10 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Condo.


Before Buying A Condo guide

It’s obvious that whatever someone wants to invest his wealth in is very sensitive. Many questions emerge, as someone would like to know how helpful a property will be in his/her life.

  • Such questions are: what kind of a property should I buy?
  • What is the standard structure?
  • Who is the developer and how does he/she look like in terms of his/her attitude?

Until your questions are literally answered then you will start the process of transactions in order for you to own a property.

Buying a condominium is not a practice or an exercise done without prior considerations before you decide to invest your wealth.

Try to investigate as well as you can on everything about the property before you make an ultimate decision.

What must you know before you decide to purchase a certain condominium?

first about the developer

  1. The developer

  • You must know who the developer is when seriously looking for a good condominium.
  • Again, you should investigate to know the previous project your developer has been dealing with.
  • How the developer organizes his work, his visions, and his market situation.
  • All these will tell you a lot about the kind of a customer you want to buy from.
  • And it will inform you more about the quality of the condominium you will buy and where you will buy it.

Other factors to consider will be how the building looks like, the construction, design, and sustainability of the house plus other important factors that you should look for.

As an example, there is a developer of marina one residence-it’s a well-known group from the international famous names from the groups of real estate.


  1. How recent is your property?

How recent is your property

This is another question that a buyer should ask when looking for a condominium, once you find out if an estate you are interested in is new or old, you will be aware of what to expect in terms of the structure of the building, furniture in the house and the security condition around the locality.

How recent the real house is matters a lot because the real estate that was not built long ago has got a possibility that it has modern and safer condominium in it.

Also Read: List of Singapore New Launch Condo near MRT

For example, marina one residence is a property that is supposed to be completed in 2017, you will have a no doubt of high expectation that indoors and outdoors areas will provide you with all the facilities you need such as amenities and other important facilities.


  1. How much space do you need in your condominium?

As condominiums don’t always offer enough room as other houses so you should know in advance the size and the number of rooms you want.

Choosing an adequate type of the property is another factor that may result to a better condominium, for instance, if you had one bedroom house, you should be planning to go to a bigger one than you initially expected.

Because as the time passes, your family increases and you may also have a guest whom you can spare your one room.

In marina one residence you will find different types of residential units you need, right from one bedroom up to five bedrooms.so it’s upon you to choose the type of residential house that you want to stay in.


  1. How is the surrounding of your real estate? Does it look like a noisy environment? Or does it look like a polluted area?

what kind of a property should I buy

Check if around the real estate you need to buy a house from is free from noise and pollution because noise will distract you and whichever type of pollution is always dangerous and can degrade your standard of living.

If in any case, your plans are to live in a high-quality estate in Singapore like marina one residence, those houses are of excellent ventilation and they are isolated from anything that may cause noise and pollution.

The entire building is constructed in such a way that it reduces the heat issues, apart from that it’s surrounded by a natural environmental condition that enables shady areas to provide fresh air.

In Singapore about 30 percent of people own more than one residential houses, that’s according to the investigation and research result found by the planners.

While we know very well that it’s a common practice to own more than one residential property, my question is, is it a must? And what’s the procedure of owning more than one residential property?

But something very important is that even before you start thinking of making a purchase of a property, you should remember that purchase of a property is guided by rules and regulation behind it, if you fail to abide by the rules or policy then you may end up realizing that you are not able to purchase your property.

What type of a property are you just about to buy?

In each category and in each subcategory resulting an action to be taken after such category.

Public houses include housing development board of flats, that’s two-roomed house and executive house, design-build and selling scheme, housing and Development Corporation plus executive condominium.

Private houses are the condominium apartments and bungalows.

Now, these are the rules to be followed:

You have to state what you currently own.

Whether you own a private or a public property.


Whatever is required of you in case you have private property or public property, for example, if you initially owned public housing?


Public housing

Public housing

  • You are required to check if you satisfy the minimum occupation period.
  • Confirm that your flat is within the integration policy.
  • Once the above are satisfied, sell your initial property within 6 months to allow a chance for you to own the second flat.

Private housing

Private housing

  • Qualify for one legal flat scheme.
  • You must have one applicant who is 21 years old and above.
  • Choose the ceiling of your choice.
  • Check the status of your property.
  • You must also have money.

Why are you buying a second property

Why are you buying a second property

The reasons for your purchase will be defined depending on some factors that must be considered. After the consideration is when you can buy your second property.

Now the question you should be asking yourself is that, what are you going to do with your second property? Are you looking for investment? Are you buying a house to stay in?

Let’s look at all the factors considered.


  • The location of your property will give you a brief idea of the kind of tenants you are going to attract.
  • If you are a target is for the expats, then try areas like the central business district.
  • If you are targeting students then you should plan to take a step to the west.
  • And if you love those who live in the community then try to go to heartlands.

