Imagine how amazing it would be to be living in the house of your dream, to share beautiful moments with your significant other, building a life and starting a family together. It all begins with good financial planning and knowing what to look out for in the house hunting process.

This is the first time you are buying a Home so we want to be detailed and cover everything. Here, I have compiled a list of 6 mistakes you will want to avoid when choosing your first home.


1. Never underestimate the budget

There are many fees and charges that go into purchasing a new home. Some of the costs you should be wary of include buyer stamp duty fees, agent commissions, valuation report costs, and home insurance fees. The fees could add up to a surprisingly substantial amount. First time buyers either get caught off-guard by these fees or get overwhelmed by them.

Take into consideration also the cost that you will need to spend on renovation. Many service providers give free quotations. Don’t be afraid to use them.


2. Carefully study your loans

Have you considered engaging a mortgage consultant? This is something many first time home buyers avoid to save cost, but in the course of my work, I have found that engaging such service can prove to be good value in the end. These are well-versed professionals in the home-buying process. They will always come in handy in giving you a comprehensive home loan evaluation.

Here, your creditworthiness will factor in for you. Hence, you have to work on improving your credit score. This is something you and your significant other can do right now. 


3. Does the location fit your lifestyle?

Indeed, some homes will be affordable but not convenient for you. The reverse can also be true. There are times when you will be caught between a house that is big, expensive and a more affordable but smaller one.

In this regard, you will need to be careful and deliberate on your decision. Weigh the Pro & Cons out, actively seek people you are close to and ask them for their opinions.

Confirm if commuting to work or school will be a daunting task for you. I found that accessibility is something that first time home buyers may value less and downplay the importance as compared to price. You are going to be living there for some time. Place more importance on accessibility, especially if you do not drive. 


4. Check the neighbourhood

Did you know that your surroundings will often be definitive of your comfort? Confirm the amenities within the area. They need to be sufficient enough to meet your needs and preferences.

Are there good schools in your neighbourhood? It comes in handy if you have school-going children and adds value to your home when you do decide to sell it. 

How peaceful is this environment? Does it offer you the security you need? These are some of the aspects that will influence your peace of mind in the long run.


5. Do not shun away from due diligence

Undeniably, buying a home is one of the most significant commitments. And for this reason, it would be best for you to avoid being emotional when transacting. Take the time to carry out enough research into the home you intend to buy.

The URA Master Plan has evolved to be among the most reliable resources to use. Here, you will learn about the various potential projects that could impact the value of the property. Are there upcoming projects soon to be lined up?  Are they going to be constructing an MRT line or maybe an industry park nearby? Will all these developments affect the peace in the neighborhood? These are all legit questions to ask. 

It will also be vital for you to confirm past transaction prices within this neighborhood. It is through this that you will be sure of how much the property could be valued in the future. For instance, you will need to be careful if you note that everyone in the region is selling their property. It could be a sign of a bigger issue.


6. Do not skim over home inspection processes

Take your time when viewing your home. There is a term in Property Law called Caveat Emptor which translates into Buyer’s Beware. This means that it is the onus of the Buyer to do the due diligence. Sellers are not obliged to give information unless they are being asked so ask away!

Take the time to inspect all the rooms and identify any safety hazards or places that look out of sorts. It could be a crack in the ceiling or tile. That spotty smudge in the corner could be molds. Often on night viewings, one is not able to determine if there is enough sunlight streaming into the house.

Remember, a comprehensive inspection could save you a lot of money in the long term.

I hope the article has helped you. Keep in mind these few considerations and avoid making these mistakes. I wish you a great start to your Home Buying process. Arm yourself but also relax yourself. Enjoy the process and may everything fall into place for you.