Hey, soon-to-be first-time homeowners! Do you tend to go through bouts of uncertainty as you’re looking for your future home? With so many options on the market, we don’t really blame you. Planning isn’t something that comes easy for everyone. Then again, you might see one apartment and forget the previous one.
Before you hit the alarm button in your head and go into panic mode, read through some of the tips we’ve prepared – all collected from current homeowners who have gone through the same process as you and found their forever home. Sunnier (and worry-free) days are surely ahead!
DECIDE ON THE HIGHEST BUDGET LIMIT YOU CAN AFFORD
We started off with this one because it will make or break what you’re looking for. This requires that you be truly realistic with yourself and cap the budget at a maximum rate – a number which should not be exceeded if the funds are limited to that.
It might also be ideal to plan the maximum number you’re willing to spend based on the type of finish of the apartment. If one needs more work than another, then keep in mind that more savings will have to go into finishing it up. The finer details are the ones that make the most difference.
Don’t get your heart broken by going for viewings of apartments that do not fit your number; as chances are, you might fall too much in love with it to let it go. There’s a home for every budget – you just need to find THE ONE that will give you and your savings much love.
PICK A COUPLE OF FAVOURITE LOCATIONS
North or south, rural area or village core, closer to the shoreline or to the countryside… it all boils down to your own personal likings. Don’t restrict yourselves to one area or else your choices will be pretty slim.
As you’re making your way to the apartment or after viewing, take a short walk or drive around the area. Take note of surrounding amenities, stores, healthcare clinics and postal offices; which you might need to visit more frequently when you’re living there day-to-day. Having schools nearby might be ideal for individuals planning on having kids in the future. Highlight the ones that are important to have close to your residence and gauge whether it is the right choice for you.
It’s a never-ending problem in a country as small as Malta, but one which needs true consideration. If your job involves arriving home in the late hours of the night, think about the state of mind you’ll have if you need to spend 15 minutes driving around for an available white box.
Having a good number of surrounding streets will ensure you manage to find a random parking space, whatever the time of day or night. Apartments normally come with available garage options underground, so check with the owner or your real estate agent whether there’s an option that matches your budget. Remember that a garage could not only serve to park vehicles but also as enhanced storage space.
CONSIDER WHICH ROOMS ARE THE PRIORITY
It is almost impossible to find an apartment which matches your likes 100%. There’s always going to be some leeway that needs to be considered prior to committing to a residence. To make the choice simpler, decide which rooms are going to be used most frequently and ensure they are the ones that hit all the spots in your wish list.
If you’re looking for an open layout to have friends and family over, then an open plan area would be the best for you; especially when the kitchen and living area are in close range where conversation can flow easily. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer a larger bedroom to install your TV screen and enjoy the hours watching your favourite Netflix shows, well-spaced sleeping quarters is on top of your agenda.
Don’t just stop there – make a list of your preferences for each room; such as whether to have a bath or shower in your bathroom or if your laundry room can afford some extra storage space. You can never be too prepared!
PICK ONE WHICH MATCHES YOUR PET’S NEEDS (IF ANY)
Let’s not forget the furry babies! They are part of the wonderful experience of finding a new place to call home. Some pet mummies and daddies even go to the extent of planning rooms specifically for their four-legged kiddies.
Consider all the accessories that they have, where they can be placed and how everyday life could be for them in every apartment you view. Having a balcony or some open space will ensure they can go about their business at any time they feel the need – whether you are at home or not.
It is always best to check with the owner or agent whether there is a pet policy within the building so no problems are incurred after the deal is sealed.
STUDY THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Neighbours can be considered your second family; especially given you’ll be living in such close proximity to them every day. Whether the electricity just went off, found yourself in mandatory quarantine, or need to ask for a favour; your neighbours can be a true support system.
Don’t forget to say your good mornings too… it’s nice to be friendly! They could save you when times hit hard or when a favour needs to be extended.
Remember to share this with friends that are going through the same issues as you!