As someone searching for a new home, you sometimes have an overwhelming amount of options. Umpteen locations, hundreds of builders and developers, and thousands of home options to choose from. There is so much to look at, sift through and decide. Here are ten pitfalls you may fall into.
1. Not doing your homework
Always keep the old maxim in mind: ‘knowledge is power.’ Nowhere is this truer than in real estate.
A lot of things can affect a home’s value. It is primarily location; then comes the design, amenities, the credentials of the builder, and of course the price.
It is imperative that you do your homework before you start.
With all of the information available through friends, advertisements, on the internet, and online social media, there is really no excuse for entering the process ill-prepared.
2. Trying to make a shrewd investment
Someone from your friendship circle might have made a fortune by investing and selling it at a most opportune time on completion. But, you should bet your hard-earned money only on feasible projects, trusted builders, and without any bias on minting money as you wish. Your motivation for buying a new home should be either to meet your family’s need or as a proud possession for your kids in the future.
If a home doesn’t appeal to you, then chances are others won’t like it too.
But if you choose a neighbourhood where you want to live, choose a home that matches your aspirations and a builder who has a track record in executing quality projects on time, you won’t go wrong. Otherwise, if you want to be known as a shrewd investor, wait at least three to five years before selling.
3. Choosing a poor location
At last, you found your dream home! It is close to good schools, commuting made easy with good road and access to public transport, the elevation looks stunning in the picture, the floor plans suit your family needs, and the price seems to be right.
The few drawbacks include that the locality is slightly notorious, there are some perennial water, and power shortages and the vehicular traffic and noise levels are a bit high. Walk away. Nothing spoils life and resale value like a poor location. The crime rates will rise higher, and the traffic will only get louder and more frequent. Not to say of other infrastructural deficiencies.
4. Overlooking an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior
The frills and fancies on the elevation or the grandeur of the gate cannot compensate for a poor floor plan or inferior space layouts.
If this doesn’t continue after you open the door, there you’ve got a problem that will be difficult to unload. You want a place that makes home-coming the best part of your day.
It ought to have a layout that makes your family feel comfortable, one that responds to the way you live today– open, friendly and functional.
5. Not considering how your family wants to live
You have a mental picture of your dream home you cherished for long. You have seen homes in movies and in designer magazines and on the internet.
These images seldom fit the way you really live.
Your home needs to fit your family. Your comfort and happiness depend on how well you can judge that fit.
While buying a home, you need to think about the kind of neighbours you will be having. Always go for a project that offers you a host of amenities that keeps your leisure hours refreshing and rejuvenating.
6. Not having the home properly inspected
When you find your dream home, it is very important to look over the property. Right from the location and neighbourhood to the quality and workmanship of the materials, you should have a hawk’s eye.
You need to go through the quality of the design, the endurance value of the structure and the services ensured by the builder etc. The most reliable method is to trust a professional builder and visit their past projects, check their track record on delivery etc.
7. Failing to check the builder’s reputation
When you search for a new home, you will probably have a preference for location and you would eventually shortlist a number of builders who have projects there.
Rather than making an emotional choice of location, you should be rational. You should look at your proximity to urban conveniences and the development potential.
Look for a home design that appeals to you. Once you have narrowed your search to projects and builders, take a hard look at the builders.
How long have they been in business? How many homes have they sold? What do their homeowners think of them? How many homeowners would buy from the same builder again? What industry recognition have they received? Do they have dedicated departments for Customer Care and After Sales Service?
If you get answers to these questions, then you can easily decide to buy.
8. Not getting what you want because you are impatient
There are a lot of things you can rush into and recover from later. But this does not include buying a new home. The single largest investment most of you ever make is a home. It requires an enormous amount of energy, effort and research. It takes time to do it right.
You need time to do your homework. You have got schools to check for children’s admission, home finance to shop for; neighbourhoods to match your status and above all, you need to check the builders’ reputation. A professional builder has a reputation for safeguarding. Go for the builder rather than the project features. Most probably one will be having the right project at the right location if you wait a little longer.
9. Buy low. Sell high.
Here is the best advice about when to buy a home. There is no time like the present. Who can predict the future? The best we can do is to learn from the past.
History shows that those who purchased home and kept them for a few years did better than those who didn’t. Will interest rates be lower on home finance someday? Maybe not. Will home prices ever be significantly lower? Probably never.
10. And the biggest home-buying mistake… postpone it indefinitely.
Not buying at all. No place to call your own home. No control over your earnings and savings.
No social security or status to fall back on. No value appreciation of your assets. No place to show off to your friends and relatives. You will remain only a dreamer without a dream home.