Avoid 13 Unlucky Mistakes as a First Time Home Buyer

Nothing in this world starts from the second time. There is always a first time – which always comes with its own share of challenges – whether you are baking a cake or buying a home. The first time is that time when you are either unknown or unfamiliar to it. In case of Home, while you’re busy imagining the perfect décor or dreaming of your kids playing in the yard, you may be overlooking some important aspects of home ownership that could end up turning your dream purchase into a disaster.

Buying a home is an emotional rollercoaster. Before you unlock the door to homeownership, you have to consider some crucial points so that you do not commit the same mistakes that a first time home buyer normally may makes.

13. Neglecting to Inspect your Dream Home – Know the Health of your Home
It takes a trained eye to be able to see the problems that can exist in a home. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection. Before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. Home inspections are an integral part of the home buying / maintenance process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Home Health Check-up prior or on purchasing a home can bring peace of mind. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home and the future upkeep. A home inspection gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its soundness, quality, finishing and the condition of its civil / electrical / plumbing systems, concealed leak / damp / seepage issues. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house’s physical condition and the soundness, health& safety of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious financial mistake.

1. More to it than mortgage loan repayments/Sure you can afford a house payment?
Many first-time homebuyers decide to buy when they feel ready for a mortgage home loan. But just because one can afford the mortgage payments does not mean one should own a home. There is much more to it. Property taxes, maintenance, insurance and higher electric and water bills are some of the costs that first-time homebuyers tend to overlook when shopping for a place. Even if you can afford it now, plan for increased costs later.

2. Emptying your savings
If you buy a previously owned home, it almost inevitably will need an unexpected / major repair not long after. Maybe you’ll need to replace a geyser or get a new dining table or renovate a damaged wall or a concealed leak. That’s a growing pain for the first-time homeowner. You will find yourselves in a hole quickly if you don’t have enough saved for such unforeseen matters.

3. Due Diligence
Don’t get scared with the technical terms. It simply means doing your homework. Make sure before signing on the dotted lines, you have checked the legalities and reputation of the builder / seller. That means, proper investigation and audit are done on the home you are about to buy and systematic research is carried out and in turn validated. Take proper care before entering into an agreement or financial transaction with another party. Research and plan for any potential handover delays. Do a proper seller / builder due diligence.

4. Provision for Basic Amenities & Ownership Issues
Two very important things that need to be done are the Registration and Mutation of the house. Without Mutation, you won’t be able to pay Corporation taxes. And then say after 10years, you will be bombarded with a huge amount which can be in lakhs which you will be needed to cough up immediately. Don’t be deprived of the basic amenities such as the electricity, water, telephone connection etc. There could be legal hassles as well. Do a thorough legal due diligence.

5. Miscalculating home makeover and renovation costs
First-time home buyers are frequently surprised by high repair and renovation costs. Infact you should double the estimates that you make for repairs and renovations to be on the safer side. Do not go for cheap repairs because in the long run, you will have to keep paying more just to get a small thing corrected.

6. Being Too Picky and Impractical
Go ahead and put everything you can think of on your new home wish list, but don’t be inflexible. First-time homebuyers often have to compromise on something because their funds are limited. You may have to live on a busy street, accept outdated décor, make some repairs to the home, or forgo that extra bedroom. So get your priorities right.

7. Lacking Vision
Even if you can’t afford to replace the hideous wallpaper in the bathroom now, it might be worth it to repair & live with it for a while in exchange for getting into a house you can afford. If the home otherwise meets your needs in terms of the big things that are difficult to change, such as location and size, don’t let physical imperfections turn you away. Don’t be impulsive and buy a home for a minor issue.

8. Think twice before you take the ultimate plunge /Compromising on the Important Things
Don’t get a two-bedroom home when you know you’re planning to have kids and would require three bedrooms. By the same token, don’t buy a condo just because it’s cheaper than a house if one of the main reasons you’re over apartment life is because you hate sharing walls with neighbours. It’s true that you’ll probably have to make some compromises to be able to afford your first home, but don’t make a compromise that will be a major strain.

9. Not Thinking About the Future
It’s impossible to perfectly predict the future of your chosen neighbourhood, but paying attention to the information that is available to you now can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

Some questions you should ask about your prospective property include:

  • What kind of development plans are in the works for your neighbourhood in the future?
  • Is your street likely to become a major street or a popular rush-hour shortcut?
  • Is there talk of a bridge or a highway to be built in your backyard in five years?
  • If there is a lot of undeveloped land? What is likely to get built there?
  • Have home values in the neighbourhood been declining?

