Buying your first home is quite a challenging yet exciting time. It is usually marred with intimidation, confusion and to some extent frustration. A lot of factors need to be considered at once. The many processes and stages involved are most likely to raise some anxiety in you, for the simple reason that you may not want to make an expensive mistake.
Most home buyers have loads and loads of question and in some cases, they do not know where or how to begin.
We have compiled a few tips to help make your first home buying experience less overwhelming and more successful one.
1. Personal goals
To begin with, determine what your long-term goals are and how homeownership fits in with those goals. You could be looking to transform all those “wasted” rent payments into something tangible: equity. Or perhaps you view homeownership as a sign of independence, and you marvel at the idea of being your own landlord or having a place of your own to call home! Likewise buying a home can be an excellent investment. Narrowing down your big-picture homeownership goals will point you in the right direction.
2. Financial Audits
Prior to browsing through numerous listings and arranging to view properties that match your criteria, you need to do an analysis of your finances. Buying a home is not just limited to the purchase alone, but also to running expenses, utility expenses and maintenance expenses.
From this audit you will be able to set a budget of the maximum you wish to spend, and this will prove very useful in the future stages of the purchase journey. Similarly you could explore other sources of funds including loans and mortgages depending on the result of the financial audit.
3. The type of home that best suit your needs.
There are many options to select from when buying a residential property; the traditional single-family home, a duplex, a townhouse, a condominium, a multifamily building with a couple of units. Every of these options has its advantages and disadvantages relative to your homeownership goals.
4. List of Home Featuress
This major purchase should cater to your needs and wants as much as possibly can. Things to consider here include the location, nature of neighbourhood, the size of the house and available amenities in the house.
Scanning real estate listing websites may help you get a sense of the pricing and availability of properties offering the features that are most important to you.
Keep in mind that there are a couple things you can always alter or improve within a home, for instance the kitchen, backyard, bathrooms, and bedrooms. What you cannot change is the location and the property size (including the land size – unless there is room for expansion).
5. Find a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are experts in their job, which is to find a house that suits your needs and as much as possible, your budget. They are mostly familiar with real estate trends, emerging concerns, pricing dynamics and have access to variety of property. They’ll be able to tell you if a home is properly priced, whether the neighbourhood is good, and how quickly properties are selling. Sometimes they may negotiate on your behalf and guide you on the paperwork. While it’s possible that you do all these by yourself, as a first-time homebuyer an agent is almost always a better option.
6. Conduct Due Diligences
It is crucial that a buyer conducts an independent search on the property, request the seller for paperwork pertaining to the property, this includes things like title deeds, conduct a search with the government registers to ascertain that there are no encumbrances on the property, and that you are transacting with the right person (owner or an authorized representative of the owner).
Where possible tour the neighbourhood and interrogate the locals to find out more about the area. In most places, people are more likely to be generous with such information, from which you can make an independent conclusion.
7. Inspect the property
Ignoring a home inspection is the equivalent of walking into your new home blindfolded! A home inspection will help you to discover problems with the home’s structure, fittings, plumbing, roof, and other parts that could be very expensive to repair or not easily noticeable, if any. Although you may have a keen eye, we advise you to seek the assistance of a professional.
Well, it might cost you some money, but once completed, the inspector will provide you a thorough report detailing the condition of the property for you to be in a position to make an educated guess. In some instances, they may even advise you on whether you should proceed with the purchase or not. But hey, the final decision in entirely up to you.
8. Negotiate and Make an offer
If the seller turns down your initial offer, there is always a chance to negotiate to the desired price. Similarly, if the results of a home inspection are not favourable and you have gathered that there will be need for some improvements and changes, you now have a golden window to negotiate or request the seller to have these repaired before you purchase the property. Alternatively, you can also ask for a credit against the sale price and have it fixed yourself.
Regardless, be ready and willing to negotiate with the seller to get the best deal for you—and don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement. There’s always another home in the market.
- Before you begin looking, consider the type of residence that will serve your needs, what you can afford, how much financing you might need & how much can secure, and who will help you conduct your inspection or search.
- Purchasing a home is a process, it involves deciding what you want, finding the property, arranging financing, making an offer, getting a home inspection, and closing on the purchase.
- You have moved in! Now, it’s important to maintain your home, maintain as little operating costs as possibly can and keep saving. Use energy saving equipment and appliances.
At EURO TRUST Real Estate, we pride ourselves with experience in handling property purchasing, financing and all other aspects involved. We are always happy to assist whenever called upon. The team of international real estate experts, ranging from German engineers to local professionals will guide you every step of the way.
Author: John Dominic, Euro Trust Real Estate