Starting with the property search?

Simply put, key to the property search process is to know what you’re looking for. Among other things, that means distinguishing between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search you need to first define your home preference priorities.

The Property Search begins with understanding of Market

Before you venture out to inspect potential properties to purchase it is important to do your research. These days real estate institutes, property portals and data sites provide an array of information that enable you to be more informed about current market conditions, suburb trends and other key information which may impact your decision of where to buy and at what price.

What sort of area would suit you?

Where you choose to live affects your lifestyle and your finances. For instance, living by the greenery or out in the hills in western Pune can be a wonderful lifestyle choice – but you may need to think about the time and cost of commuting to work.

Here are some things to consider

• how close do you want to be to work, family and friends?

• are you prepared to commute – and what will it cost?

• do you like quiet or prefer to be in the heart of the action?

• if you have a family, what services will you need near- by?

• are you planning to run a business from home – will the zoning allow it and what support services will you need?

• what sport and recreation facilities do you want near where you live?

• do you like old or new homes?Newer homes are generally in areas further out.

Try to look at lots of properties/flats in different areas to get a feel for what you like and can afford.

Here are some of the advantages of investing in property

• if values go up you’ll make a gain

• there’s usually no tax on capital gains, if you buy another property in next 3 years.

(the profit you make if the property goes up in value)

• many people are better at paying off loans than saving

• you could make money by buying carefully, or with some types of renovations

• it’s a relatively low risk investment that should keep up with inflation

• you own your home and end up with an asset instead of just paying rent.

On the other hand

• other investments may earn more

• property prices can go down as well as up

• it may take time to sell – if you’re in a hurry you may have to accept less

• you have ongoing extra costs like maintenance, rates and insurance

• if you don’t keep your home in good order its value may go down.

To make the most of your investment

• buy in the best area you can afford (buying the worst house in the best street is still good advice)

• check everything out thoroughly first to avoid problems (there’s a checklist later)

• keep your home well maintained

• get advice from a valuer before you do any major alterations – changes don’t always add value.