Many say, “It’s a great investment”, “Property always goes up”, “It’s a step into adulthood”, “It’s great for the children, and they need a home”. “You have enough savings, now it’s time to invest”. “It’s better than any investment you’ll make”. If you are somewhere in your 30s with a family, it’s likely you have heard at least one of these. There are many reasons to buy a house, some matter, some don’t. Both sides need equal consideration; both are equally important. Buying a house is a huge investment, it is vital to get it right, you need to know factors that are negotiable and those that aren’t. Let’s set the record straight and get to them
5 THINGS THAT DON’T REALLY MATTER WHEN BUYING A HOUSE
Your furniture doesn’t fit
Replacing a sofa is much easier than replacing a house. If you have found a perfect house, don’t let minor things get in a way. Now sure, say your wardrobe or dining table is a family heirloom and has stayed in the family for generations, fine keep it. But if it’s something you picked up at a local store or IKEA and spend a weekend putting it together, the house trumps the furniture. You can always sell it, donate it or better still alter it. A house that is otherwise perfect comes around rarely, and it’s not something you should let go over furniture issues. That should be the least of your worries really!
If the colour of the house doesn’t go with your taste. It should be the least of your worries, now the good news is, three coats of paint, and voila you’ll have the colour of your choice!
The tiles are not right, the windows are too big, the garden is unkempt, the kitchen cabinets are an eyesore. Well, we agree, all these things may be disgruntling, but there is nothing that a little alteration won’t fix. You can always use basic alternations like window panels, tile change, a professional landscaper, different laminate types to fix all of the above-mentioned problems.
Most first time homeowners see the house for what it is and not for what it should be. As long as the house has its fundamentals in place, these smaller details can be overlooked.
The theme is all wrong
Well, the decor may not be to your taste, the owner may be stuck in the 80s, whereas you like your home to be modern and minimalistic. Now the key is to remember when the current owner moves out, so will his stuff. This is a minor blip in the larger scheme. The costs that you should be worried about are the remodelling costs. If they are well within the budget, go for it!
You love some things, some things you don’t.
Now the bathroom may be exactly as you imagined or even better. The garden is something right out of your dreams. Well, all of that is good, but hold your horses. Buying a house is not like buying shoes. It should never be impulsive. Remember, this is just one aspect of the house, what about the others? How much cost are the renovations going to come up to? It should not be more than 50% of what you paid for the house. That is a really bad investment, the ideal would be somewhere around 30% or less.
The proximity to the school, parks, don’t matter to you, as you don’t have/want kids. Same goes for proximity to community centres, public transport. You may have two cars, but the future buyer may not. Think about it from the resale value perspective. These things may not matter to you, but it will for some families, they will be the potential future buyers, so think long term.
Now, 5 THINGS THAT DO MATTER
You have started searching for houses; there are a few steps that you should ensure to yield you a higher purchasing power. One of them is seeing how much mortgage/home loan you are eligible for, with a certified banker of the lender. This step is essential; it will give you an estimate of your financial situation for the years to come. While you are at it, also look for reputed house insurance companies and make a list of things you would need for passing the insurance check. Also availing conveyancing services would be worth your while, a good conveyance lawyer can make the process of passing on the property to your spouse or next in kin less worrisome in case something unfortunate should take place.
You’ve liked the house, it’s perfect. It fits your budget, everything is well. The next step would be to pre-purchase house inspection before you seal the deal. A home inspection will ensure all the fundamentals are in check and it will give you a clearance certificate which will only help with the resale value. Get mold testing, meth testing, and asbestos testing done while getting the house inspected. A qualified inspector will give you an estimated cost of potential repairs and replacements the house will need. Ask the right questions, if you aren’t sure what they are, use these list of questions put together by the National Association of Realtors, this will definitely help you out.
With a good realtor by your side, the home-buying process can get a lot easier. He will be with you every step of the way. Getting a knowledgeable realtor with vast experience behind him is essential. It is important he knows the area you are moving to and is honest and trust-worthy. Here are some tips on how to find the right realtor.
Don’t buy the first thing you see, always compare the price and amenities of different houses and get the price for a few, to survey the options available. Make sure the house you settle for is in a safe neighborhood, is hooked up with a good security system, has window security in place, if you have children – see if it is child-friendly and can be easily child-proofed. What are the amenities close by, the location matters! Will it yield you a good resale value? These are some of the things you should consider before finalizing one. The key thing to remember is scoping out the best house in the neighborhood, a one similar to what you have in mind, and one that is smaller than your expectation and getting the price for all three, this will give you a proper estimate of what your house is worth, what will be the resale value if you buy a smaller house and scale it up; you will have two frameworks for your reference.
LIST THE NON-NEGOTIABLES
While there are some things, where it’s better to find a middle ground. Some things are simply a requirement and can’t be negotiated on. Make a list of things that you absolutely need in the house. Like an extra bedroom, a garage, proximity to public transport, proximity to a hospital, proximity to a school. Evaluate your lifestyle and make a list of things that you can’t absolutely compromise on and go back to it when you make your choice. The whole point of buying a house is that it makes your life better. If compromising on these aspects is going to make your life difficult, it’s not worth the investment.
We hope this list will come in handy in helping you with your house searching journey. If you follow these tips, we are sure you will sail through it without much trouble.