Buying a property is different from practically any other purchase you make in your life. Usually, the process is pretty cut and dry. You hand over the cash, and, in return, you get the goods and services.
Not so when it comes to property purchases. Here it’s not just a matter of buying something on a whim. You have to go through a process, and you have to have your wits about you.
Here are some of the lessons you need to learn before splurging on a house.
Always Use Professionals
Buying a home is a big decision. Once you have the title deed, you’re responsible for the property. So anything that happens to it is on your dime.
Buyers sometimes want to purchase properties on the cheap. Thus, they avoid using professionals and instead try to carry out things like inspections and deed writing themselves.
Bad idea: buying properties this way is setting you up for a fall. You could wind up handing over the money for a property, only to find that there are serious unseen problems with damp or the foundations.
At the very least, ensure that you pay for a household survey and get a lawyer to draw up all the legal documents. Avoid doing it yourself. You could fall foul of the law.
Never Allow Yourself To Be Pressured
Sometimes you’ll find what seems like the perfect house and believe that you have to go for it right away. The estate agent has told you that other people are interested in it and that it’s going to sell quickly.
What do you do in a situation like this?
Many homebuyers get stuck in a bad thinking pattern, believing that it is the only property that can meet their needs. They instinctively make an offer and put down a deposit, trying to prevent other people from stealing their dream away from them.
In general, tactics like these are a bad idea. While a particular property might seem perfect, it probably isn’t. And what’s more, there are always other similar properties that offer all the same features – and possibly more.
Just handing over whatever money the seller is asking for because you want the property damages your negotiating position. Avoid it where possible.
Know How Much You Can Afford
Knowing how much property you can afford is trickier than you might imagine. The mortgage on the new home might be the same as the rent you’re paying right now. But that doesn’t tell you the full story.
What about property upkeep and maintenance costs? That’ll set you back a few hundred dollars per month on average. Then you have to consider things like taxes, decoration, and buying appliances – something that adds more to your costs.
Thus, before you purchase a property, think carefully about the realistic running expenses. It’s not just the mortgage you pay to the bank – it’s everything else too.
Look For A House That Fits Your Lifestyle
There’s a big difference between classical and contemporary homes, so you need to look for a house that fits your lifestyle. You want something that makes sense for the way that you intend to live in the future.
Try to think ahead if you can. Think about what you’ll want in a decade – not just now. Be realistic about how flexible you need your property to be and whether a family is likely at some point in the future.
Be Picky About Your Agent
Not all agents are the same. Some do an excellent job of getting a great price for your new home – others struggle.
If you can, try to find out how much of a premium the agent buys houses for. You want a professional who can find sellers in the market who are willing to pay less.
Some estate agents are better at this than others. Those who have a reputation for excellence often attract the most exclusive type of buyer and can better sell properties at a discount.
Ideally, you want an agent on referral. People in your local community should know who’s best in your area for representing buyers.
Set A Realistic Timeline
The final step is to set a realistic timeline on what you expect to get done and by when. Remember, even once the seller accepts your offer, it usually takes three or four months before you’re able to move into your new property. There’s a mountain of paperwork, and you might be a part of a large chain of transactions.