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Tips on how to inspect a property and avoid buying a lemon

One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The overcast economic climate may have caused property prices that have seen steep hikes in the past to moderate but this could mean greater opportunities to pick up good bargains.

However, remembering that good things usually don’t come cheap, industry experts are cautioning buyers against jumping into a deal without proper inspection.

According to Architect Centre Sdn Bhd, one in every five newly completed properties has some kind of major faults such as in plumbing, roofing or water-proofing. This could consequently lead to extra expenses for repairs and maintenance.

Architect Centre is a joint venture between the Malaysian Institute of Architects and Australian service provider Archicentre Ltd. It provides property inspection and building advisory services to the Malaysian public.

The figure was reported in 2009 but it still applies to the industry today, Architect Centre accredited building inspector and trainer Anthony Lee Tee tells EdgeProp.my, citing the rapid pace of property development as one of the factors affecting the quality of construction work.

“The quality of properties sold by some developers have improved significantly but the majority of developers are still delivering substandard properties. Overall, we still see the same statistics of one in every five,” he says, adding that there are some unscrupulous developers out there who use low-quality materials to profiteer.

“Today, some properties are built very quickly but you have to know that speed can kill quality. So if you want good quality, you cannot rush it,” he continues.

The intense competition in tendering for construction jobs and the increase in cost of construction materials have also contributed to the current situation, he says. “This is why some quality of properties falls short of the price demanded.”

Nevertheless, most developers and contractors would not want to become the black sheep in the industry, notes Lee. “On the bright side, quality is getting better today as good developers and contractors continue to improve their work.”


Defects liability period

After being handed over the keys to a new property, the first thing the owner should do is to check for defects during the defects liability period, which is governed by the Sale and Purchase Agreement.

The defects liability period for residential property is usually 18 months after vacant possession whereas for other types of property it is usually 12 months, Lee says.

“The defects liability period covers defects due to shrinkage, leaks, cracks and workmanship. However, for stratified properties, the huge issue is defects in common areas which are usually not reported or identified within this period,” he notes.

Lee points out that there are also a rising number of old properties on the secondary market and if they are not well-maintained, defects in older properties could pose serious problems as the safety of owners could be at stake.

“Sometimes people know there is a defect or some things need to be repaired but they just ignore it and when something happens they give all kinds of excuses,” he says. For instance, he has seen a strata property management with limited maintenance funds place a Milo tin under a leaking ceiling to collect water.

“It may seem like a small leak but it could be a very serious problem. I’m seeing a lot of this kind of things in my work inspecting properties,” he shares.

Based on his observation, the most common defects are cracks and leaks on walls, floors and roofs. “There are also issues with electrical safety, which is the most serious problem we are currently seeing.”

He says that the electricity regulations in Malaysia are very good but there is a lot of shoddy workmanship when it comes to electrical installations, which will result in incidents of breakdowns and short circuits.

Buying a property is usually the largest investment one would ever make, so it is crucial for buyers to be informed before buying into the asset, Lee counsels. “Property defects will kill the value of a property, not to mention the fact that they could cost people’s lives as well,” he says.

Hence, homebuyers are advised to do their research and homework by checking out and surveying every aspect of the property before they purchase or right after vacant possession of a new property, he concludes.



Source: The Edge

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Penang gets nod to develop islands

GEORGE TOWN: The state government has secured approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme near Teluk Kumbar.

It is learnt that the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry has given the green light, paving the way for the three man-made islands totalling 1,800ha to take shape off the southern coast of the island.The report incorporates 23 conditions proposed by the relevant government agencies and non-governmental organisations. It is prepared by project delivery partner SRS Consortium.

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Hong Kong folk do not mind living with ghosts, as long as they get a cheaper home

KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): Try selling a home in Malaysia which is supposed to be haunted or was the site of a gruesome death. Best of luck to you.

But in Hong Kong, many of people here do not mind living with “spirits” if they get a price discount on the property price.

According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a survey by the Hong Kong Squarefoot online property portal showed that the many people in this ex-British territory said “they would consider living in a home which hides a tragic past” if the price was right.

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Property overhang can be resolved if MM2H is less stringent

KUALA LUMPUR: One way to resolve the property overhang is to stop being so strict over Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) applications from Chinese nationals, said a developer.

I understand that we are more stringent on the MM2H applications for the mainland Chinese,” said TA Global Bhds non-independent and non-executive director Datin Alicia Tiah said at a press conference after its AGM yesterday.

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Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019 extended by another 6 months! Here’s what homebuyers should know

Malaysians who are looking to buy a new residential property have until 31 December 2019 to take advantage of special property deals and purchase exemptions under the nation-wide campaign. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it is a wide-known fact that many young working adults in Malaysia are struggling to afford a residential property as they are priced way above the market. Homes are getting more expensive, especially in urban areas and the growth in household incomes is dismal, to say the least.

Thus, it is hardly surprising that there is a stunning amount of new-launch property units being left unsold. According to the Malaysian Property Market 2018 Report, which was recently released by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC), the number of overhang units in 2018 rose by 30.7% to 32,313 units from the previous year.

‘Overhang property’ is defined as a completed residential unit which has remained unsold or has been on the market for at least nine months.

In light of this situation, the government has introduced the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) 2019, which was unveiled earlier this year as one of the housing initiatives under Budget 2019. The campaign was originally supposed to end on 30 June.

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MAHB to proceed with Penang International Airport expansion plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is ready to proceed with its plan to expand the Penang International Airport after getting the approval from the Ministry of Finance.

Group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said MAHB has been working on the expansion project over the past two years, bringing in consultants to draw up detailed construction plans after engaging with the Ministry of Transport (MoT), Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and the Penang state government, including Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow. Read more

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Finance minister: Household debt down, banks please lend to new homebuyers

Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wants banks to provide greater access to financing to first-time homebuyers, as well as to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) considering the fact that the country’s household debt as a ratio to gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen to 83% in 2018 from 83.8% in 2017.

In a statement today, Lim said consumers have more room now to borrow for wealth accumulation purposes, either in saving schemes, or for non-speculative investments including acquisition of long-term assets. Read more

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Stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers extended for 6 months until Dec 31

KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya as agreed to extend the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) for another six months from July 1, 2019 until Dec 31, 2019, the Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng announced in a statement today.

This means that the stamp duty exemption for HOC first-time homebuyers has also been extended to the same period.

“The Finance Ministry has accepted the KPKT Minister, YB Puan Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin’s, request in support of REHDA’s (Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association) appeal to extend the HOC period for another six months,” Lim said in the statement. Read more

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Penang bags RM8.8b investments in first quarter of 2019

GEORGE TOWN — Penang recorded RM8.8 billion in total investments for the first three months of the year, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced today.

Quoting figures from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), he said Penang secured 41 projects or 35 per cent of total approved investment in the country for the period.

“Penang’s achievement of RM8.85 billion in the first quarter of 2019 has already surpassed 2018’s full-year investment amount of RM5.78 billion,” he said in a press conference in his office today. Read more

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Malaysians spend more time looking at properties than going to the gym or reading

Malaysia is the most property obsessed country in the Southeast Asia and ranked at fourth place globally after the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Taiwan, according to HSBC Malaysia.

“Malaysians spend longer time viewing property than they do keeping fit at the gym, reading books, or reading and watching the news,” said country head for retail banking and wealth management Tara Latini. Read more