Mortgages In Malaysia: Book Review

Book Review: “Mortgage In Malaysia – A Primer” by Chang Joon Leong, MSc, PhD (Cantab)

Hey all, Jan Phang here, and this is my maiden book review for 🙂

Finding the right mortgage lender in Malaysia is more than just signing up for the first one with the promo for you. It’s not even about signing up for the one recommended by your closest friend!


According to Chang Joon Leong, a respected financing expert specializing in Malaysia property, mortgage lenders are like boyfriends; you have to find the one that best suits your needs and your capacities as a homeowner and borrower; what worked for someone else might not exactly work for you because mortgage, really, is a personal experience. No two mortgages are ever the same simply because your situations and your incomes vary from one person to another and the mortgage companies in Malaysia are very much aware of that.

Impact Of The Malaysian Budget On Real Estate Financing

With the recent conclusion of the Budget we can expect more curbing measures in Malaysia property, and real estate financing will indeed take a hit in 2014. Already, banks are projecting a slowdown in the approval of housing loans – see this news article. It’s hard not to feel disheartened! 😉

I like Maybank - they provide really good housing loans!

I like Maybank – they provide really good housing loans!

Just as much as you’re willing to spend time on finding the right house for you (and I recommend good places such as Sentul and Mont Kiara where properties are nice, not-very-expensive and abundant), so should you do when it comes to finding the right mortgage lenders to partner with. Of course, this also presumes that you’re a good, responsible landlord. 🙂

You have to find one who can make you feel comfortable – those who can actually explain every single thing to you in a language that you can easily understand. After all, you’d be spending at least ten years of your hard earned money with them so they better be someone you’re fully comfortable with. I have a client who bought a unit in the KLCC enclave (he is really in love with condominiums and apartments in KLCC!) after reading my recommended website on KLCC properties – he went for a unit at the Binjai On The Park which cost a mint. He managed to do that by securing a rather good housing loan from Public Bank. More on that later…

Luckily, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how to find the right mortgage lender for you. Here are some tips:

  • Ask your agent and your friends. While I suggest asking your agent (and if you don’t have one, call me!), don’t stop at her/his referral though. Most brokers partner up with mortgage lending companies anyway so it might be free advertising for them. Ask your agent but don’t stop there; ask your other friends. The best ones to ask are those who have been with the same lenders for multiple home purchases. That can only mean that they are very much satisfied with what they offer for loaners.
  • Take the time to get pre-approved by several mortgage lenders. There is hardly any payment needed for getting a pre-approval; it may take you some time but it will give you a good glimpse at which one offers the best conditions, loan types, as well as amnesties for when problems arise. Take note of the incentives they offer too! It may help you reach a good decision.
  • Visit your local bank. We like Maybank, CIMB and Hong Leong Bank. Most, if not all, banks offer mortgage loan services too. The great thing about it is they mostly have offers for their loyal clients. So go ahead and checkout if they have anything special to offer for you in terms of mortgage; after all, it would be very convenient for them that you do most of your banking with them. Apart from payment schemes, what you have to look for in banks’ mortgage offers are discounts and lower interest rates simply because you are a regular client. That does not mean, however, that you have to get mortgage from the same institution that holds your money. There’s no absolute written rule on that.
  • Go online. Apart from most investment firms these days having their own updated and interactive websites, tons of financial and real estate analysts have comparison sites and blogs about which company and what loan. Get a free insight on your local mortgage lender without having to leave your house! There are also lots of scammy websites which dupe people into entering their private details – be careful as these sites get paid on a “lead generation” basis by unscrupulous companies by about RM1 per lead. Scumbags!

That does not seem so hard does it? Good luck and take your time while at it!

-Jan Phang (an experienced real estate negotiator specializing in Mont Kiara, Sentul and Kajang properties). 🙂