Being a home owner can be as exciting as it is liberating and stressful. Which is why it is important to ask yourself some key questions when buying a home. As someone who has been lucky enough to purchase two homes on two different continents. I can tell you first hand that the luxury of owning a home can often times be overshadowed by the realities that come with home ownership. From burst geysers, to faulty electrical systems. In both homes that I have owned thus far. I didn’t and couldn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Because whilst some faults and issues are obvious; others creep up on you and others just happen do to the properties old age. Which is why I al sharing some of my key things to consider before buying a home;.
- Could you afford your home if you changed jobs? – This may seem obvious but hear me out. When my husband and I bought our first home we were faced with a dilemma many young professional first time home owners are faced with. And that is whether to buy a house that reflected our current joint income. Or one that was a little more modest. We decided on something more modest and in return were able to pay a large part of the deposit upfront, This also meant that we were able to pay off the rest of the home in two years. And when both our financial situations changed we could still afford to live in our home.
- Have you done your due diligence – I’ll be the first to admit to signing on the dotted line and feeling pressure from estate agent’s that if I did not make an offer immediately I would lose my dream home. But after making this mistake the first time around. And realizing later that our dream home had many issues which could have helped lower the price had we bothered to check meant that we had lots of unseen costs to cover. So speak to plumbers, architects and any other home specialists to come give a report on the house. Not only does it mean you know what you are buying. But you can also negotiate accordingly.
- Know the market and your expectations – When buying anywhere it is crucial to know the market and the price of other homes in the area. This helps to ensure you are buying the property at a fair price. Furthermore, if you know or have an idea of what your plans are. You can decide if it is worth buying in that area or at that price or not. For instance, with out first home, my husband and I knew it would not be our forever home. And that our careers and aspirations may take us elsewhere. Which they did a meer two years after purchasing our home. Which is why we bought our home in a neighborhood that was known for rental properties and was close to universities. This meant that when we were forced to leave at the drop of a hat. We were able to easily rent our house out. Also because we didn’t pay too much for the house as the area is still up and coming. We were well aware of the fact that it would be some years before we ever were able to sell it at a large profit. Which is why renting it out for now is the best bet.