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The ultimate checklist for buying a house

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Owning a house is a dream that many people work hard to achieve.However, the road to homeownership is not a walk in the park as it can be long and daunting. Here is a complete checklist for buying a house:

Go for what you can afford

When thinking of buying a house, it is imperative to figure out what you can afford.The rule of thumb is that home expenses should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

It is important that you go for a house that you can comfortably pay for to avoid misconceives such as defaulting says Nancy Muthoni a property expert. If you’re not sure, asking the bank what they’re willing to lend you is a good place to start.

Consider your balance?

Before thinking of buying a house it is important to a good balance in your account Although not a major requirement, lenders usually like to see a 20 percent down payment before they’ll give you a loan.

Read: Mortgage uptake in Kenya records major drop

When planning to buy a house you should start by evaluating your spending habits and finding areas to cut back and sock that savings away for your dream home urges Ken Gichinga, Chief Economist at Mentoria Consulting in Kenya.

Mr Gichinga says that having a good down payment gives the buyer a good start to paying the installments smoothly.

Start by researching

This is the hardest part. You can first start looking at online listings where you want to live to get an idea of what homes cost and figure out what you can expect to get within your budget.

According to Ms Muthoni many people want to live in the upmarket, yet that is not where we can afford and that is not where we should start.

“Sometimes we need to lower our expectations and go where we can afford. Go on a shopping spree as many times as you need to,” she says.

Read: Expert faults Nigeria’s mortgage system

Understand the terrain and look at what is available. Do not just pick the first house you find. The next house could be slightly better.

Beware of con men/women

 Buying property should not be rushed.  The process of buying a house requires that do due diligence. The business is full of fraudsters keen on reaping where they have not sown. It is important that you visit the property that you intend to buy to verify its existence.
Whether you are buying it off-plan or buying a house that is under construction, or a ready one, you need to see it.

If someone is asking you to pay an amount to go and see a house, that should be the number one red flag. You can even go to the site without the seller, because if the seller is dishonest, you may just uncover some lies on site, advises Muthoni.

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