If, as a recent home buyer, you put yourself in a room with nine other recent buyers eight of you will likely experience major regret related to the property purchased. Make sure you fall in the 20% of buyers who love everything about their homes.
Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, believes that important elements are often overlooked at the point of purchase because it is easy for buyers to get caught up in the emotional journey of purchasing a home. “It is only once they have moved into their new home and everything has settled that the reality of the situation sets in,” explains Goslett, “Buyers then start seeing things they previously didn’t.”
He adds that although buying a home is a massive financial commitment most buyers base their decision on only a few minutes of viewing the property. Buyers need to be fully prepared and know exactly what they are looking for or they could make an incorrect decision.
When starting out on the home buying journey every buyer should consider these three guidelines as vital in their decision-making process:
Before even starting the search for a home a buyer should make a list of needs vs. wants, prioritising the must-haves and noting the elements that they are willing to compromise on. If a home has many of the buyer’s wants but misses out on the main objectives it is not the right house, the buyer should continue searching.
“Purchasing a property is a long-term commitment, buyers will have to deal with their compromise for a long period,” adds Goslett. “For this reason it is essential that the right decision is made upfront – compromise on the wants instead of the must-haves.”
One of the main reasons that buyers regret their home purchase is unexpected costs. It is vital for buyers to calculate how much they can afford, taking into account all the associated costs that go along with home ownership such as home owner’s insurance and maintenance. A bond origination company such as BetterLife or a professional financial adviser will be able to provide potential buyers with a list of costs that they can expect to pay when purchasing a home.
Goslett says that another important aspect to consider is having the home inspected. This will give buyers an idea of the type of repairs they can expect so they can budget for this beforehand.
With inventory stock still low in many sectors a competitive offer from another prospective buyer could make a home seem more attractive than what it really is, leading a buyer to push up their own offer.
Goslett emphasises that it is important for a buyer to keep in mind that they are trying to buy the right home in these situations. Paying too much for a home will require a larger deposit as well as pushing up transfer costs and thousands of rand of additional interest on the larger bond. This is in addition to overpaying for the asset in the first place and effectively taking longer to build up equity from the purchase.
While finding the perfect home can be an emotional rollercoaster, it is important to keep things in perspective. Focus on the must-haves not the wants and avoid being part of the 80% that regrets the biggest purchase of their lives.