Things First Time Home Buyers Wish They’d Been Told

Everyone wants a place on this earth that they can call their home. The benefits of having your own home are invaluable, especially when you’ve been renting for quite some time and have dealt with troublesome landlords. If you’re a first time home buyer, it is very important to consider some things before making the big decision to acquire a property. This is because you can’t rush out of homeownership as you would a rental home.


This article highlights 5 things we believe will guide you in making the right decision when considering a property for purchase for the very first time.



Don’t Rush


Shopping for a property should not be done in a rush. Chances are that during the home inspection, your real estate agent or developer on the inspection with you may urge you to consider a property quickly with the excuse that it’s a hot one on the market and the property may not be available the next time you will want to consider it. Most agents make money on a commission basis so they are looking for a quick way to cash in on your home purchase. 


Also, make sure you note down what you’re looking for in a property – group them into negotiable and nonnegotiable items – this way, you will not be swayed by superficial elements during your home inspection. This is because when you’ve fallen in love with a house, it’s easy to overlook things that may not be quite right. Unfortunately, those “love blinders” can cause expensive mistakes if you fail to notice something wrong with the property. Any home you eventually settle for should at least tick the majority of the boxes for your non-negotiable list.


Try to view the place at least thrice at different times of the day to get an idea of what the property and neighbourhood are like. It is easier to spot flaws during the day, but the heavy music that will make your life miserable may not begin until the neighbours get back from work.



How Much is Too Much?


Most people looking to buy a property for the first time are usually working professionals and young families – people who don’t have enough money to make an outright purchase. This is more of a norm than an exception, and understandably so, there are a lot of mortgage institutions that are available to help people finance their home. Buying a house is a huge investment that requires thoughtful planning before committing resources. When house hunting, it is important to set a budget and not exceed it. Compare prices before settling on your choice and don’t be too quick to buy the first home you inspect. There are also real estate experts with valuable industry experience you can consult who can help match your preferences to the right property. 


If you want to acquire your new home using mortgage financing, you should have enough money to pay the principal and mortgage interest. According to experts, these expenses should not be more than 30% of your monthly salary. You should determine how much money you can realistically save for a down payment and should have done some due diligence on home prices in your preferred locations. Many property buyers don’t start seeking a mortgage until they’ve found their dream home, but that can be a mistake. In most cases, the amount of money your mortgage lender is willing to give you will dictate which houses you consider in the first place. After all, there’s no reason to look at homes that are outside your price range. 

You should also note that maintaining a home is expensive. You shouldn’t be under the illusion that once you pay for your home, you’re done spending money on the place. Beyond the obvious expenses of utility bills, the mortgage, and upkeep expenses, the annual cost of owning your home can surge if property taxes rise. Property taxes can increase both based on improvements you make to the home as well as when the area, in general, is reassessed.



Find The Right Agent/Developer


We understand that most people know very little about how to navigate the process of acquiring a property. It’s very important to consult with verifiable and trusted real estate agents or developers with industry experience who can help match your preferences to the right property. This takes out a lot of guesswork from your search and allows you to find your ideal property quicker. The ideal real estate agent should be knowledgeable in neighbourhood pricing, what’s available on the market and what’s to come — not to mention responsive to your home-buying queries. Ghana’s purported number one online real estate marketplace,, offers a catalogue of verifiable real estate agents and developers like Swami India Ghana Limited who boasts of a premium gated community in East Legon Hills with lush green parks and gardens, giving it a tranquil atmosphere. The gated community is spread over 12.41 acres with a unique arrangement of houses that brings to life its beautiful architectural design. 



Get Everything in Writing and Understand the paperwork


Unless an agreement is in writing, it may as well not exist. When finalising the agreements on closing the deal on a house, make sure the important details are well captured in writing. Pose as many questions as possible – nothing is too silly. Even if they don’t tell the truth, you may notice them squirming when you broach certain subjects. Some important questions to ask are:

  • How many offers has it had?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • Can I see electrical and gas installation reports?
  • Have there been any neighbour disputes?
  • What renovations have been done?


Paperwork is critical to closing a property deal. Despite there being a stack of papers filled with complex legal terms and jargon, you should read all of it yourself. If you don’t understand something, consult a real estate attorney. Your agent will also be helpful in making sense of any complex legal language. Although you may feel pressured by the people who are waiting for you to sign your papers, make sure you read each page carefully as the fine print can have a major impact on the purchase of your new home for years to come. If you’re not making an outright payment but rather by mortgage financing, compare your closing costs to the estimate you were given at the beginning of the process and do well to confront them about any fees you think are illegitimate. 



Consider Resale Potential


Some home buyers never consider resale value when they buy, and they make the mistake of focusing solely on whether the home suits their needs. If you don’t intend to live in the property until you die, then it is advisable to consider ease of resale. This may be your dream home, so you can live with walking through the kitchen to get to the bathroom, but will others? If you buy a home with a good resale value, it should be fairly easy to sell off when the time comes. If the property you intend to buy has been hanging around on the market for a while, ponder over why that’s the case. You should also examine not only the value of current sales in the neighbourhood but also trends over time. Purchasing a home for resale in an area where the value of real estate purchases has been steadily increasing is a good idea. Purchasing a home in an area where the value of the real estate has seen wild fluctuations or downward trends is risky.



Though it may seem like the process of acquiring your first home is a lot of work, it’s worth the time and effort to get things done rightly instead of rushing the process and getting yourself into a deal you’re not too sure of. Be wary of any pressure to close the deal fast. Real estate agents and other entities helping you will want their cut, but they won’t be around to take care of the problems you could face in the long run from a bad deal. 


26 Aug 2020