Property

Make home-buying decisions carefully to avoid future regrets

Due to massive amount of funds and decade-long mortgages, buying a home is one of the most important decisions people make in their lives, thus it should be made with extreme caution. Interest rate hikes are often a worry for those ready to buy homes. The fact is, a typical mortgage will span across 20 years so it’s almost inevitable that it will require the person to endure at least one interest rate cycle. However, while inflation curtails the purchasing power of money, Hongkongers’ salary still increases every year, therefore paying mortgages becomes easier for those who have done it for over 10 years already. If you are in your second decade of mortgage paying, you’ll understand what I mean.

Meanwhile, many homebuyers become very frustrated and upset about the fact that they can’t afford to live in an area they prefer, and so they have to settle for a property in a less desirable district. But in reality, remote areas of Hong Kong also enjoy accessible and convenient public transport systems, and most of us spend much of the day at work anyway — is it possible that those unhappy about the “less-than-ideal” areas they live in are being overly dramatic? 
 
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Then there’s another group of people who swear off being a “mortgage slave” so that they don’t have to save money and thus can make more of their income disposable. Those people might have forgotten that the trade-off is that they will become a life-long “rent slave” who are more likely to move apartments every couple of years due to rent hikes. The truth is, buying property has an array of advantages. But there are, of course, big challenges along the way, such as saving money for a down payment, making compromises and living in a place that you can afford instead of one you love and long mortgage periods. Overcoming these challenges will take a lot of determination and willpower. The most important thing for individual homebuyers is to fully assess the pros and cons before making this huge decision, so that they can take full responsibility of their actions instead of, possibly, regretting them in the future.