What’s in a Location?
A mantra often repeated when shopping around for a property is ‘Location, location, location”. This real estate agent mantra has shaped house-buying behavior since time immemorial, but what does it actually entail? Location indeed can be the one factor that determines whether your property will actually appreciate in value, and while in the midst of a property boom it may seem like every location is viable as houses and condominiums sell like hotcakes, the reality can and will turn out to be far different as only owners who have chosen properties in good locations can reap the benefits.
With Malaysians rating location as the number one criterion above security and property size in portal PropertyGuru’s Malaysia Property Market Sentiment Survey, it is clear that most Malaysians are aware that where the property is located can make the biggest difference in what the property is and will eventually be worth, as well as the quality of life to be had living in said property.
While a ‘good location’ can be subjective and dependent on individual preference, it cannot be denied that there are certain universal qualities that make a location one that is objectively ‘good’, and today we will take a look at 5 objectives qualities to consider for your next (or even first) house purchase.
Land is a finite resource. Eventually, cities will reach a saturation point, leading to property prices rising and new developments increasingly leaning towards the fringes of the city, or being built ever upward.In light of that reality, these factors will play a major role in selecting your property purchase. First off, centrality. Ease of access to essentials and entertainment will make the property more attractive in the long run, and will be a dealbreaker for some aspiring homeowners as the ability to access the benefits of life in the big city is the primary reason to live within the city centre. Whether it be proximity to public transport systems like the MRT and LRT, or to major shopping and leisure zones, consider the centrality of your prospective property be it for investment or for your own stay.
In the case of properties in the suburban areas orbiting the city centre, accessibility will prove to among the most important factors to consider. Access to major highways or to the larger public transport grid can make or break a suburban development such as those in the Greater Klang Valley area. Malaysians being Malaysians, toll-free access is an even better value proposition that can determine if a suburban development becomes attractive. Accessibility will also mean proximity to more established and mature townships for some as many of the aforementioned developments in the Greater Klang Valley are new townships and as such lack basic amenities like grocery stores or supermarkets.
A great neighbourhood can also be one of the single most important factors in your property appreciating in value in the long run. Abundance of greenery, well maintained public spaces, and a strong communal spirit embodied in an active RA are all signs of a very desirable neighbourhood, and those factors will likely be compounded with easy access to convenience stores and eateries. The appearance of a neighbourhood and its proximity to amenities can be correlated to the maturity of said neighbourhood, indicating not only the nature of the community living there, but also population density, as it has to be at a certain saturation to sustain businesses operating in said neighbourhood. With those facts in mind, the new township is a somewhat different bag of tricks. Given that some may not have amenities operational in the area, studying the development plan to determine what facilities and amenities are being planned may give you an idea of where your prospective property may be in a few years.
Now, distance is usually a bad thing, but that is entirely dependent on context. There are definitely elements you want to distance yourself from when selecting a prospective property to purchase. As a rule of thumbs, too much proximity to commercial and industrial areas can be off putting, as commercial areas can imply an influx of unwanted traffic into your area, while industrial activity means large vehicles and possible pollution, making the area less desirable as a whole. Additionally, it should go without saying that high crime or economically depressed areas should be a warning sign that the property is not likely to return on investment or become a comfortable family home anytime soon. Choosing a property with appropriate distance from these elements will be beneficial to your property’s value in the long run.
You may find the perfect house in the perfect location, with a great neighbourhood and a welcoming community, but even then, there’s at least one more factor to take into consideration, and that is future plans for the area. While not so much of a problem in new townships, established and mature areas in and around the city centre may be subject to future plans that could decrease the attractiveness of said areas. New highways, flyovers, highrises, office towers – while these developments are objectively good for these areas that are often over congested, a resident may see things differently as they could obstruct the view and make the area objectively less appealing appearance wise, which may have been one of the influences in the purchase in the first place. Take these plans into account during your search.
In conclusion, there is no true ‘perfect property’ out there. What ultimately ends up being attractive to you may be different to another person, so exercise your best judgement when looking into your new property. But do remember to take the elements above into consideration in order to get the most out of your prospective property, and that might make all the difference in turning a house into the perfect home, or the best investment open to you and your capabilities.
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