The following is a guest post about what you need to know before buying a house by George Dokuchaev, a content writer at Prime Property Group. If you would like to write an article for Money Q&A, please visit our Guest Posting Guidelines page.
12 Things You Should Know Before Buying a House
Buying a home can be complicated. Here are 12 things you need to know before buying a home in today’s market.
- It is not necessary to be a home owner.
You should bear in mind that it is not necessary to become a homeowner, especially if it does not fit in with your lifestyle. Not everyone wants the responsibilities that go with owning a home. You may prefer to rent due to moving around frequently.
- Advice given to you by members of your family does not have to be adhered to.
When you inform your family that you are in the market to buy property, they may all have the advice to give you. While it is not a bad idea to listen to their advice, you should take into account current trends in property markets and do what is right for you.
- Make sure to inspect the property.
If there is a smell of mold, there is probably dampness. Check window frames to make sure they are not rotten. Look for large cracks in the walls which would indicate structural damage. Check the wiring, heating, air conditioning. Make sure the water pressure is good. If necessary get a survey done by a qualified structural engineer.
- Hire experienced professionals.
Use only licensed home inspectors to search out any issues that could later become expensive repairs. Ensure that your lawyer is not also representing the seller to avoid future conflicts.
- Listen to your head and not your heart.
If the property looks good but has serious problems or costly repairs, do not be afraid to walk away. There will be better deals and you want somewhere you will be happy in without having to spend a fortune to fix it up, if possible.
- Negotiation is important.
Negotiate as much as possible, you should feel in control as a buyer. You can use an agent to negotiate on your behalf but you cannot be sure they will push as much as you would. Do not be afraid to employ serious negotiation. You will be glad you did later.
- Do not let the real estate agents put pressure on you.
Real estate agents are eager to make a sale and get their commission. Do not let them put pressure on you to buy a property that you are not sure about. There is absolutely no reason to rush into something you may regret later on. Take your time.
- Consider what you can comfortably afford.
Take time to work out your personal budget on what you can afford to repay, not on the maximum you are permitted to borrow. Do not go over your comfortable limits, you will only suffer later on.
- Do you really want a garden or yard?
While the idea of having a garden or yard sounds wonderful, do not forget that it can be hard work. If you are not used to looking after a garden, you may consider whether you really want to spend all your free time weeding and mowing the lawn. You may not be fit enough to do so and perhaps you cannot afford a gardener to do it for you.
- Buy a property you can afford now.
You may be sure that you will be earning more in the future and exceed your current budget. It is wiser to purchase a property you can afford now and not in the future. Do not forget other expenses, for instance, schools, cars, holidays – stay within your comfort zone. For example, you can find a wide range of prices affected by location, bedrooms, age, and other parameters.
- Choose your estate agent with care.
Find out what experience or references any prospective agent may have. Ask how many buyers they are currently representing. Do not just settle for the first agent you find, meet with several before buying a house and selecting the right one for you.
- Finding your dream home can take time.
Remember that finding the perfect property can take longer than you may think. Give yourself time to search you do not need to have a deadline. If currently renting, make sure you stay on a month-to-month lease, so that you can move out when you choose, without penalty.
George Dokuchaev is a content writer at Prime Property Group, an experienced property developer and real estate agency, offering properties for sale and rental in Cyprus.