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The Financial Responsibilities of Owning a Home

Owning a home allows you to paint your walls any colour of the rainbow, buy a pet, or renovate your kitchen. While homeownership is a huge accomplishment, it involves a great deal of work.

It also brings with it a load of new responsibilities and financial obligations that require your full attention. There are several responsibilities a homeowner would need to learn to embrace.

1. Renovation cost

It's no secret that Malaysians love renovating their homes. When it comes to renovating their home, everyone has their own personal style. Some people want to keep minimalist, while others prefer to keep things functional. Others wish for their home to resemble a magazine layout. Whatever style you choose, there is one serious factor: the cost of renovation.

With a variety of property types and sizes, it's not surprising that there isn't a fixed number for this — a lot of it depends on how much work you expect to accomplish. Here's what we get, broken down by property type, if we assume carpentry, electrical wiring, plastering, painting, and wet works are included.

  • Condominium - RM 40,000 to RM 150,000

  • Terrace - RM 60,000 to RM 250,000

  • Semi-Detached - RM 100,000 to RM 300,000

Although the concept of both terrace and semi-detached properties is the same (a shared adjoining wall with your neighbours), the latter has slightly more land and thus a higher price tag.

  • Bungalow - RM 150,000 to RM 600,000

When it comes to renovating a home in Malaysia, there is no one-size-fits-all price. Rather, start with a budget you can afford and work your way backward to discover what you can fit into your renovation budget. Home renovation can be a less stressful and even uplifting activity if you have a good budget plan in place.

2. Moving in cost     

Moving can be a long and exhausting process that takes a lot of time and effort. Aside from staying organised while packing your belongings, you must also find a suitable moving service that is dependable and secure. However, getting ready for your new house doesn't have to be a shambles when you have professional assistance at hand.

The cost of moving services is determined by the number of items you need to transport, the number of trips the movers must make, and the distance between your new and old addresses. When you've chosen a mover, make sure you get a fixed quote that includes any additional fees. Better still, request a pricing breakdown from the movers so you know what is and is not covered. Otherwise, get a quoted fee for the services you've agreed upon with the mover, and have the company sign off on it.

Different moving companies will provide different packages, but most will assist you in disassembling furniture or other bulky things, wrapping fragile goods in bubble wrap, loading and unloading your belongings into a moving van or lorry, and driving such vehicles to your new residence.

Prices may vary due to the type and size of the property, and the distance, ranging approximately from RM 250 to RM 1,750.

3. Maintenance fees

The maintenance fee covers routine repairs and upkeep around the property. It includes aspects of property management such as gardening, common area repairs, security, and keeping the facility clean. The total cost of maintenance is determined by a variety of factors.

Total costs are also strongly determined by population density. Low-density property, aside from being more luxurious and requiring more maintenance, also means fewer people to share the expenses and hence less economy of scale. A property in a high-density development will have its total expenses distributed among more residents, often resulting in a more economical situation.

As a result of this calculation, the total cost is split among all owners. These factors include:

  • Type of unit

  • Total floor size of the parcel

  • Shared facilities you have access to

  • Shared access points

4. Loan instalments

In Malaysia, a house loan or mortgage loan is a loan obtained from a bank or financial organisation to assist you in purchasing a property. This makes it possible for more people to own a property because they do not have to pay the complete sum upfront. The down payment of roughly 10% of the property's purchase price can be done upfront, with the remaining balance paid in monthly instalments.

Meanwhile, the bank holds the title to the property. That implies they have the legal right to repossess the property if the worst happens. Home loans in Malaysia can either come with a fixed or variable interest rate. The interest rate on a new mortgage also varies depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of home loan

  • The loan tenure

  • Margin of finance

  • The type of property

  • Credit score

If you're having trouble making your monthly payments, the first thing you should do is contact your lender and explain your situation. The lender will work with you to modify the loan in such a way that you can pay it off. This could include decreasing the minimum monthly payment or requesting a temporary postponement. You will wind up in bankruptcy or foreclosure if you completely disregard your loan.

5. Utilities

Utility cost includes all charges for water, gas, electricity bills, WiFi, telephone bills and other utilities and services. In comparison to the housing expenses, spending on utilities turns out to be a value for money affair. Depending on the area you’re living in, utility bills can vary. Utilities such as the internet, mobile recharges, gas, electricity, television, and heating bills usually cost not more than RM400 even in an upmarket area.

Now let us compare each of the property prices and its monthly expenses:

Property price (RM)

Loan instalment (RM)

Maintenance fee (RM)

Utilities (RM)













*note: all prices are assumed prices, not based on market price.

Homeownership can be very rewarding, as well as a good financial investment, but responsibilities are part of the package — requiring both financial and time commitments.

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