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Tips for buying a home

So why buy your own house?

Buying a house means that you can make any improvements you like, which can increase the overall value of your property. Renting? Making changes won’t be that easy and tenants need permission from the landlord for most things. Want to start a family? Some landlords have rules against having pets or children, so starting your dream family in a rental might not be an option. However, renting gives you the flexibility to move once your lease agreement date has expired.

Taking the pros and cons into consideration, and still want to own your own home? Let’s have a look at a few tips to take into consideration before the SOLD sign goes up!

Finding a place to live used to be all about looking through estate agent windows and newspaper listings. Thankfully it’s much easier now to browse and shortlist your favourite houses online. There are a lot of different websites where you can search. Spend some time educating yourself about what’s available in the market. Don’t buy in a hurry. When looking at houses, there are two important things to look out for – the building itself, and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Make the most of open houses

When you’re looking at homes during open houses, pay close attention to the home’s overall condition, and be aware of any smells, stains or broken items and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions about the home.

Save up for a deposit

This is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself obtain a bond at a good rate. The more money you put in at the beginning, the less you will owe.

Get prequalified

If you get prequalified for a bond, you’ll know what you can afford, and you’ll be in a stronger position to make an offer when you find the perfect home.

Explore your down payment and bond options

Making a higher down payment will mean having a lower monthly payment. If you want the smallest bond payment possible, opt for a 30-year fixed bond. But if you can afford larger monthly payments, you can get a lower interest rate with a 20-year or 15-year fixed loan.

Shop around for a bond

Don’t just go with your first bond offer you receive from the first bank you apply to. Another bank might offer you a better deal. A good bond originator will apply to multiple banks for your home loan simultaneously, ensuring that you get the best deal.

Understand all the costs involved upfront, like levies and transfers fees

If you haven’t prepared for these, you could be in for a nasty surprise.

Be aware of the hidden costs and defects of any property

Look out for anything that is not working properly. If you want to make an offer, bring in a specialist to inspect plumbing, electrics and structural integrity. If they uncover something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t buy the property, but it puts you in a position to negotiate on the price.

Repay as much as you can into your bond every month

By just putting in a few extra hundred Rand a month you can save yourself thousands over a 20-year bond term.

Hope you found this useful!

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