONAL Property Advisor chief executive Ku Swee Yong gives some tips on what buyers should consider before dropping off a cheque at an Iskandar showroom.

  • Research the project's developer

Has the developer delivered good-quality homes or has it abandoned projects before? Does the developer intend to continue managing the property after it is completed? The overall quality of property management in Malaysia is not very high, so a few years after completion, the common and exterior areas might deteriorate quickly unless the developer plans to keep up the maintenance.

It is also good to check which law firm is representing the developer and whether it is a reputable one. There have been cases of lawyers running away with home buyers' initial booking fees and buyers having to fork out the fees a second time.

  • Compare prices

You should compare the price of your unit against recent transactions in the area. Also, see how it compares with prices of similar units in Kuala Lumpur's central areas. Kuala Lumpur is where the jobs and expatriates are, whereas Iskandar is still in its infancy.

  • Examine your finishings

The practices in Malaysia are very different from Singapore's, so it would be good to check these off your list: Are the kitchens fitted with cabinets, a cooker hood and a hob and other appliances such as an oven and a microwave oven? Do the bedrooms come with wardrobes? Are air-conditioners included?

  • Examine the special packages

What is the price of the unit before and after rebates? When is the rebate given? Do you have to apply for a home loan based on the full price or on the net price after rebates?

  • Check on the development

Has construction begun? For completed properties, have strata titles already been issued? If the land title is leasehold, when will the lease begin? Or when did an existing lease start?

  • Scout the surrounding area

If you are planning to buy a property for investment purposes, you should find out if it will be near offices, as such locations are more likely to attract tenants and rental income.

Study the empty lots around your unit. There could land adjacent to your investment which could be developed such that your view may get blocked.

There were many buyers who bought the new launches at Puteri Harbour and they were sold based on the good views of the marina and yacht club.

Subsequently, there were a few more projects on the plots of land in front which blocked the views of the projects that were sold earlier.