If you’re happy with the answers to these questions, then your house’s location can keep its rose-colored lustre.

10. Changing Jobs
While changing jobs may benefit your career, it may complicate your mortgage approval. A lender wants to ensure you have stable income and employment, and that you can afford to repay your mortgage. If you were preapproved for a mortgage based on a certain income and job, any chances in the interim before closing can be a red flag and delay your closing.

11. Falling in love with a house
There’s something magical about walking into a home that has every trait you’re looking for. For first-time home buyers especially, getting caught up in these moments is common. Unfortunately, just because a home seems to have everything you want doesn’t mean you should buy it. Make sure a home is a good investment, even if it seems like the ideal abode. And, don’t show you’ve become emotionally attached to the house, as this can cause you to lose any negotiating leverage you may have had when it comes to the purchase price or terms or related matters.

12. Failing to consider resale value
While it can be hard to predict whether home prices will go up and down, it’s a smart move to buy a house that’s readily saleable and likely to fetch a premium price when you’re eventually ready to sell. There are certain features that make houses more or less likely to appeal to buyers. Location is a big one, as few people want to buy the best home in the worst neighbourhood. The general property market in your area and a home’s condition can also impact resale value. Talk to a realtor about how market conditions work and whether a property is ever going to be easy to resell. If not, buying it may be a mistake.

The Bottom Line
Buying a home for the first time might be one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your lifetime and it can seem stressful and overwhelming and it isn’t without its share of potential pitfalls. If you’re aware of those issues ahead of time and plan properly, you can protect yourself from hassles, costly mistakes and shop with confidence. For many people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make, but it need not be the most difficult. First time home buyers can learn from the mistakes of those before them and not commit the 13 Unlucky Mistakes.

Child and Elderly Safety at Home

There is no place like home for children growing up or growing old. However, children & the elderly are more prone to injuries at home than anywhere else as they spent a lot of time at home. No doubt they should be subjected to constant supervision but it is also imperative to make the home safe as well.

As we say, Prevention is better than Cure!

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury is to make some physical changes around the house. Look at your home and think about what the obvious risks and hazards are. Remove the risk or hazard, if possible, or add a safety product to minimise the chance of injury.

Before considering what safety precautions you need, remember you can always change the layout of a room to help create a safer environment. If you are building or renovating your house, you can incorporate specific safety features in your design. Incorporating safety features at the design point in the majority of cases will be much more economical than to amend and make it safer at a later time.

Make home safe: Easy things you must do

Preventing falls at home for both Child & Elderlies – “To Do List” on Home Safety

Falls are the most common cause of injuries in every age group. Some tips to combat this issue are:

  • To install safety guards across entries to stairs and balconies and to always supervise your child / elderly on stairs and balconies, even if you have guards.
  • To remove throw rugs and loose mats and to make sure larger rugs are not rippled or torn.
  • To remove extension cords and other potential tripping hazards such as books, plastics, clothes and shoes from pathways.
  • To move low tables and other furniture to make it easier to move around the house.
  • To make sure chairs are of right height and have sturdy armrests.
  • To check to ensure light fixtures have at least 60-watt bulbs and that nightlights are available in hallways, bathrooms and bedroom.
  • To make sure handrails in the home (at appropriate places) are sturdy and in good conditions.
  • To use non-skid mats in the bathtub and on shower floors and install grab bars next to the toilet or shower wherever necessary.
  • To lock windows, particularly upper-storey windows or shield them with firmly attached window guards so your child can’t fall out. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings.
  • To use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture to help prevent injuries from falls and to soften/cushion falls against sharp and rough edges.

More Home Safety Tips to follow:

Bathroom Safety: One very important point that needs special mention is keeping the Bathroom dry. Elderly people mostly slip off at wet areas and cause irreplaceable damage to themselves. Even a small spill on the floor should be wiped away immediately. This point should be kept in mind and taken care of accordingly.

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • Install hand rails.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.

Water safety / Do Not Leave Your Kids Alone in the Water: Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including bath tubs / swimming pools. Water safety depends on 100% supervision whenever your child is around water pools, baths and buckets with water. For bath safety, always supervise and give your full attention to babies, toddlers and children in the bath. Make sure the water level is not more than the waist line of your kid when you place her/him in a tub or sink.

Tips for electrical safety at home:

  • Get a licensed electrician to install safety switches, which cut power off quickly to avoid electrocution.
  • Get a licensed electrician to do any repairs.
  • Replace electrical appliances and cords if they’re worn.
  • Use power point covers.

