A number of Jamaicans dream of owning their own home. Although they view home ownership as a desirable goal, there are many consumers who are not sure they will ever be able to make it into a reality.
The biggest obstacle is the thought of finding huge deposits and the entire process of finding a home that they can afford might seem overwhelming.
The first thing potential home owners should do is to assess their current financial situation. This will determine the budget that is available and give consumers a starting point on their journey to owning their own home. After determining how much you can spend, it is important to get professional financial advice to determine if you qualify for a loan.
Several financial institutions such as building societies and commercial banks have mortgage advisers, so call and arrange a visit. Don’t forget you will need enough funds for closing costs as well which is usually 10-15% of the total cost of the house.
It is important that you carefully select the location of your new home. Your first step is to figure out what city or neighborhood you want to live in. Check out your neighbours and determine if the property has solid infrastructure. It is also important to ensure that the value of your house remains intact even years after your purchase.
Make an Offer
After you have completed the preliminaries, it’s time to find a property that suits your budgetary needs. Along with checking the classifieds, there are a number of websites that show real estate listings.
If you are interested in a property in some cases you can contact the owner directly; however at times you will have to communicate with an agent. There is usually a little room to maneuver with the price but there are certain set prices based on the market value of the property.
Try to get an idea about the real estate market in the area. For example, if homes are selling close to or even above the asking price, that shows the area is desirable. Now you can call your mortgage broker or lender and move quickly to agree on terms, if you have not already done so.
Owning your own home can be a reality! What’s your take? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer