A Checklist by Bren for the First-time Home Buyers

Owning a home is everyone’s dream but buying a home (especially one’s first home) can be a wearisome experience. Getting confused or feeling lost at such times is only natural. Thus, Bren created a helpful checklist for first-time home buyers that will take you a step closer to owning your own home. Here is all the information you need to have when you’re ready to switch from renting to owning.

Do Your Research 

The first thing on your list should be research and the internet can help you the most in that. Since the search for everything from groceries to gadgets happens online in this highly digitized world, real estate is no different. There are a number of online portals that can help you do your homework. You can apply filters and search according to your requirements, budget, and location preferences. You should also consider other factors like the area, proximity to highways, schools, shopping centres, nearest stores, amenities, parking facility,  etc. while short listing the homes. Once you have zeroed-in on the homes that you would like to visit, you can use your networking skills and probe further on the builder/developer, its reputation, delivery time for the project, past projects etc.

Making The Choice

While visiting the potential shortlisted homes, of course, the first instinct is to run straight to the kitchen, the master bedroom, and bathrooms but Bren suggests you go into details and be thorough. Do rooms feel spacious and well-laid-out?  Will the home’s storage space keep you organized and accommodate all your stuff? Is there a lot of natural light? Is the house designed in a way that, with weather permitting, there’s good air flow through the house? Are there any signs of damp like peeling paint or tide marks on the walls? Are there any loose tiles? What fixtures and fittings come along? Are the A/C’s, Chimneys, kitchen cabinets, wooden flooring included? Always remember a picture online can say a thousand words, but seeing a home in person truly speak volumes. Thus, make a list of all the things that are important to you and ask as many questions as you want to. No one will blame you for being nosy.

Figure Out Your Finances

I can’t stress this enough: Buying a home is SUPER expensive, especially in metropolitan cities. Regardless of what you have in the bank now, this is a long-term, year-after-year, month-after-month expense you’re going to take on. So it’s very important to know how much you can afford to spend. Assess your financial situation, including your income, monthly expenses, job stability, and determine roughly what you can afford to pay each month. Always determine your budget based on what you can afford to repay now, not the maximum you’re allowed to borrow. Under any circumstances, you should not overshoot your budget. Plan an EMI that does not exceed 40-45 percent of your monthly income and also consider the length of your home loan. Most homeowners go with a 30-year loan while others try for a 15-year loan or somewhere in between. The immediate benefit of a 15-year loan is that it’s a shorter-term loan, and you typically get a much lower rate than a 30-year loan. You need to be able to afford your loan, and considering that interest rates go up, think about just how much buffer you can afford.

Start Gathering Paperwork

Not everything about buying a house involves calculating numbers. Once your financing needs are taken care of, it is time to start looking at paperwork with numbers on it. Yep, the fun never ends. So gather your income tax records for the past couple of years, bank statements, recent pay stubs, canceled cheques, utility bill payments, identity proofs and any other paperwork that the bank might want to see. Also remember that the recently passed real estate bill safeguards your rights as a consumer and ensures efficiencies in all property related transactions with the mandatory registration of all projects with local governing bodies and the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) that is expected to ensure timely completion and hassle free handover to the end customer. Thus ensure that the following documents are also in order:

  • Sale deed/title deed /Mother deed/conveyance deed
  • Building plan sanctioned by statutory authority
  • Layout approval plan sanction
  • NOC from electricity department/pollution control board/water works/ airport authority
  • Supplementary agreement/ratification deed (if any)
  • Allotment letter from the builder/co-operative society/housing board/BDA.
  • Approved plan of construction/extension and license for construction.
  • Detailed cost estimate/valuation report from chartered engineer/architect (if applicable)

During the necessary paperwork, you’ll have to sign about five hundred pieces of paper (not exaggerating) that look and sound pretty scary. But most of it is very standard stuff that everyone else in the world has signed. Your realtor does this like once a week, so he’ll let you know if anything seems off.

Move Into Your New Home

Once your loan is approved, and you have got the keys to your new house it’s time to call movers and packers and get your stuff shifted to your new address. But before moving in, do look after some of the basic necessities like water, electricity, gas etc., you just cannot do without them. Make sure everything is in place and is operational while taking possession of your home. Also, check the fittings and features promised to you at the time of booking. And once your home is set, invite your friends, relatives, neighbors cordially to your new abode and celebrate your house warming. Don’t forget to update all your official documents such as passport, bank documents and the likes with your new address

While you enjoy your home and make memories in it, do not forget to live up to your commitment to making timely repayments on your home loan.


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