There are a few milestones every person wishes to achieve in their adult life, such as getting to a point where you don’t have to live from one paycheck to the next, landing your dream job, and owning property. All of these goals are what most people work towards, grinding through each and every day and hoping it will be enough in the end. But, when you do get to the point where you are looking to buy property, there are a few things you should think about first before beginning the house-hunting process. That said, have a look down below at five tips to help you out when buying your first property.
#1 Set up a budget
Before even beginning to look at houses online, you’ll need to set up a budget. Your budget will determine what you can look at and should not be ignored for any reason. Too many people have decided what they can spend on a house, only to look at homes that are way over budget, fall in love with it, and walk away brokenhearted. Your budget is there for a reason; to protect you from making unwise financial decisions that you may regret later and to make the entire process much more manageable. When choosing a real estate agent to help you on your journey of buying your very first property, be sure to communicate to them what your budget is and make it clear that they shouldn’t approach you with anything more expensive. Sometimes, real estate agents aren’t sure how final your budget really is and may try to show you houses that are slightly above the price you stipulated. Still, it would be best if you remembered that there are a few fees that accompany buying property as well, such as transfer costs.
#2 Consider your needs
After establishing the budget, you’ll now have to think about your needs for this first property of yours – is it for yourself to live in? Are you looking to buy as an investment? If you’re buying for personal use, then you’ll need to prioritize your needs and set them according to your budget – how many bedrooms do you need? Do you need space in the backyard for a pet or entertaining friends when they come over? Should the property be a lock-up-and-go if you travel a lot? All of these aspects should be taken into consideration before you start the house-hunting process because by knowing precisely what you need, you’ll quickly be able to determine if the house you’re viewing is the right fit or not. Suppose you’re buying for investment purposes. In that case, you may be looking at something a bit smaller that would be easier to rent out – many people are looking for apartments to rent, so you’ll always have someone to fill the vacancy should it ever occur.
#3 Look at the immediate area
When buying property, you’re not just buying the house. Still, the immediate area around it as well – this is why it’s essential to observe your surroundings just as closely in order to determine whether you’d be comfortable living in the neighborhood as well. Some questions you may want to ask your real estate agent include the following: Why have the current owners of the house decided to sell? How long have they been living here? What is the crime rate in this neighborhood? How close are amenities like the grocery store, gas station, and schools? Something else you can do to get some honest advice as well is walking across the street and having a chat with the neighbors – neighbors have no reason to lie. They will give you an objective opinion on how safe the area is, the noise levels, and whether they enjoy living there themselves.
#4 Think long term
Buying property is a long-term investment, and after signing the contract, you’ll need to prepare yourself to hold on to the property for at least five years before even beginning to think about selling again. So, in order to prevent yourself from making a decision that could possibly hold you back in the near future if you’re planning on relocating anywhere, try thinking long and hard if you’re in it for the long run and don’t plan on making any significant life changes within the next couple of years. Sure, you could rent out the property if you decide to move far away because of a new job, perhaps. Still, by renting out, you’ll also need to be available to deal with any problems that may occur with the house, such as the plumbing or any other structural damages. Needless to say, ask yourself where you see yourself within the next five years, and if it’s not exactly where you are now geographically, then consider waiting a bit with the property purchase.
#5 Take your time
Wanting to buy a property is an exciting feeling, and you don’t want to be the person who’s been in the market for over a year without signing anything. But, rushing into something isn’t going to help you any more than waiting too long is – taking your time to figure out what you really want, view more than enough houses, and coming to a rational conclusion is what will set your mind at ease at the end of the day. A mistake many people have made is viewing a house and forcing themselves to decide as fast as possible in fear that the house will be bought by someone else. Although the market has its busier times, this is an agenda some real estate agents push sometimes, and you should never fall for it. Take your time and have a mindset that feels like the right house will definitely come around, and you’ll know it, and you’ll be on time with your offer.
When looking at properties, be sure to utilize your real estate agent by asking as many questions as you want – this isn’t the time to be shy! You deserve to have all the answers and be one hundred percent sure about your choice, so speak up and remember these five tips!