How Long Will You Wait for Your Forever Home?

·7-min read
How Long Will You Wait for Your Forever Home?
How Long Will You Wait for Your Forever Home?

For Asraf, it’s as long as it takes.

Not too small. Not too big. The right direction. The right price. Ample amenities. Uncrowded. Yup, we all know it. Finding your forever home can take a while. For Asraf, his ‘while’ now stands at three years and counting.

But even with some pressure from mum to settle down, Asraf is biding his time for a home (and a romance) that makes his heart go aflutter.

“I wouldn’t call myself a hopeless romantic. Just ever hopeful! It has to feel right,” he says. It’s been a long and winding road filled with tonnes of desktop research, dozens of conversations with friends, numerous site visits and a bucketload of legalese.

He’ll Wait till Every Item Is Checked off

Asraf knows exactly what he is looking for. No ifs or buts about it. It goes something like this:

  • Landed property in the heart of KL

  • Close to work

  • Near public transport

  • A short drive to supermarkets

  • A short walk to convenience stores

  • Nearby parks

  • Uncongested

  • Café friendly

  • A mosque in close proximity

  • And of course … a postcode to get his future wee little ones in reputable schools nearby.

You see, Asraf isn’t planning on setting up a man cave or bachelor pad. He’s planning for the future – with future Mrs. Asraf and two kids in tow.

“The place has to be able to provide the best infrastructures for a family, like schools, parks, mosques, and places where my family and I can solat.” Asked if he would stop at two kids, Asraf provided a cheeky response, “That’s all my wallet can afford.”

Another important criteria on his list? The neighbourhood community has to be just right as well. He explains, “I would prefer to live in a matured neighbourhood. For example Melawati, or even Bukit Antarabangsa or Ampang. Like a place where two or three generations have stayed there before.”

He goes on to explain that having grown up in close-knit communities, that sense of neighbourly friendliness and camaraderie is crucial in making the location really feel like home.

“I want to end each day in a place that I can really call home. Where I feel safe, comfortable and I feel a sense of pride. A place that takes the stresses and worries away. That’s not too much to ask for, right?” Asraf adds with a smile.

A Thousand Clicks and Conversations Later…

Having purchased a studio apartment recently, Asraf has some experience going into the searching process. “It’s not just about finding what I like. Knowing what to look out for is equally important.” More than anything, it’s all about research, research and more research for Asraf.

What did he use over the years of desktop research? Asraf told us about how he took to the internet and naturally gravitated towards PropertyGuru. He scrolled through the AskGuru forums, read about property reviews and tips and spent a lot of time familiarising himself with the ins and outs of finding a home. “Desktop research is more a joy than a chore, really. You’re spending time truly geeking out on, not just the home process, but also what nice homes should look like. As a visual person, I really enjoy that.”

Add to that Asraf’s real estate agent friends (who doesn’t have at least one, right?) and Asraf feels as though he’s pretty much set up for his forever home hunt. “When you talk to your friends, they can offer different and personal perspectives on potential homes. But I also appreciate the way they break down jargon into simpler terms. When I started out, I didn’t know heads or tails between MLTAs or MRTAs or any of the other acronyms,” Asraf explains.

From PropertyGuru to friends and even home investment influencers, Asraf just laps up anything property. Asked if he had a preferred research method, Asraf explains that they all just work hand in hand together. “When you have your friends, they sort of verify your thoughts. But at the same time, when you do desktop research it actually validates certain concerns you have that your friends might have brought up.”

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Asraf Has a Real Estate Agent Friend, but He Wanted to Do Things Himself. Sorry, Friend.

In terms of the specific property search, Asraf says that he explores all avenues. But only as a lone ranger. He decided not to seek help from an actual real estate agent and is a lot more comfortable looking up places by himself. PropertyGuru listings, online ads, social media. “So, whatever pops up I will try to put in my name so that I will get a callback to go see that property.”

Even when COVID got in his way, he still kept up the search. He tried 360 virtual tours, like those on PropertyGuru’s website, to get a glimpse of the homes as he could not be there in person. He even went the extra mile and shared how he sought out more direct routes to feed his home-hunt hunger. “Actually … I even reached out to developers directly. Spoke to them. Invited myself to the showrooms and got friendly with them. While some people avoid them, I actively seek out those interactions!”

Finding a Forever Home? Just as Hard as Finding a Forever Love.

While Asraf’s search has been long, it’s one he really enjoys. Some may be intimidated by looking for a home by themselves, but Asraf takes it in his stride. He explains, “I enjoy the thrill of finding the right one…I don’t need agents, not because I think I know better. But because I want to be more involved in the home-buying process. I like learning new things along the way. I guess you could call it an obsession. Maybe”

Of course, it doesn’t come without some struggles.

Even though this is his second home, he says “The fact that I know more and now that I have a better idea of what I want, to be honest, the search is a bit more challenging. Knowing exactly what I want also means that I write a lot of places off if it doesn’t tick things off neatly.”But the way Asraf sees it, the bumps along the way has also taught him a lot about himself.

When asked if he had any advice for future home buyers, he said “Take your own sweet time. This is just like finding your one true love. Enjoy the process! This journey of figuring out what you’re looking for in a house isn’t just about finding the house, but actually, about finding yourself as well.”

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