Buying your own house whether it is the first or second one is always an exciting exercise. However, there are certain things that you will do well to look out for. Apart from intense research that has to be carried out and arranging for necessary finance, it is always advisable to take professional help. Get in touch with real estate agents and property lawyers to guide you through the many complexities of buying a house. Getting things right before you sign on the dotted line will save you a lot of unwarranted litigation in future.
Here is a check list that you can refer to before buying a house.
- Budget – This is naturally on top of the list. Calculate your surplus income and the amount you can spare for mortgage without having to cut corners on family expenses. It is always advisable to buy a house that meets your current needs and fits your budget than to invest heavily because of some long term possibility like expansion of family. You can always renovate your home and add a wing if you have to in future. The more you borrow the more will be your payout. First time home owners should meet margins to the maximum extent possible from own funds and savings or from interest free loans from family and friends.
- Location – It is not necessary that you should look for a home in a prime location only and pay through your nose for it. Try the suburbs for a house within your range. But make it a point to look into other conveniences too. How far is the home from your office or the local school if you have children? Are doctors and good medical facilities available nearby so that you do not have to drive long distances in an emergency. Look for a house with a wide frontage as these are pleasing to the eye.
- Eligibility for loan – Eligibility for a home loan depends on many factors. You need not go over to a bank or lending institution to know your eligibility. Search online for home loan EMI calculator, enter your income and salary deductions and the tenure of the loan. This usually stretches out over your working life. Hence the earlier into your life that you apply for a loan the lower will be your monthly instalments. Once you have entered these variables you will get your loan eligibility and can plan for a home accordingly.
- Factor in additional costs – The price of the house is just one aspect of the many that you have to contend with. Stamp duty and registration depend on the value of your property and hence you should know the property rates prevailing in the location of your choice. A property lawyer will be able to guide you in this regard. Then there are professional fees of lawyers and surveyors who will carry out a search of the property to ensure that it is not under lien or mortgage anywhere and has clear title and marketability. In most apartment blocks there is a monthly maintenance charge depending on the extent of common facilities provided by the builder. Calculate all these aspects to arrive at the total investment required.
- Insurance of property – House insurance is a safeguard for future should any calamity strike your city. The premium payable depends on the valuation of land and buildings and household items. Further, if the house is fitted with advanced state of the art security systems like audio-video links and CCTV cameras the premium payable is usually lower. Talk in-depth with the insurance agent and have a customised plan that matches your need. Over insurance is a waste of money, under insurance will be a loss if you are affected by any untoward incident.
- Research the builder or real estate agent – Reputed builders will be with you right through from the planning stage to completion of project. The advantage of not subletting different work like masonry, carpentry and plumbing to separate agencies is that there will be better coordination if the whole project is tracked by one supervisor. However, do not leave everything on the builder, it is recommended that you have the blueprint and drawings with you and track progress regularly.
For a start, this check list should at least ensure that you are on the right path to owning a house.