10 tips to find the ideal house
From the Level Realty team\
As a popular saying goes, until you’ve seen your child get married or bought your own home, you really have no idea how hard life can be. If buying a house feels like navigating a maze, Level Realty’s team of experts are here to give you the right advice before you jump in and say one of your life two most important ‘I do’s’.
Before starting your search, visualise your future home
Make a list of all the specifications that reflect your needs, your wishes and your broader vision for the house you are looking for. They can never be too small or too insignificant; they will act as the compass and navigator that will get you to your destination.
Find your budget and stick to it
Before you embark on your trip to Shangri-La, make sure you have adequate financial resources or that your mortgage will be approved. The search process will be made much easier if you stay aware from the outset of the spending limit determined by your wallet (or your bank account). This will give you a clear picture of your price range and will prevent you from deviating from it.
Keep both feet on the ground
Perhaps, in our wildest fantasies, the ideal home looks like a luxury version of the Playboy Mansion. And all too soon, we wake up and reality kicks in. To avoid possible panic attacks, you’d do well to have determined your search parameters based on clear, realistic information, such as the number of family members, which will guide you in deciding how many rooms you need, or the minimum surface area you want in your future home so that it’s suitably functional.
Be open to the possibility of renovation
Many of the houses you view may not be in the best possible condition. That’s why you should have in mind not just what the house looks like now, but also its potential. Old mosaic floors, which are now coming back in fashion, can be polished and give retro character to the room. They may even be replaced by wood or laminate, just as old kitchen cupboards can easily make way for the ergonomic kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. Aside from large-scale interventions that change the layout of the available space, some small interventions, such as lighting, can totally transform a house and its functionality.
Location, location, location
Get in the car and drive around in a radius of 2 km from the property. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the area and make sure that it meets your requirements and lifestyle. Before deciding to rent or buy, it’s good to be aware of practical matters, such as the presence of a school near the house, or whether public transport makes your commute easier.
Do thorough market research
Look at your desired area at all times of the day. Quality-of-life features, such as parks, schools and medical centers, can give an area a background family-friendly vibe, making it feel safe and prosperous. Many potential buyers or tenants make a point of checking out not only the area, but their future neighbours before moving there.
Ask your real estate agent for help
A professional real estate agent will be able to give you his/her expert opinion on the condition of the house. If you’re buying, the real estate agent can value the house beforehand and advise you on the relative quality for price. In any case, it’s better to have a clear picture of a house’s problems going forward, rather than having them sprung on you as an unpleasant surprise later on.
Make space for your life (and shoes)
Make sure that the house you’re looking at, apart from the usual sitting room, dining room and veranda, has plenty of storage space or, at least, provisions for storage spaces. Your future self will be forever grateful.
Trust your instincts
This is the simplest way to determine whether the house you are viewing is indeed right for you. Close your eyes and visualise yourself or your family members sleeping, eating and living there. Judge the house not only on whether it meets the criteria you’ve set, but also trust your instincts and rely on what your feelings tell you about the house.
Manage your expectations
This is when you find out that most houses are imperfect. Whether you are buying, renting or renovating, it’s likely that you’ll need to be more flexible and open to the possibility of change or a radical solution to certain problems. Don’t forget that the house is a true lifetime commitment, and that’s why the possibility that it may turn out to be a disappointment is not an unimportant consideration. As you live in it, though, you will have more and more opportunities to turn it into your dream home, despite its imperfections. And if, after all that, it still isn’t your dream home, at least it will always be your own lovely home!