Real Estate Matters | 25 Property Questions We Were Asked This Year

Juliet Risdon

We end the year again with another list of the most popular questions that we were asked throughout the year.

25. When should I get my 2 months Security Deposit back?

Security Deposits are usually returnable within 2 weeks according to most tenancy agreements.

The security deposit should be returned in full unless both parties agree to make deductions from the deposits.

We usually manage to pass back security deposits within 1-5 working days of a tenant checking out of a property, and its sometimes possible to arrange a refund of the deposit upon the checkout itself.

24. Macau is so expensive, how can I afford to buy a property here?

This question is on the mind of everyone that lives here who have not yet bought in Macau.

The first thing to understand is of course that the bank will loan you a lot of the money that is required to buy a property.

If you are a Macau resident, it is possible get up to 70% of the property price funded by the bank. As a non-permanent resident, banks will still lend up to 50% of the buying price.

That still leaves 30% – 50% of the cost to come up with though, and even on an apartment costing $4.0m, you must find $1.2m – $2m in cash for the initial deposit.

There are lots of ways in which family and friends can help with the purchase. For example, it’s possible for more than one person to co-sign for a property, so you could consider buying a property with a partner. Another option is to live with a friend or family member who can contribute towards the mortgage cost.

23. What should I expect to find in a furnished / unfurnished apartment?

In summary:

  • Unfurnished generally means there are no pieces of furniture such as chairs or TV. No surprise there.
  • However, you would usually expect to find ‘white goods such as a fridge, freezer, washing machine etc in the apartment
  • In addition, you could also expect to see air-conditioning units, and basic kitchen appliances such as an oven and / or a cook top.
  • In a furnished apartment, you can expect to find Chairs, Tables, TV’s, Sofa, etc, but may not have such things as cutlery or plates.
  • In a ‘fully furnished’ apartment, the general idea is that you can walk into the apartment with a suitcase, unpack and live there, so the apartment should have cutlery, bed linen, towels etc.

22. What costs are involved when I buy a property?

First you have the price of the property of course. But there are other fees that you should be aware of.

‘Stamp Duty’ (see full explanation later) is a tax paid to the government on the price paid for the property. It is 1% on the first $2m, 2% for the next $2m, and 3% on everything over $4m.

Agency Fees are normally 1% of the purchase price, and are paid by both buyer and seller.

Legal fees and registration fees vary, but in general you can allow 5% of the price of the property to cover all related fees (including stamp duty and legal fees), and you wont be far away.

21. Where should I buy in Macau?

Whether you are buying a home or an investment property, its tough to go wrong in Taipa. Its close the Cotai Strip, gives easy access to the Taipa ferry terminal, and you can be in Macau in minutes if required.

If you want value for money, you will find prices in Macau a little lower, and this may be an attractive option if your job is on the peninsula as well.

Coloane, usually Hellene Gardens, is great if you crave a more ‘rural’ existence, and prefer easy access to trails and beaches as opposed to the hustle and bustle of the built up areas. It also offers great value for money as a place to live.

We do run a yearly article entitled ‘Best Places to Live’, look out for that or send us a request by e-mail and we will be happy to share the latest edition with you.

Juliet Risdon is a Director of JML Property and a property investor.

Having been established in 1994, JML Property offers investment property & homes. It specializes in managing properties for owners and investors, and providing attractive and comfortable homes for tenants.

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