New Year, new you, new house. Now all you have to do is find the perfect property; that’s easier said than done. It can be a tricky process but we’re about to make it a whole lot easier with our how-to for buying your next home.
1. Make a list
Unless you have a thing for lists, this may be the hardest part. Sit down, and get it over and done with. Think goals, must-haves and property no-nos, and make sure not to have your wallet screaming when you’re done listing.
Which brings us to…
2. Budgeting 101
As much as that five-bedroom fully-detached villa with a guesthouse would mean you’re assured the title of summer-party-host-galore, be smart and reasonable when considering your future home and have your budget front and centre. You should also think about different banks for loans, and plan on what might affect your long-term income (career advancement, future expenses, etc.)
3. Work on that credit rating
Clean up your act and make sure you’re a squeaky-clean and reliable client before heading up to your local branch to ask for a cool 100K.
4. Use a trusted real-estate agent
Read the reviews, shop around and check the testimonials – go for a real-estate agency with a vast property range and reputable know-how. If you’re diving headfirst into buying a home, odds are you haven’t the faintest idea where to start. A real-estate agent will help guide you through the process, lend their experience and protect your assets.
5. Location. Location. Location.
Whether you’re more of the urban kind, or you hate people and want a place in the most remote section of Dingli, it’s a good idea to scout your locality of choice. Get a feel of the surroundings and local amenities, and visiting at different times of the day wouldn’t hurt either.
6. Hidden costs
Flipping rooms is great. No question to it – almost as much as window-shopping at every single interior design store in Malta and Gozo. Money plays a big factor in whatever you’re planning to overhaul, be it a simple paint job or a complete room makeover. Point is, be sure to give that vintage armoire a second thought before throwing your hard-earned cash its way.
7. Think in the long-term
If you’re buying a house, chances are you don’t plan on moving out of it any time soon. This place will be your home for a good few years at the very least, and will probably be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.
Consider anything life might throw your way (including financially and family-wise) and picture yourself living in that house in the future. You might find you need to broaden your search for the perfect home.
8. All the paperwork
Prepare yourself for a whole lot of signage and legal jargon thrown your way. Between Konvenji, a healthy peppering of notary documents and whatever permits you might find yourself needing, be sure you understand what you’re signing and what will come of it.
9. Plan ahead
Buying a house is time-consuming and a huge commitment. Leaving everything until the end is a big no-no. Have your appointments ready well in advance, sort out any necessary time off work, and invest in a good old planner. At the very least, embrace 2018 and set a damn reminder on your phone.
BONUS: Your house = your rules
Keep this as your fallback if all else fails. Your foray into house hunting means everyone and their extended family will be throwing in their two cents on the matter. Advice is awesome, but at the end of the day, you’ll be the one living in your forever home. Make sure your house is, in fact, the one you want.