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Monday, January 26, 2009

Real Estate Malaysia Market Situation

Articles from the Star newspaper 26 january 2009

Experts have said that the Malaysian property market is resilient enough to withstand the onslaught of a softening global economy.They opine that sales would be ongoing but in small volumes as most purchasers adopt a wait and see attitude while developers downsize their new property launches.

Association of Valuers & Property Consultants in Private Malaysia (PEPS) president James Wong Kwong Onn says that property prices would fall 5% to 10% as slower economy cools demand.

“Prices for properties across the board will fall but on a gradual basis,” he says.adding that Malaysia is in a better position compared to Singapore, Hongkong and Thailand which are more exposed to the US subprime crisis.

He says the government’s RM7bil stimulus package including the reduction of Employee’s Provident Fund contriburitons from 11% to 8% coupled with lower interest rate and inflkation would provide the bright spark to the property market.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association(Rehda) Penang branch chairman Datuk Jerry Chan Fook Sing thinks the property outlook in Penang is still bullish.

“Property prices in the state have always done well and with the level of economy we are going to be seeing,land prices both on the island and mainland should continue appreaciating buy at least 5% to 10% over the next five to seven years.”

Penang also has the highest sales growth in the countryh(five year compounded annual grothw rate (CAGR) of 11% vs the average of 8%).House prices on the island have risen to almost match the Klang Valley’s,growing at a five-year CAGR of 4.3% vs the national average of 2.9%.

The completion of the Penang bridge would also act as a catalyst for major growth.Economic activity in the vicinity would automatically intensify.

Chan foresees more people moving to the mainland especially to the southern part of Seberang Prai of which Batu Kawan is the first point of the second link between the island and mainland.

“When the first bridge was built,it was a nucleus for growth.Industrial areas mushroomed up overnight in the northern part of Seberang Prai.And areas like Butterworth,Juru and Bukit Minyak started growing and land prices appreciated.”he says

Land prices in the southern part of the mainland now range between RM8 and RM20 psf.He predicts that prices could easily appreaciate by 50% with the kind of major development projects happening over the next few years.

Penang’s property market has always drawn buyers from far and wide as the state has all the allure of a good place to live- the beaches,the hill and the people.The lack of land bank will continue to push demand for landed properties to go up while good condominium projects in selected locations will still do well despite the economic downturn.

Land shortage has shifted the focus of housing development to the south-West district comprising Relau,Teluk Kumbar,Batu Maung and Balik Pulau-the new growth corridor for Penang.

The housing trend at the moment places emphasis on life style concepts favouring luxurious developments with a resort feel while most new projects are gated and guarded.

Developers today are required to provide more such as quality finishing,extended warrantyh and better security.These featured are what purchasesrs look for when deliberating on their dream homes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mortgage Calculator

While searching and surfing with the search engines, i found a website called widgetbox. Personally , i think this is a good and a must tool for Real Estate. Useful and easy to use.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 "DONT" for home buyers before closing.

Your home buying process is on the way.Looks like the sellers accepted your offer to purchase. The home is officially under contract ,The lender pre-approved you and you are waiting to move into your new house?Nothing is 100% certain until everything is settled.A wrong move could slow down or stop the transaction or could even spoil your whole plan.

1. Don't make any major purchase
You bought a new house.Thinking of getting a brand new car which fit your new house too?Its not advisible to do so if you are depending on a mortage for the house.
An increase in your debt to income ratio reduces the amount of monthly income available for your mortgage payment.
Even Using cash to purchase the car might not help, since banks consider cash reserves when approving your mortgage.Talk to your loan officer if buying the car is a must.

2. Don't Change Jobs Unless It's Necessary
A consistent job history is better than a nonconsistent one.It might not affect much if you change jobs within the same field, but it's better to stay put until the house is yours.

3. Don't Give an Earnest Money Deposit Directly to a For Sale By Owner Seller
Your good faith deposit should go into a trust account. Some for sale by owner sellers don't understand that funds are not their to spend until closing.
I've heard many stories about sellers who spent the deposit money prior to closing. When the transactions didn't take place for valid reasons--such as financing or repair issues, the buyers had to fight for a refund.
Find an attorney or other neutral party who will hold the deposit for you until closing day and make sure your contract dictates what happens to the funds if the transaction doesn't close.

