Buying your first piece of property that you would most probably call home for the next 20 odd years is a monumental step in the life of any millennial.
Getting caught up in the excitement of the tangible purchase is only but natural for anyone but several external factors about your new neighbourhood should be thoroughly considered to ensure convenience in the many years to come.
You will come to find that these factors not only benefit and affect your family as a unit but also the value of your home considerably. Whatever your plans may be for this new home, these are some of the things to look out for outside its perimeter fence.
Proximity to Your Workplace
Whilst we don't recommend you stay at the apartment unit attached to your office building - having less of a commute to work not only enables you to be more productive (you don't have to spend 2 hours getting there); you can save a lot in transport costs.
Nonetheless, sometimes a dream job may take you further or an office may suddenly move - but where possible, choose a location that is central enough to get to most industrial and city areas that your work will most likely take you.
Of course, do weigh the pros and cons. Some people do opt to stay further if rent/homes are significantly cheaper and the commute goes against the regular flow of traffic. You will need to consider your options for yourself.
You may or may not own a personal vehicle, but we cannot stress on the amount of money you would be able to save by having public transportation close by.
The basic form of public transport would be buses, followed by trains – which from a local perspective looks very promising with the MRT works already well underway to improve connectivity around the Klang Valley by 2016.
This would also allow you to plan for future finances that revolve around family matters better - transport for leisure or college where your kids are concerned is made easier without the use of personal transport – which is an added exorbitant cost.
Expenses like fuel, toll and maintenance can all be siphoned from the equation at a time when everything seems to be on a steady rise – for converse effects, even the value of your home from being close to public transportation.
Accessibility to Schools
The schooling age constitutes at least an entire decade for a majority of Malaysians based on our education system requirement, therefore having schools close by is definitely an advantage.
Kindergartens are ubiquitously available but having primary and secondary schools close to your home can cut lots of cost where commuting is concerned too.
Some folks opt for school buses or domestic transport like a collective van – costs you can conveniently eliminate if schools can be found at a walking distance from your home.
This also leaves parents with lots of leeway in traveling to work and returning home in torturing rush-hour traffic and having to pick up kids from school when these growing children can simply get home on foot.
This also boosts the value of your home considerably.
Grocery Stores and Shopping Malls
Have you run out of sugar and the nearest grocery store is a 10 minute drive away? We know exactly how you feel and this would be the last problem you would want to face after settling in your new home.
Accessibility to grocery stores is primary while shopping malls and al-fresco haunts of sorts can come secondary - especially during weekends where family time takes over and sitting behind the wheel in traffic is most certainly not anyone's idea of great weekend.
Check with the real estate agent to find out if there are any plans from developers whom they know around the area to erect shopping malls, and you could just take a short walk to get what you need.
If it's possible (though quite a luxury), look out for the existence of other utility establishments like hardware stores, pharmacies, clinics and sundry shops as these will significantly increase your home's convenience.
No doubt there are a tonne of factors involved in picking the right neighbourhood for you, but the ones mentioned above seem to be the basics for a family looking for the ideal fresh start.
If you already have a home that's on your radar, use our home loan calculator to see if you're getting a good deal and do keep the above points at the back of your head in the process because after all, its all about location, location, location.