2012 is being touted as the year to invest in properties. But before you pounce on the first okay looking apartment you see, here are some tips to make sure that your investment will be worth it.
1. Do your research!
Knowledge, especially in the real estate industry is more than half the battle. Before you jump to the more exciting part such as house visits, make sure you have a working knowledge of the real estate market.
Know the differences between mortgages and moulding, so you won’t be clueless about what your broker is talking about. Having enough knowledge would also make you more attuned to reading between the lines of real estate listings.
Lastly, know what you want in a house. Knowing exactly what you’re looking for saves a lot of time and effort.
2. Make sure you can afford it
While you might have scraped up enough savings for the down payment, make sure you have enough monthly income for the mortgage and other hidden payments.
Buying a home is not something to scrimp on, so make sure you have more than enough cash on hand just in case your dream house is selling for a slightly steeper price than what you have projected.
3. Don’t be in a hurry
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your dream house can’t be found in a short time either. Resign yourself to the fact that several of your weekends might have to be allotted for open houses and house visits with your broker.
Don’t look for a house to invest in when you desperately need one too. My suggestion is to rent for the time being so you won’t feel pressured to plunk your money down in an investment that you don’t love.
4. Start with your current networks
Before attacking the real estate section of your city’s newspaper, casually ask friends or families if they know of any houses for sale. Usually the recommendations of people close to you are more trust worthy that the best worded ad in the paper.
Asking your networks would also alert you to some hidden gems that might be selling at a bargain. So inform your friends and family once you are thinking of investing in real estate, their tips might prove to be invaluable to your hunt.
5. Go for the long haul
It doesn’t make sense to invest in a property that you can only see yourself living in for a short span of time. Make sure to consider not just your present needs but also future ones such as an extra bedroom for your future kids.
Another option for finding properties that are too good to pass up is to buy it then have it rented out, just make sure you have the money to spare in case you won’t find renters immediately.
6. Ask for help from someone more experienced
Having a real estate agent is costly, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you are a newbie to the real estate market. Just make sure to hire an agent that is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.
Once you’ve hired an agent, don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions because that’s what they’re there for. Chances are, they would even appreciate your proactivity in looking for a house and will be more inclined to help you out.
7. Buy what you love
This is a no brainer. Make sure you are positively head over heels in love with a house before signing the contract. This love for your new home will be what will fuel you to make all those monthly payments at the bank.
8. Check out your neighbors and the rest of the community
Remember that you aren’t just buying the house in isolation, you are also buying into the whole community as well. Make sure that your neighbors are people you are comfortable with and that their lifestyles won’t clash with yours.
Having great neighbors is a priceless asset in the city, so make sure that you can readily make friends with the couple next door to borrow an extra cup of sugar or when you need an emergency baby sitter.
9. Accessibility is gold in the city
Even if you find the perfect house, it’s a bummer if you can’t spend time in it because your daily commute takes more than a couple of hours. Be realistic and find a home that is near your workplace and all the other places you’re used to going to.
10. Read the fine print
Lastly, don’t get caught up in the excitement of being a homeowner at last. Read everything that you sign and speak up if there’s something that sounds fishy in the contract.