Amenities to look for when house hunting

House huntingImage Credit: Supplied

Shopping for a residential property could be an exciting but taxing affair. Whether you want to purchase a home or rent one, there are certain features, comforts or conveniences to look for so you won’t feel you are settling for less than what you are paying for or what you truly deserve.

Location – Trumpeted by anyone, its importance cannot be overemphasised. Do you want to live within walking distance from your office or your child’s school? Then opt for a self-contained community or a place that is in the downtown area. Seeking peace and quiet? Developments in the outskirts may be your best bet. Add other elements like proximity to leisure hubs, parks, business centres, hospitals, shopping malls and, most importantly, public transport, and you are off to a good start.

Needs vs. wants – How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? Large or small kitchen? Apartment or villa? Is a pool, garden or gym too much? Does it offer a good view? Will the price suit your budget? Keeping a list of the necessities and what is important for your lifestyle and your family’s requirements will help you set your priorities straight. Be sure to inspect all the essentials and ask questions when checking out the property.

Neighbourhood – The house may be brand new or newly upgraded, but is it located in a safe neighbourhood? Is it near an industrial area or an airport? If noise pollution is present, quickly cross it out your checklist. Privacy is another important factor, so ensure you check the spacing between houses or buildings. Experts also advise visiting the area at different times of day, including nighttime.

Extras – Getting a roof above your head means focusing on the basics. But if your budget allows, you may go beyond the basics and consider checking out developments that provide 24-hour security, have great landscaping and an active homeowners association, and are efficiently managed by a property management company.

Deciding on the amenities you need, rather than prefer, before signing the contract allows you to streamline the house hunting process and leads you to the home you have always dreamed of.

Handy Hints
• Buying or renting a residential property requires proper due diligence
• Check the property size, type and other features that suit your needs
• Consider going beyond the basics if your lifestyle and your budget allow

Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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