Buying home requires a great deal of groundwork. It is one of the costliest items any person purchases. Many of you would like to buy vacation homes in exotic destinations such Playa del Carmen, Mexico. While you may think that you know everything that is needed to buy a second home in your last trip to Playa del Carmen, the chances are that you need to research and chalk out a plan before taking any decision. Here are 10 steps to follow while buying a home in Playa del Carmen or for that matter anywhere in the world.
- Get a qualified agent: For any real estate transaction, it’s essential you have an agent by your side. But before you select a real estate agent, check if he or she has all the proper licenses and credentials. Since in Mexico there are no licenses for an agent, you are advised to go to only agents associated with reputable brokers and companies. You can also check if the agent is associated with AMPI which is an organization for real estate agents and brokers in Mexico.
Verify the past track record of the agent. Ask for references from the buyers who have hired him in the past. Hire an agent who is bilingual (knows both English and Spanish). You may have to pay a very hefty price for communication breakdown.
- Identify your goals: Just knowing that you want a home is not enough. Decide what kind of a property you want, the number of rooms, bathrooms, amenities, terrace, views, and lawns. The home you have in your mind should accurately reflect your lifestyle. Many of your requirements will be absolute must-haves while others will be desirable but not mandatory. Identify them as such and make a note of them.
- Location: If there is a cliché in real estate, it’s “Location, location, location”. A place like Playa del Carmen is abound with locations. There is the 5th avenue, downtown, beachfront, beach view and so much more. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your preference, budget, property type and lifestyle. Decide what sort of location you prefer in consultation with your agent.
- Check your finances: More often than not home purchases are financed. You have to calculate how much you can afford. Remember, you need to also factor in your other home mortgage, current lifestyle and future commitments. Only bite off what you can chew easily. A second home is a luxury and not a necessity. Hence, treat it as such.
- Research the home inside out: If you intend to buy a home, inspect it inside out and from top to bottom. Hire a professional if you are not capable of doing so. A home can have faulty or old wirings, appliances, floorings and plumbing. You may have to rectify or replace them. Likewise, check all the rooms and kitchen for similar problems.
- Beware of nasty surprises: Most of the buyers do not consider expenses such as property tax, insurance, property management charges and other transaction taxes not to mention charges for the professionals you hired at the various stages. All these expenses can inflate your final costs. Always factor in these hidden costs at the start itself.
- Check the legality: No matter what your heart or the agent says check all the documentation and legality of the land or home you intend to buy. If you’re thinking of making changes to your home, then check beforehand for the pertaining laws.
- Don’t buy a money pit: All of us know of a home that just requires repair and renovations all the time. Don’t make the mistake of buying such houses especially a second home. Choose new homes or which require minimal renovations. You don’t need stress of any kind – financial or mental – form your vacation home.
- Buy a home with resale value: It’s especially important for second homes that they should have a good resale value and should be liquid. Have a fair bit idea of how much it would appreciate in coming years.
- Buy the home: Once you are satisfied with all the above mentioned factors, negotiate the price and seal the deal. But never be afraid to walk form the deal if you are not completely satisfied.
About the Author: David Selva is a Riviera Maya property consultant & Sales Director and founder of Selva Co Realty. He has an experience of more than 6 years as a real estate professional in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico and blogs on real estate matters related to the Riviera Maya region.