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"Never too young to own a property"

“I have always wanted to buy a property but I never thought I would buy one at the age of 22 years old,” says the now 24-year-old CK Chang.

Chang tells EdgeProp.my that he is the proud owner of a 1,100 sq ft condominium unit in Bukit Jalil, Selangor worth about RM500,000. After getting the keys in February 2019, Chang decided to rent it out for rental income.

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“Owning is always better than renting”

“I joined the workforce after taking a diploma course. I am lucky because my employer gave me a lot of opportunities and trusted me to take on greater responsibilities. In a short period of time and at 22, my salary was already considered high among my peers, so I guess that was how I was able to get a housing loan for my condo,” says Chang.

“I was renting a place with my partner and she was eager to buy her own place. We went to see some new projects casually and she fell in love with the one in Bukit Jalil.”

They decided to jointly buy the property. However, the mortgage application was rejected as his partner did not have proof of strong financial background.

“The bank hoped that I could find another joint borrower but I did not have anyone else. I told the bank officer that I wanted to try as a single borrower and luckily, the loan was approved despite my young age,” he says.

In the current buyer’s market, Chang feels that it is a good time to buy a property.

“There are many ongoing projects offering very minimal down payment with a lot of freebies. The government also offers some financial assistance for young first-time homebuyers. I believe that if you are determined to buy your own property, you should do it now,” he says.

He advises young homebuyers to work backwards when planning for a property purchase. “Before buying, the first thing I did was to check my loan eligibility and how much I can commit for the monthly mortgage repayment after deducting all the other commitments such as my study loan, car loan and fixed monthly savings.”

Ever since he started working, Chang made it a habit to save about 20% of his monthly salary as funds for short- and long-term investments.

“The idea of buying a property has been rooted in my mind since young, so I have been saving money, and when the buying opportunity arose two years ago, I was ready,” he notes.

“One is never too young to own a property. I believe owning a property at a young age gives you more financial freedom in the long run,” Chang concludes.

CHANG’S TIPS

Buying property at a young age

1. Give and take

If you cannot have all the things you want, prioritise. A fancy car should be ranked as less important than a house down payment. Owning a house is cooler than owning an imported car at a young age, says Chang.

2. Work backwards

Sit down and review your monthly expenses. Understand how much you can commit for a monthly house instalment before looking for a property that you can afford.

3. Buy early

There are more pros than cons of buying property at a young age as you are likely to maximise the mortgage tenure, forcing you to save every month. You could also start accumulating other assets.

Choosing a property

1. Future prospects

The project’s design and township planning are more important than location. Chang believes a sustainable township creates more value while a location can be “created” through place-making, infrastructure development or other catalysts.

2. Developer reputation

Although not guaranteed, pick a reputable developer as they often bring lower risks in terms of project abandonment, poor quality or poor after-sales service.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my pullout on Jan 17, 2019. You can access back issues here.

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