Before you finally close on the purchase, ensure the house gets inspected by a professional to ensure it is structurally okay, the building is approved by the relevant authorities, its title is clean and there are no encumbrances. Talk to neighbours to know more about the neighbourhood you are about to make your home. The seller may be reluctant to give you details that may put you off.
Stay on top of things because the home-buying process involves a lot of people – lawyers, estate agents, insurance companies, valuers, banks etc – and they are usually juggling lots of other deals, too. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and air any concerns you may have. Read the mortgage paperwork thoroughly before signing and if possible get a lawyer to take you through the legal details. Ensure you understand the contract and agree with it before you put your signature on the dotted line.
Do a final walk-through the house before you close the sale. Check if all the things that were in the house when you made the offer – light fixtures, for example, are intact. Your goal is not to do another home inspection, but just to be sure everything is in the same condition as when you made the offer.
Once you become a homeowner you can save money through regular maintenance to keep things in tiptop condition. If you ignore this fact, they will start falling into pieces and cost you more money to replace. Just as daily exercise and a sensible diet keeps your body healthy and helps you avoid costly medical bills, regular home maintenance keeps normal wear-and-tear from developing into problems, and problems from turning into emergencies.
As a rule of thumb, you should set aside every year about one percent of your home’s purchase price for maintenance and repairs. Of course this is just a guideline – some years you will spend much more and some years nothing at all. If you make a point of doing as much maintenance as possible yourself, you will save money and develop confidence and know-how. It can be intimidating at first to do a paint job, but with time, you can learn how to do most common household repairs such as a leaking pipe, or a broken toilet seat. When playing handyman in your house you need to observe a few things:
Get a do-it-yourself manual. There are many do-it-yourself manuals in bookstores and also from the Internet. You will be wise to invest in knowledge as this will pay off when you are be able to do most home repairs.