Contributed by Alfred Chong (Lawyer)
Buying your first house may be a daunting process with attention required for the following during the pre-purchase stage:-
- Determining whether to purchase a house under construction or a duly constructed by the Developer or in the alternative purchasing available houses from property owners directly or through auction in the secondary market;
- Determining whether to purchase a freehold or leasehold property;
- Confirming the total costs involved including but not limited to additional costs (if any) including stamp duty, real property gain tax, legal fees, utility charges and management fees;
- Searching for financing facilities available from financial providers to finance the purchase of your first home and upgrading work if required;
- Conducting your due diligence on the property including but not limited to an inspection of the property and/or the construction site, a legal background check on the developer and/or the owner of the property and a land search on the property.
As such, buyers is encouraged to seek assistance from professionals including real estate agents, lawyers, bankers and tax consultants at the pre-purchase stage. The reason for the above is that the professionals help to facilitate your transaction and to safeguard your interest at the relevant stages until completion.
Engaging the professionals is advisable especially when purchasing available houses from property owners or through an auction in the secondary market. The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. The steps taken to address the above issues would account for a smooth transaction later on leading to you saving unnecessary costs, time and anxiety.