What is top on your priority list when you set out to buy some built-up property, either as primary residence or for investment purpose?

Type of house? Design style? Size of living space? Cost?

Whatever it is, you must have specified reasons for your preference, I believe. Nevertheless, there are fundamental priorities that you must pay keen attention to if you must maximize your investment. Everything else is secondary.

  1. Purpose

What is the purpose of your intention? Are you buying a home to live in, an office, or investment for rental income or future sell-off? Your intention determines your approach—and everything else. If you’re seeking to invest in a property that will not necessarily be your primary residence or office, you can afford to get one in a marginal location/neighbourhood at a lower price and allow it time to appreciate while providing you nominal returns in the interim.

What is the point buying a home in a neighbourhood where you will live every day in fear of your life and not have peace about the safety of your property whenever you’re away? What other torture could be worse? Never play down on the security and safety of the location you’re considering. In fact, even if you’re buying for investment purpose, security is not negligible. No one would rent your property if they know that the neighbourhood is not safe.

When does the neighbourhood wake up? When does it shut down every night? What days are most bubbling within the neighbourhood, and what are the triggers? What kinds of people live there and will become your neighbours, potentially? Is the environment clean or dirty? Remember, your home (and environment) is a large contributor to how you feel about yourself. Would you fit in to that neighbourhood or will you feel like a misfit?

Outside your home, you also have a life which must be factored into your consideration for where to live. Consider the proximity of your potential investment to your office and other conveniences such as grocery stores, restaurants, banks, friends, etc. Why live in a place so far that your friends can hardly visit you?

Does the neighbourhood have basic infrastructure and amenities such as good access road, effective power supply, available water supply, good drainages and waste management, etc? Don’t discount any of these. Buying a home should not result in everyday torture for the rest of your life.

American real estate mogul Donald Trump said, “Spending more on a good location is far smarter than getting a bargain in a bad area.” Nevertheless, it’s your call to make. How much are you willing to release to achieve the life you want via your investment in real estate. But, don’t mortgage yours and your children’s future in an irredeemable way. Explore as many options vis-à-vis your available fund.

It’s nearly a no brainer that location is a strong determinant of all real estate decisions, whether buying or renting. And, after all is said and done, choosing a location boils down to instincts and feelings. Choose where makes you most comfortable.

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