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Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

You’re ready to buy, and you’re excited to be a homeowner at last. As you embark on your new adventure, it’s easy to let the thrill and emotion of the situation overwhelm your good sense as you visit and view your options. It’s far too easy to fall in love with a property that is entirely unsuitable to you in some way, whether it’s beyond your budget or it doesn’t let you make enough ticks on your checklist of must-haves.

To counter the first-time buyer’s heady flush of exuberant emotions, it’s important to remember and follow a few rules.

Rule #1: Carry a Camera

In the highly unlikely event that you only plan on looking at one house during your search, the camera might not be such a crucial tool. Otherwise, you need a good lightweight digital camera that takes clear pictures and has a flash (and make sure you know how to use it). Use your camera to take a visual record of every house that interests you, because as much as you think you will be able to remember the details of dozens of individual houses, you won’t. Without a visual record of rooms to jog your memory, you’ll quickly start mixing up that fantastic dining room in one place with the fabulous master bedroom in another. Use a smart phone or notebook to jot down the address, and then use the camera to take the following pictures: front of house, exterior from all sides, interior rooms and hallways, back of house (including yard areas). It’s a lot of work, but you’ll thank yourself later when you review what you’ve seen.

Rule #2: Remain Open-Minded

We all get gut feelings about certain places, and house hunting is one of those times. However, it’s dangerous to allow yourself to dive into an emotion without adding a dose of reason and intellect. First-time home buyers often suffer from falling in love with a house (or houses). Often, the desire to move in to a place you can call your own overwhelms your ability to clearly see a house’s faults and weaknesses, which is something you must do in order to make a good choice. Try to remain open-minded about each house you view that meets your criteria and leave the decision making until later when the emotion has diminished.

Rule #3: Always Get a Prospective Home Inspected

You’ve found the house you want and you’ve put in a good-faith payment on the condition that you get the house inspected before you commit to buy. Many a home owner has failed to follow through with an inspection because of time or cost involved only to regret it for years to come. Sellers usually try to put the house in the best light possible, and this can mean that you might miss potential problems that could come back to haunt you. Have a professional inspector check for foundation issues, mold problems, clues about plumbing or pest problems, and more. This is especially important for those buying older homes.

Rule #4: Enlist the Services of an Objective Observer

If you know you’re prone to making emotional decisions, ask someone whose common sense and level-headedness you trust to help you evaluate the pros and cons of each of your options. It’s even better if your objective observer has some experience in real estate or construction, although that isn’t a necessity. Sit down with your advisor and weigh price, location, quality, and preference on each option you are looking at. Leave yourself plenty of time to think things through. This is a fun task to do over lunch or during a long evening when nothing else is pressing on your time.

Congratulations on being able to buy a home! One smart way you can start your house hunting is by obtaining the services of a top quality real estate listing service in your desired city or area. Spacious offers superior services to people looking for homes or apartments in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other locations throughout Asia. Visit our Home page to see how we can help you find the perfect residence for your needs.