Buying a home is the most significant investment many of us will make in our lifetimes, and there's no time quite like the first. It can be tough process – daunting, even – but the key is to educate yourself on how it works. Take a look at these pointers and you’ll soon be on the path towards purchasing your dream property.
Property values are dependent on several factors, so a thorough understanding of the market is essential. With a little knowledge, it’s easier to spot a good deal. Research houses in your chosen area, comparing like with like. This may involve looking at homes that don't interest you, or those that don’t fit into your budget.
2. Survey the property
Building regulations today are relatively solid, but that hasn’t always been the case. If you're considering purchasing a period property, carrying out a survey is an absolute must. In certain countries, it’s a legal requirement when a home changes hands.
Whether expected by law or not, it’s good practice to have a survey conducted on any structure older than 30 years.
3. Leave room for improvement
Markets aside, the value of a recently renovated property tends to travel in one direction: downwards. Financially, it’s sensible to opt for a cheaper property that needs a little work. As the well-known maxim says, it’s best to buy the worst house on the better street.
4. Know your seller
In the property market, there's no such thing as a true value. Homes are regularly sold at prices under or over their estimates, and the power dynamic between the buyer and seller is usually responsible for these discrepancies.
In order to gauge your chances of getting a good deal, it's vital to understand your seller's situation. Are they ready to move home? Do they need the money? Are they downsizing? Knowing the answers to these questions – and more – will help you assess the type of offer you should make.
5. Understand the fees
Wherever you are in the world, there are always fees involved in buying and selling property. From the legal costs for solicitors to the taxes usually owed on such a large purchase, there are plenty of extra numbers to crunch beyond the initial price tag.
Understanding the fees on both the buyer and seller’s end is important. Knowing how much money you need to acquire the property as well as move house will help you ascertain your actual budget. Similarly, being aware of the costs of selling will help you estimate the price a seller is likely to settle on.
6. Seal the deal
The intricacies of the purchasing process can alter from one country to the next, but it's typical for the buyer to be in control during the early stages. It’s essential to have a plan in place before the conversation with the seller has begun. Know roughly how many offers you expect to make and try to have a firm idea of the maximum price you're willing to pay.
Engel & Völkers can walk you through the home-owning process from beginning to end. Visit Engel & Völkers to discover more about purchasing a property for the first time or visit one of our branches for a face-to-face consultation.