Urbanisation has increased the interest in buying a property. Property hunting comes with making many decisions and should not be done in a hurry.
However, finally moving into one’s dream house comes with a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment of being free from the limitations that come with living in a rental apartment.
One cannot err in making adequate research about the area, the structure and the price. Asking the right questions and identifying potential issues about the property would go a long way in making informed decisions.
Asides from this, the ability to afford the preferred house, as well as the payment plan, is a factor that determines the reality of being a homeowner.
Understand your debt-income ratio
Affordability is relative. One needs to understand one’s debt-to-income ratio.
Reyna Gobel of Investopedia stated that the debt-to-income ratio “is used to determine if the borrower can make their payments each month” after all the other debts have been paid. This ensures that the homeowner can spread the payment of the house, after the down payment, for a particular number of months or years as agreed by the realtor or seller.
Finding a real estate Company
What a real and trusted estate agent/firm is to a property buyer is what a lifeguard is to an inexperienced swimmer. Although some people might be hesitant to use a realtor because they believe there will be “additional cost” that comes with their services, one needs to bear in mind that the seller also pays the commission.
Research the neighbourhood
Every neighbourhood has a definite character and what it is known for. Every genuine realtor has such information.
hearing from potential neighbours, other fact-based databases provided by the government detailing the types of criminal activity in the area as well as information from one’s real estate agent/firm could provide direction on what one needed to know about the area.
A personal finance writer with GoBankingRates, Jennifer Calonia, stated, “While the home may align with your aesthetics now, communities change over long periods of time. Traditional neighbourhood development projects may include positive changes that affect your home value (e.g. a recreational park, school, etc.), but they can also bring about unwanted changes to your surroundings.’
The location of one’s potential house further determines the accessibility to one’s place of work, children’s school, grocery store, bank and other to-go places.
Konrad Sopielnikow from Fortune Builders advised potential house owners to “Be sure to pay special consideration to the area in which you buy your house. You will want to be sure that your property has easy access to your work. You may also want to consider the house’s location within its neighbourhood as some people prefer to be tucked away from busy streets, and others prefer to have more access to main street roads.
Russell also stated that the location of the home within the neighbourhood was important to many people. She said, “Some people prefer a lot near the main entry, while others like to be away from traffic and further into the development.
“If there is a park, pool or recreation area, some owners would choose the closest available lot. Cul-de-sacs are favoured by some and some people like living on the main boulevard. Talk about your preferences, and ask your realtor if certain lot locations bring a higher purchase price.”
This includes the size of the property, building design, number of rooms and available appliances.
Sopielnikow said, “The size of the lot your house is on will impact various aspects of your home’s uses and potential, so you should consider this before making your purchase. The shape of the lot will affect your privacy, and if you have a preference in the shape of your lawn or the length of your driveway, you may want to consider the lot shape.”
One must also consider the available number of bedrooms and if there are options of remodelling or adding on to the property.