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Posts categorized NoDutDol Everyday Tips


정들자 이별이라 (Speed Is Of The Essence)

정들자 … 이별이라 !

Everybody wants to close a home deal quickly. I mean everybody – the homeowner, the agent, and the buyer – even more so if you are the buyer. On your end, you have so many things to do at hand after closing the deal. You still have to move out and move in and neither task is easy. Not to mention, you’ve already spent so much time looking for the perfect home and any delay after that is just most unwelcome.

Apart from its being convenient, longer and dragging home buying transactions are expensive. All those trips to wherever you need to go and all that time between moving out and moving in including storage rental can take a toll on your budget. That is why it is best to close a deal as quickly as possible, given that you’ve already found the home that you want.

Prepare your down payment. You won’t be thinking about buying a home or a condominium if you know that you do not have the down payment for it. Are you sure that you can afford that down payment at the Meritz? Or that fancy vacation house in Penang? Make sure the down payment is on hand and ready even long before you’ve found a house to buy. When you’re ready to get things signed and sealed, at least you just need to get this out of the safe and onto your mortgage lender.

Inform your mortgage lender as soon as you’ve found the right house. This is the most practical way to do things: Get signed up and approved for a mortgage to know how much you can afford on a monthly, look for a house, and then inform your lender/bank that you’ve found the right house. Granting that you’ve gone through the first two steps, do not waste any minute getting the last step done. Your mortgage lender will have you

Find a good lawyer early on. As soon as you start your house hunt, find yourself a good lawyer too. You cannot do without a lawyer and in fact, they might be the make or break of your home purchasing endeavor. So make sure you have a lawyer – and a good one at that – to make sure he’s one call away when you’ve finally found the right house to buy.

Always have extra cash ready for other closing costs. While you can opt to include your closing costs in the monthly mortgage fees, there are costs that just could not be included in it. Do not let these surprise fees catch you unguarded; always have the backup cash to handle these kinds of needs.  Also, get a good faith estimate that includes the closing costs as early as possible so you know how much cash you might need to close the deal.

Don’t wait for “tomorrow” or “later” to do things. Do not attract delays by delaying your actions. Act swiftly and at once as soon as you’ve made the decision. Sign whatever needs to be signed, bring all the papers to the table when they are needed, be where you need to be all the time. Procrastination is your biggest enemy here. Don’t let it win over you.

Lastly, always be a nice customer to your mortgage lender and a friendly buyer to the home seller and their agent; trust me, they’ll be more than happy to help you only for being kind.

Posted on 26th August 2013 in NoDutDol Everyday Tips, Real Estate Tips  •  Comments are off for this post

바늘 도둑이 소 도둑 된다

Are you looking for a home to buy? Do you know which homes are worth your time and which ones are totally better off left alone on the listing?

The thing about some home buyers – most of which are rookies – is that they get so excited about buying their new home and getting the whole process done that they just go at everything that they think is worth their time.

Also, remember: 바늘 도둑이 소 도둑 된다 ! :)

So they end up going after everything – spending time in open houses, meeting owners, meeting agent after agent after agent – and wasting time, effort, and energy and maybe overhead costs in the process. The most common mistakes they make is going after: (1) the cheapest home in the listing; and (2) the one with the best photo.

More often than not, they are a huge disappointment and by the time the home buyer realizes this, he’s already spent time and effort on it. Time lost. Energy lost. Too late now, as that other option to buy a condominium unit is gone, because it has already been bought. Boo hoo… :(

So before you get so excited about the first photo on the listing, here are the five types of houses on property listings that you had better crash off your homes to visit list:

  •  The house that’s been there the longest. We all know that the best time to buy real estate isn’t always– and there’s this one property that seems to “sit pretty” for far too long among other houses for sale.There’s a reason why the houses are at the bottom – they did not sell. And homes that have been on the list for longer than three months is a red flag; one that’s been there for over six months should be totally off your list. There’s definitely something about the house that makes prospective buyers shy away from it and you definitely would not want to add up to the list of turned off buyers. Who knows – it can be anything from bad owners, sloping homes, bad neighborhood, and pest infestation.
Real Estate MONEY! Graphics courtesy of Kim Dang Joo, KDJ Designers Inc
  • The cheapest one around. Do ignore this warning if you are actually looking for bad homes to renovate and remodel. That would be okay, since in that case, you’d likely be aware of the bad sides of the house. But if the house looks decent and the price does not seem to match the look, you might not get the ‘good deal’ you think you’re getting. OK, maybe myHabitat is cheaper than, say, Setia Sky Hill, but you get what you pay for.
  • The too-good-to-be-true home. Some realtors and some owners have had a little too much time and creative juices to spare that they make the best, most impressive thing on their listing. If the home is too perfect – too impossibly perfect – be warned. It may not be as good as it seems unless you live in a Utopia. This is much easier for the experienced home buyer because they would have realistic expectations for the home they’re getting. This is tricky for the first time buyers though.
  • The best one in the neighborhood. One good way to gauge a house is to compare the ones that are most similar in the listing. If one home seems way too good in comparison with its neighbors, you might want to take a step back before getting into it. It could cost you so much more in actual price.
Posted on 13th August 2013 in NoDutDol Everyday Tips, Real Estate Tips  •  Comments are off for this post

개똥(쇠똥)도 약에 쓰려면 없다 … Instead, Be The Right Buyer!

Home buying is never simply about giving the right price for the home. Sometimes, even the people who offer the best and highest price on the table do not get the home for some other reasons.  Homeowners use their ‘feels’ too. Often, people forget that 웃는 낯에 침 뱉으랴 ! It’s ridiculous!

