In Chinese culture, buying an apartment symbolizes wealth and stability. However, due to the sky-high Hong Kong property price, the dream of owning your first home is a farfetched fantasy for most young people. If you’re planning to buy your first home in Hong Kong, here are a few tips to secure a smooth buying process:
Decide on a neighbourhood.
Depending on your age, marital status and family size, your ideal neighbourhood depends on your personal preferences. If you’re a young bachelor looking for excitement in the city centre, a studio apartment on Hong Kong Island may be more ideal for you. However, if you’re married and planning to have children, you may prefer a two-bedroom apartment in a peaceful neighbourhood in the New Territories.
Prioritise your wants and needs.
After deciding on a neighbourhood, you can narrow down your choice of apartment buildings. Other than the difference in prices and sizes, apartment complexes provide various amenities and special characteristics. If you have pets, perhaps you’d prefer a pet-friendly residential building. If you have children, a residential complex with a clubhouse and swimming pool may provide more entertaining activities for you and your family.
Start saving up for a deposit.
When buying Hong Kong property, the deposit amount is usually 10% of the sale price, therefore we recommend first home buyers to start saving money as soon as possible. If you cannot save up enough money for a deposit, you can borrow a loan from the bank to quicken the property buying process. However, if you don’t have enough money to pay the monthly mortgage, we recommend choosing a cheaper or smaller apartment.
Hire a professional.
Before buying an apartment, make sure you hire a private building inspector to get a professional opinion. Although this may seem like a waste of money, private building inspectors are more observant than the average buyer, as they are used to looking for the problems and weak points of apartments. If the private building inspector states that the apartment contains more than 50% defects, perhaps this apartment is not the ideal choice for you.
Decide between first-hand or second-hand property.
First-hand and second-hand properties offer different advantages and disadvantages – while first-hand properties provide brand new features and amenities, they tend to be more expensive and have a less efficient use of space. On the other hand, although second-hand properties are older and require renovation in the near future, they tend to be cheaper and provide a more generous living space.