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Buying a new home? 5 mistakes to avoid

By Abhishek Agarwal
November 29, 2015 10:14 IST
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Buying a house is a life altering decision, and for a first time home buyer the decision is even more difficult. Most people make compromises when they are seeking out their first homes, but the pertinent question to be asked here is how far should you go while making sacrifices? Read on to find out more.

Perhaps nine out of ten people who have bought their first property would tell you that they have had to make certain compromises when they zeroed in on their first homes. This may be encouraging for you to hear, if there are certain things that you don't quite like about the purchase of your first home. But let us tell you that there is no "one size fits all" policy when home buying is concerned. While you may be called upon to make some sacrifices, here are some tips we have gathered for you that we strongly feel that you should not compromise upon.

Your affordability

You may be looking out for a three bedroom apartment, because you feel that your own house should indeed have that much space. But before you take the final decision take stock of not just your present cash flow but your future cash situation as well. This means you will need to take stock of your income, expenses, your assets and your existing debt.

Only after you are completely sure of your affordability, make the purchase. The point we are trying to make here is that you must have realistic expectations based on yor affordability. You do not want to find yourself trapped in a house that you find difficult to pay for later.

Crime rate in the locality

Just finding a good house is not enough. If you are moving in with family or are in the expansion mode of your family, the safety of your loved ones is topmost on your mind. While buying a property you must therefore check out the loacility thoroughly and find out about the crime rates in the area.

Do some research online, get word of mouth advice, and trust your gut feeling about the same. But be absolutely sure that you have done your bit to ensure your family's safety.

Local crime rates are therefore strictly not negotiable when checking out a new house.

Proximity to educational institutions

If you have school or college going children, their education is quite naturally on the top of your mind while choosing a new house. While you may be willing to compromise on the amount of time you take to travel to your workplace, you must make sure that your children do not have go through any such ordeal.

Ideally, a good school and other educational institutions should be within 2 km of your new home.

Healthcare facilities

When you are buying a new home, you want to give the very best to your family. So along with good schools you should check out the healthcare facilities nearby. Find out where the nearest hospital is, and check out if you have medical practitioners nearby. If you are already suffering from some ailment and regularly consult a physician, do take his reccomendations about the healthcare facilities of the new area you are planning to move to.

Overall neighbourhood

Buying any kind of property involves a lot of soul searching and crystal ball gazing. That apart, it involves a lot of personal research to find out more about the neighbourhood. It is prudent to take stock of the overall neighbourhood that you intend to stay in at least six months in advance of your property purchase. Besides, making friends ahead of moving in to your new home is always a good idea!

The ultimate question that you need to ask yourself as a home buyer is whether you see yourself staying put in the house you have zeroed in for the long term.

Ask yourself honestly if you are willing to see your children grow in the house and will have a good quality of life there. If the answer to this question is yes, the compromises that you are making are worth it.

On the other hand, if you find yourself telling that you cannot stay in this new place for more than five years, you are perhaps better off renting as of now.

Photograph: Lee Ruk/Creative Commons

The author is Co-founder and Director Credit Vidya.

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Abhishek Agarwal