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Your Ultimate Checklist for Buying Your First Apartment

Buying your first apartment is a significant milestone in life. It marks the beginning of a new chapter, one that is full of excitement, independence, and responsibility. However, the process of finding and purchasing your first apartment can be overwhelming, especially if you are not sure where to start.

There are many factors to consider, including location, budget, size, amenities, and more. To help you navigate this exciting yet complex process, we have put together the ultimate checklist for buying your first apartment.

This comprehensive guide by will take you step-by-step through the entire process with an example of the Tembusu Grand’s project, from setting a budget and choosing a location to negotiating the price and closing the deal. By the end of this post, you will have everything you need to confidently and successfully purchase your first apartment.

1. Determine Your Budget

Before you start searching for your dream apartment, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help you narrow down your search and ensure that you only look at apartments that are within your price range.

To determine your budget, you should consider your income, expenses, and any debts you may have. If you’re buying the apartment with a partner or spouse, it’s important to sit down together and determine your joint budget.

tembusu grand budget

You should also consider any additional costs associated with buying an apartment, such as closing costs, property taxes, and home insurance. These costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to factor them into your budget.

Once you have a clear understanding of your budget, you can start looking for apartments that fall within your price range. This will help you avoid falling in love with an apartment that’s out of your budget and ensure that you make a financially sound decision.

2. Calculate Your Down Payment

One of the most important aspects of buying your first apartment is calculating your down payment. For many first-time buyers, this can be a daunting task, but it is critical to ensure that you have enough money saved up to make a substantial down payment on your apartment.

A down payment is the amount of money you pay upfront when buying a property. Typically, the higher your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. It’s recommended that you aim to save at least 20% of the purchase price of your apartment for a down payment. This can seem like a lot, but it is important to remember that the more you can put down, the better off you will be in the long run. It can also help you secure a better interest rate on your mortgage, which can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Remember, there are many other costs involved in buying an apartment, such as closing costs, moving expenses, and potential renovations. So, don’t forget to factor these additional expenses into your budget as well. By taking the time to carefully calculate your down payment and budget for all associated costs, you can ensure that you are fully prepared to take the exciting step of buying your first apartment.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before you start your search for the perfect apartment, it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you understand what you can afford and will also show sellers that you are a serious buyer.

A pre-approval involves providing your financial information to a lender who will then calculate how much they are willing to lend you based on factors such as your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio.

Having a pre-approval in hand also helps you stand out in a competitive market. If there are multiple offers on a property, a seller is more likely to choose a buyer who has been pre-approved for a mortgage.

It’s important to note that a pre-approval is different from a pre-qualification. A pre-qualification is a less formal process that gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow based on self-reported information. A pre-approval involves a more thorough analysis of your finances and is a stronger indication of your ability to secure a mortgage.

Overall, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in the home-buying process and can save you time and stress in the long run.

4. Choose the Right Location

Choosing the right location for your first apartment is essential. You need to consider factors like safety, accessibility, and amenities. The location you choose will also impact your daily routine, commute, and overall quality of life.

Begin by researching the areas that interest you. Check the crime rate, proximity to public transportation, walkability, and availability of essential services like grocery stores, hospitals, and pharmacies. You will also want to consider the cost of living in the area, as this will impact your budget.

where is tembusu grand

Tembusu Grand Condo locates right at the heart of Singapore!

Think about your lifestyle and what you enjoy doing. If you love being in the center of the action, a bustling city center might be the perfect fit for you. If you prefer a quieter pace of life, consider a suburban or rural area. This will also impact the types of amenities available to you, such as parks, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Lastly, consider the future resale value of the apartment. Even if you plan to live in the apartment for the foreseeable future, it’s wise to think long-term. Choosing a location in a desirable area with good schools, low crime rates, and high property values will ensure that if you decide to sell in the future, you can get a healthy return on your investment.

5. Consider the Size of the Apartment

When considering buying your first apartment, size is an important factor to take into account. The size of the apartment will determine how comfortable you will be living in it and how much space you will have to move around. It is important to consider your lifestyle and how much space you will need. For example, if you work from home or have a lot of hobbies that require space, you may need a larger apartment.

On the other hand, if you are single or a couple with no children, a smaller apartment may be more suitable for you. A smaller apartment can also be more affordable and easier to maintain, which is ideal if you are buying your first apartment on a budget.

Another important factor to consider when it comes to size is the layout of the apartment. A well-designed small apartment can feel spacious and be just as comfortable as a larger one. Consider the layout and whether it will work for your needs, such as having enough storage space and a functional kitchen and bathroom.

Ultimately, the size of the apartment should match your needs and lifestyle. Take the time to think about your requirements and what will work best for you before making a purchase.

