Buying your first property can be an intimidating experience. You browse through websites to look for new launched condominium but still unsure of the steps. You start reading many articles regarding the guide to getting a property. However, you are still  unsure of where to begin, after all, this is a big decision that involves a lot of money. This article will guide you through the important things that you need to know before getting a new launched condominium and it might help you to reduce the stress throughout the buying journey.

1. Budget planning
First of all, you will need to set a budget when it comes to buying a property. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Know what you can afford to prevent getting yourself into a huge debt. After all, buying a property involves a huge sum of money and you definitely do not want to end up getting being in debt. 

Get an approval in principle (AIP) for a bank loan so you will have an idea of how much loan you will received when you apply for a bank loan after that. An AIP will allow you to know how much loan you are eligible and your monthly mortgage repayment. 

You can also check how much fund you have in your CPF account to help in funding your home. You are allowed to use the savings in the Ordinary Account up to the Valuation Limit for your first property. However, if it is the second property, you will then need to set aside approximately $80,500, which is the Basic Retirement Sum before you are allowed to use the remaining savings in the Ordinary Account.

Do consider the down payment for the property that you buy, commonly 20% of the price of your property. You are able to pay the down payment by using cash of CPF that consists of 5% Option Fee and 15% of Exercise Fee, Other than that, you will also need to pay for the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) and the legal fees.

Certain home buyers will need to pay the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on top of the BSD:

Let us say if the property is bought by both Singapore Permanent Citizen and Singapore Citizen, the ABSD rate will then be higher.

2.Shop around
After you planned your budget, you can start looking around for condominiums that fall within your budget range. You could also engage with a property agent in guiding you with recommendation and purchase process. If you wish to save money,you could do it on your own by doing research and finding information from various property websites out there. 

3.Visit showroom
Buyer will be able to visit the show flats prior to the launching of the condominium, usually around one to two weeks before launching date. However, the actual price for the condominium is not released yet at this point. 

You can complete the Expression of Interest form along with a black check to the developer’s account if you are interested in the property. The blank cheque will include 5% booking fee of the property and when the prices for the condominium are revealed, the amount will then be filled in accordingly.

That being said, you will have to be cautious as it is risky to hand in a black cheque. Hence, you are required to double check on the name of the developer’s account. 

The great thing about registering before the price is revealed is that you stand a chance to participate in the ballot system along with people who have also registered their interests. You will then be invited to book a unit when you get a call from your ballot number. However, if you do not wish to proceed, your empty cheque will be returned to you. 

4.Book your desired condominium unit
On the launch day, you will then need to go to the show flat to submit the ballot number and wait for your number to be called to book your unit. Once booking is done, you will be provided with a set of Property Details Information (PDI) documents by the developer. The PDI contains the floor plans, offered items, rules and regulations, and other related information of your desired unit. You will need to read the documents thoroughly to make sure you are satisfied with the unit.

5. Finalise loan and hire a lawyer
After getting the Option in your hand, you then need to approach the bank for loan application for your newly launched condominium. After you get your loan application approved, the bank will issue you with a Letter of Offer with all the terms and conditions.

You will also need to hire a lawyer to assist you in purchasing and conveyancing messages. Although the bank that you engage with will recommend you a firm, you could always choose to hire a lawyer on your own. Be sure to look around for a lawyer that offers you the best rate.

6. Sale and purchase Agreement
Normally, the developer will provide you with the Sales and Purchase Agreement within 2 weeks of giving you the Option. You then have 3 weeks time to sign the agreement and proceed with the Option. You will have to pay 15% of the exercise fee, which is the remainder of your down payment. The payment for the exercise fee is within 9 weeks from the day you get the Option or at the time of signing the Sales and Purchase agreement, whichever that comes latter. Do take note that you are also required to pay for the BSD or ABSD on the Sale and Purchase Agreement within the 2 weeks of signing. 

7. Payment
You will have to start paying after 6 months of dealing with the above 6 steps. Payments will be made every few months for uncomplete developments based on the milestones achieved in the construction. When the Temporary Occupation Permit is obtained, you will then need to pay the final 40% of your unit price.

8. Keys collection
Lastly, it is the keys collection. You can start engaging with interior designer and plan for a house warming party with your family and friends. 

In conclusion, the steps to getting a new launched condominium unit is not that tedious after all, provided you follow the guide and plan ahead to avoid going through the unnecessary issues. If you are interested in getting a HDB flat, you can understand more on the process of getting a HDB flat by reading step by step guide to buying your first BTO flat and guide to buying a new HDB flat


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