4. Don't Let Your Emotions control you
Calm down and have a clear mind during the entire home buying process, especially during and after a home inspection. Be realistic.If you are buying an older home,some repairs are required to be done by seller but dont because of a little refusal from seller affected your decision of buying the house.
Never fall so much in love with the house that you'll do anything to own that lovely house--unless you're sure you can handle it emotionally and financially. Decide what type of repairs you can realistically tackle, then stick with the decision.

5. Don't Forget to Switch Utilities (electricity / water)
Its a simple one but also an often forgetted one,but you'd be surprised how many people forget to apply for utility service at their new home ended up staying in a house without water and electricity.Call the utility companies as soon as you have a contract. Find out how many days lead time they need to switch the service, then get back with them when you have a firm closing date.
After that,discontinue the services at your old home.

6. Don't Forget to Line Up Your Hazard Insurance
it's another often-forgotten task that buyers scramble to take care of at the last minute. Before closing, your lender will want to see an insurance binder showing you have coverage for the new home. Get it as early as possible so that closing isn't delayed.
In some locations, additional types of insurance coverage might be necessary. Talk to your lender about insurance requirements well before the closing date.

7. Don't Become buddies with the Seller
It's great to be friendly.Be clear that your role is a buyer and he is a seller.Don't get into too many long discussions with the sellers as personality conflicts often cause judgments.
Remember, this is their home. You're no doubt excited about moving in, and if you didn't like the house you wouldn't have offered to buy it. But you'll make changes--everyone does. A casual statement about "ripping up that ugly carpet" might be hurtful enough to keep the seller from negotiating with you about repairs or other issues that crop up.

8. Don't Panic if the Appraisal Comes in Low
At least not at first. There are some things you (and your agent) can do to correct the problem. Study your options.

9. Don't Go It Alone
If you're working with an agent, it's the agent's duty to track many of the day to day details that involve the lender, the seller, or the seller's agent. Be sure your agent schedules a final walkthrough just before closing.

10. Don't Ignore Lender Requirements
Know what is expected of you and take care of it. For instance, a Certificate of Eligibility is required to move forward on a VA loan. That's something you must handle yourself. Answer lender questions and provide required paperwork as quickly as possible--moving into your new home depends on it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Beginner Tips for investing

some points are important to become a Real Estate investor.It might help you to decide whether you could fail or succeed at investing in Real Estate.

"can you afford it?" Investing in Real Estate is very expensive and you need to understand your budget completely before you think of venturing into Real Estate investing. You might think of taking a Real Estate loan or using some of your hard earned savings and then investing in Real Estate, but before you do that, make sure you can pay back the Real Estate loan.Check the interests and years your have to pay back.As now adays market situation is not really well.You need to sit down with the banker and fully understand the plan of paying the loan.It is a huge commitment to invest in Real Estate and you have to be very sure before you make the decision.

"why you wish to invest?" in Real Estate.If you invest in Real Estate for your self.You just need to search a property that fits your requirements.If you want to invest for your family, you need to check out the formalities and papers of the land such as the road connectivity, electricity, water and you should also find out how close the estate is to shops,banks, schools,hospitals,post office etc.Check the interiors of the house to ensure that there are no repairs of any fault which are necessary.As repairs will increase the cost of buying the property.

"selling it in the future"? Location location location.Remember these key words.It is important that you research on the estate concerned. Calculate how much appreciation the land is likely to go through and choose a most profitable area.Check with the state government.What town/city developing projects they are running on that area.This will affect the properties values in that area.Next,you should also make sure that you select the right Real Estate agent before you start thinking of investing in Real Estate. The Real Estate agent you choose should have enough market knowledge and he should also be well aware of the current trend,updated news in the Real Estate market. Make sure that he is dependable or else you might end up with a bad bargain and consequent problems. Thus, it cannot be stressed enough that you have to be careful when choosing a Real Estate agent.Well known experienced agents introduced from benefited investors or friends is important.Most people who wish to invest in Real Estate make mistakes because they rush into it without taking serious consideration. Do not let other parties or your Real Estate agent pressure you into investing too soon.The final decision is on you.Be determined but not rush.

