There are pros and cons to investing in property in Malaysia and it is important to weigh up the benefits and the risks before making a purchasing decision. Needless to say, the more educated you are about investing in property the lower your risk will be.
While there is a list of pros and cons all over the internet about investing in property, Solarcrest founder and Managing Director Hj Mohd Fadzli Fathil shares one common mistake investors always make: not doing their own home inspection.
“Most of my clients are investors. They buy property for that single purpose. As they do not stay in the house, there is a lot of things they missed, especially if they do not inspect the property properly. Especially with new estates, it is simple to assume that nothing will go wrong. There is no history. The developers and contractors are there. So, everything should be good, right? Well, unfortunately, from the feedback I receive from most of my clients, everything can go wrong.”
The reason? When you intend to use the space for yourself, you will renovate it accordingly. And through it, you will most likely uncover defects. However, when you plan it for investment purposes, you will do as minimal as possible. Or as Mohd Fadzli puts it, “The minimum expectation from potential tenants.” Yet, it is because of that mentality that may cost you thousands in the future.
For example, an overlook unfinished tile in the toilet may cost you a bomb in years to come. What’s more, if a tenant is careless or irresponsible, those tiles will deteriorate faster than expected. And that’s when the damage starts to expand to other areas.
Here are 3 basic inspections which you can carry out yourself.
#1 The ‘Tap’ Test
It’s a fairly simple test. You can use a walking cane or a solid stick to tap on each tile, especially in the common area. This can help verify if the tiles are properly installed. This test can help you identify if the tiles are solid or hollow.
You can easily hear it from the tapping sound. If you believe a tile has the slightest difference from the others, mark that tile and notify the contractor straight. If you were to leave it be, these damages can lead to tile tenting, which means it will pop out like a pyramid. It’s a ticking time bomb.
There is no guarantee when it will happen. And when it happens, it will cost you a lot of money to remove all the old tiles (it’s rare to just replace the damaged area only) in order to reinstall new ones.
#2 The Plumbing Test
One of the biggest problems found in the current construction industry is using the wrong glue to connect the piping. Just because the parts are tightly stuck together, does not mean it will not leak. In fact, you can even pull some of them apart with your bare hands.
Obviously, this is something you do not want to happen. The best way to know more about your house’s plumbing situation is to turn on all the taps and let the water flow. From this, you will know if the water pressure of the house in its full capacity.
Leave it the water running for at least 30 minutes and let the water pressure reveal all the flaws. If the installation is not done accordingly, you will see leakage or dampness on the walls, ceiling and floors.
#3 The Ponding Test
From Test #2, you can also check on the drainage. Places like the toilet, wet kitchen and balcony is your main priority. For this test, you will need at least 24 hours.
First, clog the drain so water cannot pass through it. (I would recommend having a specialist to assist in this matter to avoid clogging the drain permanently). Next, add at least 2 inches of water in the area that you would like to run the test. If the water reduces drastically, you know something is wrong. Then, document the problem and show it to the contractor.
With this evidence, they can’t ignore you. This is a test that is very important for those who are buying a high-rise property. And under the Strata Management Act 2013, if there is any leakage happening below your unit, it is your responsibility to fix it.
On top of the above tests, you can also use the checklist provided by the developers as a guideline to investigate every part of the house. These are defects that you can spot visually. Even if you are unsure of the alignment of the windows or the tiny crack on the ceiling, point it out to the contractor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
To check on the electrical, it is better to hire an electrician to do a more comprehensive job. They will be able to tell you if the developer provided the property with the right participation. For example, if they promise Grade A, you will need another expert to see if the cables are up to standard. This is something you can test out and take action on the contractor.
Solarcrest Managing Director Hj Mohd Fadzli Fathil is on a mission to re-educate the masses and professionals including architects, engineers, and homeowners of the importance of waterproofing procedures. His team has handled projects concerning Istana Melawati Putrajaya, JKR Putrajaya Zone 1; Kediaman Rasmi Perdana Menteri, Kompleks Seri Perdana; and Masjid Wilayah, Kuala Lumpur. To know more about Mohd Fadzli, click here.