Tips for first time home buyers

Buying your first home can be challenging because it will most likely become your biggest investment of your lifetime. However, with some guidance, the journey of owning your first home can be made easier. Let’s explore the reasons of home ownership, some available residential property offerings, and the ways you can take to acquire your first home.

We desire having our own home because of our need for a shelter that will allow us to be safe, warm, and rested. This is essentially the reason behind our need to acquire a home for ourselves and our loved ones, such as our children, parents, and grandparents. With a wide range of residential property offerings available, this reason will guide us towards seeking an appropriate home, based on our needs.

When seeking a suitable home, location attractiveness and neighbourhood characteristics are important considerations. An attractive location takes into consideration our families, our work, and school. A location that is close to our families and relatives enables us to maintain close relationships with them and rely on support from them. It would also be ideal when our homes are close to economic centres where there are plentiful employment and business activities. Having a home near educational institutions also matter as this provides educational development opportunities for our children.

Beyond the above primary considerations, neighbourhoods determine the type of environment that we live in. A neighbourhood has its community of residents for us to socialise with, recreational spaces to relax, and for our convenience, various amenities, such as public services and places for dining, shopping, and entertainment.



Neighbourhoods have different categories, including urban, suburban, and rural. Urban neighbourhoods are filled with plentiful amounts of activity, offering convenience with better business and employment opportunities. Rural areas offer a peaceful and relaxing living environment.

The nature of these neighbourhoods will determine the availability of land for development, which will affect the type of properties available. Matured high-density neighbourhoods, such as urban areas, are more likely to have high-rise residential developments such as condominiums, apartments, and flats. Neighbourhoods that are less dense are likely to have landed properties, such as terraces, townhouses, semi-detached, and detached/bungalow houses. When you understand these factors, it becomes easier for you to identify a suitable home that would fulfil your needs.


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However, in addition to identifying the reason you want to own your first home, and understanding the wide range of homes being offered, identifying the ways you can take to acquire your first home will ease your home ownership journey. Financial planning, home financing pre-qualification, and research are important factors to consider when acquiring your first home. It is prudent to set aside some funds for savings and emergencies before embarking on investments of any kind.

Before you seek a housing loan, it is also wise to have a credit facility, such as a credit card, which will allow financial institutions to take note of your credit record. Having a home financing pre-qualification is also helpful, as you can identify how much you can borrow from a bank, based on your credit record, the utilisation of your credit facilities, and your income level.



Finally, gain more information on a property development by doing your own research. Property development brochures, property reviews from reputed property portals, visits to property exhibitions (both physical and virtual), and property development showrooms are sources of reliable information on property developments. By visiting a property development showroom and speaking to a property developer representative, you can get more details about a development and consider the suitability of the development for your needs.

In conclusion, taking a step-by-step approach will make the journey of owning your first home easier. When you identify your own reasons for home ownership, the various available residential property offerings, and the ways you can take to acquire your first home, the way towards home ownership becomes clearer. Have a good journey in acquiring your first home!

Mak Academy principal Mak Kum Shi is a master English linguistics trainer with several years of experience in property journalism.

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