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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Best Home Broadband in Malaysia

I always believe that savings are important but it's also important to make sure that we spend on needs that are important. In my opinion (a typical gen-Y, connectivity is important), broadband is something that is essential in our daily lives.

After I move to my own place, I was looking for a good broadband that comes at a good price. There are a few options that I was looking at: TM's UniFi VIP 5 Package, Maxis Fibre Internet 10, P1 For Home RM149 Unlimited, TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband 8Mbps and ABNXcess 5Mbps. 

There are a few things that I looked at when I choose the right broadband...

SPEED

Well, I believe with the technology of today, we need a home broadband with a speed of at least 5Mbps. While some people will say that 1Mbps is enough, it's important to take note that the speed shown is the maximum speed that it's capable of. Thus, if you're taking 1Mbps, the chances is that you're on 50% most of the time, which is not enough for streaming for football games (that's what I need).

QUOTA

If there is a quota in the broadband package, I would not take it because I believe that with the downloads and streaming that I'm using, the quota is something I cannot live with. After all, we are talking about home broadband....

STABILITY

I think this is the most difficult part to assess because we will not know about the stability of the broadband until we applied for it (which normally comes with a contract). What I did was simple: go through the forums, read about the reviews and make my own judgement.

PRICE

Last but not least, the price will be a major factor. I made my choice: TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband 8Mbps, which cost me RM129. (additional RM10 for the phone calls, free 2000 minutes to fixed line and mobile network)

Here is a simple comparison that I have done....hopefully, this will help you guys to make up your mind.

TM's UniFi VIP 5

TM's UniFi


TM UniFi has always been known for being good in their speed. Their stability is considered good among other broadband but it is quite expensive. The 5Mbps speed and unlimited quota makes it a good option. It has the widest coverage area so it's probably the best option that you can get if you're not staying in city center. You can also call to all fixed line for free as well.

P1 For Home Broadband 1Mbps


P1 For Home Broadband

Well, P1 comes at only 1Mbps but is very cheap. It's only at RM99 and it's with unlimited quota. While it's cheap, the 1Mbps is a turn off and the review of the P1 brand has not been very good. There is no free call.

MAXIS Fibre Internet 10Mbps

MAXIS Fibre Internet
The Maxis Fibre Internet comes at 10Mbps at RM148. It also has unlimited quota. The speed is an attraction and it's RM1 cheaper than TM's UniFi, but Maxis has not been too consistent. There is free RM30 call for mobile and IDD calls. The only negative that I heard of is about the stability of the broadband.


TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband 8Mbps

TIME Fibre Home Broadband

The TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband comes at 8Mbps at a very attractive price...RM129, plus RM10, you'll get free calls to fixed line and mobile network (2000 minutes, which I think is sufficient). It also has unlimited quota. The broadband has also been known to be stable. I think in terms of pricing, it's also fair. There is also a booster feature, that enables users to boost the speed to 50Mbps for 30 hours.

ABNxcess Internet 5Mbps + 50 TV Channels

ABNxcess


The ABNxcess Internet 5Mbps and 50 TV Channels cost only RM69.99 monthly. 

It has unlimited data and free installation. The price is attractive, the speed is good...but it's an unknown broadband. No one know how good the broadband is. I am not willing to take a risk on that so it's a no.

In my view, I think the best option is TIME Fibre Unlimited Home Broadband. It's at 8Mbps (which is a very good speed already) and it's cheaper than Maxis and TM. (both of which have the best speed). I could also boost it to 50Mbps for 30 hours. P1 Broadband is cheap but it's not fast and the review on it has not been very good. The ABNxcess is still very unknown. I think for RM139, it's very good.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Deadline approaching to file your income tax

It's that time of the year again....people knew it, expected it...but for some reasons, it's in the blood for us to procrastinate whatever that may not seem urgent to us regardless of the importance. 

TIME TO FILE YOUR INCOME TAX


Well, if you are like the many Malaysians out there, I'm pretty sure you have not completed your e-filing for your income tax.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TAX AVOIDANCE and TAX EVASION

There are a lot of people who are confuse about tax avoidance and tax evasion. Most people assume that tax evasion is illegal, but let's not be ignorant...tax avoidance is also illegal although it carries a lighter punishment. Tax avoidance means failure to file for income tax without a reasonable excuse. It carries a lighter punishment of about RM200 to RM2,000 fine and/or imprisonment.

WHEN YOU MISS THE DEADLINE?

I know you are probably very confident of meeting the deadline. That's good news but just in case if you really do miss the deadline, what's next?

