Buying a house is one of the most important decisions that an individual will have to make in their lifetime. The most fundamental question to ask before making the purchase is whether you actually have the money or not; many start by looking for a house before getting their finances in order. After that, there are still several other important factors that prospective buyers need to take into serious consideration.
The location of the property is particularly important; we don’t mean having a nice view. You need to find out more about the neighborhood. Is it close to services and amenities? Is it fully developed, or will you suddenly find yourself across a newly erected apartment building, staring at the laundry drying on a clothes line? Also, don’t you want to know more about your future, and most likely lifelong, neighbors? What is more, you need to view the property at different days and hours during the week, so you can gauge the levels of noise pollution, traffic, ease of access, etc.
- Check the documents
Ask for any certified documents related to the property: title deeds (if there are any), relevant permits (town planning, building permits) and the architectural plans. Make sure that the property was build based on those plans. If you plan to make any changes, it is better to know in advance whether you are operating within the boundaries of the law.
- Engineering and electrical inspection
It is always helpful to have a professional inspect the premises for any engineering (structural or mechanical) and electrical faults, especially in old structures. These kind of faults (wiring, central heating, thermostat, etc.) usually need serious money and time to fix and can get you over budget fast.
- Communal fees or communal conflict?
If you are going for an apartment, it will best to know ahead of time whether your new neighbors pay for the communal fees. This is especially important for older apartment buildings that need maintenance. It’s important that every apartment owner or tenant in the building pulls their own weight so that the proper upgrades or repairs can take place without any undue delays.
- Don’t forget the renovation
So many people think that they’ve made the perfect buy, and with a bit more money they can turn it into the perfect home. However, in most cases, people’s original estimates go wide of the mark and renovation costs end up being much higher than expected. So, to avoid any unwelcome surprises, you need to properly evaluate the renovation costs.
- Total cost
As we have already mentioned, it’s common for buyers to go over budget. Even if they don’t plan to renovate, there are other costs involved that they might miscalculate or even fail to take into account. Your initial capital and the bank loan might not be enough to cover all the costs, like transfer fees, consultant fees, moving costs, buying furniture and appliances, repairs, etc. Even if the apartment is fully furnished, there are always additional expenses, starting from a basic internet package.
- Hire professionals
We get that most people want to avoid paying for professional services, but it is a necessary evil. In our view, having a proper and independent professional appraisal of the asset is essential. This way you will know that no one can take you for a fool and to ensure that the building is in line with all available permits, regulations, etc. It is equally important to hire a lawyer to take care of the entire process, so that everything goes by the book and you save yourself from any future headaches.
Buying a house is not only a lifelong investment, but also a lifelong commitment. It will affect your financial plans for years to come, whether you get a loan or you had the capital to invest from the get-go. At the very least, make sure it’s worth the trouble and you don’t end up regretting the decision because you failed to take certain things into account from the outset.