Skymarketing has brought a complete guide for you who are looking for real estate. How to choose a neighborhood? Should I look for a real estate agent or direct owner? In addition to presenting valuable tips for doing property searches on the internet, we will also evaluate some criteria for choosing your new neighborhood, especially for the cost of living.
How To Choose the Neighborhood and City to Live?
Many people, when they move to a better place, only calculate the increase in expenses they will have with rent and condominium. But they are not the only expenses that increase when you decide to live in another neighborhood or city.
Let’s take the example of food; when a neighborhood is full of shops and apartments with self-employed professionals and service providers, there are restaurants with various price ranges, from the most popular to the most sophisticated. In a residential neighborhood with several gated communities, one would expect restaurants to be more isolated and a little more expensive.
If you spend 15 units of your currency per meal today and move to a neighborhood where a meal costs an average of 30 units of your currency, that’s double the expense just with that expense! Service prices such as internet, telephone, electricity, gym, and hospital are also location-centric. So, before you move, let’s understand how much it costs today to maintain your lifestyle and what changes you are willing to afford.
How much does your lifestyle cost today?
The cost of living is the price you pay for the goods and services you consume. Considering the following areas, make a table with your current expenses:
- Housing: Rent, condominium, services, and fees. Furniture and articles for the home
- Food: Shopping at the supermarket, meals at restaurants, and snacks
- Transport: Bus tickets, fuel, taxi rides, and parking expenses
- Education: School and college tuition, online courses, books, and teaching materials
- Health: Regular expenses with a hospital, specialists, health insurance, and medicines
- Hygiene and personal care: Tuition for the gym, hair removal, cosmetics, and beauty treatments
- Clothing: Regular purchases of clothing, accessories, and footwear
- Recreation and culture: Shopping at the mall, movie and theater tickets, expenses with bars and clubs
- Miscellaneous expenses: Bank fees, unexpected expenses
And then compare with the difference in prices of items you consume in other neighborhoods and cities. The Expatisan and Cost of Living websites are useful tools for understanding price differences between cities. In them, it is possible not only to consult the average price of the categories of products and services in each city but also to calculate the differences between them.
The Cost of Living tells us, for example, that certain cities in Pakistan is 43.8% more expensive than others. In other words, if you plan to leave a certain city to live in other parts of Pakistan, increase your expense projections by 40%, and check the effort needed to handle this increase.
Attention: some prices on the site are out of date, so do your math by adding a safety margin.
But can the cost of living alone be used to determine whether or not it’s worth living in a particular city? No! What matters is how much you earn.
So, consider the employability or job opportunities you will have, with your current CV, in the new neighborhood or city where you intend to live. To find out, nothing better than visiting the city and talking to merchants, property owners, and neighbors in the region. Only they will be able to give a realistic perspective on the job opportunities available.
Other Factors to Consider:
Several other factors include:
- Newlyweds looking for safe places to raise their children
- Single men and women want places with more single people and a busy nightlife
- Retirees want a quiet place with several leisure options
- For each stage of life, there are different priorities
- What are your priorities right now?
- This prioritization is what will really determine the quality of life you want, and so you can set the cost of living
- If walking or cycling to work is a priority for you, would you be willing to pay a slightly more expensive rent?
- If you want to live close to good supermarkets, would you be willing to choose a property a little further from the center?
Evaluate according to the following categories what is most important to you:
- Transport and commute time to work
- Closeness to family and friends
- Job opportunities
- Real estate values
- Security and crime
- Educational system
- Power options
When setting your priorities, search the internet for the options available for the neighborhood and city you have your eye on. Take advantage of apps like Waze or Google Maps, and use Social Networks to join local groups and clear up your doubts with residents. It’s a great way to make your first contacts in your new home!
Should I look for a real estate agent or speak directly with the owner?
Now that you’ve defined the place you want to live, it’s time to start your real estate search. There are several ways to do this search. The most obvious is to contact real estate agents in the area and ask for the assistance of a realtor. A regional broker, if experienced, will know the details of the neighborhood and the city and will be able to help you with questions about the location, safety, and facilities of each place.
In a typical real estate company, several brokers work, and the list of properties raised can contain several interesting options for you. However, don’t forget that the broker will never know all the options available. So, make contact with several brokers to have more options to analyze.
A tip for choosing realtors and brokers is to check if they are properly registered with the regional CRECI. Another question is: does the real estate or broker have a regional focus, or do they “shoot in all directions?”.
The more specialized the company is in a region or in a type of property, the more personalized the service will be.
Finding the owner is more complicated.
A good part of the properties for rent is entrusted to property managers, who often have the intermediation service of purchase, sale, and rent. You can find on the internet some portals dedicated to negotiations directly with property owners, but be careful with the contracts! The real estate or property management company aims to connect the buyer to the seller, the lessee to the lessor and has several procedures to reduce the risk of both parties.
How to search for properties online?
Searching for properties on the internet is the fastest way to find several options in the place where you want to live.
In this case, you do not depend on the answer of a realtor, which greatly speeds up the research process, which is usually time-consuming.
We separate some tips to make your life easier when searching for properties on the internet:
- Do specific searches when searching for your properties on Google or on portals, be specific. Instead of searching for “house for rent in Pakistan,” try “2-bedroom apartment for rent Pakistan/SP”. See that the results will be different – and much more relevant.
- Browse multiple real estate portals; you browse just one portal and risk having limited real estate options to choose from. Choose also to browse the smaller portals, which tend to be more regional.
- Find out the price before visiting. Knowing the price of the property is your right. If there is no price indicated on the website and you are interested, send a message to the real estate agency and find out the price before scheduling a visit. Blue World City Islamabad always shares the latest property prices online for convenience and transparency.
- Beware of old listings. Unfortunately, many realtors do not update the status of their listings. It is common to find apartments that were already sold or rented months ago and are still there, available for those looking for. Before considering a property as an option, check with the realtor if it is still available.
Have you made your list of favorite properties? Then it’s time to make the assessment visit.