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First Time Home Buyers Guide
Today, buying your own home is not just a basic need but also brings along a sense of pride, achievement, freedom and security. Deciding to buy a home is one of the biggest steps one can take in life and for most of us it’ll be the one of the biggest investment decisions. So it’s imperative to make sure it is done wisely as there are so many things to take into account when you buy a home.
Prioritise your requirements
The most important thing is deciding what you want.
This includes the kind of home you are looking for, its location, amenities, surroundings among others.
Type of Residence:This could range from an Apartment, Flat, Duplex, Pent house, Row House to a Bungalow.
Size of Residence:Depending on your family’s requirements & preferences like the no. of rooms, balconies, etc. the ideal size of your home will be defined.
Location:Proximity & convenience of access to work place, public transport facilities, market places, places of worship, schools, hospitals, etc should be taken into account while selection.
Surrounding:The surrounding social and natural environment impacts the moods, behavior and general living conditions of the people. It also plays a vital role in upbringing of kids. When selecting a location for your home, safety against theft and anti-social elements, pleasant surroundings, the neighborhood etc should be taken into account.
Arranging Home Finance (Home Loan): This factor needs a special attention as ultimately you have to arrange to pay for the cost of the property. You may have a big pocket to fund that purchase, however if not then you can go for options as mentioned below
1. Joint Ownership:
- Joint Ownership means purchasing the property with somebody else. This process can make the buying process easier, for example buying with parents or brother can actually ease the financial pressure.
- But remember relationships can change and circumstances alter, so you might want to get legal advice before deciding which type of ownership is right for you.
- If you do decide to buy with someone else you might want to get a contract drawn up saying who has contributed what, what you will do if someone wants to move out or sell up, etc.
2. Home Loan:
- What is a Home Loan? Simply it means a loan under an agreement to borrow money in order to buy a property and the property being mortgaged to the lender until all the money has been repaid by the borrower to the Lender.The Home Loan is repaid over an agreed time period, together with interest thereon. Once the Home Loan is fully repaid, the property is released by the Lender from the Mortgage.
- There are many things you need to consider when working out what you can really afford on a monthly basis. This includes your income ‘in’ such as your salary, gifts, interest from savings and any other income, and your costs ‘out’.
- Costs include your personal costs such as food and drink, travel, insurance, toiletries, entertainment or credit card payments; as well as your home costs such as your mortgage (or rent), Taxes, buildings and contents insurance and utility bills.
- If you add up your personal and home costs and take the total away from your income, then you should know if you can manage, have a shortfall or have any funds left over.
- Remember a good budget allows for saving, some luxuries and an amount for emergencies or repairs and maintenance.
Once it has been decided what exactly do you want and had finance arranged the next part comes finding a property matching to your requirements. Search for the dream home can be daunting task; however, following sources could be sought after for the same.
Friends, Colleagues, Relatives: in the area you are looking to buy would be of great help as they would be able to provide you a realistic picture of the surroundings, reason for sale, prevailing rates, pros and cons while choosing among the alternatives.
Local Real estate agents: in the area you are looking to buy can show ample number of choices as they know the area inside out, but do remember to finalise on commission and terms of agents before visiting properties.
Property service providers: generally have a wider network with the local agents, direct sellers and even developers. This enables one to have a reach over multiple locations and with multiple choices at one stop.
Local newspapers property pages:Advertisement released in local newspaper provides basic details of properties and concerned contact details, Notifications regarding allotment of Houses built and released by Government Housing development Authorities is also generally released through Press.
Online property sites:Here you can have a wide range of proposals and snapshot of the properties posted by the sellers. Do remember to verify the properties physically as sometimes they could be misleading before making an offer.
Builders or developers: Look out for projects being developed by directly visiting the site and meeting the Builder’s sales person for detailed enquiry.
At an auction: Banks or Housing Finance Institutions sometimes do auctions of the properties seized and issue a notification in newspapers for the same. It can be risky since you are usually unable to get the property surveyed before bidding.
View Top Choices a Second Time: After touring and narrowing down to a select few, you will probably instinctively know which one or two homes you would like to buy. Ask to see them again. You will see them with different eyes and notice elements that were overlooked the first go-around.
Also try to conduct a survey through a professional surveyor of the property if possible before the final Offer.
Survey: Survey wherein the property to be financed is checked for its physical and structural condition, faults if any and a valuation is done to check that your property is worth the asking price. Also a legal survey is conducted it enables to know if the title of the property is clear and marketable.
Making an Offer: Before making an offer try to figure out the reason for sale, its urgency also defects or shortcomings if any. This will help in negotiating for lower price than asked for.