Are you finally ready to embark on the adventure of a real estate purchase and you have decided to buy a house? Then you are surely full of questions. What should you check before buying? How do you search for a house for sale? And above all, how do you do it properly? Discover all our advice to help you search for property in all serenity and not to forget anything.
Check the real estate transactions around the property
Before starting your search for property, we strongly recommend that you look at real estate transactions in the areas that interest you. You will thus be able to have a good assessment of real estate prices in these sectors and refine your project accordingly. For example, if your borrowing capacity is not adequate, you can now start thinking about which other neighborhood you might like rather than wasting time on sightseeing. You therefore optimize your search for property and avoid any frustration.
Make sure the property is within your budget
One of the most important steps in your search for property, is to estimate your budget. Having a precise borrowing capacity allows you not to waste time in your research by restricting the properties that fit your criteria. Your financing capacity depends on many factors: your income, your contribution, the duration of your loan, etc.
In general, to estimate your budget, you just have to ask yourself this question: how much am I prepared to pay in monthly installments? In general, this should not exceed ⅓ of your income. It is then up to you to adapt the duration and decide on your contribution.
Establish the important criteria
Now that you have refined your project by defining your budget, it is time to check the criteria that your ideal home will have to meet! The properties you are going to visit will potentially be your future residence. It is therefore important to refine your wants and desires to be sure that you do not regret your purchase. So think carefully about your life plan, do you want a dog and therefore an outside space? Do you have children who need to be close to public transport?
Many questions that will help you see more clearly the characteristics of the property you are looking for, the neighborhood where it should be located and ultimately your budget. As you will have understood, the criteria for your future home are purely subjective! If for you an attic is essential then do not hesitate!
If there is work to be done, where do you put the limit?
The works are not necessarily a brake on the purchase. On the contrary, they can allow you to completely appropriate a good purchase. What is more? A house requiring a lot of work will be less expensive. However, if there is any work going on, be sure to estimate how much time, money and energy you will need to invest in it. To do this, list all the changes you want to make to your future property, from a change of electrical outlet to the creation of a new wall.
You will find that, accumulated, small planning details can ultimately require more time and money than you expected. In addition, do not hesitate to already make quotes in order to know if the planned work falls within your budget and make sure of the feasibility of the latter.It would be a shame to find once the property has been purchased that you cannot fit it out as planned!
The visit around the property
Now that you have refined your project by defining your budget, it is time to check the criteria that your ideal home will have to meet! The exterior is all the more important in a house than in an apartment. So even if you can’t wait to come back and visit the property, don’t forget its surroundings!
We therefore recommend that you pay particular attention to the neighborhood by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are there shops, public transport?
- Do you feel safe in this neighborhood, especially at night?
- Are there any noise pollution (main road, bar, roadworks, etc.)?
To check these criteria, do not hesitate to go to the neighborhood in the evening, and on weekends. The atmosphere may be different there than in the morning during the week, for example! Then you can see if certain more “comfort” criteria are met or not: presence of green spaces, parking spaces, libraries, etc.
Beyond the neighborhood, it is important that you examine the facade and roof of the property you are visiting. They allow you to see the age of the house, if it is well maintained and if work is to be expected. Regarding the exterior of the house, does it meet your expectations? Is there a garden? How big is it? Is it in good condition? Does it have a place in a garage? Swimming pool?
The visit to the property itself
Now that you’ve taken a good look at the neighborhood and the exterior of the house, it’s time to step inside. Be prepared to open your eyes and pay attention to the smallest details. Even the front door should call out to you! Is it armored? Does it meet the security criteria of your insurance?
During the guided tour, do not hesitate to ask all your questions to the real estate agent or to the owners: the area of the property, possibility of development, etc. For the kitchen and the bathroom, check the condition of the walls and floors. Pay attention to the water and gas inlets.
Visitation mistakes to avoid in your search for property
The first mistake to avoid is not preparing for a visit and being distracted. You are visiting a property that could become your main residence. Taking time to establish your checklist and criteria can save you time later. If you omit a detail during the visit, it may require you to do some work in the future. So be prepared.
Secondly, don’t stop at the first property you visit, even if it is a real favorite! Indeed, it is a mistake too often made in the search for property: without a point of comparison, you cannot be sure that the property visited is as ideal as that. In addition, by visiting several properties you will improve your reflexes, your eye and make your specifications evolve. Then force yourself to visit at least 5 properties. You can also visit houses that do not completely meet your criteria.
And finally, if, on the contrary, you have visited too many properties and can no longer get your head out of the water, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a loved one who has already had real estate purchasing experience, an architect or a professional. Visiting with a person with a fresh eye may allow you to realize certain aspects that you may not have paid attention to previously and to anticipate certain faults.
So there you have it!