Buying your first home

Steps to buying a house and mortgage process, and homebuying costs

The first-time home buyer's guide for a smooth house-buying process

Tips for first-time home buyers: expenses and preparing for a mortgage

Buying your first home is a big life milestone, but going through the home-buying process and preparing for related expenses can be overwhelming for first-time home buyers. A better understanding of the following end-to-end steps to buying a home and mortgage process, and the costs involved in buying a house can surely help you through the journey. The home-buying process begins with evaluating your financial condition and the property you want to buy.

  • Budget reserve: When it comes to home-buying expenses, down payment might always be the first thing that comes to mind. However, down payment is just part of the home-buying costs. Make sure you have prepared a sufficient budget to cover expenses on top of your down payment, including stamp duty, solicitor fees, property agent commission fees, renovation expenses.
  • Stress test: Passing a stress test is the first step in applying for a mortgage loan for your first home. The Hang Seng Affordable Loan Amount Calculator gives you a reference for your maximum affordable mortgage loan amount, and also an initial idea about whether you can pass a stress test based on your monthly household income
  • Property valuation: The mortgage loan amount is deduced from the property transaction price or valuation (whichever is lower), and thus first-time home buyers are advised to conduct a valuation before purchase. Hang Seng e-Valuation offers instant property valuation for your initial reference. Bank valuation is normally based on attributes such as property condition and transaction history. Some properties with substandard conditions may cause down valuation. The formal confirmed valuation will be provided upon mortgage application, with reference to the actual transaction price

Steps to buying a home and the mortgage application process

Once the preliminary evaluations are completed and you've settled on a price for the home, you will be entering the home buying process. It is time to prepare the financial agreements and apply for a mortgage. 

  • Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase and initial deposit: Upon confirming the deal, you will need to sign the Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase and pay the initial deposit, usually 3% - 5% of the property price
  • Appoint a solicitor: After signing the Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase, the solicitor will help you prepare the Sale and Purchase Agreement and Assignment Deed, as well as conducting a land search. Note that your solicitor should be approved by the Bank if you need to apply for mortgage. Feel free to check out Hang Seng's list of approved list of solicitors with our mortgage consultant or through our mortgage enquiry hotline
  • Mortgage application: First-time home buyers may usually look for a mortgage plan with a higher loan ratio, such as the Mortgage Insurance Programme which lets you achieve home-ownership with a lower down payment. The Hang Seng mortgage application process is simple. Just fill in the application and leave us your contact details, and our mortgage consultant will provide a mortgage solution within 24 hours (excluding non-business hours). You can also apply via the Hang Seng Mortgage Centre or any of our Branches with the required supporting documents
  • Fire insurance: Fire insurance protection is required when applying for a mortgage loan. Some mortgage loan plans may offer a discount on the fire insurance application. Remember to check out the latest mortgage loan offers or ask for details
  • Sale and Purchase Agreement and deposit payment: Your appointed solicitor will arrange for the signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement as well as payment of the deposit (normally equals 10% of the property price together with the initial deposit) and government stamp duty. Visit Inland Revenue Department to understand the stamp duty calculation
  • Mortgage approval: Mortgage processing time varies from case to case, depending on the completeness of the submitted application and documents. Upon loan approval, the bank will issue a confirmation letter for your acceptance of the mortgage terms. The solicitor will then arrange for the signing of the Assignment Deed and Mortgage Deed before the deal completion date and subsequently arrange the loan disbursement with the bank

Complete the home buying process and move into your new home

When all the paperwork is done, you can take possession of the home and verify its condition.

  • Receiving the property key: The receipt of your house key marks the completion of the home buying process. You are ready to move into your new home
  • Property inspection: Inspect the house with the property inspector according to the property inspection checklist. Arrange for renovation if needed
  • Flat intake arrangement: As a new home owner, it will be thrilling to move into your new home. Remember to apply for utility services, such as water, electricity and gas. You may also consider applying for home insurance to protect your property from damages

Explore our products

Mortgage services

  • Designated mortgage consultant will follow up from enquires handling to completion of the mortgage application 
  • Free mortgage consultation and initial assessment service by making an online appointment 
Terms and conditions apply.

Home Care Plus Home Insurance

  • Protects against damage to household contents caused by acts of God or other covered accidents
  • Covers loss of rent, temporary accommodation and worldwide personal liability
Terms and Conditions apply. The above general insurance plan is underwritten by QBE General Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited.

Hang Seng "Mortgage Insurance Programme"

  • Mortgage loan amount up to 80% of the purchase price / appraised property’s value (whichever is lower); first time home buyer who fulfils relevant requirements can borrow up to 90%[1]
  • Up to 30 years mortgage loan tenor 
  • Borrow insurance premium[2] along with the mortgage loan in 1 lump sum
Terms and conditions apply.

Fire Insurance Plan

  • Protects your property against loss and damage from fire, lightning strike or thunderbolt or incidental damage
  • Covers property damage by water or otherwise by the Fire Services Department during fire-fighting
  • Coverage includes the building (shell), etc.
Terms and conditions apply. Fire Insurance Plan is underwritten by QBE General Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited.

Footnote

Other points to note

  1. To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow only if you can repay!
  2. Investment involves risks. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. The value of financial instruments, in particular stocks and shares, and any income from such financial instruments, may go down as well as up. For further details including the product features and risks involved, please refer to the "Principal Brochure".
  3. Terms and Conditions apply.

Remark(s)

  1. "Mortgage Insurance Programme” applicants who fulfilled the following criteria are eligible for mortgage loans with maximum 90% loan-to-value ratio (“LTV”) (base on the lower of purchase price / valuation of the property):
    • Not holding any residential properties in Hong Kong at the time of application; and
    • Regular salaried persons;

    While the maximum LTV of this plan is generally 80%. The loan amount is subject to the final approval of Hang Seng Bank Limited (“Hang Seng”).

  2. Successful applicants will be required to pay the mortgage insurance premium via Hang Seng. The Insurer reserves the right to change the above insurance premium rate from time to time without prior notice.

Disclaimer

The information is provided by Hang Seng Bank Limited or its affiliates ("Hang Seng") for general information and reference only and does not constitute nor is it intended to be construed as any professional advice or recommendation. The information provided is based on sources which Hang Seng believes to be reliable but has not been independently verified. Any information provided herein are subject to changes without notice. No guarantee, representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correctness of any general information, projections and/or opinions ("Information") provided on this webpage and the basis upon which any such Information have been made, and no liability or responsibility is accepted by Hang Seng in relation to the use of or reliance on any such Information whatsoever provided on this webpage. Readers must make their own assessment of the relevance, accuracy and adequacy of the information provided on this webpage and make such independent research/investigations as they may consider necessary or appropriate for the purpose of such assessment. Hang Seng does not make any representation or recommendation or assessment as to whether or not any of the information mentioned herein is/are suitable or applicable to any persons and thus shall not be held responsible in this regard.