For first-time homebuyers, they believe they are ready to sign on the dotted line when they find their savings and monthly income are enough to cover the costs of their dream home.
What is often overlooked, however, are the additional costs they need to or may want to, fork out for their new acquisition. So, if it’s your first time buying a property, make sure do set aside some dough for these other expenses.
1. Lawyer fees
Lawyers charge a professional fee to prepare the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) and loan facility agreement which will entail the handling of the necessary documents. Please take note that the legal fees are regulated by a prescribed scale rate under the Solicitors Remuneration Order, based on the purchase price set in the SPA.
2. Memorandum of transfer
The memorandum of transfer – a transfer instrument of ownership from the seller to the buyer after the signing of the SPA and only applicable for transfer of property of which the individual title had been issued. The lawyer will ensure that all the necessary responsibilities by the seller are fulfilled including his or her obligation to pay off current unsettled fees such as management fees, sewerage fees and so forth.
3. Mortgage insurance
There are two kinds of mortgage insurance available in the market;
- mortgage reducing term assurance (MRTA) / mortgage decreasing term assurance (MDTA)
- mortgage level term assurance (MLTA)
MRTA and MLTA are usually financed into the home loan and comes in the form of a lump sum payment, while the latter sees the sum insured remain the same – is self-financed and paid periodically.
The MRTA would be suitable for those who are single and without family members depending on them as the beneficiary of the insurance will be the bank in the event of any tragedy.
However, if you have many dependents, it would be best to choose the MLTA as the pay-out would be to your beneficiary or to you directly.
4. Renovation and furnishing cost
Perhaps you are a fan of Gordan Ramsey and you see his kitchen on one of his shows – and you tell yourself you need it for your new dream home. New homes do not come with your Ikea-inspired kitchen cabinets and wardrobes made out of mahogany, while others properties come with older models that need an upgrade. Before housing unit could be renamed as your dream home, you may also want to consider getting the necessary furniture such as sofa sets, beds, dining furniture, fans and lights.
5. Property assessment tax
Also commonly referred to as ‘cukai pintu’, this tax is collected by the local authority for the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure under its area of jurisdiction such as upgrading works, road repairs and cleaning services. The payment is made in two instalments annually between Jan 1 to Feb 28 and Jul 1 to Aug 31 every year.
6. Quit rent
Also known as ‘cukai tanah’, this form of tax is paid once a year to the relevant land office by May 31 annually. The amount paid varies by state.
In Kuala Lumpur, the quit rent is about RM0.35 PSF per annum while in Petaling Jaya, the quit rent is about RM0.325 PSF per annum.
7. Home insurance
Your dream home will always be susceptible to dangers such as natural disasters, vandalism and theft.
In Malaysia, there are generally three kinds of home insurance:
- the homeowners’ fire insurance policy which covers losses or damages caused by explosion from gas for domestic purposes, homeowners’ fire and lightning
- insurance policy which covers loss and damage to fixtures, fences, walls and gates from events such as theft, flood and burst pipes
- the householders’ insurance policy which covers household contents including moveable possessions as well as fatal injury coverage on the person insured.