As the effect of inflation on our daily life becomes more and more visible, the dream of a new home drifts yet further away from many of us. This is rather heartbreaking, because a property of our own, in many cases, represents our aspirations and hopes in the most potent way. Having said that, even when people do have the necessary capital to take out a mortgage and buy a property, not always do they find themselves satisfied with their choice, and that can be even more frustrating.
Many people who buy their first home simply do not know how to wisely pick the asset they want to buy, and that’s a shame – a home is a major commitment, after all. So, how can you find the house of your dreams, minimizing the risk of disappointment?
Ofir Bar, a veteran real estate investor with about 25 years of experience in markets across the globe, offered some tips that may help you out. “When buying a home, whether a house or an apartment, there are so many factors to take into account. Sadly, the circumstances usually push us towards making this decision in a hasty manner, and that’s a major problem,” he said. “However, I believe that if people approach this decision with awareness of the things that are important to them, and set their ‘deal breakers’ upfront, the chances of them acquiring the house of their dreams can dramatically increase.”
These days, when there’s an abundance of choice for consumers whenever they want to buy something – and it’s all a few clicks away – it’s only natural that people find themselves confused when trying to decide what to buy. Nevertheless, the fact that this wide selection is available on the internet has a distinct benefit: It’s much easier to shop and compare. Market research is nowadays an essential part of shopping, especially when it comes to expensive items like a car, electronic appliances and, of course, a property.
So, don’t head out browsing for assets quite yet: Sit down comfortably someplace quiet, and write down what is essential to you in your future home, and what your ‘deal breakers’ are: The number of rooms? Pricing? The size of the kitchen? The assets’ square meters? Its proximity to schools, shopping centers, or your workplace? What is most important to you, and what can you compromise about?
“Writing down your needs highly increases the chances of you getting what you need and want,” Bar inferred. “So, don’t cut corners on this one. Consult with friends and family who have already purchased a home. Surely, they will have some helpful advice.”
Your list will function as an initial filter. With it, you can rule out many potential homes without even needing to see them in person. Browsing and comparing online will greatly help you narrow your list of relevant homes. Also, the internet is a great place to check whether the property, the property owner, or its real estate agent have attained negative feedback.
Checking the apartment
After you figure out what truly matters to you in your future home, and you rule out a substantial number of potential places, it’s time to book some appointments with house sellers or real estate agents. Keep in mind that (unless you are a millionaire, of course) you are not likely to get all the things you want for your budget. Distinguishing your ‘wants’ from your ‘needs’ will help you prioritize and have realistic expectations.
The first thing you need to check when arriving at the property is actually outside of it – check what’s around it. You may want to ensure that the apartment’s surroundings are to your taste. Is it a noisy neighborhood? What kind of people live in it? Is it safe? Does it have easy access to transportation routes? Will your children, if you have any, be able to reach their schools easily?
After that, it’s time to have a look at the house itself. This is particularly important when examining properties that were once owned by other people. Check how this asset was maintained, and if it requires renovations. Check for signs of disrepair, water damage, leakages, or mildew smell.
Lastly, make sure that everything works properly. Open the taps to examine the water flow. Even better, do this after turning on the water heater. Flush the toilets. Check all the light switches and electrical outlets, turn the AC or ventilation on and off, and take a close look at any other devices that may be subject to wear and tear.
Has the property lived up to all your requirements regarding its surroundings, maintenance, and functioning, together with being within your price range? You should seriously consider taking things to the next level.
Don’t be shy
“It’s always better to be suspicious when closing the deal. Assume that the seller has something to hide,” Bar concluded. “As importantly, don’t compromise for your deal breakers. Remember, this may be your next home. You should be completely satisfied with it.” Last but not least, don’t rush it. Take your time to thoroughly check your last 3-5 candidates, but don’t postpone your call too much. You don’t want to let the house of your dreams slip out of your hands!