As a property hunter, it is important to have a good eye for a bargain. At the end of the day, it needs to make good financial sense to invest in any property. No matter how much you fall in love with it, if it won’t earn its keep, a property is rarely worth buying. That’s why it is crucial to do your research. Here are the five most important things to check when you are looking to buy a property:
Previous Sale Prices
You want to be sure that the property is consistently increasing in value over time. Anything that is selling for less than was paid for it is probably a mistake to invest in. Your purchase price will go on public record, so it’s not always wise to haggle down a desperate seller to a silly rate. Instead, pay what you believe it is worth based on solid research.
All communities change over time, but those that are clearly unattractive might be best to avoid. High crime rates, poor schools, and unsociable neighbors all add up to resale problems later down the track.
Of course, if you are certain the area is about to undergo some rejuvenation, you might be onto a winner. The property value could leap upward if the area is improved. Perhaps a big employer is moving into the area? This too will make your property more popular in the future.
There are some parts of the world that are highly desirable right now, and prices are creeping upwards. You need to get in early to pay a good price before it skyrockets. Such areas include Barcelona, thanks to its popularity with young professionals.
To find property for sale in these popular locations, you will need to look online first. But always visit the property and explore the surrounding areas before you buy.
Many houses are of a standard construction and in a good state of repair. Some are a little run-down and in need of some TLC and a good builder for repairs. Others are of non-standard construction.
If you need a mortgage, you may come unstuck as you will not be able to secure a loan easily in these circumstances. Always get a survey done to ensure the property is structurally sound.
Can You Live There?
If the property is to be a full-time home for you, you want to be certain you can have the lifestyle you want by living there. Visit the property out of hours, to see how busy the street is. Is parking easy all day and night? Is the traffic noise excessive?
Are there any unpleasant odors in the air, or industrial activity nearby? Is the garden a haven for dog walkers? The owners or selling agent are unlikely to be completely transparent about their reasons for leaving. You may need to see if there are any reasons that may make you want to leave too.
Buying a property, whatever the reason, is always a major investment. You need to do your homework, and not fall into the trap of buying a house you will end up hating. Shop around and see what else is available, even when you have your heart set on a place.