Most people are impulsive in their buying decisions. It is natural and nonexclusive. However, not all buying decisions should be made on impulse. In fact, in many cases it is imprudent to buy based on tickled emotions. Real estate is one of such buying decisions that should never be made in a hurry because there are several considerations to figure out beforehand to avoid getting your fingers burned and losing your hard-earned money. Simple as the following questions might sound, they can save you a great deal of heartache. So pay close attention.

  1. What Do You Want?

Your decision to buy a property should be preceded by a preconception of what precisely you want. Are you seeking to buy a home you would live in or a property to rent out and earn additional income? If a home to live in, what size would fit and serve you, in consonance with your family’s present and near future needs? What part of town or location do you prefer? Do you want a bungalow, an apartment, or a duplex? These questions should not go unanswered, before you start your search. And they each have determinant factors that should inform your answer. Think critically and determine the what and why of your intention.

Oftentimes, what you want is largely influenced by how much money you have budgeted for your intention; hence this question naturally takes second place. Be objective and perfectly sincere with yourself. Don’t buy a house simply because you want to measure up to social standards. Assess your financial state and determine how much disposable cash you have for your desired property. Sometimes, it might not match up to the property or location you prefer. If so, you may either seek other funding options such as mortgage or wait until you can save more (but consider the possibility of value appreciation). Also, if buying directly from a developer, most offer installmental payment options. If not, who says you can’t negotiate for it?

This is where most people let off the ball and burn their fingers. They don’t do their due diligence to investigate properties before signing the cheque. What if the property lacks regulatory approval for construction? What if there is an ongoing litigation on it? What if it lacks or has fake documents? These are questions you must ask and demand for evidential answers. But much more, do your own research, preferably with the help of a legal personnel. I could beg you on this one: don’t ever buy property without checking its claims!

If you do your research effectively, sometimes what you find might not warrant outright refusal to buy but you can bank on the information to negotiate better price. For instance, an ongoing litigation in favour of the landlord, say where the tenant refused to pay for several years and now the owner wants to sell after getting the tenant out. You can leverage that information for discounted price especially because it would need some necessary maintenance repairs. Sometimes, a seller could have an urgent need for money to resolve some trouble. That can be your advantage. At other times you may just need to look away from that particular property and check out other ones, within or outside the present location. You may just find a better deal.

Overall, real estate investing is not a stroll in the park; it requires prudence, thoughtfulness and vigilance.

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