Where Should I Look For A Home?

inside9Should I buy or build?
This is the most difficult decision that you have to make when acquiring a new home. The process of locating or building a home that you like is not usually a decision made quickly. Give yourself ample time to locate or plan your new home. The first thing you need to know is how much money you can afford to pay for a house. Once you know how much you can afford, then decide where you want to live.

Some useful tips on buying a home:

  • Decide beforehand in which area you want to live and concentrate your efforts there
  • Contact real estate agents and advise them of the amount you can spend on a property and the area in which you would like to live
  • Refer to newspaper advertisements
  • Let people know that you are in the market for a home

The house that you purchase should take into consideration:

  • The size of the lot of land you desire
  • Number of bedrooms for your family
  • Additional amenities required – family/T.V. room/gallery, etc
  • Desirable neighbourhood
  • Close proximity to transportation, schools, shopping and other services
  • Availability and reliability of utilities
  • Security

Tips on viewing a prospective home:

Examine the house carefully for:

  • Leaking roofs – i.e. water stained ceilings
  • Visible/repaired cracks….especially wall joints
  • Moisture damage on walls/floors
  • Shifting foundations – exterior cracks should be carefully examined by a construction professional
  • Leaning walls
  • Termite eaten woodwork/droppings
  • Deteriorating floors
  • Dilapidated cupboards
  • Damaged plumbing, e.g. flush all toilets, turn on/off all faucets etc.
  • Worn or exposed electrical wiring – turn on all electrical outlets and motors
  • Land slippage
  • This will help determine the condition of the house and how much it will cost for tradesmen to rectify any problems, which in turn will influence the offer you may make for the house.

Tips on building a home:

  • Seek advice from architects, quantity surveyors, valuators, real estate agents, land developers and town planners
  • Inquire about the services and efficiencies of several reputable contractors or builders before deciding on one
  • Make personal cheques on costs for verification of estimates received
  • Try to fulfill your immediate needs and do not over-extend yourself financially
  • Plan and build a home according to your existing family needs and one that is is capable of being expanded/modified if that might be necessary in the future
  • Build a home that suits your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you have children or are planning on a family, play-space must be accommodated
  • Avoid making alterations to the proposed building during construction. This practice may lead to additional costs not catered for in the estimates
  • Look around for properties that you like and inquire about the designer and builder
  • Sound financial management and discipline is very important in order to avoid cost overruns. Once you have decided on material specifications, keep to your plans