When it comes to buying a property there are several interconnected steps that make up the process.
First time property buyers are often individuals or families who have taken time to save and are looking forward to using their money to purchase a property that they will treasure. For many, the purchase of a property is the first single largest investment that they will ever make. The fear of getting it wrong could make the entire process overwhelming but if we approach it with a process mindset, systematically, we stand a higher chance of getting a good outcome.
Clarity is the first step in the process. You need to clarify exactly what you want and why you want it. Depending on your present situation, this is a decision you can make alone or with your family. The decision as to where to live will affect the whole family. If you are married and your spouse is going to be contributing towards the project or supporting you while you are executing the project, then you should carry them along. The resources available to you and your timeline are also important. If you have a shortage of either money or time then this will determine your approach.
It is possible to go on this journey alone but it is far better to have a support team of professionals who will help smoothen the search. It is advisable that you engage the services of one or two real estate agents or property professionals. A real estate agent or property professional possesses the knowledge or contact that you need to actualize your dream. It is also not a good strategy to engage several agents. Real estate operates on information and those engage in the business have different ways of knowing the properties in the market .They also relate with other professionals in a way that leverages relationships to get a better deal.
For these professionals to be able to assist you in your search they will be interested in at least your answer to two basic questions. They would like to know which area you are interested in buying and how much money you are prepared to spend. These are questions on location and budget. They are both connected. The amount that you have available for this project may restrict you to certain areas and properties within certain price ranges. In calculating the amount, that you have available for this project do not forget to make provision for transaction costs such as agency and agreement fees.
Selecting an area to live should not be solely about price range. It should be about lifestyle and the type of neighbourhood that you intend to live in. When it comes to evaluating a neighbourhood it is better for you to have some basic issues in mind that could be used to compare an area with another. Depending on what you consider a priority now, the common areas of emphasis include proximity to schools, shopping centres, markets, security, and transportation and other conveniences or infrastructures. If an area you are not familiar with, you should endeavour to visit the area at various times of the day or week in order to have better perspective about the area. Asking questions from those you know who live in the area could also make the situation of the area clearer.
Physical inspection of a property is one of the key ingredients of real estate decision-making process. It is true that in this age of social media you can look at pictures or watch videos about a property. But take my word for it, physical inspection beats all these other methods because it allows you into the look and feel of a property. It has been suggested by some that you should inspect at least 12 properties. There is no hard and fast rule about this. If you know exactly what you want and you find them in the first property proceed. However, if you are not sure that you have found the right deal then keep on searching.
Finally, you need to be ready before you begin and be ready to act once you begin. There are those who begin their property search with the intention of getting their finances in order after they have found their desired property. This does not always work out well since you do not control the transaction time and the property seller has no obligation to wait for you. Before you begin, if you have a plan to sell an asset and use the proceed to buy this property go and dispose that asset first. If you plan to apply for a bank loan, it is important that you get pre-qualified first so that you will not be disappointed or unduly delayed by the bank when the opportunity to buy a property presents itself. The idea is that you should be ready to act without any delay once the opportunity presents itself.