Where to buy a home is one of life’s great decisions — along with who to marry … and perhaps where to eat tonight. And with property prices going through the roof in recent years, it’s becoming a tougher decision for many Malaysians, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Some choose to live small but right in the middle of everything. Others choose to move farther out to find a larger home they can afford. After all, prices do tend to drop as you move towards the fringes and outskirts of the Klang Valley.For example, the median prices of residential property sold in areas such as Mont’ Kiara, Bangsar Baru and Taman Tun Dr Ismail are in the seven-digits, whereas in areas such as Balakong, Rawang and Shah Alam, the median price is less than RM500,000. (Of course, there are relatively cheap homes close to the city that are usually much older or with ownership restrictions).AT WHAT COST?But with most of the jobs and action still located in central Kuala Lumpur, this translates to a lot of time on the road going to and fro work. And there’s petrol, toll and time involved in that — which can add up to a lot at the end of the month. According to the World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor report, commuters in Kuala Lumpur wasted between 270 and 500 million man-hours in traffic jams last year! This was translated into at least RM3,100 each year for each person in Greater Kuala Lumpur — up to RM24.7 billion or 2.2% of our GDP in 2014! So apart from the price of the property, you should take into account all the other costs involved when making a decision on where to buy. The distance and time it takes to get to one’s workplace is a huge factor you should not neglect.PropertyPricetag.com compared six similar-sized condominiums in a few locations south of Kuala Lumpur and crunched some numbers.Some basic assumptions:Housing loan repayments calculated based on 4.75% for a 30-year 90% loanDistance and time calculated based on Google Maps infoPetrol cost calculated on RM0.13 per kilometre20 working days in a monthHOW THEY STACK UP Price Trends: Property prices to the South East of KL seem relatively flat, so there doesn’t seem to be significant savings the farther down you go. On the other hand, prices in the South West of KL show a gradual decrease as you move westward.Cheapest Property: Seri Pulai condominium in Serdang is the cheapest property in this survey, but being one of the farthest away from the city, daily toll and petrol costs add up to quite a bit.Most Expensive Property: Faber Ria in Taman Desa is the second closest to the city, and at RM618,000, it is the most expensive in this survey. So the mortgage, with petrol and toll, is the highest.Closest: Casa Ria condo in Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, about 7km from the city. Price-wise, it is fourth on the list, but when you add in daily travel expenses, it jumps to second place. Farthest & Lowest Monthly Cost: Casa Tropika in Puchong tops the list of the farthest from KLCC, but with its low price, it also boasts the lowest monthly cost, even after taking into account toll and petrol. But you have to be prepared to spend one-and-a-half hours on the road each day to and fro.ALL ABOUT TIMEAs mentioned earlier, you can’t look at the numbers without taking into account the time factor It’s is not unusual for people to travel farther to work — the world average for time to and fro work is 40 minutes, although in many cities, workers can spend three times more on the road. Our neighbours in Bangkok, Thailand, have the longest average commuting time of two hours every day!But if we work for 30 years, the less time we spend sitting in traffic every rush hour, the better. Time is money, no? And shorter commutes usually mean lower blood pressure and stresses of modern living. (More time for dating, too.)For this survey, we assumed a RM5,000 monthly salary; and using the World Bank calculations, we divided it by 20 work days a month, with 8 hours a day, to find out how much an hour is worth — RM31.25 an hour. While intra-city traffic jams are a reality, living closer to the city usually means shorter commuting time.So while Casa Tropika costs least in terms of monthly payments, the time cost of sitting in traffic add up to almost an additional thousand ringgit each month. In fact, it would cost more than staying in a RM618,000 home in Taman Desa, which is 12km from the city.Jalil Damai in Bukit Jalil costs the most as the property is more expensive (RM515,000) and it is a fair distance away from the city, which takes an hour’s drive to and fro each day.In our books Casa Ria in Maluri seems to be a clear winner — it is closest to the city, yet costs the least. Even without the time-cost savings, it is the second cheapest option.PROPERTYPRICETAG.COM’S INSIGHTSAs you can see, there is no set formula in finding the right balance between a lower house price and commuting costs. But with a little bit of homework, you can decide if it makes sense to move farther away or not. Of course there are other factors to consider, such as availability of public transport — you can use the same method to calculate whether buying a home close to an LRT station is worth it or not — although many Malaysians still tend to prefer driving. To get started on your home search, check out PropertyPricetag.com. And you may find many more value buys that are both central and easy on the pocket. Title: Residential.

