When you consider that buying a house is likely to be the biggest single investment you will ever make, it makes you realise there’s a lot at stake. For most people, property ownership comes with a 25-year loan that they can barely afford, so it is a significant investment and there are a few things you should look at before making any decisions.
- Structural Integrity – A simple building survey will tell you whether or not the structure is sound and this is recommended in all real estate transactions, unless you are buying a plot of vacant land. Another survey can locate the utilities and check for any signs of land movement, which is required when borrowing and prior to building.
- Water Table – Check with your local authority about water tables and if you live in Thailand, make sure the house is above water during the monsoon season. The last thing you want is to buy a property that is underwater every year!
- Building Inspection – This doesn’t have to be carried out by a qualified surveyor, your local builder can check for things like roof insulation (called ฉนวนกันความร้อนติดหลังคา in Thai) and the general condition of both exterior and interior. If you get the thumbs up, you know the building is in good shape.
- Getting a Mortgage – There are many different home loan packages and you should approach a mortgage broker, who can find a loan that suits your lifestyle. The broker can explain how mortgages work and there are quite a few variations, with fixed interest loans, so it is best to shop around.
- Think Long Term – Is the house large enough to accommodate a growing family? Are you anticipating others moving in, perhaps your parents sometime in the future? If you are sure the property is adequate in terms of size, you can proceed with some confidence.
- Location – Perhaps the most important factor, the ideal location is a rural setting that is near your place of work and depending on your lifestyle, you should be looking at the amenities in the immediate area. If you are planning to have children, are there quality schools nearby? How far is it to the nearest airport? We are all unique and the important thing is that you are happy with your new home location.
You should seek the advice of a real estate lawyer when looking to buy any property and there will be taxes involved.