Buying an apartment is always a big expense, but you can limit the additional costs associated with this transaction. How to buy an apartment so as not to overpay?
Buying an apartment should be a well thought-out investment, regardless of whether you buy it for your own needs or as a flat for rent. An apartment is an investment in the future – so it’s worth choosing those that will gain rather than lose value over the years. However, not everyone knows what to look for in order to make a good purchase. How to buy an apartment so as not to overpay?
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Buying an apartment – primary or secondary market?
When buying a flat, you must first decide if we are interested in the primary market or maybe the secondary market. In terms of prices, of course, the secondary market is cheaper, but it’s worth remembering that a lot depends on the condition of such an apartment. If the premises require major renovation or solid refreshment, the total costs may be higher than when buying a flat from the developer. A thorough renovation of a 50-meter flat is an expense of 20-30 thousand USD (if we do all the work ourselves) or even approx. 50 thousand USD (when employing external companies).
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The primary market, in turn, means additional expenses for finishing the apartment in the developer state. For a 50-meter flat, the cost of finishing can be as much as 20-40 thousand. USD – depending on whether we plan to outsource all the work to specialists or do some of it ourselves. This considerable amount must be taken into account when calculating whether it pays to buy a flat for sale. It is also worth remembering that you should never plan a renovation or finishing budget until the last installment – you always have to be prepared for unexpected expenses.
How not to overpay for an apartment? Start from location
One of the most important factors affecting the value of an apartment for sale is its location. Getting ready to buy, therefore, first of all you need to examine the environment of the property. The presence of elements such as:
- Extensive road network,
- Parking place,
- Quick access to the center,
- Rich commercial and service infrastructure,
- Neighborhood security,
However, the person buying the apartment must also keep in mind how the building’s surroundings will change in the future. Before buying, always read the local zoning plan. If we fail to do so, within a few years we may encounter an unpleasant surprise in the form of, for example, a busy street or an office building just outside the window. What’s more, such a flat will lose its value and it will be harder to sell it.
It is worth remembering that the location in the center is not always the best automatically. The choice of an apartment for sale should be dictated by our needs and life plans. If we work in the city center or plan to rent the premises, the center will indeed be a good choice. People looking for a quiet apartment, which is not disturbed by slightly longer commutes, will better go out to buy an apartment, e.g. in the suburbs.
Buying an apartment – what to look for when looking at a place?
When looking at flats for sale, it’s worth looking at them carefully. The worst advisers when choosing a property are rush and being guided by emotions. The place that delighted us at first might turn out to be inappropriate after a closer inspection. What to pay special attention to?
- Condition of the flat – if it needs renovation, the costs will increase,
- Yardage – may seem bigger than it really is,
- The layout and size of the rooms – should be in line with our current and future needs (e.g. plans to enlarge the family are important),
- Insulation – check the arrangement of windows and the location of the flat in relation to the world
- Loudness – noise coming from behind the wall or from the street signals trouble.
The interior design is a separate matter. Many people are fooled by the effects of home staging, i.e. actions aimed at improving the appearance of the apartment. Sometimes it is enough for the seller to hang new curtains, put a few colorful pillows on the sofa and spray a pleasant smell inside, so that the buyer is willing to pay more for the apartment. When considering a purchase, let’s make a decision based on specific data, not momentary impressions. A properly lit kitchen may seem larger than it really is, but its size will not increase…
When is the best time to buy an apartment?
Many people wonder when it is best to buy an apartment to get the best price. However, it turns out that the housing sales market does not have such clear better and worse periods as the rental market. Transactions are carried out throughout the year, even around Eids, New Year or Christmas. However, you can give some general guidelines.
Do you want to buy a cheap apartment? Negotiate
Finally, it is worth giving buyers another piece of advice – it always pays to negotiate the price. Market observations show that the transaction price (i.e. the one the customer actually pays) is usually around 10 percent, lower than the flat price. Therefore, it is not profitable to agree in advance to the price given by the seller, because only on such a transaction we will lose.
Khurram Raheel Akbar is a reporter for Zobuz. He previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Raheel is based in PAK and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe coffee addiction, he’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.