Buying a home is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. Flooded with an ever growing selection of websites, estate agents, areas, options and prices, this can be a challenging and stressful process.
Before you set off, you need to know what it is you want! Are you planning for a growing family? Do you want a small and cosy urban-living apartment? Is a garden a must, how many cars will you have? Make a list, check it and stick with it.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when setting off to search for your dream home –
Check your credit record. Know exactly where you stand, what your rating is and how much you will be approved for. You don’t want any surprises or embarrassments once you have set your heart on a home.
Work out your budget and ensure that you will be able to afford the monthly instalments, they are going to keep coming for many, many years. Talk to your bank and get the best interest rate possible, over years, it adds up to a small fortune that can be spent on other things.
Hire the services of a reputable estate agent who operates in the areas you are interested in and one you feel comfortable with. Agents who listen are gold, you want someone who will take a personal interest in your requirements. Knowing the area is paramount, you don’t want to buy in a quiet street only to find that a shopping mall has been planned over the road! You may not be an expert on Sectional Title, Freehold, Title Deeds, Transfer Duties and other legalities, this is where your agent will advise and help.
Set off with your requirement list and a camera. First impressions are the best. If there is something you don’t like it will probably only get worse as time goes by. Take photos of the properties that enchant you so you can mull over them again once you get home. Visit for a second time and take careful note of the things you missed on the first visit. Don’t take pressure while looking, spend time and ask as many questions as possible.
Take special note of the ambiance and mood of the area and explore the nearby streets. If you have small kids you don’t want to be surrounded by elderly retired people. Are there schools, shops and amenities nearby? Perhaps you are looking for a secluded villa with the closest neighbours miles away. Check it all out!
Plan for this process to take time. You may be lucky and find your dream home in a day but realistically this won’t happen. You will need to work at it, spending many days travelling around and searching. Don’t get despondent. When you find that special ivy-covered quaint cottage, stylish modern apartment or massive luxurious mansion, you will know that it is right for you!