 The rate at which rent is paid

Since in this is business, you’re using the money to make more money. The rental rate you charge tenants should cover the exceed loan you pay monthly or even that.


Surrounding developments, amenities, transport and network

  • This factors will determine the number of tenants you will have because tents would love to stay somewhere where the transport system is available and easily accessed.
  • Again tenants like where they don’t strain to reach shopping facilities and markets whenever they want to purchase their foods.
  • So even government effort still remains to be a determining factor in terms of where your property is because it’s upon them to build markets, roads and network systems.

Consider the upcoming developments in the surrounding area

You have done research to be aware of the upcoming plans around where you want to purchase your property.

This helps you know whether and how the plans or projects will have any impact on the tenants you will have to rent your houses.


Can you afford to purchase a property?

Can you afford to purchase a property

When buying a house don’t think that it’s exactly the cost of the house that you will incur, there are also other additional charges associated with the transaction process.


The following are the additional charges

1. Additional buyers stamp duty

This additional charge was introduced in December 2011, it was introduced by the Singapore state to cool and control the property buying market.

It was the revised in 2103 to control the demands in property markets.

These are the rates:

A. Singapore citizen

  • You are charged 0 percent when you buy first residential property on rates on or before 5th July 2018, the same percentage applies to a rate of on or after 6th of July, so there is no change in percentage charged.
  • Then you are charged 7 percent when you buy a second residential property on a rate of on or before5th July 2018 but 12percent on a rate of on or after 6th of July 2018, this creates an up change of 5 percent.
  • Another charge of 10 percent when you buy a third or sub-quarter residential property for a rate of on or before 5th of July 2018 but 15 percent charge at a rate of on or after 6th of July 2018, this creates an up change of 5percent.

B. Singapore permanent resident

  • When you purchase the first residential property you are charged 5 percent due at a rate of on or before 5th of July 2018 and the same applies to a rate of on or after 6th of July 2018, so there is no percentage change.
  • When you buy a second residential you are charged dues of 10 percent at a rate of on or before 5th of July 2018 and another charge of 15 percent at a rate of on or after 6th of July 2018, that means there is a change of 5 percent

C. Foreigners and non-individuals

  • For the foreigners, if you want to buy any property you are charged a percentage of 15 at a rate of on or before 5th of July 2018 and a charge of 20 percent at a rate of on or after 6th of July 2018, this implies an increase of 5 percent.
  • For the developers who want to buy any residential property, you are charged 15 percent at a rate of on or before 5th of July 2018 and a charge of 25 percent at a rate of on or after 6th of July of 2018, which implies a change of 10 percent

There is also an additional 5% payment on developers which is not remitted.

2. Minimum down payment

  • When booking a house there is a payment of 5% on one residential property at a loan to value ratio of 75% on first residential property, 45% on second residential property and 35% on third residential property.
  • Cash money to be charged on a period of up to 30 years and a borrower should also be of up to 65 years old of age.


3. Loan to value ratio

According to Singapore revenue authority, people who buy second property the loan limit will be lowered to 45 percent as you are charged 15% for the loan.

And 35% will be given for loans taken for a third residential property as you are charged 15% for the loan given out.


4. Property tax

Can you afford to purchase a property

As you know taxes will be deducted all over anything that you are planning to buy, whether you are planning to buy a second property residential investment.

The tax rate for an occupied house ranges from 0% to 16% effectively from 1st January 2015.

If you are planning to have a second property owned occupied, rates for your first property will be withdrawn for you.


5. Total debt servicing ratio

Total debt servicing ratio is rated at 60%, but in any case, you are planning to take loans for your second property, the rate will be lowered if you already have borrowed a loan for the first property if your existing total debt servicing ratio is high.


There are some critical questions you need to ask your property agent before buying a house.

When you seem to be keen about buying a property try as much as you can to ask the right questions.

You need to ask your property agent some critical information, it’s your duty and right to know everything you would like to know about the property.


  1. For which period has the property been on the market?

For which period has the property been on the market

  • If you feel tempted to buy a house very first only to realize later that you bought a house that has been in the market for only 3 months, that will mean that it’s not familiarized with buyers or the price has been high for a while.
  • When buying a property always try to know in advance if the house will still have a market in the future.
  • A good sale can create a good impact on your finance if you have a plan to buy a second residential property.
  • Sometimes there might be problems with the house you have been planning to buy, the problem might be very expensive to correct.
  • As a potential buyer, you need to have all the information about what you are planning to buy.


  1. Why the owner of the property has decided to put the property on sale?

Why the owner of the property has decided

When you know the history or more information about the property, will help you negotiate on the price value and it will depend on your decision as an individual to make a decision about buying the property.

  • The seller would try by all means to sell his property, by all means, more so if he realizes that there is something funny happened to the initial buyer who left.
  • For example, if the initial owner died in that house you may feel uncomfortable to buy such a house.


