Properties – What Buyers Want


What do most of us look out for when purchasing a piece of property? While some go for design and property type, others opt for locations and the amenities in the surrounding areas. If you are one of those who buy properties for investments, then appreciation value will serve as the main factor in all your purchases. HomeFinder talks to three home-owners and find out what their preferences are when buying a home.

Out-of-town but Central
PR & Communications Director

Kattie Hoo looks out for good locations when investing on properties.

“To date I have invested in three properties, all within the Klang Valley, West Malaysia.

I stared investing properties in 1993. The first is the La Villas in Taman Setapak, a condominium unit while the other two are residential landed properties.

When buying properties, especially residential, I look out for new developments with good locations. Other factors that influence my purchase would be the surrounding facilities, the infrastructure and the demand in the neighborhood. The final product and the finishing – these count most.

The properties I’ve bought are all located out-of-town and yet sufficiently central enough for my family and I to commute easily to the city center.

My first property bought in 1993 was a condominium with full facilities and very well maintained even till today. The residents here are basically families and the working population.

The price then was only about RM70,000 for a three-bedroom unit, wet and dry kitchen, which comes complete with kitchen cabinets, marbled dining and seating area plus a balcony and two bathrooms. 

Four years later I bought my first landed property in Taman Setapak. I particularly liked this property as it has a large backyard and a huge car porch that can fit four vehicles, three rooms, large kitchen area, dining and seating area. This second property purchased for about RM170,000 has three rooms, and large kitchen, dining and seating areas.

The current one, in which the family resides in, is a new development – a three-story residential property in Taman Setapak Ria. It has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, two living halls, one balcony on Level 1, a dining area and a nice airy kitchen.

The present phase has only 32 units and the next phase will be built sometime next year with prices going for more than RM1 million.

I bought the unit because my Mom is familiar with the surroundings while I like the high ceiling, which gives the whole house a very airy feel and a sense of spaciousness. Not to mention the bathroom in the master bedroom, which is exactly what I was looking for.

The properties I have bought have appreciated at least two-fold and demand and location are the definite factors. I have disposed off two properties and both have given me more than 50% return of my initial purchase price. The current one is presently appreciating as well.  Rental in this area can go up to as high as RM1,300 for an unfurnished single-story terrace.

People tend to stay in areas they are familiar with, like me. I am comfortable in my current area and the properties that I have bought are all in the same area. The neighborhood is developing rapidly but it is relatively safe and there are a host of facilities like the medical centers, hyper-marts and the soon-to-open Festival Mall within driving distance. Even public transports are within reach as well as the proximity of the Wangsa Maju LRT station. Yet, it is quiet enough and not too isolated nor too high in terms of population density.

When buying a property, the most important thing to look for is a safe and convenient location and the amenities and facilities available around the area.  The other important factor for me is the spaciousness, on whether I can turn this space into a ‘truly warm home’ for my family and me.  The property has to serve my needs. One other important factor is: can the property be expanded should the need arises.”

A Truly Warm Home
Home-maker with a four-year-old girl

Anis and her only child, Areya love living in Jati 1despite having bought Sanda.

“My husband and I invested in two properties – a medium-cost apartment and a landed residential. I bought the first property, Jati 1 in USJ 1, Subang Jaya in 2001 and in 2007 invested on Sanda at Aseana Villa in Nilai Impian.

The first property is a simple apartment with a built-up of 900 sq ft. At the time the apartment was selling at only RM95,000. Today, the apartment can easily fetch a price of about RM170,000. 

In 2007 my husband and I bought Sanda, a two-story bungalow with a built-up of 2,800 sq ft spread over a land area of 6,000 sq ft. We bought the bungalow for RM450,000 but the selling price now is about RM1 million. I’m very happy with the capital appreciation for Sanda although it is a newly developed residential area. The unit is selling at double the purchased price within a short span of time. And I think some of the factors for the good appreciation value are the location as well as the developer’s track records.

When looking for a property, the most important factors I look for are location, ROI (Return on Investment), the property’s potential in the market and the developer’s track records. If all these are met then you can be assured that you will enjoy excellent appreciation per square feet.

I’ve been living in this apartment since despite having bought Sanda because it is a well-developed residential area. The amenities are all within close distance and therefore convenient for my family.

I have learned a lot of lessons in making these purchases. Carrying out lots of surveys and reading on your property of interest is a good step in gathering information on what’s available out there. I keep track of what’s available in the market by reading property news, forums and blogs via print media as well as online. These are good sources of information. And the forums and blogs give good insights as you are sharing experiences with other buyers as well.

Family Comfort
Head of Marketing & Promotions, Islamic markets with the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange

Sairana (center, back row) buys a property for personal use.

I buy a home for my family’s personal use.

I like a home, which can accommodate my family comfortably and the superlink terrace in Puchong that I bought in 2005 served the family well.  The property was purchased at RM710,000 but it is currently worth RM900,000. It has a built-up of 3,300 sq ft.

One of the driving factors for the appreciation in value could be attributed to Puchong’s growth vibrancy and the demand for a gated and guarded property. And these are the very reasons I bought the property, on top of the fact that it enjoys a stunning landscape.

I’m not much of an investor but I know location is ‘key’. The property has to be near amenities, the highways as well as public transportation.