Buying A Home
Things To Look Out For
Buying a home can be daunting. It is probably the single largest purchase you’ll ever make in your lifetime. For most people, the experience can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoiding these mistakes may help.
1 - Overestimating affordability is a typical mistake property buyers make. Since the introduction of Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR), loan rejections for aspiring home owners have risen by more than 25%. There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home only to discover you’ve bitten off more than what you can chew.
Don't bite off more than what you can chew. Check what you can afford first
2 - Doing insufficient research. JLL 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index rated Singapore (no. 1 in South East Asia) as the 11th most transparent real estate market globally. With data easily accessible and tools widely available, there’s simply no excuse not to do your own research to find that perfect nest. Checking past transactions, learning what’s available or discovering nearby amenities are just a few simple things you can do to get started.
3 - Engaging the wrong professionals. We have all heard horror stories of unscrupulous agents who are out there to make a fast buck. Fortunately, Singapore’s estate agency industry is well regulated and all licensed property agents are required to go through courses and training annually. The Council of Estate Agencies' website is a good place to check whether your agents are registered. Always arm yourself with the right tools and professionals.
4 - Skipping home inspection. Why would you ever want to do that? A thorough home inspection can reveal crucial information about the state of the property you are about to purchase. Hidden defects, leakages and lurking zombies can only be discovered when you physically inspect the property. Photos and virtual tours provide initial guidance but are frankly insufficient on its own. Beware of lurking zombies. Always inspect your home before buying.
5 - Choosing the wrong mortgage solution is as bad as buying the wrong home. Personal finances and outlook on the economy are important considerations when deciding between fixed vs. floating rates or 25 vs. 30-year loan tenures. If you are unfamiliar with the packages and terms offered by banks, it might be wise to engage a mortgage broker to help you sift through them.
6 - Not knowing the home buying process. TDSR? HDB? MSR? CPF? ECs? GCB? In an industry filled with jargons and abbreviations, buying a home can be overwhelming at times. Fret not, we have put together a series of guides to help you through the home-buying process, regardless of your current circumstances.
7 - Last but certainly not least, there’s nothing scarier than overpaying for a property. Don’t.
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