If you’re buying a house for the first time, you might be nervous, anxious, and excited, maybe all at once! Of course, buying your very first home is a big deal, and regardless of whether you’re buying an apartment or a house, the thrill of finally owning your own property is bound to be there. However, there are also a number of mistakes and missteps that every first-time home buyer should avoid. So, if you’re worried about whether you’re making the right decision or not, our beginner’s guide to buying a house will help you double check your decisions.
Below, we’ll discuss all the key factors you need to keep in mind while buying a house for the first time in Pakistan so you can avoid the most common mistakes made by first-time home buyers.
First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide—The Essentials
Here are some essential considerations or a guide for first-time home buyers:
- Consider your requirements
- Determine the location specifics
- Be ready to finance your purchase
- Research the property market thoroughly
- Find the right real estate agent
- Always visit the property personally
- Inspect property fittings and layout
- Ask the right questions
- Keep your emotions in check
- Never quote the asking price
- Don’t rush into a decision
These eleven factors can be followed in pretty much the exact same order when you consider buying a house for the first time. Let’s discuss each of these further now.
1. Consider Your Requirements
When buying your first home, you should have a list of questions that must be answered satisfactorily. If you haven’t really considered the specifics yet, let us help you out with some basic requirements that you should consider before moving on to the next step:
- Are you looking for a house or an apartment?
- How many rooms do you need to accommodate your family comfortably?
- Do you need extra rooms, and for what purpose?
- Are you comfortable with an open floor plan?
- Would you like a pre-made kitchen?
These are just some of the many questions that may run through your head when you begin the home buying process and it’s best to note them down and to answer each one before you consider the other factors mentioned in this first time home buyer’s guide.
2. Determine the Location Specifics
The location of a property is usually its biggest selling point. There are two aspects to it, though. One is the proximity of the prospective house or flat to your workplace, children’s school, and other basic amenities, such as a commercial area. The other aspect is the neighbourhood itself. Is it safe, gated, and guarded? Can you suitably raise your kids here? Is the neighbourhood clean and well maintained?
While you will only be able to answer some of these questions when you visit the property, you can always create a list of specifics that you want in a particular location. Additionally, determine which area or locality you would like to live in, as that will help you narrow down your search for the perfect home. Once that’s done, move on to the next step in our beginner’s guide to buying a house for the first time.
3. Be Ready to Finance Your Purchase
Buying your first home is a major investment and will often require a large down payment plus the remaining payment being made upfront or in instalments. For this, you either need to have sufficient savings or be willing to take on a home loan from a bank. Evaluate your options and determine what works best for you in your particular scenario. Making financial decisions, in the beginning, will help you set a budget and look for a house or apartment accordingly.
4. Research the Property Market Thoroughly
Now that you know which locality would be ideal for purchasing your new home, it’s time to begin the search. You can search online on property listings websites, like Zameen.com, or choose to visit realtors for the purpose physically. Online searches are generally more rewarding as they give you information at your fingertips even before you connect with real estate agents for your property dealings.
5. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
The next step in the beginner’s guide to buying a house is to find the right property expert to guide your purchasing decisions. For this, you need to know the essential habits of successful real estate agents so you can choose an expert who understands your particular needs. Already selected an agent and wondering if you made the right choice? There are also some warning signs that can tell you if you have hired the wrong property agent for your first-time home buying decision.
6. Always Visit the Property Personally
As this is a guide for first-time home buyers, let us also clarify that it is essential for you to visit the prospective property yourself whenever you find out a good deal being offered. While you may trust the realtor to advise you wisely, always visit the property yourself, especially during different times, as nobody will be able to inspect it and determine if it is right for you, other than you.
7. Inspect Property Fittings and Layout
When you visit a property for the first time, have your list of essentials in hand. You will be required not just to determine whether the home and its layout works well for you but will also need to see if it meets all your other specific requirements with regards to the location and neighbourhood.
Additionally, irrespective of whether it is a new house or a pre-owned flat, ask about the fixtures and fittings being offered along with the purchase. You might be in for a nasty shock if the previous owner strips the home bare of even the existing light fixtures and ceiling fans, which you expected to welcome you on your moving day. Moreover, check the house for damp spots, the need for repair, signs of a pest infestation, and other concerns which many people overlook when they’re buying a house for the first time.
8. Ask the Right Questions
Once your inspection is complete, get all possible questions answered. You can ask some from your realtor and others from the previous homeowners (if any). Want to know more about a neighbourhood? Ask the current neighbours. One thing to always ask is the amount of time that the current property has been on the market. If a house has been unsold for far too long, it points towards significant issues that might be hidden to the eye.
9. Keep Your Emotions in Check
You love the house, the backyard space it offers for the kids, and the fact that there’s a parking space in the lane outside the home, or the apartment complex is luxurious, the flat itself is spacious, and you love the additional facilities on offer. The question is, what do you do know? First things first, keep your facial expressions neutral. Yes, you love the place, but you’re buying a house for the first time, and you want a good price for it. Showing how keen you are on living in that property will simply turn the odds against you in this regard.
10. Never Quote the Asking Price
The next tip in our guide for first time home buyers is never to quote what is being asked for a property. Always start lower than what you would originally be willing to pay for the place and slowly bargain your way with the seller, coming up to where you can both agree at a price that is affordable for you and profitable for them.
11. Don’t Rush into a Decision
Lastly, buying your first home is a big decision, so don’t let circumstances, finances, or your realtors, push you into making a decision that you are not entirely comfortable with. You’ll be buying this home and living in it with your family, and you need to find the right place at the right cost, and that will require time, effort, research, and most of all, patience. So, do not rush the decision. Make your choice carefully as you will probably not be moving homes anytime soon.
This concludes our beginner’s guide for buying a house for the first time. We’ve covered all the essentials here and hope you’ll make an informed decision when you find the right property for your needs. Happy House Hunting!
Stay tuned to Zameen Blog, Pakistan’s leading property blog, for more homebuying tips and advice.