House hunting is not a walk in the park, even for those who are connected. There are many things that have to be given consideration since you may have to spend a lot of time in that living space. Whether it is your first rodeo at house hunting or you have done many times before, the challenges associated with the process never go away. The following are some of the reasons you need to pay attention to when searching for a palace to live in.
You can only live in a house you can afford. It is recommended that your house rent should never exceed 10% of your monthly salary. That is a very tactful tip to adhere to and you’d do well to operate along those lines. It goes without saying that the higher the rent, the better the amenities, but that doesn’t minimize what you can get in a cheaper house. You just have to prioritize what’s more important.
The most basic things like electricity, water, and air conditioning have to be there at the minimum. The rest can then follow up depending on how much you need. Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a house you can’t afford. People have this bad habit of convincing themselves that things would work out only to start struggling with rent not long after.
If you’re living in an apartment complex, then things that should take precedence are security, water, electricity, proximity to other necessary things like shops, malls, and modes of transport, among many other things. If the home you are renting or buying is in its own compound, then your needs may vary. Does it have a robust security system? How far are the other neighbors? Does it have a pool? How is the landscaping? Does the backyard come with a pond with its pre-installed ceramic filter media? How much more will you have to pay for the property with all these things considered? These are some of the questions you’ll need to address before committing your money to anything.
The neighborhood plays an important role when house hunting, especially where children are involved. How is the crime situation of the area? Are there sufficient schools? How far is the hospital? The mistake many people make when purchasing or renting a house is the lack of proper reconnaissance.
You should spend a day or two spread out through the week to just drive around the area you have in mind to check the situation on the ground, the number of people, the traffic, how people interact. You’ll get more information this way than what you’d get by simply asking around. It pays handsomely to do some due diligence beforehand.
The Size of the House
How big the house is depends on what you need and the number of people involved. If you have kids, then you’d be expected to go for a bigger house with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms to avoid having to share them. If you are alone, then there’s no reason to go too big; a small spacious apartment with everything you need will suffice. However, if you can afford it, it is always a good idea to go with a bigger plan that you can always grow into. You never know what may happen a year down the line; you may meet someone you wish to settle down with, and having to move again would be too much work. Plan ahead.
Real Estate Agents
If time is not on your side and you are too busy to find even a single day for a serious house-hunting expedition, then you would be served well, leaving all that to a trustworthy real estate agent who’ll do all the legwork on your behalf at a fee. You need to get the best in the game, even if that ends up costing a little more because having to deal with fake conmen can result in so much pain. A good agent will use all the information you provide them to find something that is as close to your preferences as they can; in fact, they will even provide you with several options for you to make a decision on.
To verify their validity, make sure you take their details and do a background check to verify that they are who they say they are. A red flag would be dealing with an agent who has no website, is not affiliated with any known real estate company, and has no physical address.
Use the Internet
The internet has made things much more convenient for everyone these days. With a simple click, you can have access to thousands of house listings that have all the details written out clearly with contact details for easy communication. Make use of this to cut out the middle man. Another advantage of this method is that you can do it at any time and from any place, all you’ll need is a phone or a personal computer and some internet connection, and you can conduct the search as you sip some coffee from your bed.
Searching for a house is much easier these days than it used to be before because of the many resources that are available now. The one thing you have to exercise is caution in every decision you make, especially when reading up the lease agreement. Take your time to read it well, preferably in the presence of a lawyer. Don’t get yourself tangled up in a bad deal.