E&V’s guide to buying a home

SFüllernotexthopping may be a part of most people’s daily lives, but buying a home is still a daunting task. Even if you’re an experienced property investor, the decision to purchase a house is hugely important, and there are a number of different issues that require addressing at every stage of the process.

Before you begin, there are two essential questions to ask: ‘Why am I looking to buy?’ and ‘Can I afford to buy at this time?’ For the first of these questions, it’s important to have a clear idea of your motivations: someone looking to move into the realm of property speculation will have different needs to someone who’s simply looking for a change of scenery. As for the latter question, keep in mind all of the costs you’ll need to factor into your estimate, from up-front expenses like valuation and survey fees, to the long-term costs of mortgage repayments and house insurance.

If you’re buying a primary home, location will often be the key deciding factor. You should approach your agency with clear views on your subjective criteria, such a geography, local schools and proximity to work, but be open to receiving advice on wider market trends if you want to make a lasting investment. Brokers like Engel and Völkers with an international outlook are ideally placed to advise on market forecasts – this will be particularly important for clients considering purchases abroad. In both cases, consider the type of house you want to live in. Make a list detailing essential and preferable amenities, to allow room for compromise. The more concentrated your search is, the faster you’re likely to get results.

Once you’ve settled on a location, one of our experienced and friendly agents will begin showing you properties they think fit your criteria. While visiting, it’s useful to make notes on the houses to remember your exact response to each property. Take photos of any features you particularly like or dislike so you can factor in the changes you’d want to make before considering the property.

When you’re sure you’ve found the right place, your agent will advise you on how to make an offer. A sensible offer should be based on potential costs for repair and refurbishment, the relative price of similar properties on the market, and included appliances and facilities. Negotiate via your estate agent and solicitors in order to reach an agreeable settlement – in the meantime, a good faith deposit confirms the sincerity of your interest.

Reaching a satisfactory agreement with the selling party can take patience, but once all the conditions have been met, all that remains is the closing. Bring all the paperwork you’ve amassed to date and double-check them, before inspecting the property to confirm it is in the expected state. After that, it’s simply a matter of signing the legal documents that make you the official owner of your new home.

Throughout the process, you should feel informed and involved in the decisions and negotiations. At Engel and Völkers our clients are at the forefront of everything we do, so you can rest assured that we always have your best interests at heart. With over thirty years’ experience in international real estate, our expert advice will ensure you close a successful and mutually beneficial sale.  

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