Buying a house for the first time can be a daunting task especially if the process is not explained and understood. Here are a number of tips and advice to help make the process of buying a home for the first time less stressful.
How much you can afford
Whether you are buying a car, a house, a generator or a pumping machine for the first time, it is important to know how much you can afford before you start looking at buying anything new. It is common to have first time home buyers get upset when their real estate agent asks them for their budget before taking them for viewings. It saves the buyer and agent a lot of time and their search can be fine-tuned to fit the buyer’s budget.
Know what you want
Once a buyer knows how much they can afford, the next extremely important step is to make sure expectations are set. Setting realistic expectations prevents you from getting disappointed and wasting time going for unnecessary viewings. Not setting your specification is like going to the market with no idea what you actually want to buy, you end up walking about aimlessly wasting time and energy. Deciding on the size and style of home you can afford, the location, serviced or not serviced estate, flat, duplex, terrace saes you a lot of time!. It’s important that first time buyers have a strong feeling on items like these but also a good idea on which items they are willing to be flexible with. It is a great idea to prioritize these items in order of importance.
Learn about the home buying process
Buying a home whether as a first timer or not is a process. There are certain steps that need to be taken to ensure the process of buying a home for the first time, goes smoothly. By understanding the steps and process involved, it greatly reduces the chance of you being let down, disappointed or frustrated.
Get educated on the local real estate market
When purchasing a home for the first time, it’s important a buyer understands the local real estate market. There are many ways this can be accomplished, the internet has a wealth of information! It has made learning a variety of topics easy and real estate is no different. It is necessary to note also that not everything on the internet is true, especially third party real estate websites on the internet that provide inaccurate and generalized information. Look at it this way, when you need a plumber to help you fix a leaky pipe, you don’t go on the internet checking for plumbers in Abuja to fix your plumbing problem for you in Lagos. You look for plumbers in your area, let them check out the plumbing and then give you an estimate of how much it would take to do the job. The same can be said for a first time home buyer. A first time home buyer in Lagos, should not be looking to an Abuja agent for information on the Lekki real estate market. It is important for a first time home buyer to sit down with an experienced and knowledgeable local real estate agent to ensure they have a strong understanding of the local market!
Selecting a real estate agent
Ideally, selecting a real estate agent should come before getting educated on the local real estate market, but for the benefit of you gathering information from different sources, we would let it come after. Buying a home is a very large event in life. It’s not something that should be done without the help of a trained real estate professional. There are many things that a real estate agent is responsible to ensure are getting completed accurately and timely throughout the transaction. From sourcing for the appropriate property, negotiating on the buyer’s behalf to get the best price, documentation and actual closure, are just the few items a real estate agent is responsible for. Without this guidance, it’s very easy for a first time buyer to make a mistake that can cost thousands of naira. In addition to whether an agent is part-time or full-time, other great things to ask a real estate agent is; How long have you been in business? How many sales do you complete a year? In what ways can/do you communicate? Can you provide me with some references or testimonials?
Consider all expenses involved in owning a home
Many first time home buyers make the mistake of not considering the costs of owning a home. It’s common that a first time buyer purchases a home that is the absolute maximum they can afford. This can lead to problems once the buyer realizes the other expenses involved in owning a home. First time home buyers often forget about additional expenses of utilities, furniture, appliances, insurance, and groceries, to mention only a few. A first time buyer who doesn’t consider these additional expenses often will have to change their lifestyles, which can be difficult for some. Bottom line, a first time home buyer must consider all the expenses and possible changes to their current lifestyle that may occur once owning a home!