There is never really a generic way to become the ‘right’ buyer. After all, each homeowner thinks differently. But there are, somehow, ways on how to become a good buyer – the kind that homeowners would generally like and would more than likely get the deal on the house.

Here are some tips on how to become the ‘right’ buyer:

  • Find time to personally communicate with the homeowner. Most home buyers do this by mail with an offer letter. However, to fully get that ‘human connection’ with the homeowner, send a more personalized offer letter. Tell her about how excited you are about the thought of living in their home, talk about your family. Basically, get to her ‘feels’. A purely businesslike letter is too impersonal and would be thus taken impersonally too.
  • Send a small token. No, you don’t need to go overboard and send her the most expensive champagne or send her jewelry. Go for simple but touching, something homey. Maybe that aromatherapy candle you’ve bought her will be the icing on the cake in her  apartment. :) A box of brownies or cupcakes or maybe even cookies with a handwritten note will likely be well appreciated. Gifts like this touch at the heart of the homeowner; home-baked goodies are some sort of a homeowner-to-homeowner kind of thing. 과부 사정 홀아비가 안다 !
  • Negotiate with caution. Many home buyers fail to get their prospected home because they negotiate too much. When negotiating, consult your real estate agent and always give a price range – never a hard amount. Do not annoy your homeowner by bargaining carelessly. Always know your boundaries, know when to go further and when you’ve gone far enough.
  • Visit the home yourself. See if you need to do some home improvements in the future. Give your homeowner a call ahead and ask if you can go see the house and talk to them yourself. Seeing the house yourself and taking that kind of personal effort to meet the homeowners yourself will help make the homeowners feel like you are intent on being ‘friends’ with the homeowners. Practice your manners though – always give a call ahead to check their availability and if they’re comfortable about the idea of you visiting them in their house. Don’t be openly critical about the home either! (Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t talk about the price or try to negotiate. Don’t make it look like you’re faking friendliness to get a good bargain).
  • Be cooperative. Don’t make the homeowners wait too long. If they need something from you, if they need you to sign or submit something, or they need to talk to you – always find the time. Them giving you a call is always a good indication that they are likely to give you the deal so by all means, make yourself available.
  • Be realistic. Don’t offer RM5,000,000 for a posh Setia Sky Residences apartment in KLCC. On the other hand, if you’re paying more than RM1,000,001 for Gangnam then you’re just a sucker! 하늘에서 별 따기 :)

Displaying the right conduct and the right attitudes towards the homeowner will win you the house, and if you’re lucky, at your ideal price. Being nice takes you far after all. 친구 따라 강남 간다 !!!

Posted on 5th July 2013 in NoDutDol Everyday Tips, Real Estate Tips  •  Comments are off for this post

개천에서 용 난다 … Great On A Budget


We here at NoDutDol truly value your need to budget– come on, let’s face it– times are hard! You’re not alone in traversing that long and winding road of economic hardship! 거지도 부지런하면 더운 밥 얻어 먹는다 !

We’ve given you a lot of tips on how to stretch that won or dollar or ringgit down to the maximum– just read our previous article that where we have talked about how to rent an apartment on a tight budget. So what’s next?

Probably you’ve upped the ante and found yourself a nice apartment overlooking KLCC (cough, Hampshire Place ,cough), after working your hardest for the last year. Well, congratulations– it’s time to move out of your old, dull place and start anew in a place so much better than your current one.

The agony of finding a home and closing a deal as well as selling your old house is pretty much over. Now all you’re left with is to move your bum out of the house – which happens to be more tedious and more stressful than buying or selling a house. On top of the usual pains of hard, physical labor of packing and transporting and unpacking, the most difficult part about moving houses is the expense.

You’ve paid much for your new house that practically everything you’ve sold from your old house went for your new place’s down payment. The closing costs were cringe-worthy. Needless to say, your move was painful to your pocket. How do you make the moving part a little bit less financially straining? What can you possibly do to squeeze in as little an amount as possible on your move? Here are some tips:

  • Sort your stuff out. Some things you absolutely need, some you just partly need, and others, you can live without. Further, sort your ‘can live without’ stuff into ‘sell’, ‘donate’ and ‘throw away’ items. A mini moving out yard sale can add a significant amount of cash and take off a great deal of load for your move.
moving Don’t let moving get you down– or burn your pockets.
  • Utilize old cardboard boxes. You don’t need to buy new boxes for your move. Run to friends and family for cardboard boxes that are lying uselessly in their attics. Go to the liquor store and buy their old cartons for cheap – this will save you heaps of cash compared to buying new plastic boxes or cardboard boxes from the moving company.
  • Pack efficiently. You would not want to pack your baby’s stuff with the bed covers! Pro packing services will cost you a lot. There are tons of online tutorials about efficient packing, and really, it just takes some good amount of planning. List all the things you’re taking to the new house, sort them together and put like things in similar boxes. Your immediate needs – kitchen utensils, two days’ worth of clothes, ready-to-eat’s – put them in one box, and put them in your car trunk. That’ll make them very easy to access.
  • Don’t move everything in one day. It may be more efficient to move your things in batches, one week after another. This will save you all the compacted stresses of a day’s move plus it gives you a chance to move to a partly settled home by the last batch of things to move.
  • Carry what you can. Decide whether you really need a moving truck for your move. Moving trucks and pro movers cost a fortune so you may want to rethink the hire if you’re a little tight on the budget. Implore the help of your friends and family in exchange for a good meal when you’re fully settled and pay for their gas too. That’s a whole lot cheaper!
  • Compare movers’ prices. If a moving company is inevitable, at least do not be lazy on the comparisons. Compare as many companies as you can and utilize coupons online.
Posted on 3rd July 2013 in NoDutDol Everyday Tips  •  Comments are off for this post