To Go High or Low1 Jun 2012
Should I buy landed or high rise property? The common dilemma which plagues soon-to-be homeowners is whether to go for a residence on the ground with a garden area or a space a few storeys high.
Landed property includes town houses, link houses, semi-detached houses, bungalows and the like. High rise properties are condominiums and apartments. The question of which is better depends on a couple of factors: your personal lifestyle, are you buying to stay or to rent out, budget, location, etc.
Today, buying a home is not just about putting a roof over one’s head, but is also a lifestyle experience. Recreational facilities, design and security are the characteristics to look out for. Here you see a stark difference between condos and landed property, and even within those two categories, the offerings are varied.
Condominiums provide comprehensive amenities that are ‘pre-packaged’ into the sale or rental price of the unit. For example, upmarket condos like Casa Tropicana provide facilities that befit high living standards such as tennis courts, a gym, swimming pool, 24-hour security with CCTV and car park bays, to name a few.
Sunrise Mont’Kiara is an exclusive residential enclave in suburban Kuala Lumpur and one of the hottest real estate addresses. It is the preferred condo for the affluent and the expatriate community, with a majority of nationals from Japan, the US and Europe in its tenant profile.
The residents enjoy a host of lifestyle benefits and services not available to others, namely a fun zone, sports zone, and round-the-clock security. Previndran Singhe, CEO of Zerin Properties asserts that purchasing a home depends significantly on the buyers’ lifestyle. “If you travel a lot or require security then condos would be a preferred option. If you like pets and a bit of gardening then of course a landed property would suit you,” he says.
As for landed property, they come with minimal or no additional facilities unless installed by homeowners themselves. However, you will have access pools, gym equipment, a clubhouse, parks and children’s playground if you choose to live in a gated residential area. Gated communities have risen in popularity in Malaysia lately.
If you are looking for a home to stay in, the main thing to consider would be budget. Landed properties are generally higher priced, especially larger homes like semi-detached houses or bungalows. And yet again, it depends on the location you pick.
Houses in Damansara Heights or Bangsar would cost more than say Puchong. So if you are tight on budget, a condo or apartment may be something you would rather look at. But if you have the means to afford it, then focus on the fact that landed property has attractive pros.
“The availability of land, ability to keep pets, generally larger space,” says Previndran, describing the plus points, are some things to consider. Buyers with families would lean towards landed property as they would have more rooms, bathrooms, and a garden for the kids to play in.
Besides that, there are fewer restrictions as to what can be done externally to your house. Perhaps you’d like to renovate it some time in the future? Maintenance can be a bit of a bane though. You’d have to think about tidying the garden, the driveway, etc. Condos require less maintenance on the resident’s part. That will be handled by the management for a fixed sum.
It’s quite common for investors to start investing in residential property as most people would have experience when buying their own homes. If your motive is to generate passive income, then both condos and landed property have their advantages
Bear in mind that investing in landed property will entail higher capital appreciation, but lower rental yield. Landed property is probably a better choice for a long-term investment seeing as capital appreciation is high.
Some investors believe that this type of property makes for solid investments because they are usually turned into homes, so the investment less speculative.
It is the other way around for condominiums.
Most would agree that rental returns from these properties far exceed those of landed properties. If people were to rent, they would most likely opt for condos, so if your objective is to rent out, you might want to think seriously about investing in a condo or apartment. Typically, the returns can be two to three times more in comparison.
Take for example Sunrise Mont’Kiara properties—expatriates form approximately 65 per cent of its residents. This unique tenant profile encourages superior yields and returns. As with any investment options, there are ups and downs. While rental returns may be lucrative, one has to take into consideration the cost maintenance works, which will very likely increase over time.