Seeking to find a new home or apartment to rent or buy is work. In the case of purchasing, in particular, becoming a homeowner is a huge investment; it entails the most money you are likely to ever spend.  The easiest way to locate great real estate options is via online property search websites like meQasa.com. The website allows you to have a free seeker account where you can create a list of your favourite properties so you can compare later and select the one that best suits you. You can also sign up for meQasa.com’s property alerts to be the first to know about the hottest property deals once they’re available. It’s rather exciting jumping into the hunt for a dream home!

Avoiding buyer’s remorse though means that as you move from property to property trying to decide which will be the one, you have to be rather critical in evaluating each place. It’s so easy to get starry-eyed when you walk into some homes and fall in love with the vast space, sparkly floors, well decked out kitchen, large bedrooms and gorgeous amenities, but keep calm and make sure to go down this list of house hunting tips to help determine if the place gets a red, yellow or green light.

  1. Before you start your house hunting tours, jot down your top 5 must-haves in a new home. If you do not narrow down on the absolutes, you will be swayed and this will extend the process of finding a house that is best for you. Be honest on what are your needs versus your wants. Have this list with you every time you go to see new places.

  2. Take a designated house hunting notebook with you each time you go on a home showing. After you do a first walk-through listening to the real estate agent sell you on the dazzling highlights of the property, break away and do another by yourself or with your partner with a more critical eye, starting from the gate. It’s hard to remember certain details later, so take note of things like the natural lighting, gutters and ceiling/wall cracks and faults. These will be great when you sit to compare places.

  3. Take a camera. Ask the estate agent or home seller if it is okay to take photos and then go to town. Capture everything you want to remember and even get a video you can look back on as you sit to evaluate your top options.

  4. Make sure to visit the house and neighbourhood at least 3 times, and both in the daytime and in the evening. You might feel so in love with a home in the daylight but in the evening so much more may be revealed that don’t see so appealing anymore, like the street lighting not working, mosque call-to-prayer, dogs barking too much or the people walking the streets.

  5. Conjure your inner two-year-old and open every door (entrance doors, kitchen cabinets and bedroom wardrobe) and window, turn on every light, run every tap and flush all toilets. Do the doors hang too low and scrape against the floor? Are the lights all working and bright? Do the taps gurgle or spurt coloured water? How’s the water pressure? Any funny smells coming up the drains or drains clogged?

  6. Plug in a number of appliances and turn on together with all lights to see if the current can handle the power usage. Are the A/Cs, fans and washer-dryer working and quiet?

  7. Don’t get fixated on things you can change. If you don’t like the colour of the walls or the curtains, that’s an easy fix. Take a close look at more permanent features especially size and kitchen and bathroom features that would cost a lot to upgrade. In the case of renting, you are unlikely to be able to make much change, so you must ensure you can live with certain things.

Moving into a new home is fun, especially when you find one you love. If you employ these house hunting tips and use our checklist you are sure to settle on a house that you are happy to return home to every day.

home sweet home

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