You know buying a home is your long-term biggest investment. Making a mistake over the purchase of a house may be difficult to correct because of all the cost involved and the legal binds once the deal (and papers) are signed.
Here are some tips, offered by the many people we encountered:
Do not rush into a purchase.
Buying properties requires careful consideration, with many variables to consider. Even if you think you found the perfect property, find all information you can get before deciding. This includes everything such as property value, access roads, public transportation, schools (if you have children), security public parks and other public infrastructure. Think 5 years down the road, if what the developers say tally with what you see. What is available will affect the value of your house in the future. If you are buying a second-hand property, a valuers report is worth investing for.
Do not get too excited.
Relax, and think clearly. The design of the house is not the main criteria for deciding to purchase a house. Insist on a full inspection and look at the fine details of the workmanship in the house; doors, windows, wiring, plumbing, faucet, woodwork (termites, water damages), renovation quality and roofing. All this will add up if you have to fix them later.
Do not make a lone decision.
Ask people about your intended purchase. Decide after talking with family and friends; wife, parents, friends, colleagues living in the area, and real-estate agents. Or go the distance by checking out property reports!.
Do not underestimate your credit score.
Before embarking on a house hunt, falling in love and putting down a down-payment for the house, re-evaluate your credit history. If there is a lax in some of your other credit payments (first house, credit card or car loan), maybe you need to ensure the payments are up-to-date before proceeding. Or, test out your “economic viability” by applying at a bank to see if you get approved.
Do not over-borrow.
As much as possible, try to borrow a little as possible from banks, putting up as much down payment as possible. Or have a combination on the housing loan by taking a small overdraft portion to cover future expenses (for fixing damages or renovation). Decide on how much you can afford and be sure your house is in the price range.
Do not rush signing with a bank.
Decide on the best mortgage package, and ensure the best deals by shopping around. Be careful of special offers as most of the time, there are catches to the offers. Consider and weigh them carefully. Understand the benefits of each package and choose the right one for you. Remember that banks are businesses and they will protect their interest as far as possible.
Do not become buddies with the home seller.
This opens up all kinds of emotional can of worms. Business is business, and the seller’s (whether real-estate agent or an individual seller) main interest is to make the sale. The tactics used will range from friendly to sympathy to manipulative. Do not show that you love a certain feature of the house, but highlight its weaknesses. Be firm, and demand all your wants from the seller. Negotiate as far as possible.
Do not ignore your neighbours.
They are you support system. Talk to your future neighbours for some insight of the neigbourhood, but more importantly, the neighbour themselves. They can help you in difficult times but if you cannot get along with the neighbours, future disagreements may occur, unless you are the loner, forgiving type.
Do not regret your decision to purchase, once you made it.
Just like going shopping, never regret when the shirt you just bought is on sale the next week. Move forward and make the purchase worthwhile by giving your property the attention it deserves.
Do not agree on anything without black and white.
Whatever you agree with the seller, write it down somewhere, or better still, have a written signed agreement. A housing transaction takes a long time to complete, and things get forgotten unless it’s written down. Check all the fine prints and understand them.
Understand that no house is 100% perfect, but by making as little mistakes as possible, your property will seem as the best value for your money, and most importantly your family and future purchasers of your house (if you decide to sell).