Burns and scalds: Keep your child / elders away from fire and hot surfaces, especially around stoves, ovens, microwaves, heaters and other appliances. Hot drinks and too-hot baths are a major cause of scalds. Keep hot drinks away from and out of reach. Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.

Strangulation and suffocation especially for children: These items include soft toys, bedding, blinds, cords and ropes, and bags, boxes and packaging. Here are some essential safety tips:

  • Keep stuffed toys, cushions and piles of clothing out of baby’s reach.
  • Wrap blinds cords in cleats attached to the wall at least 1.6 m above the floor.
  • Tie knots in plastic bags, and keep them away from children.

Tips to keep your family safe around glass: Install safety glass in windows and doors or apply shatter-resistant film to windows and doors of older homes. Put stickers on glass at eye level.

Poisoning for both Child & Elderlies: Poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children and elder people, often poisoned by common household chemicals and medicines. Remove potential poison items. Store chemicals, medicines, cleaning supplies and other poisons high up in a locked cupboard or cabinet. Children can’t tell the difference between medicine and candy. Install child-safety latch on the doors of cupboards where you keep your poisonous items.

Channelize your child’s inner Spiderman/Superman: One common accident that occurs in every other household is when a child tries to imitate any cartoon or superhero character. Parents should make it a point to make the children understand the danger of imitation. They should be made to differentiate the ‘reel from real’ and it should be a continuous process.

Remote control has a missing battery cover: Be especially careful of button batteries, the kind you find in watches, greeting cards, and some toys which are higher voltage than traditional batteries. If your child swallows any type of battery, it can get lodged in the oesophagus and cause severe damage.

Indoor Surveillance Cameras: Children / Older people might have in-home caretakers, maintenance staff or other hired help who come and go. That’s where indoor cameras come in handy. These surveillance cameras keep a watchful eye on the home to protect against theft, abuse and other crimes.

Most of the tips covered are applicable for both Child Safety as well as for Elderlies.

No matter how careful you are, it is essential that you stay prepared in case there is an emergency condition. Fortunately, mishaps or accidents can certainly be avoided through preventive measures and by educating your kids about safety rules to be followed at home. But remember your ‘Dennis the Menace’ will find every opportunity to be innovatively naughty as much as possible. So Be Alert & Safe and Happy parenting – for both your child and your parents!

With support & modifications home is the safest place!

Interior Designers and Home Inspectors – A match made in Heaven

Home Inspection is an aid in Interior Design for ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

Both Interior Designer and Home Inspector were doing their jobs well

Let us suppose ‘Interior Designer’ to be a beautiful girl and a ‘Home Inspector’ to be a handsome guy. Both were happily doing their respective works and earning a lot of kudos for it too. But they haven’t met. They were unaware of each other but destiny had some other plans for them. The beautiful ‘Interior Designer’ became a crucial part in every home or property. Likewise ‘Home Inspector’ was steadily making his presence felt and climbing the popularity quotient.

Both Interior Designer & Home Inspector work on all kinds of properties (home, office, retail, shopping malls, commercial, schools, warehouse, etc). They design / inspect both new or existing properties and whether a property owner / buyer is planning new interior design or home improvement / renovation / makeover or home remodeling.

Complimenting Roles

Description Interior Designer Home Inspector
  • Play a key role to create a functional & quality interior environment of homes.
  • Make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colours, lighting, and materials.
  • They read blueprints, building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.
  • Complete Healthy Check-up of Homes.
  • All areas inspected (bedroom / bathroom / living / dining / kitchen / balcony / servant quarters, etc)
  • All systems & elements covered (Ceilings / Walls / Floors / Doors / Windows / Electrical / Plumbing / Cabinets / countertops / Ventilation & Exhaust systems / Water Supply, etc.)
  • Inspection Coverage: Material Types, Installation & Finishing, Operations & Functionality, General Safety, etc
  • The 3 D Inspection of Issues – Detect the Issues, Describe the outcome, Direct Solutions
  • Professional & Expert Assessment
  • Turnkey Solution
  • Combining Style in Right Manner
  • Focused Design
  • Make Spaces Functional And Appealing
  • Economical Budgeting & Time Management
  • Deliver Latest Trends
  • Provides extra level of security and peace of mind.
  • Warning signals: In-depth analysis that spotlights not just current needed repairs but also issues that may become a problem in future.
  • Investment of approx. 0.1% to 0.5% of property value on inspection – property life increased & maintenance cost can be reduced remarkably.
  • Decreases depreciation rate.
  • Earns a better selling platform and bargaining position to the seller / realtors.
Objective Ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

