So you've decided to buy a home. Congratulations! This is an exciting step in your life and I'm here to ensure you don't put a foot wrong during the process of buying what I hope will be your dream home. That's why I've put together a quick list of things I believe you should know as a first-time home buyer.
Have a Budget
Let's face it; you're going to see lots of perfect houses in lots of amazing places. The price tags of some of the houses are going to be huuuuge too. Your first task is to have a budget.
Ask yourself: how much do I want to spend to buy my dream home? How much can I afford to spend? Making this budget doesn't mean you will get a home at exactly that price; it's just to guide your purchase decision so that you don't go broke and stuck while trying to buy your home.
If you're also buying from a company that allows you to spread your payment and pay in installments like BuySmallSmall, making a budget will ensure you don't default and fall off halfway into your payments.
Follow Market Trends
Start following trends in real estate. This means you subscribe to real estate blogs, newsletters, read opinion pieces and check out real estate websites to see the cost of properties and the changes happening. That will keep you updated on property prices, discounts, ideal locations, environmental issues and other information that will help you make the right choice.
The SmallSmall Blog is a good place to read the latest tips and insights on real estate in Nigeria. You could also subscribe to the SmallSmall Newsletter to get these tips directly in your mail. Reading them will empower you to make the right choice when buying your property.
Select Locations That Fit Your Lifestyle
When browsing through locations, don't just choose the cheapest or focus on aesthetics alone. If you're buying to live in, that means you'll be living in the home for a long time, so it's important to take your time. If you like partying, how's the proximity to good clubs? If you like hosting get-togethers, does it have space that can take enough people? Look carefully at the home features, don't just filter for the cheapest or the finest. Take your time and choose.
Talk to a Lawyer
When buying a home, you'll be given a lot of documents to sign along with different terms that you've not heard about before. Unless you're a lawyer, talk to a lawyer. Let them handle the process for you. Let them worry about the terminologies in the documents and hand over to you when they're sure you're good to go.
If you try to skip letting a lawyer look through, it may come back to haunt you and before you know, you're paying double the original price or even lose the home. Talk to a lawyer.
See the Property
This should be a no-brainer, but you'll be surprised at how many people miss it here. Pictures are great, but see what you're buying with your own eyes.
If you're not close to where the home you're buying is, ask for a virtual tour. That'll save you some buyer's remorse where you start regretting after making the purchase.
Decide What's Next After Buying
Why are you buying the home? To live in, rent out or you plan to re-sell it to make a profit? Be clear on this from the start. If you're planning to rent out, after buying, you know you have to decide if you'll manage it yourself or get savvy property managers like RentSmallSmall to manage it for you.
With RentSmallSmall for instance, you'll continue to earn monthly rent with protection put in place to ensure the property doesn't get damaged. That will be important if you have plans to sell in the future.
If you're planning to buy, hold and re-sell, you may want to consider that from the start as well. Do you want to buy and keep or buy and rent out. Plan this stage well from the start to ensure your property doesn't depreciate before you're ready to sell.
I hope you find these helpful, but of course, there are a lot more things you should know as a first-time home buyer. As I mentioned earlier, you can read the SmallSmall Blog or subscribe to the SmallSmall Newsletter to learn more.
If you're just starting the search for your dream home, you can start on BuySmallSmall. BuySmallSmall is making homeownership seamless for the next generation. You can make a 5% downpayment and spread the payment across 5 years. Or you can pay 40% now and spread payment across 3 years at zero interest rate.
If that's something you'd like to explore, click HERE to start.