Prop­erty 101: Tips to a good in­vest­ment

Lesotho Times - - Property -

LET’S imag­ine you know what to ex­pect when buy­ing a home a home for the first time, but did you know that it is the lit­tle things that can make all the dif­fer­ence in terms of your long-term hap­pi­ness with your decision? Be­low are our top 10 tips for mak­ing your buy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence as prof­itable, stress-free, and en­joy­able in the long-term as pos­si­ble.

Re­search thor­oughly Peo­ple waste five hours run­ning around like chick­ens with our heads cut off and the en­tire process–after 2-3 week­ends of this–quickly be­comes dis­or­ga­nized and stress­ful. This is the ex­act op­po­site of how the process should go!

In­stead, take time to do your home­work be­fore you even in­volve an agent and be­gin see­ing homes to have a well-de­fined idea of what you’re ac­tu­ally look­ing to buy. Also con­sider at­tend­ing a few open houses on your own– just be sure to let them know you’re work­ing with an agent if you’ve al­ready cho­sen one.

Lo­ca­tion, Lo­ca­tion, Lo­ca­tion This is the most fa­mous say­ing in our in­dus­try when it comes to the three things that most ef­fect buyer’s pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions.

It’s won­der­ful that you can buy a 3 000 sq. ft. sin­gle fam­ily home for a very low price, but if no one will come and hang out with you, what was the point?

Lo­ca­tion is such a cru­cial piece of the home buy­ing puz­zle be­cause it will have the great­est ef­fect on your over­all life­style.

Do you love get­ting up early and walk­ing a block to your yoga class and then hav­ing a nice pro­tein shake from the juice bar across the street on your way back? If you do, then think long and hard be­fore you de­cide to give up your ideal lo­ca­tion for a few more in­te­rior square feet or some shiny new stain­less steel ap­pli­ances.

Don’t for­get to ac­count for ex­tra costs When buy­ers are set­ting up their bud­gets, they al­ways re­mem­ber to ac­count for things like mort­gage, tax, and in­surance pay­ments, as well as any as­so­ci­a­tion dues (for con­dos or com­mu­ni­ties with common ameni­ties). They also re­mem­ber to bud­get for util­i­ties like gas, cable, and elec­tric and most even re­mem­ber things like land­scap­ing main­te­nance and rou­tine main­te­nance.

What most peo­ple for­get about are the lit­tle ex­tras which, when you add them up, can be­come not so lit­tle. A prime ex­am­ple- us­ing the tip above about lo­ca­tion- let’s say you de­cide to move 4 blocks far­ther from your ideal lo­ca­tion which isn’t so far- no big deal, right? Maybe not…

Let’s say you’re not much of a walker or are al­ways in a rush–that 2-minute walk for $0 just turned into a $6 cab ride.

Al­ways re­mem­ber to re­ally take the time to think about your over­all bud­get and ac­count for ev­ery penny that your new home will cost on a monthly ba­sis, but also the an­cil­lary in­come you will need to spend to con­ve­niently live in that lo­ca­tion.

Scope out the area Go­ing out with your Re­al­tor on the week­end and see­ing homes is a great start once you be­come more se­ri­ous about your search, but if you re­ally want to get a feel for the area you’re con­sid­er­ing buy­ing in, you need to do more.

Start by vis­it­ing the prop­erty and gen­eral area at 9am and 5pm so you can judge traf­fic vol­ume, noise lev­els, and the gen­eral feel for the area. Then come back dur­ing the week­end and walk around dur­ing the mid­dle of the day. Stop in a lo­cal restau­rant and have a bite and talk to a cou­ple small business own­ers in the area to get a feel for their thoughts on the neigh­bor­hood.

The trick here is to fig­ure out the life­style af­forded by the area you’re con­sid­er­ing and tak­ing the time to make sure that life­style will be a good fit once you’re moved in.

Don’t com­pro­mise on the qual­ity We’ve all heard the say­ing “You get what you pay for” and this couldn’t be more true than in real es­tate.

I get it–your girl­friend’s sis­ter’s mom is a Re­al­tor and she’s go­ing to be so so so up­set if she doesn’t get the business. Un­for­tu­nately, if you let peo­ple pres­sure you into hir­ing peo­ple who aren’t ca­pa­ble of fully rep­re­sent­ing you, then you can run into prob­lems.

All hir­ing de­ci­sions- at­tor­ney, lender, Re­al­tor, home in­spec­tor–should be based on merit and made with­out re­gard to per­sonal re­la­tion­ships. If you know just so hap­pen to be friends with a phe­nom­e­nal agent with a stel­lar rep­u­ta­tion who works in the area you’re buy­ing in, then that’s one thing, but to blindly give out business when your hard earned money and hap­pi­ness at stake is fool­hardy to say the least!

Al­ways know your exit strate­gies A good busi­nessper­son al­ways knows their exit strat­egy up front and you should be no ex­cep­tion when it comes time to buy­ing prop­erty.

Do you have enough for a down pay­ment so that if you needed to sell quicker than ex­pected you could with­out writ­ing a check? Can you rent the home for enough to cover your to­tal monthly ex­penses as an al­ter­na­tive strat­egy if you can’t sell?

— Busi­ness­day­on­line

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