Making the right decision in choosing the right home will require you to balance your wants and your needs. It’s rare that the perfect house comes along at the perfect time, but you can look for a house that is practical, attractive and fits within your budget. Here are some important steps on how to choose the right home.
- Get pre-qualified for a home loan. This will expedite the process when you find the home you want to buy and give you a good idea of how much you can afford. There is no cost involved in this process of getting pre-qualified, and it will allow you to shop in the right price range and purchase with confidence.
- Make a list of your needs, that is, the features that your home must have to fit your lifestyle. Be as rational, rather than emotional, as possible when making this list.
- Think about the setting. Do you prefer a quiet setting, or do you want to live near restaurants, shops and entertainment? Research the things nearby that you need from your neighborhood, like schools, parks or amenities.
- Be patient and shop around. You may get lucky and fall in love with the first property you see, but you’ll make a better decision if you look at several them instead.
- Browse the Properties for sale on our Website and view comprehensive information on our listings.
- Move quickly. Once you’ve found the home that’s right for you, bear in mind that you may not be the only one interested. If you’re indecisive, someone else may well contact the agent first and make an offer.
- If you have a property to sell it’s important to know how much it is worth.
How much should you offer? It all depends on what you think the property is worth. Sometimes a property may be overpriced – but with most of our listings are listed at Market Value. So, compare the property to others you have seen, and others that have already sold – and then determine what you think the property is worth. Be prepared to pay Market Value for the right home.
What to inquire on when buying your home
Although it can be a strenuous experience, buying a home is not a hasty decision to make. It is essential that you consider the following:
- Shape, location and size
Consider your future plans when deciding on a specific property. A double-storey home may look attractive now, but how practical will it be once you start a family or as you grow older? Also consider whether you will be able to make additions to the home, especially if you plan on inviting your elderly parents to come and live with you one day.
Water damage or rising damp are important aspects to look out for. Poor waterproofing can be expensive to remedy. Inspect the property properly and look out for scaly or ‘bubbly’ paint that conceals damp ceilings or walls. Get a qualified plumber to investigate if you are unsure and stipulate exactly what needs to be repaired by the current homeowner in the contract before you buy the property.
Sellers, on the other hand, are advised to point out problem areas to the estate agent and potential buyer to prevent legal action from being taken at a later stage. The seller should stipulate what has been agreed with the buyer with regards to plumbing problems and/or water damage in the sales contract.
- The roof
Look out for deformation along roof lines as it may be a sign of structural failure. If in doubt, ask a structural engineer to inspect it for you. This is especially important if you intend to buy property outside of the rainy season making it difficult to spot problematic and/or reoccurring leaks.
- Structural failure
Although some cracks are insignificant, structural cracks (deep cracks that appear on both sides of a wall) could be a sign of foundation failure and/or severe structural problems.
We advise individuals to look out for diagonal cracks commencing at the corners of door and window frames. Extreme poly-filler patch work in or outside a home is another warning sign as most of the time it is indicative of occurring structural problems.
Once a property has been built, structural problems are almost impossible and/or extremely time consuming and expensive to rectify. Once again, if in doubt, ask a structural engineer to inspect the home for you.
- Electrical wiring
Electrical wiring is expensive to remedy, it would be worth your while to get an independent electrician to inspect the wiring for you, especially in older homes.
- Crime rate and burglar proofing
Don’t just take the seller’s word! Ask for crime statistics at the local police station. Know the safety challenges of the area you are about to invest in.
Identify areas in and around the property where safety measures need to be upgraded – take it into account as it can be expensive.
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