Wednesday, June 4, 2014
After years of renting, it's natural to want to make the leap and actually invest in a home to call your own. However, don't let the excitement cloud your judgment. Make sure you do a proper background check on the developer, the estate agent and the property – and make sure to ask the right questions.
A lot of money, thought and effort go into owning your own place, so make sure you start off on the right foot. Here’s what to ask your real estate agent…
Can I see the relevant documents?
The property should at least have a License to Sell. You can check with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board on their website. They keep a list of registered projects on the Online Queries website, along with special notes such as license suspension or cease and desist orders.
Are utilities a part of the payment?
When they've proven to be a trustworthy developer, start talking payments. Ask for details on what exactly will be paid or how much of your money will be allotted for things such as land, construction, and taxes. Ask if you can have a detailed breakdown to go with it.
Don't forget to ask about utilities and miscellaneous fees, and if they're a part of or separate from your monthly payments.
What is the policy on owners who break their leases?
Just to be clear, ask what the developer policy is for people who pull out their investments whether it's voluntary or due to unforeseen circumstances. It doesn't hurt to prepare for or at least be aware of the consequences of breaking the contract. Some contracts may even have a clause for certain situations that will allow you to get your money back.
Can I have an official receipt?
A simple but often overlooked request. Always ask for an official receipt, and file it away diligently - you never know when you might need it.