When the time comes to buy a house, and this is the biggest investment of a lifetime, the search is as exciting as it is stressful. If you’re thinking of buying a house, check out these tips to make the process as simple as possible

1.Set a budget

Before you start looking for a house, you need to assess your financial situation to realise how much you can borrow and what the maximum value of the house you can afford is. In addition to the monthly instalment to the bank, you need to take into account many other expenses, such as multi-risk and life insurance, taxes, condominium, maintenance costs, water, electricity, gas and not to mention the usual daily expenses.

2.Read all the loan conditions

Pay attention to the small print. Don’t just check the spread rate. The other fees and conditions needed to guarantee that spread may end up being less beneficial than at another bank with a slightly higher spread. Ask for simulations at different banks and compare them.

3. Ask for only the loan you need

Taking out a loan above what you really need to buy the property you want means you’ll pay more and for longer. But remember, you also have to take into account the fees and taxes inherent in the purchase.

4. Before you buy, research, research and research

The biggest mistake anyone can make when buying a property is not doing enough research. With the appreciation of the market, many owners are asking for high prices and if you don’t do thorough research, you could end up paying an unjustified amount. Compare values, understand market fluctuations and only make an offer if you are comfortable with the asking price.

5. Pay attention to the condition of the building

The structure of the building is just as important as that of the house. Look to see if it is well maintained inside and out, if there are any problems with the electrics, balconies, if the lift works properly, among many other relevant details.

6. Take the location into consideration

No matter how much you fll in love with the house or flat, you must take into account the impact the area will have on your day-to-day life. It’s important to realise whether there is a good retail network, such as a supermarket or pharmacy, schools or even playgrounds. Also try to estimate the time it would take you to travel between work and home. Try to see if the surrounding area, such as being close to the beach, would compensate for the time lost in traffic.

7. Buy a property with reason and not emotion

In an investment that involves values as high as buying a flat or house, the heart can’t decide. Is it the house of your dreams, but it’s in an area with a lack of security or are you going to waste two hours in traffic every day? Think again!