Buying a Real Estate property and buying a business makes no difference. You should pay attention to the state of the market for the land you will wish to sell, the past history of that land, the nature of the area where your property is located, and how much the property costs, and what kind of financing you will need.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

10 Tips to green your home

It's all about the eaves

A roof should overhang walls by at least one foot. That keeps the sun off windows and exteriors, which helps the house stay cool in summer.It also protects siding from the weather, meaning you may be able to go twice as long between repaintings or re-sidings.

Reuse and remodel
The house you fix up will probably be much greener than anything you build in its place, no matter how cutting edge the new design or how much recycled material you use.

Sure, some old houses just can't be saved. But even a building with serious problems can give you plenty to work with.

You might, for example, be able to salvage the first floor and build around it. With a total teardown, all the stuff that went into building the old house, including the fossil fuels the original construction crew had to burn, goes to waste. (Construction material is one of the largest contributors to landfills.)

And, of course, you'll consume a lot of energy and materials putting up a new structure. If you choose to remodel, consider expanding up rather than out. That's an easy way to control your home's carbon footprint.

Size does matter
Fight the urge to go big and high. Not only is a smaller, well-proportioned house easier to heat and to cool, but you'll need to buy less furniture to feel at home in it. And isn't consuming less the whole point? Some specifics to remember:

A kitchen for normal cooking
kitchen that's less than 20 feet long with countertops less than 4 feet apart is more convenient unless you are serving 5 course meal everyday.

Bedrooms are mainly for beds
Beds should be located at the correct spot in bedrooms.Usually people dont sit much in bedroom as chairs in bedrooms have a way of just collecting the laundry or stuff.

More rooms can be better than one giant space
Instead of a high-ceilinged great room that combines a kitchen, dining room and living room, use the same square footage for a combination of rooms with standard ceilings. Divide them with french doors that you can open out when you want family togetherness.

The latest on renewable energy
The wind
Let's just say you probably won't be installing a wind turbine in your backyard anytime soon. Even if the homeowners association didn't come after you with torches and pitchforks, the truth is most places aren't breezy enough.

But in many areas it is possible to sign up with an electricity provider that gets its juice from renewable sources, often including wind. Your monthly bill may be about $10 higher, but you'll be doing your bit for the planet.

Go to the Department of Energy's Green Power Network to find your local provider.

The sun
A solar water-heating system can reduce the fossil fuel you'll need for showering and washing clothes. Before installing one, determine whether you have a sunny enough location to recoup the up-front costs, which can range from $3,000 to $8,000.

A solar electricity system can be pricey too. But if you're building, consider having your home pre-wired for it (for an extra $1,500 or so). Then you can install photovoltaic panels after they get cheaper (as they undoubtedly will).

Get a zone defense
Thermostats have become as smart as your iPod.

You can program them to respond to your use patterns, cutting your energy bills by nearly 10%, according to data from Energy Star, a government program that sets efficiency standards.

If you want to get fancy, you can divide your house into multiple climate zones so that you heat or cool only the rooms that need it.

In summer you can focus the air conditioning on bedrooms and spaces that get the most sun.

Insulate, insulate, insulate...
Upgrading the insulation in your home - including caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors - can cut your heating bills by as much as 20%. (To learn how to do a home energy audit and find leaks, see

But you should also pay attention to design features that make insulation harder or easier.

Cathedral ceilings and flat roofs need extra attention
In homes with those features, your ceiling may sit directly under the roof, putting the room that much closer to the elements. You'll need to make sure these ceilings are especially well insulated and carefully vented.

Recessed lights can leak
After all, they basically require you to punch a lot of holes in your ceiling. If you install them under attics or roofs, make sure to use fixtures that are IC rated, which means you can safely pack insulation above and around them. These can cost $10 to $20 extra.

Dirt insulates
If the site where you intend to build your home is sloped, consider putting a portion of the structure underground. You'll get some natural protection against extremes of both heat and cold.

Ventilate and circulate
The key to keeping cool in the summer without cranking the air conditioning is to force warm air out of your house as quickly as possible and to have air constantly moving over your skin.

