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Steps to Buying a Home

Follow these 6 steps to complete your home purchase journey

Step 6: Complete the home-buying process

Sign the Formal Sale and Purchase Agreement

Once you have signed the Formal Sale and Purchase Agreement, you will need to make the following payments via your solicitor:

  • Full deposit (Together with the initial deposit paid, the total deposit will normally equal to 10% of the property price)
  • Government stamp duty


Mortgage application is approved
  1. Your solicitor will arrange for the signing of the Assignment Deed and Legal Charge
  2. Property inspection is recommended to better understand the condition of the property


Draw down your mortgage
  1. Your solicitor will notify us to disburse the mortgage loan amount to the seller via their solicitor
  2. Once the transaction is completed, you will receive the keys to your new property and the home-buying process is completed.
Consider other related value-added services you may need
  • Home BonusPack: A one-stop mortgage solution, packaging your mortgage with banking plans and credit cards.

Learn more »

Mortgage Tips

What do you need to note when inspecting your property? Here are some smart tips to help you along.

Having purchased a property, many owners find themselves plagued by problems such as cracks in marble surfaces, whether bathroom floors should be sloped, and water leaks. Mr. Tsim Chai-Nam, a renowned Hong Kong flat inspector, offers some handy tips on these topics.

  • More than 20 years’ inspection experience. Inspected over 7,000 homes.
  • Inspection expert for the "House-owners New Experience" segment of Hong Kong Cable TV’s Housing Market programme
  • Published around 20 articles in the Hong Kong Economic Times, and a series of reference books on flat inspection

Mr. Tsim Chai-Nam
Renowned Hong Kong flat inspector
Shares his flat inspection know-how.

The greatest difficulty when inspecting natural stone is to distinguish whether a crack is natural or artificial. Here are some tips for checking cracks:

  • The physical properties of polished stone should be such that reflections are shown clearly on the finished glossy surfaces;
  • Natural cracks are consistent with the patterns of the stone, but artificial ones are not;
  • Natural cracks feel smoother than artificial ones.

Unlike artificial stone, natural stone is often inconsistent in colour, and may be handled as follows:

  • Observed from a distance of 1500mm under normal indoor lighting, if there is no significant difference in colour, then it can be considered as acceptable quality.
  • Very small defects in marble, whether naturally occurring or man-made, can be repaired on site.

Our responsibility to preserve Earth’s limited resources should be kept in mind. If every stone with a tiny defect was replaced, we could not meet the demand even if we had hundreds more quarries; not to mention the big increases in carbon emissions and in the consumption of precious water resources that would follow.

Disputes often arise between flat owners and developers over the levelling of kitchen and toilet floors. In recent years, many flat owners have favoured level flooring in their kitchens and toilets. Several reasons for this have been put forward. Some say that it resembles hotel-style designs. Some believe that marble is unsuitable for a sloping floor. And some believe that the upkeep of level floors is easier.

Among the multitude of opinions, I find the comments of two overseas professionals most convincing. They note that toilets and kitchens are prone to serious water damage, which can affect the durability of the structure and the decoration. They suggest that a level floor design, using easy to clean materials, is a suitable option for reducing the risk of water damage.

In recent years, there have been fewer cases of toilet and kitchen ceiling leaks in new flats as a result of this style of design.

Hollow plastering should be checked by tapping on the ceiling or wall with a pen or rubber mallet. The acceptable size of a hollow is shown in the following diagram.

Even when individual hollows do not exceed 300mm x 300mm, if the maximum length and width of the hollows equate to 300mm, the hollows should be repaired as a larger 300mm x 300mm hollow.

Hollows that are less than 300mm can be ignored.
Hollows that are less than 300mm can be ignored.  

Hollows that are less than 300mm can be ignored.
Hollows that are less than 300mm can be ignored.  

Hollows of less than 100mm can be ignored.
Hollows of less than 500mm can be ignored, but hollows larger than 500mm must be repaired.  

Wall or floor tiles should be checked by tapping them with a pen or rubber mallet. The guidelines for hollows behind tiles are as follows:

There should not be more than 3 separate hollows. Any continuous hollow should not exceed 10% of the tile area. If there is more than one continuous hollow area, the total hollow area should be calculated; it should not exceed 10% of the total tile area.
For tiles less than 300mm X 300mm in size   For tiles less than 300mm X 300mm in size  
There should not be more than 5 separate hollows. Any continuous hollow should not exceed 10% of the tile area. If there is more than one continuous hollow area, the total hollow area should be calculated; it should not exceed 10% of the total tile area.
For tiles less than 300mm X 300mm in size   For tiles less than 300mm X 300mm in size  

Property owners hate finding signs of water leakage in their flats. Leaks usually occur in or near windows, exterior walls, ceilings, the water supply system, drainage pipes, and areas near air conditioners. Check carefully for the following when taking possession of a property:

  • water stains and crystallisation on structural ceilings in the kitchen and toilet;
  • water stains around windows, or damaged, missing or bubbly glass silicon sealant and waterproof mastic on the outside of windows;
  • water stains or leaks in and around the water supply and drainage systems;
  • water stains on air conditioners, proper insulation of coolant pipes, and gaps between coolant pipes and exterior walls
  • water stains on any exterior walls

Other areas should also be checked carefully for signs of water damage.

Too much vibration can harm the structure of a property. According to British Standard BS8110, which is applicable in Hong Kong, structures should not be subject to excessive vibrations and shocks:

Source: British Standard BS8110/BS8110 Structural Use of Concrete

During renovations, property owners should follow these rules of thumb:

  • Do not use overly large power tools;
  • Do not drill overly deep holes;
  • Do not use chisels or drill rods that are not sharp enough;
  • Do not drill holes that damage the main structures or fireproof structures;
  • Engage a professional surveyor to survey your property if necessary; and
  • Make sure no cracks are evident around drilled holes.

After carrying out a property inspection, a repair order needs to be prepared. An ideal repair order should include the following:

  • a brief itemized description of defects;
  • the property owner’s views which can easily be understood by contractors;
  • an accurate statement of any problems found;
  • a clear description of the locations of any defects;
  • a list of the type(s) of repair work required; and
  • a site notice consistent with the repair order, to be displayed securely in the flat.
  • the repair order should be drafted without using offensive, abusive or abstract words, and
  • personal opinions should be kept to a minimum, so that contractors have the scope to exercise their professional judgement.

Download Flat Inspection Checklist

The above information and tips are for general reference only. There may be differences in individual cases. Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited ("The Bank") assumes no liability in conjunction with the use of the above information, which is subject to change without further notice.


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