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Simple Checklist for a Big Purchase


Buying a home is one decision that any person takes cautiously and with a measure of fear. This is rightly so because a home is where you live, raise your family and get to know, and live with neighbors for a long time. This process therefore needs to be handled with care and caution in order to end up with a home that suits your needs. Set out to look for a house to buy, here are some points to consider.

1. Decide your preferred neighborhood

Different places offer different lifestyles and thus the need to settle your mind on your preferred residential area before starting your home search. Some of the factors to consider here include zoning laws, crime history, availability of schools and hospitals of your choice, road and rail, future developments proposals, proximity to other residences and prospects of appreciation or depreciation in property value.

2. Affordability

There is always a limit to what anyone can afford. Whether you choose to buy in cash or mortgage, the cost factor is paramount. You don’t want to get into a situation where you get trapped in a deal that is overly straining your finances. Remember you still have your other basic needs even after settling that of shelter. You also need to consider long term sustainability of your spending choices. Consider that one time you could lose your job or even fall sick. If you are going the mortgage way, it’s advisable to get pre approvals for your loan before setting out to hunt for a house. This will help you avoid the back and forth with the financier and shorten your time for settling in the home of your choice. Using the mortgage calculator is great but you need real information from a real bank to be sure you are ready for the deal.

3. Using an Estate Agent

Estate agents, brokers and realtors may sometimes look unnecessary but that’s the view of an inexperienced home buyer. Agents have a lot of information on properties far beyond what is listed on websites. They also have a better understanding of the market than the ordinary home buyer or seller. A real estate agent with therefore be an important part of your home search to hold your hand and guide you through. Remember, your financier is interested in the purchase, the seller in the selling price but the agent wants to build a name and a reputation by acquiring another happy client. His commission cannot outweigh the accrued benefits to you as a buyer.

4. State of the home

Not every house on sale is in good shape. It is important to review the status of the home before you settle down on it. Some of the most critical areas to check include the roof, drainage systems, walls, kitchen and bathrooms. You want to avoid a situation where you buy a house which will again cost you in repairs before settling in. This review is best done by professionals like inspectors, civil engineers and architects. You might also want to look at the landscaping to ensure you’ve got a functional outdoor space.

5. Check energy use

Heating and lighting take a huge chuck of home expenses and the cost varies from home to home depending on different factors. The easiest way to know the energy cost of a home is to ask for at least one year’s energy bills from the seller or previous occupier. This will give you a full picture of what to expect.

6. Love the space

‘Home is where the heart is’ goes a common saying. How do you like the house you are about to purchase? Have you imagined yourself living there and how it would make you feel? How do you like the yard, the garage, kitchen, bathrooms, patio, stairs, backyard and everything about the home? Let out your instincts and follow your heart. If you ever feel bad about the home, leave it and look ahead but if you feel at home and satisfied; you might just have got your choice home.

Getting the right home is not the easiest thing given the many choices available in the market but you need to be patient and calm as you look around. Don’t let frustrations or emotions determine where you end your search, you need patience because you want a home you and your family will love to live in.

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