If you’re a first-time buyer hoping to get a foot onto the property ladder, buying a house can be a daunting undertaking. While you stand to make a great investment, there is still a lot that can go wrong in that pressure-cooker we call the Real Estate market. Even if you try your utmost to consider all the pros and cons before you commit, when you’re weighing priorities and juggling finances, even the most reasonable buyer’s judgment can quickly become clouded. This home buyers’ checklist will help you ensure you’ve thought of everything before you take the leap.
Can You Realistically Afford This Property?
One big mistake buyers make is embarking on a property search before setting a realistic budget. Crucially, your budget should not be based on the amount of money the bank is prepared to lend you, but the amount of you can reasonably pay back every month, without having to sacrifice other essential expenditures like medical expenses or insurance premiums. While it may seem pedantic to insist on a hard-and-fast upper limit to your budget before you start looking, you’ll be grateful that you did it when you start to see properties that tempt you to overcommit yourself financially. Unless you have studied your finances in the harsh light of day, it is frighteningly easy to agree to a hefty mortgage when you’re infatuated with a particular home. Don’t even allow yourself to start imagining a future in a property that is out of your reach. You won’t be doing yourself any favours by giving yourself what you want. And when you’re setting your budget, don’t just include monthly repayments. You’ll need to include the projected costs of running and maintaining your property, as well as any fees and taxes that your purchase will entail.
Have You Checked Every Nook And Cranny?
If there’s a time and a place to be annoying, house hunting is it. Once you’ve spotted the home of your dreams, don’t let yourself start fantasising about the happy family times you’ll have there until you’ve conducted a thorough inspection of every single aspect of the construction and condition. Ask your property agent questions until you’re blue in the face. Run the shower and feel the water pressure. Tap the walls for hollow sounds. Literally, sniff around for mould. That’s not to say that finding something small is going to be a deal breaker. A leak can be repaired. Pest control can be your best friend if you find a roach or two. As long as you know what you’re in for, and can budget appropriately, structural problems don’t have to stand in the way of your happy family times. So if you’re leaning towards buying, channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and snoop around. And even when you’re reaching peak annoying, consider asking just a few more questions.
Are You Listening To Your Head or Your Heart?
Unfortunately, more often than not, ‘head’ is the right answer to this question. While you might be emotionally attached to a particular property for what might be very powerful reasons, there may be a hundred solid reasons why it would not be a good buy. When it comes time to make this important decision, don’t let yourself turn away from cold hard facts. While buying a home offers plenty of opportunities for daydreaming, now is the time to remove those rose-tinted spectacles and avoid making an emotional decision. If a house isn’t right, it’s not right. Don’t lose heart: another will come along.
Whether you’ve already found a place or are just embarking on your search, ask yourself these questions to ensure that the most exciting choices of your life are also a sound, financial investment.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post. This post has been pre-written.