Friday, 14 October 2011

Simple steps when buying a house

Once you’ve decided to move on to bigger and better things the challenge becomes finding those illusive greener pastures. But with all the information a buyer has at his fingertips nowadays, where do you start?

Getting all your ducks in a row is the first step on the road to a successful purchase. It empowers you in your decision making and enables your estate agent to advise you more effectively. In a nutshell, you have to decide what it is that you are looking for in a home and how much you can afford to spend getting it.

1. Start with the bigger picture

A gem of a house can be a disappointment if you ignore its location. Your lovely “two story colonial with bay windows” may come with some nasty traffic jams or a crime rate second to none. The neighbourhood can also influence the resale value of your home as houses rarely sell for much more than the going rate in a given neighbourhood. It could even be better to own a shack in a “lush green suburb” than a mansion in a more dubious neighbourhood.
"A gem of a house can be a disappointment if you ignore its location"
Consider the general state of the houses in the neighbourhood and find out about any developments that may be in the pipeline. Do some preliminary detective work. The last thing you want is for a few masked men to kindly remove the entire contents of your home every time you turn your back! Obtain crime statistics from the local police station and decide whether they are acceptable to you. How long will it take you to get to work and how much traffic will you have to brave? The price of petrol is a necessary evil to consider, not mentioning the fact that less time on the road means more time with your family. Location is key!

2. Consider the actual house

At the end of the day you are looking for a house that reflects your lifestyle and one that the whole family can identify with. Consider the finer details; what do you really want?

Make a list and answer at least the following questions:
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms must the house have?
  • How much storage space will you need?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for redecorating and replacing appliances?
  • What can't you live without and to what extent are you willing to compromise?

3. Now get back to basics
How much can you afford to spend? Write down your monthly expenses cent by cent. What black hole is your money disappearing into? Arrange debts and start paying them off, spending as much as you can on those with the highest interest rates. Buying property is not child’s play. Prepare yourself to be challenged in new ways as far as managing finances is concerned. For more information go to Realty-1