There is a lot that goes into buying a home, especially for first-time homebuyers. Emotions alone can be hard to contain when it comes to shopping around and finding the right one for you.
Ideally, we all want a house that checks all the boxes (location, size, budget, etc) without worrying about dealing with additional factors like major repairs, natural disasters like floods, or possibly even ghosts (please, no)!
What must be remembered is that you need to strike a balance between managing your expectations and being aware of your emotions, when making any decision.
You don’t want to succumb to FOMO (fear of missing out) and make rushed decisions on something like buying a property, only to realise the home of your dreams has turned into the worst nightmare.
So how do you know if a house is right for you? We take a look at some key aspects to be aware of on your journey to finding the perfect place to call home!
How To Find The Right House
1) Consider The Neighbourhood
One of the least looked into aspects when buying a home is surveying the neighbourhood, and understanding how you and your loved ones will fit into the community.
After all, the perks of living in a community (especially a close-knit one) is being able to lean on each other, especially during tough times.
Thanks to social media, it’s a lot easier to understand the sentiments on ground, regarding the issues that impact a neighbourhood, or just regular sharing of information.
For example, residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, Damansara Perdana and many more, have their own Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
You’ll be able to find updates on almost all matters, from security and land issues, to parking problems, missing pets and the best recommendations for everything!
This is a great way to understand the people and problem-solving process in a particular neighbourhood, to help you decide if it will be a good fit.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned conversation. Talk to the immediate neighbours and get to know them. They might just be your best ally in understanding the neighbourhood and may even have insights into the property you’re eyeing.
2) Does It Tick All The Right Boxes?
Everyone wants and looks for convenience when buying a home. But what that "convenience" is, can be very different for each individual.
Do you want a home in a location that’s close to your family? Do you want easy access to public transportation for work? Maybe you want a home close to a park, so that you can ensure everyone leads a healthier lifestyle?
Of course, these preferences may be more important to some than others. For example, someone might prefer good access to schools and medical facilities because they have a young family, versus being located near a shopping mall.
The idea is to come up with a list of your needs and wants, and then rank them according to its importance.
This way, you’ll be able to quickly and easily eliminate unnecessary options, and focus on the properties that fit your requirements.
Manage your expectations by knowing what you can afford to be flexible with on your list. You don’t want to settle for a more expensive property that’ll burn through your savings, just because the paint job on a different house is terrible.
3) Be Aware Of Your Emotions
When going to see a property, be aware of how you’re feeling. If you’re the type of person whose gut instinct has proven to be right many times before, this is the best time to tap into that energy to help you pick your forever home!
Ask yourself how you feel when you walk into the unit: Are you comfortable exploring every room? Does the view/garden give you a sense of peace?
These questions will help make the decision-making process easier, by giving you insights into whether the property is right for you.
After all, you’re going to be spending a great deal of your relaxing and unwinding time at home, so the best choice would be a property that gives off good vibes – you’re going to be thankful you chose a sanctuary instead of a mortuary (dead inside, right?).
If you’re really unsure, bring someone along who is intuitive (a mother’s intuition is said to be pretty spot-on), or you could even seek out a Feng Shui expert to check on the energy flow (also known as "qi") inside and outside!
4) Can You Envision Your Life Here?
Look around the property, and start to dream of the possible scenarios, then ask yourself questions like these:
- Can you imagine sitting by the window
- Can you tell which room will be turned into your home office?
- Are you already mentally planning dinner parties for family and friends in the dining room?
- Do you know where you want to display your most prized painting?
- Are the kids (and your parents/in-laws) excited?
However, it would be wise to be cautious about being overly attached to any single property, before you’ve had the chance to check out a few others.
The last thing you’d want, is to walk into a deal without assessing all your other available options, and the pros and cons that come with each.
Barring any major issues such as a leaky roof or faulty plumbing, envisioning your day-to-day life in a property can help guide you towards choosing the right home, especially if you are down to a couple of your top options.
One of the best things you can do is to see as many types of properties as possible. You might just find that the more you view, the better you get at assessing a property and if it is suitable for you. Remember not to settle for the first home you see!
When it comes to buying a property in Malaysia, there are many places and options to choose from. From quiet suburbs to bustling cities, there is a place that is bound to fit your requirements, as long as you make sure you’re not spending beyond your means!
Worried that you might be blowing your budget if you DO decide to purchase a property? Then it’s best for you to check on your Debt Service Ratio (DSR), which is a guideline that will tell you whether you can afford that home loan you’re looking for!