Buying your very own piece of property is a huge deal (especially in a foreign country). While it’s a significant milestone in anyone’s life, it’s also a process littered with pitfalls that are important to avoid. In other words, you don’t want to fall into the 42 percent of homebuyers who have regret about not paying attention to the particulars before signing on the dotted line. But with the right know-how on your side, you can make the best investment.
Here are some of the top apartment hunting mistakes to avoid if you’re looking for apartments in Marbella.
1. Setting an Unrealistic Budget
When it comes to budget options for apartments, it’s more important than ever to stick to what you really can afford.
As a general rule, try not to spend more than 30 percent of your monthly earnings on paying off a property. This is because there are often other costs associated with owning a home, especially an apartment. Just some of these include monthly maintenance fees, not-to-mention cleaning fees, utility bills, etc.
The last thing you need is to set an unrealistic expectation of what you can afford, only to find you can’t actually maintain a comfortable standard of living.
It’s also worth your while to spend some time comparing apartment prices in the neighborhoods your most prefer. This way you can get a feel for what’s available on the market and adjust your budget accordingly.
2. A Downpayment That’s Too Small
While the appeal of a small downpayment is understandable, it does not help you in the long run.
Some banks might pre-approve a mortgage with a downpayment of as little as 3-5 percent. But bear in mind you’ll end up paying off your mortgage for a much longer time.
Not only this, but there’s often a higher interest rate attached to these types of loans. Ultimately, this means you end up paying much more than the original asking price of the apartment over the term of your loan.
If you plan on selling your apartment down the line, you might even owe more than you can sell your property for. The last thing you want is to pay in money when trying to sell!
3. Failing to Research the Neighbourhood
Not only do common apartment amenities and the size of the space matter, but where it’s located plays a huge role in your living experience.
Before your settle on an apartment, do some research on the area beforehand and figure out if the neighbourhood is a good fit for your preferred lifestyle.
Look into local transport routes in the area and assess what the overall atmosphere is like. Make sure to ask around about noise levels when living in apartments in your chosen neighbourhood.
While most regions of Marbella are safe, it’s also worth investigating the local crime rate.
Don’t be afraid to ask locals how they enjoy living in the neighbourhood and whether they’d recommend it. Buying property in the right neighbourhood also means it’s easier to sell in the future (if you plan on it).
4. Ignoring Damages That Need Attention
Even if an apartment has all the features you’ve always dreamed of, it still doesn’t make it okay to overlook any obvious damages. In fact, it could jeopardize your investment. What might appear as a small issue, could turn out to be much bigger than you think.
Always do a thorough inspection of the property and take note of anything that needs attention. Don’t be afraid to raise questions with the property seller.
Enlist the expertise of a professional property inspector if you have your doubts.
5. Failing to View the Property In-Person
This point is closely related to the above — you must always take the time to view a property in person before deciding to buy it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is settling on a property just by looking at photographs of it.
Viewing the apartment in person is the only way you can truly get a feel for the space and suss out the quality of the property.
You need to take the time to inspect things with your own eyes and assess whether everything is up-to-par, according to your standards. In short, it’s important to assess whether you’re getting your money’s worth.
6. Trying to Find a Property Without Professional Help
This is an especially important point when you’re shopping for an apartment in a foreign country.
First of all, there’s the language barrier you might have to contend with. You might not have a clear idea of what the local market is like or how purchasing property even works.
This is where the expertise of a real estate professional makes all the difference. Working with a real estate agent who has local experience, knowledge of the market, and understands the buying process is the best way to find the right deal for your budget and lifestyle.
7. Getting Wrapped Up in Superficial Details
It’s only human to take things at face value and make quick judgments based on superficial details. This might happen to you when you view an apartment and it’s still a little dirty or dishevelled after the previous owners move out.
On the other hand, it’s also easy to fall prey to sparkly features and a nice neighbourhood — but these features could mask real issues that you might miss if you’re too focused on them.
Think about owning property in the long term. What looks good at surface level might not have the longevity you want. That’s why it’s always important to do your research before you invest.
Avoid these Apartment Hunting Mistakes With Choose Marbella
It’s these apartment hunting mistakes that can totally derail the exciting experience of buying your first property and feeling truly at home in the space.
But with the right professional on your side, you can avoid the nightmare of investing in a property that’s just not right for you. Choose Marbella is here to streamline the process of purchasing property abroad.
View our range of Marbella apartments for sale and make the investment of a lifetime!