Buying your first property is an intense experienced. Most people only ever buy once in their lifetime, and they desperately want to get it right. However, first-time buyers are at a disadvantage; it’s harder to get secure financing, and they may lack the necessary knowledge. Lamudi—the global property platform— reveals some essential tactics for first-time buying success.

1.What type of home is best for you?
House or apartment is the main choice you have to face. But, there is also the option of condos, buying land to build from scratch or multi-family buildings.

Each option has pros and cons and can suit different needs, but in terms of costs, apartments are the preferred choice for most first timers. Although, houses will often have more rooms which could be rented out to earn some side income.

2.What can you afford?
It might seem obvious, but it is not just the purchase price that you need to calculate. There are legal fees, property taxes, agent commissions, and any remodeling you need to perform.

Calculating the monthly repayments needs to be done with careful attention. Don’t forget hidden costs like management fees and insurance. It costs more to insure a home than a one-room apartment.

If you thought that buying an older house would save you money insuring it will cost more due to it having older electrical and heating equipment that is more prone to breakdown.

3.Finding a home
This involves using all the tools at your disposal: the local real estate agent, the online property portal, driving around the target area and talking to friends and family. The more people in your network, the better chance you will have of finding a place; so join community gatherings, and get involved in local get-togethers.

4.Learn how to negotiate
Mastering the skill of negotiation is possibly the best investment you can make. The first method is to start low, and a good rule of thumb is to offer 5% to 10% less than the asking price. You should only bid more than the asking price if you are confident that the seller has already received that offer.

Tom Reeve—an analyst at Lamudi—warns against bidding too high giving you no room to maneuver in the negotiation process. “First-time buyers often make the mistake of offering too much as they desperately want to get their first place,” said Reeve.

5.Get a home inspection
The house might look like perfection personified, but that does not mean there are no hidden problems. Lamudi suggests you cannot afford not to get a professional inspection. If the inspection reveals major defects, you will be allowed to withdraw your offer and take back your deposit.

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