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  • Nurul Khairiah Mohamed Yusof

How To Choose the Right Home

Thinking of settling down into a new home? Learn the right way to make a better decision to have a better home for you and your family.

Home is where the heart is. After a long day at work, we should all look forward to going home. If you have a family, it would be even more important to be able to provide a safe and comfortable home for them. 


Whether you are looking at buying or renting your next home, here are some aspect that you should consider before making the big decision.


#1. Affordability


It is important to look for a property that you can actually afford. The affordability rate is different for every people. You must aware of how much you can afford every month to pay for either rent or your home loan, and have a little extra for maintenance costs too. If you make a rash decision to buy an expensive property that you couldn’t afford, it can turn into a financial nightmare.


According to a New York Times report, your property and home insurance repayments should not be more than 35 percent of your pre-tax salary. When you buy an affordable house that matches your current income, you can see it as an opportunity to use the remaining money to save and invest in other portfolios instead of splurging most of it on your property loan.


Some money matters you should take into consideration when thinking of affordability:

  • Deposit or downpayment

  • Monthly payments

  • Maintenance fees for non-landed properties or gated communities

  • Legal fees for loan or tenancy agreement

  • Brokerage fees

  • Parking fees

  • Stamp duty fees

#2. Survey the right property


When you are confident about what kind of a home you can afford, proceed to do thorough research and survey your options to know the best deal out there that can accommodate your needs and budget. You might have to compromise some of your likes and dislikes , but it shouldn’t be too jarring from your initial plan.


Investing your time and effort into doing your homework reduces the risk of overpaying. Take your time and do not rush the process. Do not worry if you feel you might lose the good property by delaying (because you are thinking and weighing your decision!) as there are many other properties out there for you to discover. 


You can reach out to a property agent, doing an online search to see property listings, or asking your colleagues or friends for any recommendations of a good property area. But, most importantly is to keep an open mind and do a good research.

#3. Location matters


A good location can ensure comfort, safety, and good mental health when you live in a comfortable house. The best properties are always located in the safe areas with easy accessibility to preferred conveniences.


These locations differ for individuals. Maybe you need a house with a walking distance to the public transportation station or you need a secluded location for better privacy and space. But, usually, the main priorities for homeowners is a house near to important amenities like food supplies, medical, educational institutions, or even less traffic to avoid more time spent on the roads when commuting.


Remember, you can improve the property but you cannot move it. Do not just think about the current attractiveness of the neighborhood, but also what changes might happen in the future. For example, are there are upcoming property development projects in the surrounding area? This can affect the value of property around the area.


#4. Visit before you seal the deal


Aside from looking at pictures online or hearing advise from others, it is essential you visit the property yourself to see it with your own eyes and get a good feel of the surrounding area.


What you are comfortable with may differ from what others are comfortable with so it is necessary for you to check things out yourself than to rely on answers your property agent provides. Pictures can be misleading and they do not capture noise and smells. A visit also allows you an opportunity for a face to face conversation with the owner, agent, or neighbors to get more details.


Among some things you may consider important to discover are:

  • Have there been any major renovations done recently?

  • What are included with the asking price?

  • Does the property and surrounding areas feel right to you?

  • What renovations or changes would you require to make it suit your needs better?

  • How is the water pressure?

  • Are there many mosquitoes or other pests lurking?

  • Are the neighbors too loud for you?

  • Who occupied the property previously and why are they leaving?

It is good to make several visits before you make your decision. Time your visits so that you can sample different situations such as rush hour traffic, day versus night, etc. If you are worried that someone else may grab this place before you do, make these visits within a short period of time rather than skipping them entirely.


Knowing all of these beforehand is essential for you before making a decision. 


#5. Consult your licensed financial planner


Look back at your research and get a second opinion from your licensed financial planner to determine your cash flow and financial standing before committing to property investment. They can help you to see how you can afford to pay for your mortgage loan 20 to 30 years in the future. This is very important to avoid regrets and making sure you can survive even though you are facing some sort of financial hardships in the future.


After you have review your research and get advice from an expert, trust your instinct when making a decision. If you feel something is not right when dealing with the property agents or the developer, consider it as a red flag and move on from the property. Do not make a rash decision that can badly affect your financial plan in the future. 

Conclusion 


Choosing a new home is not always an easy process. Bear in mind the importance of research to understand your money limitations, family’s needs, and the potential impact on your long-term finances. With all things well-balanced, you can certainly find satisfaction in your new home. 


What other aspects are essential when choosing a home?

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© 2020 Wealth Vantage Advisory

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