  1. How soon can you get to the house?

What to find out is that ‘have the sellers bought another house’? If yes then you know they will be looking for many customers to sell very first. So it’s good to wait until they find their own property.

It can have a great impact on how first you will get inside the house and also on the price rate charged.


  1. Need to see a recent transaction to know what the house is worth?

  • You might want to know the price of a specific house in an estate, but remember it might not be easy to know the difference between the house you are interested in and the one comes immediately next door.
  • Ask the agent to tell you the reason why they think the property you’re interested in buying is sold at such a fixed price.
  • Make sure the house you want to buy is of a fair price as compared to other houses around in the market and insist for you not to overpay.
  • A good agent will provide you with all the information you need in relation to the price index of the house you want to buy.
  • That’s the reason why you must have an expert agent, he/she should be able to let you know if the price of the house you want to buy is over-quoted or it’s normal just like the prices of other houses in the market field.


  1. Is that property having amenities and facility nearby?

Is that property having amenities and facility nearby

  • When you are moving to a property you are not just moving to your house but moving to a whole estate check and see how well the estate suits or rhyme your lifestyle and the lifestyle of your family members.
  • Take your time personally walk around the estate and even in the neighboring estate to know fully how the environment is and appreciate what you will ultimately be living in.


There are also other questions that the buyers fail to know when they go to view a house:

If there’s something you need to know about the house on viewing is that you have full knowledge about the whole property, doesn’t mean that the agent you have been contacting is not honest.

It’s only that there are many guidelines, rules, and regulations, you need to know. Even the buyer may lack the right questions to ask.

  1. The current owner has been living here for how long?

  • Remember in Singapore there is a seller stamp duty (SSD) which tax sellers if you sell within three years, the current owner might have stayed there for 5 years or more.
  • If the seller may want to sell it before or within the same period then I think there must be a good reason for doing that.
  • Another reason that may cause the current owner to leave very fast may be due changing the country, problems within the location, loan payment harassment and even the neighbors who might not be easy to live with.

For example,

There is a developer who had connected kitchen pipe to the same main pipes as the toilets. The constant clogging made the toilet bowls and sinks to block, residents would either remove it by hands or pay someone to fix it.

developer who had connected kitchen pipe

  1. How about the renovation of the house? When it was last renovated?

How about the renovation of the house 

  • If the home is too old of around 20 years or more, renovation must have taken place like 10 years ago.
  • This implies the house will be in good condition even though the whole development system will remain old.
  • Remember to know the reason why renovation in a home was done recently, most developers are never in a hurry to renovate a house before its ready or before they get a customer to buy a house unless there are serious damages of concern.
  • So if you see a new renovation in a house ask why it was recently done.


  1. For how long has the house been there for sale?

  • It’s not common for properties to remain in the market for more than 3 months.
  • In case it has been in the market for more than 2 to 3 month, check the surrounding, how it looks like and start comparing with the price you are told.
  • Because you may find out that the building you viewed has got a too high price as compared to the surrounding properties of the equal value.
  • If the building is well priced, then be careful when checking the property, you will find out that other buyers left the house might have sported what you didn’t see.
  • Such as poor facing, noise pollution from vehicles moving around in the morning. View the house you need in the morning and make the right choice.


  1. How long has the current operating committee been in charge?

  • If the new management committee is there it means the other committee was kicked out, ask the reason why.
  • The reason could be that the other committee was not competent enough, it may mean that the swimming pool might be so dirty like a septic tank or they might be consuming maintenance fee without doing the actual work.
  • It’s so that easy for condominium owners to abandon their management because most of them have good things to do in the spare time.
  • So if the owners made an effort to keep the committee alive, be alert, check around for any damages or the longtime issues that were created by the last committee management, Such as the inability to solve cockroaches’ issues.


  1. What’s being built nearby and when?

cold storage one north

  • Anything near the house that can bring a great impact either negative or positive should be considered.
  • For example, building a house near railways station is believed to be dangerous to the windows, it makes windows crack.
  • Another thing is to consider the impacts of supermarkets, big malls, hawker’s center and sports club built nearby your house, they are always positive things but they can as well bring congestion noise and any type of pollution.
  • There you have to consider again if you really value about peaceful living rather than being near shopping centers.
  • Don’t always be cheated by the outer view, more so if there are some condominium around the same unit.
  • You could see later that your initial view of the building will be blocked through seeing new buildings.
  • For that reason, you need to check with an urban redevelopment authority master plan to know the kind of development they intend to do with an empty land.
  • If your finding shows that the land has got high plot ratio, always the rule is that the higher the number of the ratio and the smaller the plot, the taller the project in that land.
  • If you need to purchase a cheaper land, you should ask yourself a question of “when”.
  • Sometimes developers lower the rental yields in places where there are railway stations and noises.
  • So you can always wait until you hear that a railway is built near a certain building for the price to reduce first.


