Where to Start
Where should I start looking for a home? Should I buy or should I build?
This is the most difficult decision that one must make when acquiring a new home. The process of locating or building a suitable home is not usually a decision that is taken quickly. The first thing you need to know is how much money you can afford to pay for a house.
Some useful tips on buying a home:
- Decide beforehand in which area you want to live and concentrate your efforts on that area;
- Contact Real Estate agents or Real Estate Promoters and advise them of the amount you can spend on a property and the area in which you would like to live
- Refer to newspaper advertisements;
- Visit Abbey Building Society links to property developers and Properties offered;
- Let people know that you are in the market for a home.
The house that you purchase should take into consideration:
- The size of the land you desire;
- Number of bedrooms for your family;
- Additional amenities required - Family/T.V room/gallery, etc.;
- Desirable neighborhood;
- Close proximity to transportation, schools, shopping and other services;
- Availability and reliability of utilities;
Tips on viewing a prospective home:
Examine the house carefully for:
- Leaking roofs - i.e. water stained ceilings;
- Visible cracks/repaired cracks....especially wall joints;
- Moisture damage on walls/floors;
- Shifting foundations - exterior cracks should be carefully examined by a construction professional;
- Leaning walls;
- Termite eaten woodwork/droppings;
- Deteriorating floors;
- Dilapidated cupboards;
- Damaged plumbing, e.g. flush all toilets, turn on/off all faucets etc.;
- Worn or exposed electrical wiring - turn on all electrical outlets and motors;
- Land slippage.
All of the above will provide you with an idea of the condition of the house and therefore, enable you to contact repair specialists with a view to determining the costs you will incur to rectify those problems. That of course, will determine the price you pay for the house.