Vents in your attic space - combined with insulation in the ceiling below - keep the cool air downstairs from being warmed by the pocket of hot air above.

A whole-house attic fan, which pulls hot air from the rest of the house into a well-ventilated attic, can let you turn on the AC less often. (Just make sure you put an insulating cover over the unit in the winter.)

When building, place windows and doorways to maximize cross-ventilation so that breezes flow easily through rooms.

Be wise about windows
You can benefit from the most old-fashioned kind of solar power simply by putting windows in the right places.

In the northern part of the country, a house with most of its windows facing south will collect more light - and therefore more heat - in the winter. (You'll also be able to keep the lightbulbs off until late in the day.)

If you live in warmer climes, it's smart to have most of your windows facing north so your home doesn't bake all year.

In general you want fewer and smaller windows. That's because every window costs: Even the best of them will rot and leak over time. And even deluxe triple-glazed, argon-gas-filled windows will let out more of your home's heat than a wall would.

By the way, the super-insulated variety probably won't save enough to pay back the steep premium - maybe twice the price - over the up-to-code double-glazed kind.

Adding up the bill
If you're building from scratch, good design can get you a long way toward green. But for the most sustainable home, you'll also want to shell out some extra bucks for the right materials and appliances.

Those costs can add up fast. Remember that while green appliances will lower your energy bills and upkeep year after year, there's less direct payback from using recycled or salvaged woods and other materials.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

20 Tips for selling home fast

Make a lasting first impression

The front door should be clean and presentable. If the doorbell is not working repair it.

Walls and woodwork
Faded walls and worn woodwork won’t sell your home. A small investment in paint or wallpaper will.

Let the sun shine in
Open the drapes and curtains. Clean the window and panes. Turn on the lights. House buyers are drawn to bright, cheerful interior.

Call the plumber and the electrician
Dripping water taps suggest worn out plumbing or careless maintenance. Clean those rust stained sinks. And make sure the drains are running free and clear. Loose electrical wires, broken sockets and fused out bulbs, flickering tube-lights are a no-no.

The devil’s in the details
Loose door knobs and handles. Creaky doors. Door latches not closing smoothly. Sticking drawers. Wobbly hinges. Jammed windows. They can all cost you a potential customer. Fix the defects and they make a sale.

Safety sells
Keep staircases and corridors clean and free of clutter. Cluttered areas are not only unattractive; they are dangerous as well.

Sell the whole home
Let prospects see the big picture. Make sure your attic is presentable, your garage is neat and your basement is organized. Give storeroom space a clean coat of paint.

Buyers love big closets and wall cupboards
And they look even bigger when they are clean, neat and well organized. Get rid of piles of clothes, old cartons and other clutter.

Bathrooms are big sellers.
Make bathrooms sparkle. Clean sinks and bowls. Recaulk where needed. Make sure towels and bathroom mats are freshly washed.

Wake up your bedrooms
Remove excess furniture. Use attractive and colourful bed linens and spreads. Open the drapes and curtains and let the light in. Remember, this is where your buyers spend one third of their lives.

It is now showtime! Here are ten suggestions to help you make the most of it.

Lighten up
Home buyers love the light. By day, let the sun shine in. By night, turn on all your lights, inside and outside. Don’t forget the accent and picture lights.

Avoid crowds
House hunters hate crowds. When your brokers shows your home, send the children away to the neighbours and take a long walk.

Silence is golden
When your home is being shown, turn off the radio, television, stereo or any other noise-producing source. It will make your agent’s job easier.

Keep pets out of sight
Make your pets disappear when your house is being shown. Your prospect may have different tastes in animal than you.

Stay in the background
Do not try to engage your prospects in conversation. Let your broker do his or her job and let your buyers inspect without interruption.

Be prepared
You never know when your consultant (agent) may need to show your home on a moment’s notice. So, make your beds and tidy up each morning, just in case.

No apologies necessary
Nobody’s perfect. There’s no need to apologies for the appearance of your house. Let your agent field any negative comment.

Sell the home period
Don’t try to sell your prospect your old furniture, appliances, lamps or anything besides your house. Save it for after the sale.

Leave it to professionals
Let your broker discuss selling price, terms, possession dates or other such details. They have been carefully trained and will negotiate on your behalf.

