A home is where we shall spend much of our lives daily in much of our lifetime, and maybe that will also be so even for our children.
The home is also, commonly, the biggest expense one makes. Buying a home is like making the right investment: you pay a price, and expect it to provide you dividends, grow in value in time and become a real asset in many ways.
As a licensed real estate appraiser, civil engineer and business development advisor, I present your guide on how we should choose the home that will be of most value now and in the future. For brevity, I listed them down in the bullet points below.
- It’s a cliché and hyped as the 3 most important things to look out for in real estate, but “location, location, location” does matter greatly. Why? Each point in space is unique. It is irreplaceable. However, uniqueness does not point to absolute good. It can be distinctly the opposite. What qualities then should we look for given a location?
- One is proximity to all places that’s essential to one’s life and lifestyle. Most would have these in their list, but they’d vary in rank of importance:
- Places of work or where one makes a living
- Markets, malls, and shops
- Café’s and restaurants
- Parks, playgrounds, theaters, gyms, museums, and game arcades
- Hospitals and clinics
- Government offices
- Transport terminals
- Beach, mountain, and other natural amenity
- Two, is safety and security. A home, after all, is also referred to as shelter, a refuge or a safe haven. Ask similar questions to these?
- … gated community with guards, CCTV, and perimeter fence?
- Is the area known to be a hotbed for terrorism or crimes?
- … area prone to flooding, or any natural hazard?
- Is it in a highly polluted area?
- Other than LOCATION, QUALITY is the next big word to consider in assessing your home choices. It can refer to any of these:
- Traffic – how smooth or bearable is the road traffic going to and from the subdivision? How many minutes is the travel time?
- House structure and finishes – you can verify if the developer undergoes technical testing during their construction. The government regulates the construction of homes and inspects prior to occupancy. The developer is granted the Building Permit and the Occupancy Permit if they are follow the requirements and standards set for safe and quality homes.
- Aesthetics – “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, true; but certain house designs allow for universal appreciation somehow when they’re simple and clean-cut.
- Lastly, the right choice should be one you can well afford. The purchase cost should allow you to live the lifestyle you wish. There should still be enough for your kid’s education, your basic needs, and some life pleasures–shopping, travel and dining for example.
It is important that one consider all of the above. A proper assessment can only be had if you do an actual visit or tripping to the home under consideration.