How to buy quality housing
Chan Seong Aun, president of Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) | 10 Jan 2014 00:08
In the current Malaysian housing market, where the price of houses has risen beyond the reach of many middle-income families, getting value from the largest investment of one’s life has become critically important. With the expected increase of building material, electricity and fuel prices in 2014 and the still-unknown Goods and Services Tax impact in 2015, the cost of construction is projected to rise significantly. Squeezed between this construction cost increase and the ceiling of affordability for Malaysian households, developers are likely to reduce floor areas and downgrade quality as well as launch fewer projects, reduce their sizes or develop in phases. Our concern is not with the downgrading of quality through reduced specifications but through the downgrading of “not-contracted” quality and the squeezing of the price of contractors and sub-contractors, resulting in lower-quality finished housing. How do housebuyers protect their investment against this type of quality downgrade? Below is a list of basic criteria housebuyers should look out for when evaluating their purchase. The best option is, of course, to buy smart. By this we mean buying only completed housing, whether through build-then-sell new houses or buying second-hand houses. This is where what you see is what you get. If, however, you are not technically competent, it is advisable to engage a professional to inspect and verify the house is in good condition and to point out patent and latent defects before the purchase. This is no different than getting a friendly mechanic to inspect a second-hand car before you buy it. One source of such professionals is, operated by the Malaysian Institute of Architects and the Australian Institute of Architects.

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