Women play a vital role in the workforce in Malaysia. According to The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), women recorded 40% of the total workforce. This makes us the highest one in Asean.
On the other hand, in terms of salary received, women take home a lesser income than men. According to Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey Report 2012 published by Ministry of Statistics, men in town receive a monthly average pay of RM 6,010 while women only receive RM 4，239.
Although the average salary is lower than what men have, it is still at a level of eligibility to get a loan to buy a property, with the condition that they meet the banks requirement.
Women have a bigger buying power nowadays. However, women involvement in property investment is still comparably smaller than men.
Most women are still interested in investing money for a collection of handbags and shoes; the stereotype.
In this 21st century, women are no longer a regular mom and housewife. Life is challenging as more women now are employers, professionals or mothers with careers.
The cost of living is also rising. This causes sole dependency on the husband for the household income and future financial planning not a good decision. Women have to play an important role or have a solid backup plan.
If let say one payslip may enable someone to have at least two 90% housing loan, two payslip will result a four 90% housing loan for four properties. Obviously, four properties are better than two. It means, there is more passive income stream and more asset for retirement.
This is why the most successful property investors are normally those who have financial planning and act together with their spouse. They are like-minded couples with the same objectives. A team will make it easier and therefore provide better leverage.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
Most women feel very comfortable being dependant on the husband. They are of the opinion that, having one nice house to stay in is good enough. As long as they have just enough money to survive, they are doing well.
However, according to the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, from January to June 2012，there are 22,306 divorce cases filed and recorded by National Registration Department. Muslims’ case is 22,306 that is more than 95% of the total figure while for non-Muslims’ it is 1,062 cases.
This is shocking figure shows us that marriage is not a happily ever after story. Women should be ready to equip themselves with mental strength, a good career, enough saving and a financial plan for themselves and their children should this sad situation occur.
WHEN TO START
Therefore, though property investment is a guy-thing. Women should learn, to break mens monopoly. But, when to start?
Looking at the divorce rate and to safeguard women’s welfare after divorce, they must act and think ahead of time. They should start to buy property while they are still single.
This is due to the fact that Malaysian law treats any property acquired during the marriage as matrimonial property. Even if the property is bought under one name, bought under joint-effort or single effort, his or her spouse has the right to claim his or her share on the property. This applies to Muslims and non-Muslim marriages.
The ex-spouse may file a claim to the High Court, if the couple is non-Muslims, or to Syariah High Court, if the couple is Muslims. They have to prove that the property is acquired while they were still a valid husband and wife and to prove their contribution to the property or to the marriage. Then the court will decide how much the share the claimant deserves.
Their ex-spouse will not be able to claim any share on this property because it is bought before the marriage. However, the woman must manage the property itself and ensure that the there is no contribution, either monetary or non-monetary from the ex-spouse to the house.
Women seek security. Therefore, having a 100% ownership house is the most secure thing they should think and plan when they begin their career.
TOO MUCH PHYSICAL WORK?
It is true that managing a house will require physical work. Pipes may break. Electricity wiring may have problems. Tenants may cause broken doors and it needs to be replaced. These are among the issues owners have to handle when renting their house.
Thus, for some pretty ladies out there, they think these issues and rectification are not suited for them. That is why they ignore the potential of property investment and let it be conquered by men. They forget that they do not need to do all these things on their own? There is some people out there called as handyman, plumber or electrical technician that can help them anytime.
TEDIOUS HANDLING TENANTS
Some women feel that it is tedious to manage tenants. The process of letting a house itself needs some effort. They as a career women and a mother could not cope to add one more things-to-do in their already hectic days.
Do not worry. As I mentioned above, you can get a professional real estate agent to help you find a tenant and take care of your house. Plus, there are individuals who do sublet business. You may rent out your house to them for a longer period of term. They will then furnish it and re-rent it for a profit margin.
As long as you get your rental consistently banked in into your bank account every month, you will be happy enough. It is for them to bare the risk if the tenants move out and the house is vacant for a certain period of time. They also will take care of the house and maintain it so it is always in a tenantable condition as they need to attract tenants.
After marriage, most women tend to do joint loan with their husband to buy a decent house to stay. If the husbands salary is only eligible for a loan of RM 200,000, joining with the wifes income may enable them to buy a bigger house. Maybe they are able to secure a loan to buy a RM 400,000 house, if for example the wife’s salary is about the same as the husband.
This is a popular and good strategy to own a more comfortable house for a big family. However, this may end up not a very brilliant plan.
Refer back to the story about matrimonial home. If anything happens to the marriage, the husband will have 50% share of the house. Imagine,this is the only house this couple have. Of course, after the divorce, both will fight for their right.
Therefore, it is better for women to have a backup. Buy at least one property before marriage.
Then do not do joint loan. It is better to buy two property with the total price of RM400, 000 rather than buy one property at the price of RM 400,000. Worst case, the divorced couple can have one property each. Another reason why a joint loan is not a very good idea is because of the 70% loan-to-value restriction for the third property onwards. Joint loan causes both buyers to have one housing loan record in the CCRIS, the credit record kept by Bank Negara.
If there is two joint loan applications, means this couple can only buy two properties with the loan of 90%. The third house will be 70% loan, either under one name or also under joint-application.
In comparison, if the wife does not agree to do joint loan application, the couple may buy four properties with 90% loan. There will be two properties under the name of the husband and two others under the name of the wife.
Again, obviously four properties is way better than two.
NO MORE MEN MONOPOLY
Every year, the number of women who enrol to a higher institution is increasing. Hence, the number of them entering the workforce is increasing too. Women are brilliant. They are hardworking. They have the courage and are able to face challenges.As there is no longer a job identification by gender, women can enter and perform almost all jobs out there. They can be a great engineer, an architect or even a ships crew.Therefore, there are no excuses that women cannot do property investment and generate a handsome profit out of it. At the end, this is for their own good and their children’s future.
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