For instance, Tembusu Grand has 7 different apartment types and sizes:

6. Decide on the Type of Apartment

When you’re buying your first apartment, one of the most important things to consider is the type of apartment that suits your lifestyle and needs. There are many types of apartments to choose from, such as studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or even larger apartments if you have a bigger family.

Studio apartments are ideal for single people or couples who want a compact living space with little maintenance required. If you plan to work from home or spend a lot of time indoors, then a one-bedroom apartment may be more suitable for you.

Two-bedroom apartments are great for small families or roommates who need more space and privacy. Larger apartments come with more bedrooms and living spaces, which are perfect for larger families or people who want more space to entertain guests.

buy tembusu grand condo

The type of apartment you choose will also depend on other factors such as location, budget, and amenities. For instance, if you want to live in a trendy neighborhood with access to public transportation, then a smaller apartment may be more affordable and practical.

If you have a larger budget and want to live in a luxury building with amenities such as a gym, rooftop pool, or concierge services, then you may want to consider a larger apartment or a luxury building.

Ultimately, the type of apartment you choose will depend on your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. It’s important to weigh your options carefully and consider all the factors that are important to you before making a decision.

7. Look for Amenities

When looking for your first apartment, you should always consider what amenities the building or complex offers. Amenities are the extras that can make your living experience more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable. Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, the amenities that you prioritize may differ.

Some common amenities to consider are parking spaces, laundry facilities, fitness centers, swimming pools, outdoor spaces, and storage units. While having all the amenities that you want may come with an additional cost, having access to them can save you money and time in the long run. For instance, if you don’t have a car, having access to a parking space will prevent you from having to pay for expensive street parking or parking garages. Similarly, having a fitness center and a pool on-site can save you the money you would spend on a gym membership.

tembusu grand 2

However, keep in mind that having access to more amenities can also come with more responsibilities. For example, a swimming pool may require more maintenance, and having an on-site gym may require you to keep your workout clothes and equipment in your apartment. So, make sure to factor in the extra responsibilities and costs that come with the amenities that you want.

Overall, amenities are an important factor to consider when buying your first apartment. They can make your living experience more comfortable and convenient, and can potentially save you money in the long run.

8. Assess the Building’s Condition

When buying your first apartment, it is important to assess the building’s condition. This is because the building’s condition affects not only your comfort but also the value of your investment. A building in poor condition may require frequent repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming. Additionally, a building in poor condition may have a negative impact on your quality of life, with issues such as poor insulation, leaky roofs, and faulty plumbing causing discomfort and inconvenience.

tembusu grand 6

To assess the building’s condition, start by conducting a thorough inspection of the common areas, such as the lobby, hallways, stairwells, and elevators. Look for signs of damage, such as cracks in the walls or floor, water damage, or signs of wear and tear. If you notice any issues, ask the building’s management or the seller if they are aware of the problem and if any repairs are planned.

You should also have a professional inspection done of the apartment itself. A professional inspector can identify any issues with the apartment, such as plumbing or electrical problems, that may not be easily visible. Additionally, a professional inspector can assess the building’s overall condition, including the roof and foundation, which can help you make an informed decision about your investment.

Overall, assessing the building’s condition is an important step in buying your first apartment. By taking the time to thoroughly inspect the building, you can ensure that you are making a wise investment and that you will be comfortable in your new home.

9. Check the Homeowner’s Association

When buying your first apartment, it’s important to check the Homeowner’s Association (HOA). It is a group of homeowners who manage shared amenities and maintain the community. This association can help ensure the safety of the community and the value of your investment.

Before you buy your apartment, investigate the HOA’s fees, rules, and regulations. These can vary greatly and may include everything from landscaping and trash removal to community amenities, such as a swimming pool or gym. You’ll want to be aware of any restrictions on things like pets, noise levels, or parking.

You should also review the HOA’s financial statements and budget to ensure that they have a solid financial foundation. Additionally, you can request to see the minutes from their meetings to get an idea of how they operate and if there are any ongoing issues or concerns.

Remember, the HOA can play a big role in your overall satisfaction and enjoyment of your new home. So, make sure you do your due diligence and research the association thoroughly before making your purchase.

10. Read and Understand the Contract

Reading and understanding the contract is one of the most important things you can do when buying your first apartment. The contract will outline all the details of the sale, including the purchase price, payment terms, closing costs, and any contingencies or conditions that need to be met before the sale can be completed. It’s important to read the contract carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Some key things to look for in the contract include the closing date, which is the date by which the sale must be completed, and any contingencies that need to be met before the sale can be finalized. These contingencies may include things like the completion of a home inspection or the buyer obtaining financing. The contract should also outline the responsibilities of both the buyer and the seller, including any repairs or renovations that need to be made before the sale can be completed.

tembusu grand contract

It’s also a good idea to have a real estate attorney review the contract before you sign it. A real estate attorney can help you understand the legal terms and conditions of the contract and ensure that your rights are protected. Taking the time to read and understand the contract can help ensure a smooth and successful purchase of your first apartment.

