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You’re finally ready to own your own home.
However, besides being overjoyed at having successfully negotiated the property down to the price you’re comfortable with, there are other considerations you must take into account.
Here are seven important facets of house hunting that you should pay attention to before putting your hard-earned money down on the property and signing that sales and purchase agreement.
1. Landscape. Are the grounds well-kept? Most home buyers make the mistake of skipping the garden or outdoor area of the property.
While looking over the house from top to bottom is important, checking the condition of the outdoor area is equally crucial.
If you don’t, you might miss out on certain issues like faulty plumbing or the existence of underground termites that could jack up your expenses considerably once the house is bought.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into when you buy a home. And that includes checking every inch of that property—indoors and outdoors.
2. Ask about vacant land. What do the developers intend to do with the parcels of vacant land near the property?
While some people might stay away, unsure of what effects future developments might have on the area, it does pay to keep an eye out for future trends.
Consult experts as well as ask the developers about future construction plans.
But never believe 100% of the developer’s promises, especially if what’s in their interest is that you sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
3. Pick gated communities. Gated communities and condos are a popular choice for investors or home buyers who want a secure neighbourhood to stay in. So, keep this in mind when you start shopping around for a home.
4. Use online tools. With property listing sites, finding homes are now easier than ever. You can look around for a property in Malaysia with Property Guru, a listing site that sellers and buyers both use, plus a dozen other listing sites.
Look over the photos and generate a list of the prospective homes you want in the area you like.
Then go make the appointment to view as many as you can. This is the biggest item in your shopping list of your entire life. So, better seek high and low to get the best bargain.
5. Look for schools. It’s not uncommon for many home buyers, especially those with kids, to choose properties near well-established schools. No one wants to spend hours on the road just to get the kids to and from school.
The closer the school is, the more convenience for you and your kids. And they get to sleep more in the mornings, which surely has a positive impact on their development and mood.
Not enough sleep can lead to cranky kids early in the morning. That’s the kind of wake-up call that’s guaranteed to expose you and your kids to a ton of stress. Keep it from happening by picking a property that’s near to a good school.
6. Examine population growth. Is it going up or down? The more people in your community, the more chances of property prices rising, which is a boon for you, as a homeowner.
If you ever want to sell your home, a property where population growth is robust and healthy will make it easier for you to find the next buyer.
7. Location. When you buy property, you aren’t just paying for the house, your fire insurance or even all the other bills like quit rent and assessment, repairs, and more.
You also need to factor in your commuting costs. How much will it cost to commute or drive to and from work back to your home every day?
Make sure you ask yourself this question before you pick out a home. That’s how important it is to choose the right location.
A property that’s centrally located is a great investment. By picking out a home that has easy access to just about anywhere you need to go, you can save so much time and effort from your daily commutes.
Overall, it’ll take a bit of research and preparation to choose your perfect home. But with some perseverance and the right mindset, you’re sure to find the right one.
This article first appeared in kclau.com
KC Lau’s first book Top Money Tips for Malaysians has sold thousands of copies. He launched the first online personal finance course specifically designed for Malaysians, entitled the Money Automation System. He also co-founded many other online financial courses including the Bursa Method, Property Method, Founder Method and REIT Method.