These days, a lot of home buyers are opting for condominium units instead of landed property. Home owners don’t have to worry about major repairs such as roofing problems or leaky plumbing or even about termite infestation hiding beneath their floorboards or walls. All those responsibilities fall under the services of the building’s management.
There’s also the added benefit of security. With a landed property, you’ll need to take care of your own security measures and worry about keeping your property safe and protected against burglary or invasion.
Singapore Property Market
The Independent reports that this year, property developers are dealing with huge extension fees. Data shows that condominium prices in the rest of Central Region or RCR showed a drop of 0.3 percent, with units in the Core Central Region or CCR following at 0.2 percent. In the suburbs, commonly known as the Outside Central Region or OCR, prices stayed steady.
What do the numbers mean?
With property prices dropping, now is the best time for buyers to take advantage of the weak market. You see basic demand and supply at work. With more units available, property developers and sellers are starting to be realistic about their asking prices. Even better, some are starting to sell their units at a loss. So if you want to get the best deal on a condo unit, there’s no better time than now to get the ball rolling. And with more HDB units launched, combine that with all the HBD units for resale, and buyers have a huge market to explore and choose their very own unit from.
Buying a Condo
Before you start your search, here are a few things to remember:
- Budget. How much can you spend on a home? Have you saved up for a down payment already? Consider going for the maximum allowable amount if you can. A bigger down payment means you get to pay for a smaller mortgage. That’s a definite advantage especially if you don’t want to tie down your income to a mortgage for too long.
- Location. Find a condo that’s ideally located. Factor in where you and your spouse works as well as where you kids go to school. Then do your best to pick a location that’s central to all these, says Singapore Expats.
- Facilities. The best thing about owning a condo is the facilities that come with the building. A health and fitness buff? You’d want a home that provides you with a gym and fitness center that you could conveniently use anytime you want. Love to relax with massage treatments? Choose a unit with a nearby spa. Want to to get in some laps or start the day with a swim? Most condominium units come with a pool so you’re sure to have easy access to these facilities as soon as you move in.
Shopping for property can be an especially daunting experience for a first time buyer. Take a look at these handy tips to make the process more pleasant for you:
- Be practical. If you can’t afford the home or if it’s going to put you in a financial squeeze, then don’t go for it. Most first time buyers believe it’s well worth it to spend 30 years paying for mortgage on their dream condo. But imagine being in debt for that long. Unless you plan to increase your income to cover the cost within a shorter time frame, owning that condo isn’t worth it. Plus, you could lose your home if you default on your payments. And the longer you have to pay for the mortgage, the higher the chances that you might not be able to complete the payments. Why? Because our financial priorities and responsibilities change with age and circumstances. So it’s a safer bet to buy a home you can comfortably afford. The sooner it’s paid for, the sooner you and your financial situation will be in the clear.
- Be efficient. There are plenty of ways you could streamline your search for the right condominium for you and your family. One such way is to use online listing portals. With sites like PropertyGuru Singapore, finding a condo for sale is simple and stress-free. No need to visit the sites first thing. You can generate a list of the homes you like then start working your way through the list by using a checklist of condo features you can’t live without. You could also look into hiring an agent and real estate lawyer to help you out. With an agent by your side, you can easily navigate through the real estate market. And if you’ve got a lawyer, then you have someone to guide you through the legal details involved in the process. With the help of both, buying a home should prove less stressful for you.
- Be people-smart. You’ll meet with a lot of people on your home buying adventure. You might even seek out the advice and counsel of a few or trust someone to help you out at one point during the process. But be forewarned. Not all those people might have your best interests at heart. So trust your gut. If the advice doesn’t ring true for any reason, then just politely excuse yourself from the conversation and walk away. By putting your trust in the wrong people, you might not just derail your search for a condo, you could end up being scammed. So protect yourself. Know when and who to trust. Otherwise, you could end up making the biggest financial mistake of your life.
- Be observant. It’s common practice for sellers to show their homes to the best advantage. So when you do finally come across dirty, unkempt homes, it might be such a departure from the previous properties that you’ll immediately chuck it to the reject pile and never look back. However, that home might just be the perfect one for you and your family. With cleanup and a fresh coat of paint on the walls, that could be your dream home under all the mountain of dust, cobwebs and bugs. So learn to look beyond the staging into the structural bones underneath. You might be surprised with what you might find.
- Be ready. That means knowing as much of the process as you can. That way, you’re fully aware of what’s happening at every point of the transaction. You’ll also need to be ready for all the responsibilities that come with being a property owner. That doesn’t just mean being ready for the financial commitment, of being able to take care of the monthly mortgage along with the insurance bills and even association dues. Rather, it’s about being ready to take on the task of looking after your home. Of ensuring regular maintenance services and checks are done. Of calling in for repair services at the first sign of trouble to fix a broken AC or doors, to With these services your home should stay in tip-top shape, making it last longer.
There are a lot of things involved in buying a condo. But once you have these figured out, it could be smooth sailing for you from then on. So research and ask around as much as you can. Be as prepared as you can be when it comes to buying and finally owning a home.