It’s not easy to purchase your very first home. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to this important life decision. You need to keep in mind a lot of things before you decide and it can get you pressured beyond what you thought you are capable of.
Don’t worry because we’ll help you out in this decision-making process. The Estate Code Nigeria Limited team is here to help you with important questions that you may be asking yourself before foregoing this purchase.
Browse through this guide to enlighten you with tips and advice on how to go through with your first home purchase.
The ins and outs of buying a house
Not only do you have to tap into your decision-making skills but you also have to be emotionally prepared when it comes to purchasing your first home. If you allow these emotions to get the best of you, it might be harder to decide whether you want to push through.
The first thing you need to do is take a step back and assess what’s in front of you. This is a logical process that can be overwhelming and you need to be in the right mindset before you purchase.
Here are some things that you should keep in mind when processing this decision:
Think about what you can realistically afford
Taking a loan is one thing but you also have to think about how much you’re willing to spare monthly for your housing cost. This is both for the mortgage payments and other miscellaneous expenses that come with being a homeowner.
The first thing you need to do is think about the budget you’ll have to pay off once the purchase pushes through. It isn’t about the maximum amount you can borrow but about how much you’re willing to spend each month for that house.
It’s okay to lowball your budget because you have other expenses to think about. Once you’ve settled that, you can start looking at houses that are right for you and your price range.
Research about the property and the local area
As they say, research is key when it comes to finding the right property. You need to know whether the house is at the right location and if the local area is something that suits your preferences.
There’s no such thing as being too informed when purchasing a property. You have to be equipped with the right data and information that’s needed to get the decision right. Perhaps you can talk to real estate agents or interview your prospective neighbours so that you have a sense of what to expect once you decide to push through.
Take your time to look at the property
Looking for the right property can be exhausting so once you see the one that ticks all the checkmarks, you just want to purchase it right away. However, you need to stop yourself from making such an impulsive decision because you still need to check the whole property if there are any hidden issues that you might overlook.
Make sure there are no hidden surprises that would affect your purchase negatively. This can include the odour of the areas and walls as well as the vents, dryers, dishwashers and other little details you might not think of right off the bat.
Perhaps make a list of what to inspect so you wouldn’t miss anything. Moreover, don’t be afraid to ask questions when the time comes. The more you ask, the more things you get to uncover about the property. Also, make sure that the issues you will let slide is worth it in the long run. You will be the one to deal with them once the sale pushes through.
Try to work with experienced professionals
This is a big purchase that would make a dent in your savings. You need to surround yourself with experts in real estate so you wouldn’t make rash decisions upon contract signing.
Try to contact home inspectors and mortgage brokers to help you out with looking over the property. They may see things that you wouldn’t see with your inexperienced eyes. Moreover, they can give you sound advice about the property and if it’s worth the purchase.
Consider your lifestyle
Don’t forget that you have other expenses in your life aside from the mortgage payments. You should check whether there’s room to manoeuvre around when you’re about to purchase that property you are eyeing.
Additionally, your home should also cater to your needs. Perhaps a better kitchen to cook your favourite dishes or a bigger bedroom where you can lazy about. If your wants and needs cannot be addressed by the property, it’s time to go back to the market and look for some more options.
Negotiate on your terms
This is the biggest financial decision of your life and you need to make sure that you’d be getting the most out of your money. The last thing you’d want to do is make a rash decision because you’re pressured into buying the home.
Always remember that if the terms of the sale aren’t something you’re comfortable with, it’s time to back out. The negotiations aren’t set in stone yet until you sign a contract. Moreover, don’t let your emotions get the best of you because this can hinder you from getting the right deal from your real estate agent.
Know that the search can take longer
Looking for a home can take a long time. It’s not always easy because the first house you see may probably not be the one that you’ve been dreaming about. Don’t make the timeline too rigid because you need leeway in case you don’t find the home you want right away.
Moreover, don’t make commitments that will make things challenging for you. It’ll take months before you find the right house and knowing that can help you prepare for the upcoming process ahead.
Top house-hunting mistakes to avoid
Some things can go wrong when you’re hunting for the right property. This is mostly because of poor planning and rigid timelines. Know that you have to be wary of house hunting mistakes that you should avoid:
Not shopping around
It’s always important to shop around for houses. Although some compromises need to be made, don’t cave on things that are essential for you and your lifestyle. The best thing to do is find multiple properties and weigh the pros and cons first before deciding which one to choose.
Overlooking the flaws of the property
Homes will always have flaws. These can be little things like faucets, chipped wood details and rickety bed frames. These can be overlooked. However, when things are more than what you’ve bargained for like faulty piping and shot wiring then it’s time to set aside compromise and lay down some ground rules.
Never overlook the flaws of the property even if you love the house that’s being sold to you. These flaws should be a make or break element when you’re trying to purchase the house.
Perhaps you should check with yourself and your bank account whether you’re willing to pick up the pieces of these repairs. You should also consider the overhead expenses that might affect you in the long run.
Ignoring the neighbourhood
Your neighbours will be there for the duration of your stay in that property. It’s best that you gauge whether these people and the locality fit your lifestyle and what your vision is for your life in the long run.
Moreover, you also need to consider the development plans that the local government is planning for the locality. For example, in Nigeria, there are always construction projects that can affect the real estate value.
These little things can affect the value of your home as well as your plans for it in the future. You should also know about the roads of the area so that it’s easier for you to go back and forth to different places without having the hassle of getting lost.
Rushing or waiting for a better offer
It’s not good to rush because there’s a good offer on the table for you. There are still inspections that you should do as well as mortgage plans that need to be considered. You can’t rush yourself, especially when the agent gives you a tempting offer.
In contrast, you also can’t beat around the bush about your plans for the offer. It’s either you accept the offer or ask for a grace period so you can assess your decision better. Beating around the bush is bad practice and wouldn’t benefit you or the seller of the house.
Offering too much than the initial value
The house that you’re eyeing is already perfect but there are other prospective buyers that are trying to get a good deal, too. Don’t offer too much than the initial value just because you don’t want others to get ahead. You might end up regretting the decision once the mortgage payments are fast approaching.