Your Quick Guide to Buying a Condo
Buying your condominium unit, or any property, requires careful planning and sound decision-making. To help you acquire the most suitable condo unit for you and your family, here are five quick steps to serve as your guide.:
Step 1. Know Your Reason for Buying
People buy properties for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you intend to have a home where your family can live comfortably. Maybe you want to make an investment by renting out the place to tenants. Whatever your reason may be, knowing your purpose in buying one can significantly help you in making the right decision.
If you wish to buy a condo for sale on Property Guru, you should also consider your finances. More often than not, people acquire property through bank financing. Unless you can afford to purchase a property in cash, you might want to check first with your bank regarding their rules on lending. Aside from that, you should also take note of other fees you would need to pay, such as stamp duties, legal fees, agent’s commission, as well as income and property taxes among others.
Step 2. Narrow Down Your Search
Set a specific budget when looking for property to purchase. Carefully consider all the loan requirements you would need to comply with, as well as the necessary fees you would need to pay. A word of caution: only buy what you can afford and never purchase a property that is way over your budget. According to Bloomberg News, governments like Singapore, strictly implement that lending must not exceed 60 percent of a person’s income to ensure that he will be able to stay on track when it comes to loan payments.
You also need to decide whether you’ll be staying at the condo or you’ll just open it for rent. Check out properties located in the prime districts of your area. If you are planning to live in it, you should set up a few guidelines to help you in choosing the right property. You could also make use of the following criteria:
- Accessibility to public modes of transport
- Proximity to your place of work or business district in your area
- The type of amenities you would need
- The availability of parking space, if you need one
- The orientation of the condo and the view from your window or balcony
- The size of the unit
Once you determine your budget and preferences, decide whether to hire a real estate agent or not. He will be the one to look for properties that will match your criteria. Just remember to finalize beforehand how much the agent’s commission will be so as to avoid unnecessary surprises once you have decided to buy a property.
Step 3. Make a Short List of Your Choices
Create a shortlist of your two or three favorite condo properties. Just keep in mind that when you visit a unit that you are interested in, make sure that it is in the best possible condition. Pay close attention to the minute details such as floor condition, wall cracks, and leaks, among others.
Afterwards, contact your bank to have your loan in-principle approved. Prepare all the necessary paperwork while waiting for the bank’s approval which may take a few days. Once approved, you are now ready to make an offer for your chosen property. You should also hire a solicitor and check with the bank if they subsidize the required legal fees concerning your purchase.
Step 4. Buy it
Once the seller accepts your offer, he will then proceed with the sale process. He will transfer the Property Title to you and will have you sign an Option to Purchase (OTP) agreement. To do this, you need to pay one percent of the agreed purchase price. Urban Redevelopment Authority states that the option is valid for only three weeks and should you decide not to exercise it, you may forfeit 25 percent of your booking fee.
Keep in mind that upon signing, you should take note of the completion as well as the final inspection dates. Also, make sure that the details and items guaranteed by the seller are all accounted. Afterwards, you or your solicitor must coordinate with the local bank to have your loan released.
Step 5. Go for the Final Inspection
The entire sales process usually lasts between eight and ten weeks, still depending on what you agreed upon in your OTP contract. Once the unit is ready for the final inspection, check and make sure that everything is good, including the furniture, fixtures, and fittings inside your unit.
Before you purchase and invest in a condo unit, be sure you have all the right reasons for buying one. Refine your search and carefully weigh the factors you need to consider. Use this guide to find the right one for you.