  1. Check to know what has been replaced, why? And when?

  • If you are planning to buy a house in an old estate, you should be patient enough until you hear that there are something which is replaced.
  • Like it’s good to change the air conditioners to be new, the water heaters, fresh cabinets, and furniture.
  • If you know there are no changes for 20 years, then prepare yourself to negotiate a price to be reduced.
  • You should also check if there are some of the things in the house were replaced, like cabinets, if not replaced you can look for another one.


  1. Get to know the minimum amount the seller will accept.

  • Don’t fear, be straightforward as a buyer and ask the above question immediately, because this question will make you save time and your agent.
  • There could be a possibility that the price for that house is too high, then there is no need for wasting time having a conversation about the same house.
  • This may be the case with houses that have been in the market for many years.


  1.  What about the previous owners, did they have pets, what kind of a pet, and how many?

  • Pets can be of a big damage to a house, you will find them scratching sofa sets. Animal waste like urine fur and fleas can be a very difficult task to eradicate even after who caused them are long gone.
  • This case is true if there used to be a number of pets under the same one roof, you might not believe the narration, but you can confirm from any pet owner to confirm the same for you.
  • I know of some people who still find dogs in their homes 5 years later after dogs had passed on.
  • Don’t think washing animal’s urine is a simple matter, the reality is when the sun sets and it heats at daytime that’s when you will feel a funny aroma of smell all over the room.
  • Even if you have allergies the fur of your own pet can make you sneeze and your eye looks red all night, this will cost you to higher some people for a thorough cleaning service for the whole house.
  • Even the fleas from the previous owner might get into your dog or cat, which will also be costly to eradicate.


  1. Who lives next to the house you are just about to buy?

  • Leaving next door is so critical question to answer because there is a difference between the person stays next to your door as a family member and the person stays next door as a stranger.
  • Check if it bothers you to stay close to strangers, for example, you may not be happy that a house next your door is full of people who always come and go, as students, students are always temporary when they close some other groups of students come in.
  • Living next to a very big family also bring problems, if there is an extended family who will always come every weekend, the door open, switch on TV at a high volume.
  • Neighbors who are not even ashamed of their bad habits.
  • Always make sure you feel comfortable with your neighbors after knowing whom your true neighbors are before you finally decide to move in that house.

When viewing a house don’t only concentrate on the aspects around the whole estate and inside the house, please check next door to know how noise level changes when neighbors are around the plot.

Are there some rules that guide you as a person who has rented or bought a home?

  • Rental terms are as good as the laws that are written in the document.
  • So it’s important for the house owner to give rules and regulations that guide terms used in the rental contract.
  • The rules will provide clear communication between the resident and the house owner to avoid any future conflict.


  1. Name of the tenant and occupation terms.

  • It’s a normal thing to add the name of your tenant to the rental list, but when you are listing, remember to consider which name to write because it can affect how much strong a landlord has to stand in the event that back rent need to be collected.
  • Whoever is listed on the lease remain responsible for rent payment or any damages to the property.
  • If you only list one person and other family members are also there, you will only hold responsible the person you wrote his name on the lease.


  1. Terms of lease

Terms of lease

  • Apart from renting a house for a month to month payment, there will be other agreements for a specific period.
  • Once you are given a lease, it’s upon you to confirm whether the lease period will be automatically renewed and under what terms.
  • Its only landlords who sometimes choose not to renew lease but in the government houses under rent control, they can’t allow a tenant to be removed or thrown away from the house unless there is a reason.


  1. Rent payment, deposit security, and late payment.

  • The lease agreement is not only a matter of telling a tenant how much to be paid each month but also where the money is to be deposited and how to do it.
  • Some landlords keep telling their tenants to go and deposit money to the bank. The due time frame should also be specified.


  1. Maintenance and repairs

Maintenance and repairs

  • Questions of who is supposed to incur the expenses of repairs and maintenance should also be addressed.
  • For examples, if residential has got bedbugs, who should eradicate them, and after how long?
  • It should be noted that if a landlord wants to do repair or maintenance, there should be a written notice to the tenants 24 hours prior to the day.


  1. Who is under restriction in this deal?

  • Restrictions start with the rental agreement, then whether a tenant is allowed to keep pets, limit of the number of vehicles to be parked around landlords compound.
  • Some landlords need renter insurance and keep it updated. Landlords insurance does not cover tenants’ loss.
  • For the landlords who don’t want to make renters insurance mandatory, they should clearly state that tenant will be responsible for any damage incurred.


From all the information you have in this article, I know you are now ready to buy a condominium because all the questions you kept asking yourself without an answer have all been answered.

I wish you well and good luck as you focus to make a wise investment in a real estate.

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