After spending a considerable amount of time renting properties, you’ll realize that you should stop throwing away money on monthly rent and either buy a house or an apartment. If you anticipate living in a property for more than five years, buying is likely to be a financially wiser move.
Buying an apartment is different from buying a house. Most people often use the words “apartment” and “house” interchangeably but these two words mean different things. Apartments are buildings made up of more than one dwelling unit. This means that one building block is made up of different homes within it. A house on the other hand typically refers to a single unit residential building.
If you are going to buy your first apartment ever, then this article will show you a checklist of things that you should consider before buying.
Proximity to Social Facilities
Most high-end apartments in Ghana are located in prime locations that give it close proximity to social facilities. This is a very vital factor to consider when hunting for an apartment. Check that the property you are interested in is close to the facilities you require such as shops, public transport, parks, hospitals, schools, work, gym, etc. You should also consider the amount of passing traffic – whether it will be noisy at peak hours and whether the noise will affect your lifestyle. Remember, buying an apartment is for the long haul, thus, you don’t want to compromise or settle for anything you’ll not be comfortable with.
In the same vein, ask the agent about other tenants in the building, and set up as many walkthroughs as possible before signing the contract. That way, you’ll have a much better chance of working out how your neighbours’ lifestyle might affect yours.
Who Maintains the Property?
Some apartments offer maintenance services at a fee, while others are the sole responsibility of the buyer. Many people don’t think of this aspect when they buy a new apartment. Find out how much the maintenance charge costs, and what is included and not included in the charge.
It is also essential to determine the age of the building. Obtain an architect or engineer’s report on the building before deciding to buy. If there are repairs or replacements, you should find out whose responsibility it would be to cover the costs.
What Alterations Can You Make?
It is important to find out if you are free to make any alterations you like to your apartment. These can range from the obvious (you can’t remove internal walls) to more subtle ones, such as making sure you keep the same style and colour of the front door. If you have any big plans for altering the property, find out whether the lease allows those changes. You may need to get written consent from the landlord before carrying out any work.
Apart from alterations, there may be other restrictions. In some apartment buildings, you’re not allowed to own pets and in others, you’re not allowed to play music after a certain time of the night. Real estate agents are unlikely to know all the restrictions that affect a property, so you should ask the landlord/lady whether there are restrictions that will stop you from doing anything that matters to you.
Assess The Security
Apartments have more people coming and going than houses, so it’s important to consider what security features each complex has in place. New and larger complexes usually have swipe cards, security cameras, pass codes and sometimes guards. These provide a greater piece of mind, but also add a bit to your service fees. Meanwhile, dated apartment blocks sometimes have no security at all.
In gated apartments, you are more likely to have your privacy, compared to other house types. Visitors will need to check with you before coming around or they will be turned away as most gated apartments have a security post at the gate.
Most residents keep to themselves most of the time, so you are unlikely to have nosey neighbours who come over to borrow your stuff but never return them or to spy on you.
Verify Important Documents
Unless an agreement is in writing, it may as well not exist. When finalizing the agreements on closing the deal on an apartment, make sure the important details are well captured in writing.
Pose as many questions as possible – nothing is too silly. Even if they don’t tell the truth, you may notice them squirming when you touch on certain subjects. Although you may feel pressured by the people who are waiting for you to sign your papers, make sure you read each page carefully as the fine print can have a major impact on the purchase of your new apartment for years to come.
If you’re not making an outright payment but rather by mortgage financing, compare your closing costs to the estimate you were given at the beginning of the process and do well to confront them about any fees you think are illegitimate.
Buying an apartment in Ghana doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Using our simple checklist will save you a lot of time and stress, so you can quickly be on your way to owning the apartment of your dreams, either to live in or as an investment property.
Looking for beautiful apartments that give you bang for your buck? Talk to Floorspace Realty today. Give us a call, +233 55 049 6399 or shoot us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.