It\u2019s no secret that the property market in Malaysia is a complicated one. For first time buyers, it can be a slog to go through all the conflicting data you can find online.\u00a0 Here are some first-hand experiences from Joyce and David, two Malaysians who are seasoned house buyers, to explain the pros and cons of Buying v.s. Renting. At what point in your life did you feel you were ready to buy your first house? Joyce said, \u201cGood question. It was a decision that I made with my partner before we got married.\u201d \u201cWe\u2019ve been renting for 7 years. We wanted to take it to the next level in owning a place of our own, and had to be sure that we had enough combined earnings for monthly instalments.\u201d \u201cAt that time, we only considered what we could afford based on our salaries back then. We couldn\u2019t even go for bigger units.\u201d \u201cSub-sale homes were out of the question because of the 10% down payment, which we didn\u2019t have.For example, a RM800k house would need a RM80k downpayment.\u201d \u201cSo we opted for new developments where they could give us rebates.\u201d What are the benefits of renting compared to buying? David says: \u201cLet\u2019s say that next year, a newer condominium sprouts up next door beside your house. You aren\u2019t tied down to anything, so you can just move there. You\u2019d get a pool, security, gym facilities, and the rent would be the same!\u201d Renting gives a sense of flexibility that owning a house would not. If you own a place, your monthly payments will become like a ball and chain to your financial freedom.\u00a0 Once you stop being able to pay your monthly installments due to job loss or accident, the debts will start piling up. It\u2019s not uncommon for salaried men who take their own lives when they find themselves in debt and unable to pay off their loans. Is it true that buying a house is a good form of investment? David says: \u201cGrowing up, we\u2019ve all been told one way or another that property is a good place to park your money. Not necessarily.\u201d \u201cNot every house purchase will guarantee a return of profit. Buying a house for your own stay is always better than renting. But as a form of investment, not always.\u201d There are still people who are very traditional who think owning a house equates to financial stability. But David disagrees. For him, owning equals liability. \u201cIf a fire manages to burn the whole thing down, what happens? You\u2019ve lost. If someone decides to build a 10-storey building in front of you? Your property value goes down,\u201d he said candidly.\u00a0 Joyce says: \u201cRenting makes sense if one cannot afford to commit themselves to buy a place. They would then have the option to rent for cheaper.\u201d Buying a house for investment is the wrong mentality to set unless one has the holding power. That\u2019s a risk one has to take. What is the property market like right now? David says, \u201cIf you ask me, now is a good time to rent. At the moment, supply is exceeding demand, so the property prices are stagnant. Therefore, rent prices are not going up either.\u201d The reason why there\u2019s low demand is due to Malaysian salaries not going up to match inflation, remaining the same as 5 years ago.\u00a0 Lower salaries means that more people prefer to rent. Some are even more frugal, such as moving back in with their parents. Since there\u2019s fewer people in the property market, this drives prices down. For example, there are a lot of upper-scale apartments that are 50% empty because no-one can afford the high rents. Is there a third option apart from renting vs. buying? A friend of mine, Aidan, says he doesn\u2019t need to think about buying his first property.\u00a0 \u201cI\u2019ll just take over the payments for my parents\u2019 house. Right now, I\u2019m paying for utilities, but in future, I plan to earn enough to provide for my mother as well.\u201d Many children in Asian households do this, as its part of the culture of filial piety, regardless of race.\u00a0 Sheng Ying recently got married to his college sweetheart. Rather than take a downpayment on a new property, his parents offered their old house - the childhood home he grew up in. \u201cRather than spend time comparing properties, I\u2019m glad I took over the home I had so many memories in.\u201d He lives with his wife and a dog, while his parents have moved to greener pastures, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There\u2019s more than one way to stroke a cat, and similarly, there\u2019s more than one way to be find your dream home.\u00a0 What are your thoughts on this? Do you plan to buy a house or do you prefer to rent? Let us know in the comments! For more articles on property, read 6 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Property in Malaysia.