Buying a house can be frustrating and stressful,
especially for the first time buyers. There are so many things to be taken care
of. If you just make a purchase based just on the aesthetics of the house, you
will surely be regretting it later.
As you are checking multiple properties, keeping up with all the details is not easy. You need to set your priorities set. House hunting is not something you do on intuition. You need to thoughtfully create a plan according to your budget and needs. Real Estate is a costly investment and hence you should never overlook the planning part of your responsibility.
So fasten your seat belts and be ready to receive
the most practical 15 House Hunting tips to make your house buying process
#1. Decide Between
Your Wants and Needs
Before even beginning the process of house
hunting, sit down and list out all the priorities. Separate your wants from
needs. This is very essential since everyone ‘wants’ a big house with a green
lawn, but not everyone can afford it.
Once you start your house hunting process, it is
easy to get swayed by aesthetics and luxurious amenities. Having drilled down
your needs to specific details will keep you floating below the budget.
#2. Make a Comparison Chart
After you have seen dozens of properties, it becomes very difficult to keep track of all the facilities, amenities, pros and cons. So I advise you to prepare a comparison chart where you fill out the pros and cons of each property you visit. This way at the end of your house hunting, you can sit down and compare all the properties, helping you in your decision-making process.
#3. Physically Visit all the Properties
I know this is the internet age, but the photos and videos captured can be misleading. Basing your decision based on online inspection will never yield any fruitful result. Mentally note down how you feel about the property. Visit every corner of the house and examine if there is any structural damage. It’s difficult in the beginning but once you get used to it, you will know where exactly to look for. Accompany someone who already has better experience in house hunting.
Which brings me to my next tip.
#4. Hire a Real Estate Agent
With all the facilities available on the
internet, you may feel there is no need for a real estate agent to buy a home.
But you couldn't be more wrong. Nearly all the deals that happen these days are
aided by a real estate agent. A real estate agent helps you figure out what
kind of home you can expect in your price range, negotiating the right price,
inspecting your home and suggesting better properties if necessary.
#5. Pin Down Your Location
Your location determines a large part of your
budget, where your children go to school, the mode of your transport and
overall quality of your social life. Consider the type of area you would
prefer - a gated community, a cozy area
surrounded by nature, surrounded by social hub etc. Very few houses will fulfill
all your wishes, so it’s better to know your needs beforehand.
#6. Know Your
With a new house, every piece of furniture can
bring you problems and can add thousands of rupees to your budget - something
which you need to avoid during your first home buying process. Have a good look
at your current furniture and decide what to include in your new abode and what
things to exclude.
#7. Start Saving Your Down Payment Early
It is common to put down 20% to 30% of the amount
down, but today many sellers permit much less. Nevertheless, you should start
saving the down payments as early as you can. Putting down less than 20% of
down payment means you will be paying high mortgage cost. Play around with your
calculator decide what amount can you get ready for a down-payment. As soon as
you do that, start making plans on how to save money and start using an app to
track your progress.
#8. Sketch a Basic
You don’t need to be a world-class artist or an architecture graduate to draw a basic floor plan. Just draw some basic lines starting from the front door, windows, walls and stairways of each property you visit. This little rough sketches will prove beneficial in case you want to revisit the property. Vaastu shastra is an important factor while buying a home for many people. If you follow these philosophies, sketching a basic floor plan and conducting a basic research for vaastu shastra tips will help you eliminate the properties which do not comply with the vaastu norms.
#9. Take Photos and Videos
It gets confusing to keep track of all the
amenities when you visit multiple homes each day. Make sure you draw a basic
floor plan and take photos for reference. It gives you a full picture of how
your house looks like. You can also share these photos with your family and
friends and ask their opinion. Just make sure you have the permission of the
landlord before you click any pictures.
#10. Focus on Structure Over Style
Instead of worrying about appearance, you should
focus more on the functionality and the structure of your house. Passing on a
home just because it’s paint or carpet doesn't look good is a bad idea. Avoid
looking at temporary things which can be easily fixed.
the alignment of the floor, window panes, how old is the roof? the electric
connections plumbing systems etc. This is where your research comes handy.
narrow down your search list by choosing only the best real estate developers of the city. They have a standardized design
patterns and less chances of finding any structural damages.
#11. Calculate the Approximate Resale Value
The resale value doesn't seem of much importance
when moving in, but I can bet that somewhere in the future it will. People
typically live in the same house for around 10 years before they finally move
someplace else. Keep that in mind while buying your new home.
Research the surrounding area and find whether
there is an upcoming project or development planned for the area. Some
development programmes like transportation line, water line could raise your
property value. Others like highway running through the properties could
decrease the value of residential properties.
#12. Get Your Mortgage Pre-approved
House hunting is exciting, but it would be a disappointment if you are not financially qualified. Start your home hunting by getting your loan pre-approved. Preapproval will give you an idea of how much your bank can loan you and it also shows the seller that you are ready to commit.
#13. Check for Storage Space
Proper storage space is an important point in how
your home will look when you are living in it. Note the number and size of the
cupboards and basement. If you feel the storage space is not adequate, you need
to plan for storing your additional home appliances.
#14. Understand the Importance of House Inspection
After your offer is accepted, you need to inspect
your home for any possible damages and repairs. This provides you with an opportunity
to look at your home inside and out. Take the help of a reputed inspector and
back off if the seller doesn't promise any damage repairs.
#15 Buy an Adequate Home Insurance
Choose insurance who can provide you with an
adequate amount of money to restart your house if it gets damaged in an
unfortunate accident. Make sure your insurance policy covers important
situations like fire, flood or any other disaster.
House Hunting is both thrilling and frustrating. If done right, you get to live in a beautiful home with a secured investment. Make sure you go through these tips and make necessary plans anytime you are buying a house.