Steps for buying a home
A home is a much sought asset because of its various benefits both social and economic. These include shelter, independence, status, security, income savings and a valued investment possession.
Despite its importance, acquiring a home is a time consuming and complex but with proper planning and advice, buying a home can be an easy and enjoyable.
The following steps are key to a successful and satisfy home ownership attempt:
Step 1: Identify your Needs
A home buyers needs may be determined by the size of the family, income, preferences in terms neighborhood characteristics, privacy and security needs, and distance from place of work shopping centers, schools and other amenities. For instance the size of the family will determine the number of bedrooms.
Step 2: Make a Budget
The next step is to make a budget and come up with a way of financing it. The key elements in the budget are the cost of the house, transaction fees, finance and relocation costs. The best way to come up with the budget is to talk to the various parties involved in the process. These are Estate Agents who will inform you of the availability of your dream house in the market and the prevailing market prices, an Advocate who will advice on procedure and on items of legal costs, a financier on the availability of and cost of finance.
After your budget is complete your may wish to revisit step 1 and make necessary changes.
Step 3: Viewing of Available Properties
Once you are confident on what you want and confirmed how much it’s likely to cost you, its time to set out and view what is available in the market. Properties for sale are usually advertised by Estate agents or the owners in the property guide section of newspapers, in property magazines and through signboards placed on or near a property that is up for sale. Word of caution here is to be aware of offers that appear to be too good to be true. Approach with caution any offer that is way below what you consider to be below market price. Always consult and deal with only reputable Estate Agent.
List the properties that meet your criteria and make appointments to view. It is important that you spend considerable time on each property that meets your requirements. Appointments should be scheduled when it’s most convenient for you. Inspection of properties should ideally start from the outside by examining the neighborhood followed by the property itself noting any defects. Try as much as possible, to inspect the properties with your spouse/ members of your family and with your Estate Agent.
Step 4: Negotiation and Execution of the Sale Agreement
After identification of the ideal home the next stage is that of entering into formal negotiations. This may be through a letter addressed to the purchaser or his appointed Estate Agent. During this Stage ensure that all documents relating to the property are availed for you for perusal. These documents include the title deed, approved original copies of building plans including any amendments, current electricity water and telephone bills, ground rent and rates receipts and all maintenance and repairs records. Take time to verify these documents. It is equally important that you verify that the documents availed you relate to the property you actually inspected and you are interested in buying. The negotiations may be handled by you or an Agent appointed by you. Home buying negotiations mainly center on the purchase price, the modes of payment, payment and handling of deposits, default penalties, completion period, and responsibilities on maintenance of the house during the period of the transaction, handing over of possession and apportionment of costs. These terms on agreement are to be translated into a sale agreement, which is to be executed by the vendor and you the purchaser.
Step 5: Taking possession of the Home
Once the sale agreement is signed and all parties have fulfilled the conditions as stated in the sale agreement, the next step is to take possession of the house. Taking possession should ideally be done on site. It should be preceded by an inspection to ensure that all is expected and concluded by signing of handover notes. The hand over notes will confirm the condition of the house as at the time of handing over as well that all documents and keys have been passed on to you the purchaser.
Step 6: Moving In
The last and final step is moving in. this may be after some renovations to the newly bought home or if the house was in perfect condition immediately after the handover. Before moving in, ensure that both electricity and water accounts are opened in your name.
After moving in, the rest is up for you to turn the house into a home and live happily. Remember to never buy a house that is to be a home under pressure.