Monday, December 30, 2013

First-time home buyer’s guide

Acquiring your first property investment, particularly if it’s going to be your official residence, is a huge step. More often than not, first-time home buyers dive in feet first, without any prior knowledge of real estate dos and don’ts. This can make the process of buying a home overwhelming; you might just end up sticking to your rental or worse, saying yes to the first option available. 

Know your housing needs, considering the amount of space you require, the location of your residence, the number of rooms, and of course, whether it will fit your budget.

Explore these tips to make your first-time purchase an easy and practical one. 

Know your financial condition. The first step to the home-buying process is to be honest with yourself on where you are in terms of finances. Can you afford a house at this point in your life? Will you be able to keep up with the payments, maintenance expenses and even unexpected fees? Be realistic with your assessment. Establish a budget you can work with, before you start shopping for houses. 

Shop wisely. Know your housing needs, considering the amount of space you require, the location of your residence, the number of rooms, and of course, whether it will fit your budget. Don’t make rash decisions. Look at a number of different options, and canvass similar houses in the area to get a handle on the price range. 

Get a home loan. Check with reputable banks, and see which loans fit your financial situation and needs. Opt for a financial plan that enables you to shell out a down payment you’re comfortable with and also provides you with a manageable loan structure. 

Ask for advice. Purchasing a house is a serious matter. Don’t be afraid to seek help from your family or friends. Some of them may have experiences in buying a house and can help you in your decision-making and the home-buying process. You may also consult a real estate agent for professional opinions and advice. 

Do a home inspection. Have a professional come in to assess your potential home’s condition, quality and structural integrity. There may be some defects the seller has not disclosed, or you may have missed some areas that need repair. These discoveries will give you leverage on a further negotiation of the price. - Aislinn Kee 


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