11. Plan Your Move-In

Planning your move-in is the exciting last step of buying your first apartment. Before you start packing, it’s important to create a checklist to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.

First, determine your move-in date and hire a reputable moving company in advance. Make sure to request quotes from multiple companies to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. Don’t forget to ask about their insurance policies and the types of services they offer, such as packing and unpacking.

Next, make a list of items that you’ll need for your new apartment. This includes furniture, appliances, kitchenware, and other household items. Prioritize the essentials and consider buying the non-essentials later as you settle in.

Before you move in, make sure to measure the dimensions of each room and make a floor plan. This will help you determine the best layout for your furniture and ensure that everything fits properly. If you’re planning to paint or make any renovations, schedule them in advance so that they’re completed before move-in day.

Finally, don’t forget to update your address and transfer your utilities, internet, and cable services to your new apartment. This can usually be done online or over the phone with your service providers.

By following this checklist, you’ll be well-prepared for a smooth and stress-free move into your first apartment.

12. Prepare for the Closing Costs

When buying your first apartment, it’s important to not only consider the cost of the apartment itself but also the closing costs. These are the fees associated with finalizing the purchase of the apartment and can add up to a significant amount. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the closing costs before closing the deal.

Some of the common closing costs include:

1. Loan fees: This includes origination fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, and application fees.

2. Title fees: This includes title insurance, title search fees, and title examination fees.

3. Attorney fees: You may need to hire an attorney to review the legal documents associated with the purchase.

4. Property taxes: You may need to pay a portion of the property taxes at closing.

5. Homeowner’s insurance: You may need to pay a portion of the homeowner’s insurance premium at closing.

It’s important to budget for these closing costs and be prepared to pay them at closing. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to cover some of these costs, but it’s not a guarantee. Therefore, it’s always best to have enough funds set aside to cover these expenses. Being prepared for the closing costs will ensure a smooth and stress-free closing process.

13. Hire a Real Estate Agent

Buying your first apartment can be quite an overwhelming task, especially if you are navigating the real estate market for the first time. It’s easy to feel lost in the sea of endless options, negotiations, paperwork, and legalities. That’s why hiring a real estate agent can be a wise decision and make the entire process smoother and less stressful.

A good real estate agent can provide valuable insights, guidance, and support throughout the entire process, from searching for potential properties, to negotiating the best deal, to handling all the legal paperwork. An experienced agent can also help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes, and ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring a real estate agent is their knowledge of the local real estate market. They can provide you with up-to-date information on the latest listings, market trends, and prices, which can help you make a more informed decision. They can also help you identify potential issues with the property, such as zoning regulations or structural issues, that you might not be aware of otherwise.

real estate agent

In addition, a good real estate agent can also help you with the negotiation process. They are trained to negotiate on your behalf and can help you get the best price possible for the property, while also ensuring that your interests are protected. They can also help you navigate the legal paperwork and ensure that all the necessary documents are in order before you finalize the deal.

Overall, while buying your first apartment can seem overwhelming, hiring a real estate agent can help you navigate the process with greater ease and confidence. They can provide you with valuable insights, guidance, and support, and ensure that you are getting the best value for your money.

14. Take a Second Look

When you’re looking at apartments, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and envision yourself living in that beautiful space. However, it’s important to take a second look before you make any final decisions.

This means revisiting the apartment at a different time of day, maybe during rush hour, to see if there is any additional noise or traffic. You can also take a closer look at the condition of the apartment, checking for any wear and tear that may have been overlooked during the initial viewing.

It’s also a good idea to take measurements of the rooms and make sure your furniture will fit comfortably. There’s nothing worse than finding out that your couch won’t fit through the doorway or that your bed takes up the entire room.

Finally, take a second look at the location of the apartment. Is it in a convenient location? Is it close to public transportation, grocery stores, and other essential amenities? These are all important factors to consider when deciding on an apartment.

By taking a second look, you can ensure that you’re making an informed decision and that the apartment you choose is truly the right fit for you.

15. Make an Offer

After all the research and viewings, you have finally found the apartment that you want to make your own. It’s time to make an offer!

Before making an offer, you need to have a clear idea of what you can afford and what you are willing to pay. Take into account any repairs or renovations that may be needed as well as any closing costs and fees associated with the purchase. It’s always a good idea to have a real estate attorney review the purchase contract before making an offer too.

When making an offer, be respectful but also be prepared to negotiate. Your initial offer should be below the asking price but not so low that it’s insulting. The seller may counteroffer and the negotiation process may go back and forth a few times before a final agreement is reached.

