Before you sign on the dotted line...

Before you sign on the dotted line...
Visitors viewing models of new HDB flats

SINGAPORE - The Government's latest property market cooling measures, unveiled in January, were the toughest yet, hitting both the residential and industrial sectors.

But one group emerged unscathed: local first-timers in the market.

The Government said the measures were necessary to prevent prices from "running further ahead of economic fundamentals", hurting housing affordability for Singaporean first-time home buyers.

The measures included raising the additional buyer's stamp duty by between 5 and 7 percentage points across the board, and this was extended to apply to permanent residents buying their first home and Singaporeans investing in their second residential property.

Now that first-time home buyers have a healthy edge, many are perhaps contemplating taking the big step.

But buying a private property can be a lengthy and complicated process, especially for first-timers.

Buyers have to juggle a mortgage, legal processes and stamp duty - and deal with various parties.

The Sunday Times looks at what first-time home buyers should expect before writing that cheque for their new home.

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