The unforeseen problems

After investing lakhs / crores of rupees in buying a home, in interiors like paints, wallpapers, furniture etc , when defects arise, the interiors / exteriors get damaged – Issues start creeping-in including:

  • Dampness, Water Seepage / Leakage / Moisture / Termites
  • Cracks / Patches / Peeling / Undulation / Improper Finishing
  • Improper joint fillings / Gaps / Extra Cuts / Improper Slope
  • Issues in Doors & Windows
  • Plumbing Issues
  • Electrical issues – short circuit / damaging wires, conduits, making life of occupants risky.
  • Safety / Functionality Issues

There is no way to protect, other than, replacing it or incurring huge costs in repair & maintenance.

And then one fine day they met

There were fireworks and miracles! When the home inspector and an interior designer joined hands, the final product and service that they gave birth to was of superior standard. And most importantly they made other’s dream homes’ come true.

Home Inspection is an aid in Interior Design for ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

In interior design and décor, it is very important to know the place & its condition, in and out, for optimum end result. And so, the first and the most populated step of an interior decorator is to engage a home inspector to inspect the place. An interior decorator sets the overall vibe of a place by deciding what colour palette, paint finishes, lightings, furniture, accessories will go into that particular space. For this, he / she needs the inspector to perform the inspection in order to get an exact picture of the overall dimension, condition, nature, look and feel of the space. Only then, an interior decorator would be able to deliver the desired end-result in the most efficient manner.

Top interior designers follow this route; they go for the property / home inspection first to get the overall vibe of the place and then decide on what will and will not go with it.

Home inspection goes a long way in making the interior designers evaluate and understand the conditions of the structure / components / elements of homes e.g., presence of invisible dampness / moisture can be located with thermal imaging technology during the inspection which will help interior designers design the furnishing of home better and ensure longevity of the furniture installed in the home.

Home Inspection will also aid them in designing beautiful homes to make home owners happy and realise their dream homes come true. The interior designers will not have complaints from the customers because now they are aware of each wall, door, window, plumbing / electrical issues, etc. e.g., they can put up a wall paper or fix a cabinet without any worries.

Why should a Home Owner / Buyer have a Home Inspection?

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection.Home inspections are an integral part of the home buying / maintenance process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. A home inspection prior or on purchasing a home can bring peace of mind. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home and the future upkeep. A home inspection gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its soundness, quality, finishing and the condition of its civil / electrical / plumbing systems.

Here are some great reasons to have a home inspection:

  • Don’t Judge a Home by Its Façade – Protect against the Unknown:
    Especially for those buying newer construction, a home inspection may feel like a waste of money. No matter the age of the home, there can be costly troubles unknown to the average buyer. Problems with wiring, plumbing or damp issues may not be visible during a showing and you’ll need to get an expert opinion. A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer / owner aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time. Home Inspection is crucial when purchasing a property because it will save you from hassles and lacs.
  • Save Money:
    Those who skip out on the expense of Home Inspection may realize in a few years that a timely inspection and rectification will turn out to be much cheaper than doing rewiring or rectifications (due to damp, uneven slope issue in bathroom, etc.) five years down the line of the entire house. Timely inspection and rectification will save your cost, precious time and effort.
  • Safeguard Yourself with RERA:
    Launch of the path breaking Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA, India), 2016: The recently enacted RERA Act in India provides for a 5 years free-of-cost guarantee from structural / workmanship defect or any other quality or provision of services or any other obligations of promoter from the date of possession of new homes.
  • Forecast Future Costs:
    A home inspector can diagnose the current condition of the property. All components in the home have a ‘shelf life’. Understanding when they require replacement or servicing / maintenance can help you make important budgeting decisions.
  • Learn to protect your investment:
    A Professional Home Inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home and ultimately save you lacs in the long term. This is a valuable educational opportunity. It is advisable never to pass up the chance to see your forthcoming home through the eyes of an expert.
  • Your dream home needs a solid foundation:
    It is advisable that people use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they ever make. People fall in love with a piece of property based on the colour of the walls, the location of the home or something else. They are completely blind to the issues that can make their dream home a nightmare. Overlooking a serious issue could result in a costly problem down the road.

A home inspection will definitely give the buyer peace of mind and put the buyer’s mind at ease that the home is in good shape. It can also become a negotiation tool in closing, and could inform the buyer of potential future maintenance and upkeep.

Hence, every penny spent is worthwhile! Also, Home Inspection comes at a small price, while the health, safety, security and peace of mind is priceless! Peace of mind is just an inspection away.

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