It’s important to have a pre-approval letter from your lender to show that you are a serious buyer and have the financial means to make the purchase. This can give you an advantage over other potential buyers who may not have their financing in order.

Remember, making an offer is just the beginning of the buying process. There will be inspections, appraisals, and more paperwork to go through before the sale is finalized. Stay organized and communicate regularly with your real estate agent and attorney to ensure a smooth closing.

16. Negotiate the Price

Negotiating the price of your first apartment can be an intimidating task, but it’s a necessary one if you want to get the best deal possible. Before entering into negotiations, it’s important to do your research and know the market value of similar apartments in the area. This will give you a good starting point for your negotiation.

When negotiating, keep in mind that there may be other factors besides the price that you can use to your advantage. For example, if the apartment has been on the market for a while, the seller may be more willing to negotiate on price. If there are any repairs or upgrades that need to be done, you can use that as leverage to negotiate a lower price or ask the seller to take care of the repairs before closing.

It’s also important to be realistic in your negotiations. While it’s great to aim for a lower price, you don’t want to offend the seller or lose out on the apartment altogether. Be respectful and professional in your negotiations, and be open to compromise if it means getting a fair deal.

When you do reach a final agreement on price, make sure to get it in writing and have all parties sign the agreement. This will protect you in case of any disputes or misunderstandings down the road.

Negotiating the price of your first apartment may seem daunting, but with some preparation and a level head, you can get the best deal possible and start enjoying your new home.

17. Close the Deal

Congratulations! You’ve found an apartment that meets all your requirements, and the seller has agreed to your offer. Now it’s time to close the deal and make it official.

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork and documents in order. This includes a copy of the purchase agreement, any amendments or addendums, and a clear title search. It’s also important to review the closing costs, which can include fees for processing the sale, title insurance, and property taxes.

Once all the paperwork is in order, you’ll need to transfer the funds for the purchase. This can be done through wire transfer or a cashier’s check. It’s important to make sure the funds are available before the closing date.

On the day of the closing, you’ll meet with the seller, the seller’s agent, and potentially a title company representative or attorney. You’ll review and sign all the necessary paperwork, and transfer the funds for the purchase. Once everything is signed and the funds have been transferred, the apartment is officially yours!

Closing the deal can be a complex process, so it’s important to work with a trusted real estate agent and attorney. They can guide you through the process and ensure everything is in order for a smooth and successful closing.

18. Move In

You’ve spent weeks or even months of researching, viewing properties, making offers, and closing the deal. Now it’s time to enjoy your new home and make it your own.

Before you move in, there are a few important things to consider. Firstly, make sure you have all the necessary documents and paperwork, such as the lease or ownership documents, insurance, and any warranties or guarantees for appliances or fixtures. You should also change your address with the post office and any relevant organizations, like your bank or employer.

Next, it’s time to plan your move. You can either hire a professional moving company or do it yourself with the help of friends and family. Make sure to label your boxes and keep track of your belongings to avoid any complications or losses during the move.

Once you’ve settled in, take some time to explore your new neighborhood and get to know the area. Check out local restaurants, shops, and parks. Meet your neighbors and get involved in community activities.

Finally, don’t forget to take care of any last-minute details, like setting up utilities, installing window treatments or getting new keys made. And most importantly, enjoy your new home and all the possibilities it holds!

19. Enjoy Your New Home

You’ve done it! You’ve checked off all the boxes on your ultimate checklist for buying your first apartment! Now, it’s time to enjoy your new home.

Moving into a new place can be both exciting and stressful, so take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. Plan a housewarming party to show off your new space to friends and family. Get to know your new neighborhood by exploring local restaurants, shops, and parks.

Tembusu Condominium

Tembusu Condominium Facilities: Dining Room

Make your new apartment feel like home by adding personal touches such as artwork, throw pillows, and plants. This is your chance to create a space that reflects your personality and style.

Don’t forget to also take care of any last-minute tasks such as updating your address, setting up utilities, and forwarding your mail. This will help ensure a smooth transition into your new home.

Remember that homeownership comes with responsibilities, so be sure to keep up with maintenance and repairs to keep your apartment in great condition. With a little effort, you can create a comfortable and inviting space that you’ll be proud to call home. Enjoy!


We hope you found our ultimate checklist for buying your first apartment helpful. Buying your first apartment is a major milestone, but it can also be overwhelming. With our handy checklist, you can be sure that you have covered all the important bases before making the big purchase. Remember, take your time, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We hope you find your dream apartment soon! Good luck and happy house hunting!

In case you are interested to explore Tembusu Grand Condo – a prominent project in the heart of Singapore, do not hesitate to drop us a line at to get your first Tembusu’s apartment. Happy to help!

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