Home­buyer Be­ware

Don’t let your dream house turn into a night­mare

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Home -

It takes an av­er­age buyer just eight min­utes to de­cide on a house – no won­der al­most 50% soon dis­cover prob­lems. So why not take a few tips from the pro­fes­sion­als?

BE THE BUYER EV­ERY­ONE WANTS

You need cash, or a buyer for your ex­ist­ing house who’s had all the pa­per­work, in­clud­ing mort­gage and build­ing sur­vey, con­firmed. This way the agent will take you se­ri­ously.

TRY BE­FORE YOU BUY

Rent for a while be­fore set­tling in a new area or de­cid­ing on a dif­fer­ent type of house. A stay in the coun­try­side in win­ter or a his­toric town at the height of the tourist sea­son will soon re­veal what it’s like to live the dream.

HAVE A HOUSE-HUNT­ING HOL­I­DAY

View sev­eral in a few days, and get an of­fer in fast. If you spot a

promis­ing prop­erty that isn’t on your list, see if the sale board has a phone num­ber or web­site link.

LOOK ON THE DARK SIDE

Visit your dream house at night, in rush hour, when it rains and – if you can – in ex­treme weather. Pon­der how you’d feel if a neigh­bour ex­tended their house and blocked a great view. Find out the ex­tent and level of the last floods.

SEE BE­NEATH THE SUR­FACE

Take ref­er­ence pho­tos or videos dur­ing view­ings, con­cen­trat­ing on what’s ex­pen­sive to put right – leak­ing gut­ters, damp walls, ver­ti­cal cracks, sus­pect wiring and in­fested or rot­ting wood. Check the shower, gas, elec­tric­ity and heat­ing, and re­search broad­band speeds and mo­bile re­cep­tion in the area.

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