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Buying unused land or empty plots is a great real estate investment, and it can also be a great opportunity to build your dream home. There are plenty of places to find land for sale in Malaysia, with multiple listings on Property Guru.
These plots are much more widely available and cheaper when compared to other places in Asia. To compare, Global Property Guide lists the average cost of buying a plot of land in Malaysia as 10,900 ringgits per square metre compared to 44,900 ringgits in Japan and 95,000 ringgits in Hong Kong.
Here’s a quick guide for how to pick your plot and how to find the best deal:
1. What do you Want From Your Land?
The diversity of unused plots available throughout Malaysia means you can choose from anything from a patch of agricultural land to a private island. Your intentions for the property will affect what you choose so it is especially important to keep this in consideration when viewing.
If you want to make money from luxury housing or tourism, it is worth looking at the more premium spots and investigate which areas are up and coming amongst the wealthy or most ideal for tourists. Ask yourself as well if buying an
empty plot is the best or most cost-effective option.
If you want to rent out a property, it may be more affordable to buy an existing building to fix up, as this will also return your investment sooner.
Malaysia continues to be popular amongst foreign investors as a cheap location with large potential, but there are restrictions on how much foreign investors can buy in the Malaysian property market, but also ways to work around these laws.
For all buyers, there are laws affecting what properties can be built in what locations. For instance, it isn’t possible to build residential buildings on agricultural land.
Check with local authorities before buying or building to avoid any legal issues.
3. What is Selling?
This is important if you intend to make money from your plot of land. Even if you aren’t intending to sell, it is still worth considering this just in case you do plan to sell and move on in the future. You don’t want to leave a worthless plot of land in your inheritance.
It isn’t always possible to predict future real estate trends, but at least being aware of them will prepare you for most eventualities. Currently, good sized luxury condos in Kuala Lumpur are a popular and much sought after option.
Considerations such as proximity to transport, distance from local services and landmarks, and safety will affect how quickly these properties will sell and how soon you will return on your investment.
Just like with any big purchase, negotiation with the seller is needed when buying a plot of land. It is a skill not everybody has but essential to get a good deal on land without being ripped off so be prepared to do so.
The best way to do this and get the best price is to review the property thoroughly, becoming aware of any faults that could affect the deal such as bad plumbing or natural disaster risks or if there are any restrictions such as those mentioned above.
You don’t have to nitpick, but the more you can find out about the property the better. This way you can settle on a fair price with the seller and still have enough left in your budget to build the on the property and turn a profit.
5. Beware of Bargains
We hear stories all the time about people finding and buying their dream property, only to have something go seriously wrong. For example, maybe they discover that it is next to a sewage treatment plant, or perhaps it collapses during their first-ever storm in the new home.
If a property seems under-priced, sometimes it is because the seller has to move away quickly or just wants to get rid of a useless asset. But most of the time, if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. This is a red flag, and it tells you that there might be an issue with the property that may not always be visible upon your initial viewing.
Perhaps the previous owner couldn’t sell or make a profit from the property, maybe it is uninsurable, or perhaps it’s too far from transport to be of any use. This is another reason to investigate your plot thoroughly before committing to purchase, as these are all costly mistakes to fix.
This is just a brief guide to get you started on buying unused land in Malaysia. By being cautious, thinking of the long term, and investigating every plot thoroughly, you can find affordable and profitable unclaimed land in Malaysia.