Buying a new home can be a challenge when you have multiple options and many things to consider while finding your ideal home.
Some aspects can be quite obvious for you, others may be new things to consider in your repertoire of “pros” in this journey for your next dream home or even your new investment property.
Let’s dive into a series of extremely important tips you´ll use when evaluating each project, giving you a more accurate idea about whether the property we are considering fits our expectations or not.
Probably one of the first key elements we review in our search for a property for us or a renting investment. It is important to be sure the project site fits our needs.
Many of us may be basing our decision on a budget to refine our quest. Although, if the budget is not a limitation, you can probably dedicate yourself to find projects in those areas that accommodate the socioeconomic status and amenities –like Country Clubs– that enjoy your approval.
What is near the house or apartment you are analyzing?
Last year, a friend and I were in search of a new apartment to live in, and we continually reviewed real estate magazines or any apartment and house sales fairs we could find. We had a fairly defined budget, with some margin in case a “perfect” option arose according to our criteria.
Every time we visited a model apartment, we asked the same questions:
- What do I feel when I walk the streets until I reach the site?
I must be honest with you, I´m a person who chooses the routes to get home according to “feelings”, and there are certain paths that I enjoy very much when traveling them. I think they help build the experience of inhabiting a city. But that´s me, you will tell me how you are.
- How did we feel in each space of that particular house/apartment?
These are details sometimes due to the pressure of making the purchase, we ignore and think “I´ll adapt later”, and that is not the right approach. We must remember that we will live inside this place –in case you´re not thinking about renting the place– and precisely we are the ones who must enjoy the places that build our day-to-day.
- How do you feel standing on the sidewalk in front of the building or house?
What do you think about the people who walk on that street? Are they the kind of people you like to have around your home?
If that is the case, you should pay attention to the views you’ll have.
Do you have a park near which you can look at?
Perhaps a view of the sea, or a boulevard that is worth admire during a moment of solitary thought on your apartment’s balcony or window. Now, if you have a house, there is also a lot to admire, believe it or not. Everything depends on you, and how the property was designed.
When we are at ground level, our views will be –in most cases, but not always– a little shorter, but not because of that they will be less pleasant or relaxing.
We can take advantage of our vegetation inside the property lot to develop a pretty decent view to enjoy, or it could be the park next door –if there is one– but, regardless is a front or backyard, we always can delight our eyes.
We even can add a vertical garden on the patio walls, increasing the “green-level” on sight, making the space cooler, quieter and more pleasant. Everything is in our power to imagine and adapt to those areas –for the better– and make them more liveable.
How easy is it to take a bus from this house?
How far is the nearest Subway or Bus station?
Take this into account for your daily routine as for sporadic and infrequent cases, one never knows.
Is there a Health Care provider anywhere close? always helps to have an Ambulatory, Clinic, Hospital or Health Center in the neighborhood, emergencies never give you a heads up.
Education becomes a priority when you have young members in your family. Does the apartment have a nearby school? The daily commute to and from the education center can consume valuable time, so it never hurts to choose a site that is as close as possible to colleges and universities.
Many times we do not give enough importance to this point, but my job here is to return it to its rightful place. Entertainment is totally necessary for the development of our lives.
Take it into account when choosing your next place of housing, there is nothing wrong it is very smart because it can save us money in the medium and long term, avoiding long distances of travel, which translates into fuel spences or renting of private transport services.
What about Transit?
In many cities in the world, this is one of the most time-consuming tasks we carry out each day. Pay attention to this. How far is it from your workplace and how long will it take you to travel that distance?.
Is it easy to get to the property? This could look like a simple thing, but, how you drive home –and from it as well– affect how you perceive your house and the place as a whole. If you are considering buying this house for renting it later, if it is difficult to get to, you´ll have a hard time finding a tenant.
Who builds and who promotes the project you are looking at?
These two factors are often overlooked by many buyers. This step is critical, as in a chess game, it is an initial move that may not be noticed at the beginning of the game, but which later in the game can cost a lot.
It never hurts to investigate a little about all the current projects the developer and/or construction company is developing. This gives us a general idea of the areas in which they usually execute their projects, it also shows us what style of projects they usually build and in our investigation, it is worth searching about the client satisfaction history of that company.
A promoter with few projects is not necessarily a bad sign, it doesn´t mean they won´t finish the project you are looking at, however, sometimes thing happens and although the laws protect you as an investor and you are likely to recover almost all your money, is an unpleasant episode, and that to not talk about the waste of time this experience left you with.
This kind of situation puts you at a disadvantage within the market since these types of episodes tend to develop in prolonged periods and in the meantime the market continues to increase in price, leaving you in a position where you buy less with the same money you originally had.
Think about researching a bit more about those companies.
In the same way, you should pay attention to the building history of those companies, I strongly recommend you to go a pay a visit to the lastest project they finished and get an idea of the finishings they deliver. What do you think about their quality?
How long ago the building was turned? How well it preserves in time?
Why is this important?
The main reason behind buying real estate is the investment in something that gains –or at least maintains– its price in time. If the building you are considering is relatively new, and present signs of deterioration, that could be a bad sign for you.
Think about this.
You buy this home with the idea of selling it after the prices rise with time. But if the house is in bad shape and a big amount of money is required to restore it to its original state, probably you´ll have a hard time trying to sell this piece.
Think about the future. Make sure the quality of the construction preserves well in time. This way you can be sure –and relief– you are putting your money in a good place.
How many vehicles do you currently have? Or maybe, how many do you plan to have?
This point, although does not have to be decisive for everyone.
It is worth keeping in mind since if you end up driving the usual amount of cars within an average family, you will have at least a couple of cars in the parking lot, so you will need where to accommodate them comfortably.
Will they be one behind the other? (In case of being two), or maybe next to each other. All this is information the promoter should give you.
Nowadays in many cities, the trend is to leave the car behind and embrace the bikes and shared rides, but if you live in the States, you should not forget your car for another couple of years, since we are not even close to that yet.
Amenities such as social areas, swimming pools, well-distributed and furnished Lobbys can be quite useful in the future for your personal development when you need to attend visits from family, friends, customers or partners, in addition to your normal routine as an individual with your family.
In some apartment buildings you can find dedicated areas furnished like actual corporate offices, allowing you to work from “home”, but with a more engaging environment, having also the chance of receiving clients in these spaces and not having to use your apartment.
And I´m not talking about “Goal Plans” or a route to success –well, you should have those, but that´s not the kind of plans I mean right now–, you should ask for the project plans after buying.
Why is that? You may wonder.
Right after you buy –or it may be a little later in the future– you will renovate or make alterations to the place, and you´ll need to know information like the position within the walls of all electricity conduits or the plumbing pipes in your floor, so you don´t drill a hole on it and get flooded without warning.
Save yourself the headache and request the plans. Believe me, you´ll thank me later.
Which plans you should ask for?
- Architectural plans
- Electric plans
- Plumbing Plans
- A/C plans (if applies)
With those, you´re good to go.
In a nutshell, a good research work by your trusted Real Estate Agent can help you make the ideal selection for your next home, office or business.
It may seem there are too many points to pay attention to, but if you dedicate the appropriate amount of time to this task, I promise you it will pay off and you´ll have a great experience –not to mention you´ll save money in the long run– selecting your new home or investment residence.
Let me know if this article was helpful in your decision process.
Have the best of days.