Show by appointment only
Your agents can schedule all showings including those from other real estate offices. All you need to do is to make sure your home is ready to show.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Invest in Malaysia

Malaysia is not only a country famous for its natural resouces and agricultures.Its now a knowledge based,export base,High technology country.Tall buildings such as The Twin Towers and KL Towers, KLIA Airport, Sepace F1 Cicruit are part of the succesful Built projects in Malaysia.

A Dynamic Business Environment

Malaysia, strategically located in the heart of South East Asia, offers a cost-competitive location for investors intending to set up offshore operations for the manufacture of advanced technological products for regional and international markets.

Supported by a market-oriented economy and pro-business Government policies, Malaysia offers investors a dynamic and vibrant business environment with the ideal prerequisites for growth and profits. Malaysia's key strengths include well-developed infrastructure and productive workforce. A politically stable country with a well-developed legal system, Malaysia also provides attractive incentives for investors.

Advancing with Technology

Technological advancement has become an integral part of Malaysia's growth as an industrialised nation. With the help of technology, Malaysia is steadfast in providing for the modern day requirements of investor companies based in the country. Malaysia is one of the most technologically developed countries amongst industrialising nations in the ASEAN region. The nation's persistent drive to engage modern technologies proves to be a great advantage to manufacturers in Malaysia.

Well-developed Infrastructure

Infrastructure in Malaysia is designed to serve the business community; it is one of the best in Asia. Telecommunications network served by digital and fibre optic technology, five international airports (all with air-cargo facilities), well-maintained highways and seven international seaports make Malaysia an ideal springboard to the Asia-Pacific market.

Industries in Malaysia are predominantly located in over 200 industrial estates and Free Zones developed throughout the country. These zones are categorised as export processing zones, which cater to the requirements of export-oriented industries. There are also specialised parks that have been developed to cater to the needs of specific industries.

Human Resources

One of Malaysia's greatest assets is her human resources. The workforce here is young, educated and productive, proving to be one of the best in the region. The Government's emphasis on human resource development ensures the continuous supply of manpower to meet the needs of the expanding manufacturing and services sectors.

Towards the Economy of Tomorrow

As a result of perceptive foresight, strategic planning and abundant resources, Malaysia offers investors a wide spectrum of investment opportunities. The technologically-inclined economy of Malaysia is proven through the country's involvement in advanced electronics manufacturing, R&D, biotechnology, photonics, logistics, design, innovation and a highly automated manufacturing sector, to name a few. The Government's objective is also to make Malaysia a hub for other value chain activities, such as R&D, design and development (D&D), procurement, logistics, distribution and marketing, business support services and shared services.

A Hub for Foreign Companies

The conducive business environment in Malaysia has made the country one of the world's top investment destinations.Cyberjaya,putrajaya Cities for Information Technology,Kuala Lumpur,Central of banking,business & entertainments .Malaysia has attracted more than 5,000 foreign companies from more than 40 countries to establish their operations in the country.Includding the Middle east countries and China.Many of them have also expanded and diversified their operations in the country, reflecting their confidence in Malaysia as a site for their business ventures.

The Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) is the first point of contact for investors who intend to set up projects in the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. With its headquarters in Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur, MIDA has established a global network of 19 overseas offices covering North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific to assist investors interested in establishing manufacturing projects and services

Real estate vs U.S economy crisis

Real estate contributes a total of 10% output to US economyt. If real estate declines, it affects the constuction field.More and more people will loose their construction jobs, thus potentially increasing unemployment.

Real estate sales and prince are related.If real estate sales declines,it eventually leads to a decline in real estate prices too.Value of Homeowners homes will drop at the same time,doesnt matter whether they are actively selling it or not.This then reduces the amount of home equity loans the homeowner can get. Thus, reduces consumer spending.

According to reports and statistics,over 70% of the U.S. economy is based on personal consumption.If consumer spending decreases,it will contribute to a downward spiral in the economy. This results in further unemployment, further reduction in income and consumer spending. If the Federal Reserve doesn't intervene (by reducing interest rates, then the country could fall into a recession. The only good news about lower home prices is that it lessens the chances of inflation.
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