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Home purchase and mortgage process

From making an offer on a property to applying for a mortgage – buying your own home is an exciting time. But as a first-time buyer, where do you start?

We’ve put together 8 steps to help you through the process of buying a property and applying for a mortgage:

If you're ready to apply for a mortgage, take a look at our document checklist before you begin.

1. Work out what you can afford

The first step is to estimate how much you could afford to borrow before applying for a mortgage. That way, you’ll have a better idea of the type of property and location you could afford. It may also help you work out how much you’ll need to prepare for the deposit.

You can use our instant mortgage assessment which has a suite of tools to help you obtain your personalised affordability result.

If you’re a first-time home buyer on a budget, you may be able to borrow up to 90% of your home’s purchase price or property valuation. This type of high loan-to-value (LTV) ratio mortgage, like the HSBC HighAdvance Mortgagedoesn’t require a large down payment.

Keep in mind, if you borrow at a high LTV and property prices fall, your home could be worth less than your mortgage (known as negative equity).

Calculate your desired loan amount

2. Apply for mortgage pre-approval

Approval-in-Principle (AIP) can give you a clear idea of how much you could borrow based on your circumstances before you commit to buying a property. You can opt for this service to obtain a loan offer in advance and enjoy peace of mind.

HSBC's Approval-In-Principle (AIP) service offers you these benefits:

  • you can submit a mortgage application without providing a Provisional Agreement for Sale and Purchase (PASP)
  • the mortgage loan approval will be valid for 90 days[@mortgage-approvalprocess]
  • it's a free service offered for a limited time only[@mortgage-aip]

Explore our mortgage loan products to find one that suits your needs.

3. Find a home and make an offer

Search for your favourite properties that are on sale. The HSBC Property Valuation Tool can help you calculate the valuation of a property.

When you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to sign a PASP with the seller and pay an initial deposit. This is usually 3% to 5% of the purchase price. The PASP will specify when you need to make your next deposit. The total down payment will be about 10% of the purchase price.

4. Apply for a mortgage

With mortgage pre-approval

If you have received our AIP loan offer, you need to provide your PASP with the same property address to complete the application. If the drawdown date exceeds 90 days, you’ll need to submit updated document proof and a credit re-assessment is required[@mortgage-offer].

Without mortgage pre-approval

If you did not use the AIP service to secure a mortgage offer in advance, you can submit your mortgage application for formal credit assessment once you’ve signed the PASP.

A mortgage loan application is typically accepted 90 days before you complete your property purchase with the final balance payment. At HSBC, in the following circumstances, we may accept an application with a longer completion time, and an approval result may be obtained well in advance. You’ll have peace of mind securing the mortgage finance well before you need to make your final property purchase payment.

Long completion mortgage service

Property type Accept application from
Second-hand 90 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]
Private first-hand properties[@mortgage-designated] 180 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]
First-hand government housing schemes[@mortgage-schemes] One year before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]

Long completion mortgage service

Property type Second-hand Second-hand
Accept application from 90 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision] 90 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]
Property type Private first-hand properties[@mortgage-designated] Private first-hand properties[@mortgage-designated]
Accept application from 180 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision] 180 days before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]
Property type First-hand government housing schemes[@mortgage-schemes] First-hand government housing schemes[@mortgage-schemes]
Accept application from One year before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision] One year before loan drawdown[@mortgage-finaldecision]

5. Provide the documents stated on the mortgage application documents checklist

You’ve done all the preparations – now it’s time to gather the required documents. Not submitting the paperwork in time can affect your mortgage application.

See our mortgage application checklist to find out what you’ll need.

If you would like to apply for our Deposit-linked Mortgage repayment plan, don't forget to submit the enrolment form with your mortgage application. The plan allows you to designate a savings account to get a preferential interest rate at the same rate as your mortgage plan for your deposit (up to 50% of the outstanding balance on your mortgage).

6. Insure your property

For your protection, you’re required to take out individual fire insurance if the property is not covered by an existing master policy. You can choose your own insurance company, but you might find it more convenient to apply for fire insurance together with your mortgage application.

7. Appoint a solicitor

You will also need to appoint a solicitor who will help you through the legal process, including checking the property title and preparing legal documents.

If you would like the same firm of solicitors to act for both you and HSBC, the firm you have chosen must be agreed by us. Otherwise, they will not be able to act for HSBC as well, and we will need to appoint another firm of solicitors to act for us. 

Keep in mind that if there are 2 different firms of solicitors acting for you and HSBC, you’ll need to bear the legal costs of both firms.

8. Finalise the mortgage application process

Congratulations – you’ve reached the final stage of buying your dream home. There may be a few more things to take care of before you take possession of your property.

Facility offer letter

When your mortgage application is approved, you’ll usually receive a facility offer letter[@mortgage-offer] from your bank. This letter will set out all the loan terms.

You’ll have 2 weeks to accept the loan terms. Remember – if you’re unable to draw down the mortgage loan within the validity period, your application may need to be re-assessed, new supporting documents (such as income proof) may be required, and the loan terms may change according to the prevailing conditions.

Other legal arrangements

Your appointed solicitor will arrange other legal matters to help you complete the property purchase. They’ll arrange with the bank to draw the mortgage loan and pay the outstanding purchase price to the seller. You can then get the keys and the property is yours!

After the loan drawdown

You’ll receive a repayment schedule after the loan drawdown.

Ready to apply for a mortgage?

Our professional Mortgage Specialists will guide you through the whole process to make it easy for you.

You can make an appointment via:

Online appointment booking

Mortgage Hotline (852) 2748 8080

HSBC Online Banking

To borrow or not to borrow? Borrow only if you can repay!

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    Mortgage loan approval is subject to the applicant's personal circumstances and the applicable terms and conditions and policies at the time. Approval is subject to credit assessment and the Bank reserves the right of final decision.


    All information is for reference only. All services are subject to the prevailing terms and conditions and the applicable terms and conditions shall prevail if there are any inconsistencies or discrepancies with the above contents. HSBC is not responsible for any liabilities, costs, damages, or any consequences stemming from reliance on the information provided. Content provided should not be treated as any investment or legal advice or professional advice, and is not solicitation or recommendation of any products or services. HSBC does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this information, and information may be subject to change without prior notice.