How to own your first home with zero down payment?

  • Nation
  • Monday, 17 Apr 2017

Let’s face it, if you are a regular wage earner, skyrocketing property prices and the difficulty in securing home loans are probably the two most common obstacles to buying your first home.


But here’s the good news for you. Even if you have not saved up enough for the down payment, it is still possible to own a house. With the help of Skim Pembiayaan Fleksibel PR1MA exclusively for PR1MA homebuyers (SPEF), homeownership is no longer an impossible dream for most Malaysians.


And no, we are not talking about affordable houses that are usually being wrongly perceived as low-cost, low-quality, or rather, cheap houses.


We are talking about good and well-planned houses like PR1MA, which is being developed in a nice, cosy housing area. PR1MA is not a low-cost project, instead, it is being built with quality building materials, and above all, is reasonably-priced.


Now, here are a few tips to owning a house like PR1MA:

1. Do more research

Make comparisons between conventional loans and SPEF.

There are various special schemes such as Skim Perumahan Mampu Milik Swasta (MyHome), Perumahan Penjabat Awam 1Malaysia (PPA1M) and Rumah Selangorku, but for SPEF, it is exclusively for PR1MA homebuyers.

SPEF is a special end-financing scheme that will make home ownership possible especially for first-time homebuyers, by increasing their chances of getting a home loan, and by providing access to a higher loan amount than they would otherwise be eligible for with conventional loans. The scheme is established in collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and four local banks, namely Maybank, CIMB, RHB Bank and AmBank.

Now, imagine if you are the sole breadwinner of the family, with a monthly income of RM3,000, you can be eligible for a maximum loan of RM283,200 repaying RM880 monthly, with the first five years being repayment for interest only. In comparison, with a conventional loan scheme, you might only be eligible for a RM187,000 loan.

The reason the first five years are interest payments only is so that people who have prior financial commitments, such as a car loan or a personal loan, can use this time to adjust their commitments to a lower value to prepare for their property’s full principal and interest payment after the first five years.

 The table below provides a guideline of the maximum amount of loan they can potentially get. These are based on certain assumptions and are subject to the lender’s terms and conditions.

 2. Sort out your finances to make sure that they are in great shape BEFORE you apply for a loan.

A good CCRIS score can be obtained by making sure you pay up all debts in a timely manner.


a.     Check and improve your Central Credit Reference Information System or CCRIS credit score. CCRIS is a system created by Bank Negara Malaysia to synthesize credit information about potential borrowers into standardized credit reports. If you don't have any visible credit history such as loans or credit cards, it might hurt your credit score. The banks usually would not offer full margin of finance if your credit profile is blank. So, have at least one active credit facility, and more importantly, make sure you pay on time.

b.    Prepare your paper work to speed things up. Get relevant documents ready for the bank, such as payslips for the last three to six months, bank statements, EPF statement, EA form, and others.

c.    Cash is king, so save your bullets. Cut back on your spending before you start applying for a home loan.


3.     Seriously consider your repayment capacity


Scrutinise your financial capacity before tying yourself down to a long-term loan.


a.     Never wear a hat that's bigger than your head.


Ask yourself, how much can you afford, really? You should take your gross monthly income, as well as debt and monthly expenses into consideration. Carefully manage your available net disposable income (NDI) and debt-service ratio (DSR). NDI is the amount of money that households have available for spending and saving after statutory deductions such as income taxes and EPF have been accounted for, while DSR measures potential borrowers’ creditworthiness by reviewing their other debt obligations, including principal, along with income. Every homebuyer should review and consider his/her own ability to repay home loans before even applying for it. In short, don’t overestimate your ability.


b.     What you see vs how much you are really paying for the house.

Home affordability is about more than just how much you can borrow. You'll also need to consider the up-front costs of buying a house, as well as the ongoing expenses of home ownership. Use the widely available online Home Loan Calculator to start thinking through your options. Bear in mind that the buyers would also need to prepare money for other additional costs such as lawyer’s fees and stamping fees. Buyers should factor in these additional costs in their budget. Eventually, how much you are really paying for the house, is more than the property selling price.



Your first home should be a reasonably-priced house like PR1MA.

It is best to start young. The generation of 25 to 36-year-olds is often seen as the traditional age group for first-time buyers. Those that manage to buy their first home by 25 should be able to pay off their mortgage by 60. Usually a first home is not for investment but more for practical living, and PR1MA can provide just that.


This article is brought to you by PR1MA. For more information on PR1MA homes, head to
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