Annison and Subashini have been married for 8 years and have a son, with another one on the way. The couple started out with a rented room when they first got married, then rented a house later. “I always thought that renting was easier because if there was an issue, the landlord would take care of it. When you buy a house, the 10% for a down payment feels like a burden instead of a commitment. For the younger generation, there are other things which they could do with that 10% instead of putting it towards the purchase of a house,” Annison said.
Three years into their marriage, Subashini suggested to Annison that they purchase their own house.
“My wife was the one who planted the seeds about owning our own house. But to our surprise, we found that owning a house was an expensive affair. We had trouble looking for a house that would fit with our budget of RM350,000. On top of that, there were other property-related costs which we did not know of. So, it took a longer time for us. We had to adjust our budget so we knew what we could afford, and we faced many disappointments. With all the frustrations we faced in our search for a house, it even got to a point when we decided that perhaps, we should just continue renting.” Annison added.
However, the couple who had been renting their previous house for the past 10 years were constantly worried if they would be asked by the landlord to leave at any time.
“In the beginning, we didn’t know about Skim Rumah Pertamaku (SRP) but we saw a newspaper advertisement. When I researched further, the scheme criteria looked too good to be true. It was linked to the Rumah Selangorku website which offered houses at various prices and locations. Upon further search, I found a house which was within our budget and at a suitable location” Annison said.
Annison and Subashini believed in pooling their income resources together to pay for household expenses as a married couple. So naturally when it came to applying for a bank loan for the house, they submitted a joint application.
“It would be our house and we would both be responsible for it. If anything were to happen, at least the house would be a safety net for both of us and our child(ren). We were excited when we got to the Rumah Selangorku balloting stage and could not believe that our dream was finally coming true – we were getting our new house. I was really happy!” he added.
During the loan application, the financing bank explained features of SRP to the couple as well as other house purchase costs which they should consider.
Subashini said “I didn’t even know that there was an insurance policy (MRTA) for a house but the bank officer explained that the cost could be included into our home loan because our house cost was RM195,000 and our household income was below RM5,000. It was indeed a relief for me to hear this.”
“Initially, we were doubtful that we could get through the house financing portion of purchasing the house. But when we got the call informing that our loan was approved, any doubts we had were put to rest, and now, we could move forward to the next process – getting the key. It took about 6 months for the entire process to complete, and that was the surprising part for us as the entire process was smooth and quick!” she added.
“If I can provide shelter for my family be it rented or otherwise, I thought we were ok. But the idea of having our own house was always playing at the back of my mind. So, when I bought the house, the feeling is very surreal that I had to ask myself whether this is true – am I doing this for real?” Annison added.
For Subashini, the experience of owning a house cannot be described in words, “It was exciting. The first time we entered our house, I gave my son the keys to open the door and said to him, “Baby, this is your house!”
“There is a sense of ownership when we speak about doing up our house which is totally different from how we felt when we were still renting. I told my husband that this is what we wanted, and our dreams finally came true. We planned for it and now here we are. Finally, we have our own house and we could do what we wanted with our house. The experience is different,” added Subashini.
Annison said “The perception of owning a house is different for people in our income bracket. People would generally think that those from the lower income bracket would not even be able to obtain financing to own a house. But with the SRP, it gives us a chance to have a decent home of our own.”
Annison and Subashini are very thankful to the Government for coming up with the SRP scheme which helped them with the financing, and to the bank for reassuring and providing them with the confidence to proceed with the house purchase.