Common pitfalls for first-time property buyers
It is practically impossible to hear a first-time buyer recount a perfect first-time property purchase that proceeded without a hiccup. Some hiccups can be minor, but others can turn out to be disastrous disappointments. First-time buyers are, generally speaking, either young in age or completely inexperienced in the realm of real estate. And it does take some know-how to pass through unscathed…
That is precisely why real estate agents became so popular. They help prevent catastrophes. But what are first-time property buyer catastrophes like?
“We bought a house which had a roof that caved in two weeks after we signed the contract.”
Cruel, but it happens. You see a lovely house, finally, after so much time spent property seeking. You are relieved because you have both liked it so much so everybody seems happy. And it seems you can stop viewing houses after work, something you have been doing every day for the past three weeks, and can now find time to play tennis again. You look at the property twice, you avoid complicating your life and ‘wasting’ time with architects, and since you’re not taking a bank loan, you can skip all the red tape procedures which banks request. Now you’ll just have to take a bank loan to fix that roof.
No promised furniture
“I thought the owner said he would leave the kitchen and the appliances installed, the water geyser in place, the spare bedroom furniture and also the water tank. When I moved in I found all of that had been removed.”
This is unfortunately something naive buyers do not trouble themselves to check and check again. Vague references are not enough to ascertain that things belonging to the previous owner will be sold with the property. And that is another chunk out of your budget… you can wave the fitted carpets goodbye.
The surrounding businesses
“We forgot to check the way the shop under our apartment operates and since we moved in we have found that having a fast food pizzeria open all day and half the night beneath half your apartment means we are very comfy and warm in winter, but fry all day in summer.”
Not checking what goes on in the neighbourhood, on the street and with the neighbours before signing any promise of sale or contract means you are jeopardising your property experience. Commercial or retail outlets, garages and stores even, located near or directly beside, behind or beneath your purchased property should be checked out for the kind of activity they practise. Even a florist could spell disaster if you are prone to something like chronic hayfever…
These are just a very tiny sample of what could go wrong. The best advice we can give is to ask for advice from those competent enough to give it. Take a look at our listings for first-time buyers and our agents will be more than willing to assit you on your property purchase.
Post by Marika Azzopardi
Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.