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Beginners guide to house hunting – Buying process checklist

Guide to House Hunting

House hunting can be a challenge, especially if it’s your first time. From finding the right real estate agent to choosing the right neighbourhood, there are so many things that you need to get right in order to find the perfect new home for you. With so many amazing properties on the market, buyers are bound to get spoilt for choice and possibly overwhelmed or confused by the variety of options available to them. So, here is a property buying checklist that will act as the perfect beginners’ guide to house hunting!

Find the right real estate agent

A real estate agent will help make the process of house hunting a whole lot easier! A good real estate agent will understand your requirements and show your available properties that are well within your budget. If you’re looking at properties in Manchester, be sure to get in touch with estate agents in Manchester and choose the one that is right for you.

Location is everything

The location of your new home matters the most. Is it in a good school district? Is it close to your place of work? Is it close by to public transport options? What is the neighbourhood like? You need to choose a home based on its location. If you want to live in a three-bedroom apartment in an urban community or a spacious villa in the heart of the residential area, it’s all about finding the right property in the perfect location.

Make a budget and stick to it

Before you even start looking at properties, you need to make a budget. How much money can you afford to spend on your new home without burning a hole in your pocket? Keep in mind, not only do you need to pay the down payment and the monthly mortgage, but you also need to pay for hidden and associated costs such as home insurance, land and property tax, real estate agent fees, monthly utility bills and so on.

Make a must-have list

There is a big difference between what you want your new home to have and what your new home must-have. For example, if you’re moving from a two-bedroom apartment into a bigger place to accommodate your growing family, then your new home must have three or four bedrooms. Similarly, if you’re working from home, then your new place must have a room or outhouse that can be converted into a work from the home office. When looking at properties, don’t fall in love with anything unless it checks off everything on your must-have list.

Know what you’re looking for

You need to be very sure of your property requirements. How many bedrooms should the place have? Have many bathrooms? Are there any other specific requirements, such as a spacious basement or an outdoor patio? Should the property have a garage?  How big should the kitchen be? By being specific about your requirements, your real estate agent will be able to find properties that meet your needs. Of course, asking for something as straightforward as a karaoke room in the basement might be a tad much.

Never make emotional decisions

A new property is a financial investment; you can never make emotional decisions regarding an investment. Just because you walk into a place that is way over your budget and fall in love with it doesn’t mean that you buy it without hesitation. There is a reason you made a budget, and you must stick to it!

Don’t overlook the flaws

Some people feel that they can purchase an inexpensive property, make a few changes and convert it into something amazing. While that may be the case, it will definitely cost a whole lot more than you ever imagined. So, before you decide to invest in a fixer-upper, make sure to survey the property properly. Damaged walls, leaky roofs, broken pipes, mouldy walls and plumbing issues are big flaws that you should steer clear of. In fact, as a first-time buyer, it is better to opt for a fully functional property instead of a fixer-upper.

Focus on the home and everything surrounding it

You need to focus on the size of the property, the location, the sturdiness of the structure, the number of bathrooms, and the view. But, don’t forget to consider additional factors such as the neighbourhood and the neighbours. Don’t walk into a property and reject it because of some ugly wallpaper or a stained sofa. The interiors of the place can be changed within days, but the property and the factors surrounding it cannot be changed that easily!

The price is always negotiable

If there is a property that is just slightly over your budget, remember that the price is always negotiable. Even if you find a property that is well within your budget, be rest assured that the seller will be willing to lower their asking price. It is always better to let your real estate agent negotiate a deal, as they have years of experience doing just that!

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