I’m not a real estate broker or expert on buying a house. This will only be based on my experiences and ideas from my friends. – authored by Aryel Patio
1) Incomplete New House vs. Complete Package Older House
That’s our dilemma 10 years ago, that time when we are going to buy a house. We chose to buy the completed older house even it is expensive rather than the cheaper unfinished new house. That’s a good choice for us because up to now, there are no repairs or maintenance problems that we encounter. On the other hand, several chose to buy the unfinished new house and planning to complete it later. But the catch is: there are some unforeseen expenses in life that may come upon like car repairs, emergency remittance to the Philippines or unexpected vacation that might affect your planned budget for the house improvements. Until you realized, you used that budget for those undetected circumstances then the only option is to make a loan again for the house developments.
I’m not saying that this decision is applicable to all. But I suggest, instead of making a loan again in the future to finish your house why not just add it to the total price of the house if it is still in the range of your pre-approval in the bank. Monthly payments are affordable than monthly amortization plus monthly of new loans.
2) House Roof
Consider the roof age. Some said, roof should be changed if more than 10 years old already. If you buy an older house and you noticed that it is already a failing roof then it’s another expenses. If you are a carpenter who knows how to repair roofs, that could make the expenses light and cheaper. But if you are not a handy man like me, repair bills will be a headache.
You should inspect all the windows before buying a house. Check if there are cracks and if you need to replace it. Windows are also expensive, especially front windows. Don’t forget to inspect the skylights. If they aren’t in the best condition, it might be worth factoring in how much custom replacements might cost from providers similar to dalyteusa.com. With a better understanding of the condition of all the windows, you can weight up the cost of repairs and replacements when deciding to purchase the house.
Usually if you are going to buy a pre-owned house some appliances are already included like fridge, oven, laundry machines, dish washer and central air conditioning system. If the owner or broker said that those are new appliances, ask for the receipt or warrantee papers. So that when the time it will be needed, you can still use the remaining warranty years.
5) Show Homes
When visiting the open house, pay attention to all the details and appliances that will be included. They might show brand new appliances to attract buyers. But when you buy the house, you will just notice that those appliances were replaced to old ones. Usually it happens when the previous owner is at the same time buying a new house. Sneaky but they might shuffle the appliances they get from their new home to their previous house. For example, my neighbour is selling their house; the main attraction to shoppers is their beautiful, fancy and big deck. It gets a buyer so fast! But after the open house they changed the fancy deck to a small one. After a while, the deal was cancelled because the buyer noticed that big change. Get in contact with www.pcfmanagement.com to talk about property management if you’re serious about moving.
6) Blueprints and House Plans
If available, don’t forget to ask for the blue prints of the house. It will be a great help if you have plans to upgrade it in the future.
Always investigate your future neighbors. You might find a good deal for a nice house but your neighbors might be some sort of a headache. By then, you might like to look for a new house again.
8) House Package
Like tip no. 1, choose house package with garage especially during winter (specifically for those in colder areas). Probably, you’ll spend $20-30k for the garage construction.
9) Inspect Again
If you can, check the appliances before buying the house if it is working properly especially the central air conditioning system and heater. Take time and think again, if you are not comfortable with everything, you can politely back out on the deal. But of course it is still a headache for the wasted time and effort.
10) Water and Hydro Consumption
If you already bought the house, I suggest on the first day of your move, read your water and hydro consumption already. At least you have the record of your first intake and you will not pay the consumption of the previous owner.
11) Down payment
If you are going to buy a house, you still need at least 5% down payment. Don’t forget to also think about what happens if you have to sell the house you are in at the moment. You also need to check out and Compare Conveyancing Quotes before you buy a house. Selling your house might be tricky but you want to make sure you can get the most money out of it as possible. If you think you’ll struggle to do this by yourself then it might be a good idea to check out something like Sell My House to give you a better idea of what needs doing.
12) House Bills
Most importantly, make sure you can afford already all the bills and expenses when owning a house. Many says it’s okay to buy a house rather than to rent an apartment because your rental bills are nowhere to go compared to a mortgage which soon to be an investment. That makes sense, but sometimes it is still practical when renting. Example of this comparison: When renting, the usual bill is $1K/month, all utilities included. No need to worry for house maintenance because if there are troubles and repairs, the landlord usually pays. If you are the homeowner, usually these are your bills: house mortgage, mortgage insurance or personal insurance, home insurance, property/school tax, utility bills (hydro, heater, cable, and telephone). Plus other fees like car insurance and car loan if you have a vehicle that is not yet paid. I knew lots who immediately bought a new and big house who regretted their immediate decision in the end.
It’s not my intention to discourage specially to new immigrants to buy their own house. We Filipinos have the same dreams, and that is to have our own house in Canada. But my advice is to take it slow if it doesn’t fit yet to your budget. Balance everything first to all the decisions that you are going to make. Many of us have triple jobs just to have the means to pay our bills. But remember, it is still better if you have plenty of time for your family and yourselves.
Tagalog and original version can be read here.
Click link to read Part 2 – Tips After Buying A House
Source. Aryel Patio at Life of Peg Group
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