Don't worry...you can still file your tax. There is a penalty though...The IRB charges 10% increment on the tax payable for late filing and additional 5% on the balance if the payment is not made after 60 days from the final date.

The law generally does not allow a waiver of interest charges. However, the IRB may consider a reduction of these penalties if you can show a reasonable cause for being late.

I know that tax filing could be a little bit "taxing" and troublesome at times...but a little bit of planning will help you to manage...don't forget...the clock is ticking. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Financially Ready to Buy a Property?

Before I buy a property, I thought it was always about looking at the property price, prepared the 10% downpayment, get a bank loan and job's done....but what happened over the last 3 months plus has given me a new understanding on what it really takes to buy a property.

OWNING A HOME?


First of all, knowledge is important, and one really need to check the details to ensure that they are financially ready to buy a property. It can be an ultimate dream to own a home, but with escalating real estate prices and the burden of lengthy loan repayment periods of about 30 to 35 years, buying and financing a property is not just about "I love it!". Here are some of the things that I believe is important for us to consider whether we are financially ready to buy a property.

UPFRONT COSTS...CAN YOU BEAR IT?

In Malaysia, most of the banks are going to offer up to 90% of the property's price for your first two residential properties. If you are taking 90%, make sure that the 10% of the property price is not a problem for you. Say for example, you're targeting a condominium in Puchong at about RM400,000, you must have a minimum of RM40,000 to pay upfront, be it from your savings or money from your parents or sibings. However you do it, you must make sure the RM40k is there. (Take note that the 10% is based on the property price. There are cases where your bank might value the property at a lower price than your purchase price. In that case, you must pay more than 10%)

EXTRA CASH FOR OTHER FEES & CHARGES

Most first time home buyers will not realize this. Buying and financing a home is more than just paying the deposit and loan...it also involves other other fees and charges...
Here are some of those that you might have to consider. The amount is based on the average of the industry. The actual amount might differ but this can be a good guide for you to follow.
  1. Stamp Duty - for transfer of ownership title, also known as memorandum of transfer (MOT). 1% for the first RM100,000; 2% for the subsequent RM400,000; 3% for the subsequent amount.
  2. Sales & Purchase Legal Fees (SPA) - 1% for the first RM150,000; 0.7% for the remaining value of a property within 1 million.
  3. Stamping for SPA - less than RM100.
  4. SPA Legal Disbursement Fees - a few hundred Ringgit
  5. Loan Facility Agreement Legal Fees - 1% for the first RM150,000; 0.7% of remaining value of a property within 1 million.
  6. Stamp Duty for Loan - 0.5% of loan amount
  7. Loan Facility Agreement Disbursement Fees - a few hundred Ringgit
  8. Fee for transfer of Ownership Title - a few hundred Ringgit
  9. Mortgage Reducing Term Insurance - basically, this is similar to how a life insurance works, but for your property. About RM1000. If you are close to the bankers, you may try to ask them to waive this for you.
  10. Government Tax on Agreement - 6% of Total Lawyer Fees
  11. Bank processing fee for loan - Approximately RM200
It is important to ensure that you are able to settle all these when you plan to buy a property.

It will probably take you about RM20,000 plus should you decide to buy a property of about RM400k. 

READY FOR MONTHLY INSTALLMENT?

Well, this is pretty straightforward, but it's also important that you make sure you can bear the monthly installment. 

If you are taking the current rate of about 4.2% to 4.4% pa for a standard home loan, you probably have to fork out about RM1,700 for monthly installment (for a condo of about RM400,000). If you want to count the monthly installment, you could easily find the calculator online from iproperty, propwall and many other websites. You could also download an excel calculator on your own as well. 

As most financial experts would suggest...allocating not more than 1/3 of your income to pay off your home loan. This means you need to have about RM5000 plus in order to buy a home of about RM400,000. 

Make sure you do the maths and ensure that your monthly installment can be covered. 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

A) INCREASE IN EXPENSES FROM OWNING A HOME

Besides all of those that I have mentioned, you must also consider the expenses that will increase from owning a home...your maintenance fees, utility bills, broadband etc will also go up. It is important to take note of that. It is likely to increase your expenses of up to RM300 to RM400 a month.

B) IS RENOVATION REQUIRED?

If you are buying from a subsale, you must also consider this...is renovation required...recent survey helped me find that a simple renovation on a condo would probably take up to RM30,000. So, if there is a need for renovation and repair of the property, you must also take this into account. 


Well, if you are keen on buying a property, make sure that you are prepared to handle it...buying a home is a great pleasure but one must ensure that this dream will not cause distress to your cash flow. Hope that this help those who want to buy a property get an estimate of their financial capability to buy a Property.