At some point in our lives, we would want to settle down in a place we love and watch our kids grow up in a beautiful house they can call home. We’re all saving up for that ideal lifestyle. And while buying a house is undoubtedly a necessity, it is also one of the most crucial decisions that we should painstakingly take the time and effort to think about.
For young Singaporeans, purchasing a property is considered a smart financial investment in their early adult life. And according to the latest survey by the Northshore Fireplace, 45% of millennials expect their first home to be their dream home. Understandably so since buying a house is a significant moment in our lives, that would almost always be the case.
So, when you view a certain property in search of your dream home, you need to be as thorough as possible. Keep in mind that it’s not just your money at stake but you and your family’s future as well.
Let’s take a deep dive on the things you need to tick off your checklist when viewing a potential dream home.
First on the list is to:
1. Consider the features that you want in a house
Your dream home should have all the features that you visualize in your ideal lifestyle. It goes beyond just meeting your sufficient needs. It should be a home that offers you great luxury and comfort. Therefore, you need to be very specific.
Assess yourself. Do you want a lake house with a beautiful outdoor view? Do you cook regularly? Is having a balcony important to you? Do you prefer a high-rise property? Or what’s the lowest floor number you can accept?
Make a checklist of the house amenities you want to have. While it’s a bit challenging to find a house that perfectly matches your preferences, it will make the search more concentrated and so you’ll have higher chances of viewing properties that fit or even exceed your definition of a dream home.
2. The neighborhood
The neighborhood is the first thing that you should check the moment you pull over at a property. Look around you. Do you like what you see? Is this the kind of scenery that you want to see when you wake up in the morning? Or when you walk or drive to work?
If you have already picked a certain district to go property hunting, take notice of the surrounding amenities. Consider the proximity of the property to the nearest eatery, or the nearest supermarket because you’ll frequently need to visit these places. You’ll also want to check if there are nearby parks, schools, and shopping malls, for your convenience.
Take a moment to explore the area. Drive around, eat in nearby restaurants, talk to a couple of residents, and get to know what the community is like. Remember that you can always configure the house to your liking but you can’t change the neighborhood where your house is located.
3. The size of the property
Whether you’re planning to purchase a landed property or an HDB, size is an important factor that you should take into account. Check the number of rooms. Is the property big enough to house your whole family? Are there enough storage spaces for all your stuff? Or more areas in case you decide to make home improvements in the future?
It all goes back to the stage of being clear with the features that you wish to have in a dream home. If you want a house with a backyard where the kids can play or a small space to have a garden, make sure that the property meets your requirements.
Note: Ask yourself, how long will you be staying in your first home? 10 years? 20 years? Most first-time homeowners plan their first property purchase as if they are going to stay in it forever, therefore making many irrational decisions they come to regret later.
4. The Age of the house and its Renovation history
There are tons of pre-owned houses in the market that look surprisingly brand new. And the common reason for it being so is because the property might have undergone several renovations in the past.
Although there is nothing completely wrong with renovated pre-owned homes, it is worth checking its renovation history so you’ll be able to have a transparent picture of the pipes and electrical wirings that’s beneath the walls.
Knowing the age of the house and its renovation history will help you make the most informed decision. You don’t want to face a leaking ceiling once you move into the house.
5. Foundation Issues
Even if a property is brand new, you shouldn’t let your guard down. Remember that when home viewing, real estate agents tend to highlight the best features of a house and hide the negative ones. It’s easy to overlook the negatives when you are mesmerized by the positives.
Be curious and ask a ton of questions. Inquire about the certain features of the house. You’ll want to knock on walls to check if it’s hollow. Look for cracks in the walls and flooring. Ask about the structural skeleton of the house, the age of the roof, and the building materials.
Check if the doors and windows open and close smoothly. Built-in cabinets and closet doors should be sturdy as well. It’s a million-dollar investment so you have the right to be as nosy as you can!
6. Your ideal design and layout
When you start viewing houses, you will see that each property you visit has its own set of pros and cons. A particular house may be big enough for the family but it might not have the right layout and architectural style you prefer.
Strategically, before you start looking at the property market, be knowledgeable about what spaces you need, what layout you think would work best for you, and what architectural style you can be proud of.
It is important to have this information at the back of your mind while still being open to the possibilities you may find as you tour the property. There are cases where home buyers fall instantly in love with the property the moment they step into the house, but realize they run into problems getting the configuration they want during renovation.
7. Check the building utilities
The building utilities are the most essential component of a functioning and well-designed home that a lot of buyers tend to oversee. Don’t make this mistake and be sure to include it on your list.
You should inspect both electrical and plumbing matters. Locate the electrical panel in the house and see how the wirings are sorted. You’ll want to make sure that everything is installed correctly and there’s no exposed wiring. Next, open the taps and check the water pressure. Ask if the plumbing and drainage systems are working properly.
8. Orientation of the house
A well-orientated house makes the most of the available daylight without compromising energy costs. It also protects the house from too much heat and wind flows. Remember that Singapore is a hot and humid country. And so, you’ll want to make sure that the windows of the house are facing the right direction to keep the heat at bay.
Houses that are facing north or south are the most ideal house orientation in Singapore because it doesn’t directly face the sun. This type of orientation also allows proper airflow to keep the house well-ventilated throughout the year.
Ventilation is very important in a country as hot as Singapore. So unless you want your house to feel like an oven, you should pay attention to which direction the house is facing!
9. The Potential for Future Renovation
We all have a different definition of a dream home. For some, it might be a brand new fully finished good-class bungalow and for others, it might be a pre-owned traditional home which they can slowly improve over time.
Again, it all boils down to your preferences. But it’s quite hard to find a property that has every exact feature that you’re looking for. In such cases, you might want to consider getting a slightly bigger property with more space for upgrades in the future but of course, within the range of your budget. Be on top of everything. Evaluate first how much it would cost you to customize and update the property to transform it into your picture of your dream house.
10. The Price You’re comfortable with
(Clears throat) We saved the most important factor for the last. Of course, you need to consider the cost of the property. Keep in mind that there are going to be more expenses other than the monthly mortgage payment. You will have to calculate the utility costs, maintenance, and add up the local tax to the equation.
It should be at a price that you’re comfortable with. Don’t overextend yourself. Engage a good property agent who is able to help you with your financial planning and ensure that you are comfortable with the monthly mortgage. Make sure there’s enough wiggle room in your budget that you’ll be confident to sustain in the long run. Otherwise, your dream house might end up becoming your financial vampire. (play intense scary music)
Now that you’ve got your checklist, you’re ready to go forth and find your dream home!
We know you’re excited to buy your dream home. After years of waiting and saving up, you’re finally one step closer to the door. Good job! Pat yourself on the back! Seriously, this is everyone’s dream and now you’re so close to making yours a reality!
However, don’t rush the process and take the time to research, analyze, and carefully inspect the important factors most especially when checking out the house.
You might want to bookmark this page so you can look it up when you go to your next property viewing. Thank us later. (wink)