Where to buy a home is one of life’s great decisions — along with who to marry … and perhaps where to eat tonight. And with property prices going through the roof in recent years, it’s becoming a tougher decision for many Malaysians, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Some choose to live small but right in the middle of everything. Others choose to move farther out to find a larger home they can afford. After all, prices do tend to drop as you move towards the fringes and outskirts of the Klang Valley.For example, the median prices of residential property sold in areas such as Mont’ Kiara, Bangsar Baru and Taman Tun Dr Ismail are in the seven-digits, whereas in areas such as Balakong, Rawang and Shah Alam, the median price is less than RM500,000. (Of course, there are relatively cheap homes close to the city that are usually much older or with ownership restrictions).AT WHAT COST?But with most of the jobs and action still located in central Kuala Lumpur, this translates to a lot of time on the road going to and fro work. And there’s petrol, toll and time involved in that — which can add up to a lot at the end of the month. According to the World Bank’s 2015 Malaysia’s Economic Monitor report, commuters in Kuala Lumpur wasted between 270 and 500 million man-hours in traffic jams last year! This was translated into at least RM3,100 each year for each person in Greater Kuala Lumpur — up to RM24.7 billion or 2.2% of our GDP in 2014! So apart from the price of the property, you should take into account all the other costs involved when making a decision on where to buy. The distance and time it takes to get to one’s workplace is a huge factor you should not neglect.PropertyPricetag.com compared six similar-sized condominiums in a few locations south of Kuala Lumpur and crunched some numbers.Some basic assumptions:Housing loan repayments calculated based on 4.75% for a 30-year 90% loanDistance and time calculated based on Google Maps infoPetrol cost calculated on RM0.13 per kilometre20 working days in a monthHOW THEY STACK UP Price Trends: Property prices to the South East of KL seem relatively flat, so there doesn’t seem to be significant savings the farther down you go. On the other hand, prices in the South West of KL show a gradual decrease as you move westward.Cheapest Property: Seri Pulai condominium in Serdang is the cheapest property in this survey, but being one of the farthest away from the city, daily toll and petrol costs add up to quite a bit.Most Expensive Property: Faber Ria in Taman Desa is the second closest to the city, and at RM618,000, it is the most expensive in this survey. So the mortgage, with petrol and toll, is the highest.Closest: Casa Ria condo in Maluri, Kuala Lumpur, about 7km from the city. Price-wise, it is fourth on the list, but when you add in daily travel expenses, it jumps to second place. Farthest & Lowest Monthly Cost: Casa Tropika in Puchong tops the list of the farthest from KLCC, but with its low price, it also boasts the lowest monthly cost, even after taking into account toll and petrol. But you have to be prepared to spend one-and-a-half hours on the road each day to and fro.ALL ABOUT TIMEAs mentioned earlier, you can’t look at the numbers without taking into account the time factor It’s is not unusual for people to travel farther to work — the world average for time to and fro work is 40 minutes, although in many cities, workers can spend three times more on the road. Our neighbours in Bangkok, Thailand, have the longest average commuting time of two hours every day!But if we work for 30 years, the less time we spend sitting in traffic every rush hour, the better. Time is money, no? And shorter commutes usually mean lower blood pressure and stresses of modern living. (More time for dating, too.)For this survey, we assumed a RM5,000 monthly salary; and using the World Bank calculations, we divided it by 20 work days a month, with 8 hours a day, to find out how much an hour is worth — RM31.25 an hour. While intra-city traffic jams are a reality, living closer to the city usually means shorter commuting time.So while Casa Tropika costs least in terms of monthly payments, the time cost of sitting in traffic add up to almost an additional thousand ringgit each month. In fact, it would cost more than staying in a RM618,000 home in Taman Desa, which is 12km from the city.Jalil Damai in Bukit Jalil costs the most as the property is more expensive (RM515,000) and it is a fair distance away from the city, which takes an hour’s drive to and fro each day.In our books Casa Ria in Maluri seems to be a clear winner — it is closest to the city, yet costs the least. Even without the time-cost savings, it is the second cheapest option.PROPERTYPRICETAG.COM’S INSIGHTSAs you can see, there is no set formula in finding the right balance between a lower house price and commuting costs. But with a little bit of homework, you can decide if it makes sense to move farther away or not. Of course there are other factors to consider, such as availability of public transport — you can use the same method to calculate whether buying a home close to an LRT station is worth it or not — although many Malaysians still tend to prefer driving. To get started on your home search, check out PropertyPricetag.com. And you may find many more value buys that are both central and easy on the pocket. Title: Residential.