You're currently renting and you've thought about buying your own
place but you dont feel ready to navigate the treacherous seas
of real estate...
You'll be glad to know then that it's easier than it seems, so make
use of these handy tips and you'll be on your way in no time, smiling
fondly at memories of when you used to waste money on rent.
Location, location, location
Choosing the right location is the first and most important rule. You
need to look at your budget and balance your home requirements with
the market value of the neighbourhood. House prices vary greatly according
to suburb, so you need to find a balance between the right area and
the right house. Start by narrowing down the areas that are suitable
(think about things like proximity to shops, schools and other to local
amenities). And, remember that owning a shack in an affluent neighbourhood
might be a better investment than a mansion in an undesirable area.
Know your budget and stick to it
Your budget really forms the basis of your plan to buy your first home.
Financial institutions generally recommend that you budget no more than
20 to 30 percent of your monthly household income for your mortgage
While you may be tempted to take out a massive bond to buy your dream
home, it's wiser to ensure you can comfortably afford the repayments
so that you can look at decreasing your mortgage repayment period over
time. Speaking to a financial planner can be beneficial in deciding
on how to manage long-term investments such as property and the different
strategies available to you.
Do your 'home' work
Decide on the type and style of the home and what is most important
to you versus what is least important to you. Also, look at a number
of properties so that you develop a 'feel' about what is right for you
and what isn't; what is reasonably priced and what isn't. When viewing
a potential property make sure you arrive prepared. Ask the agent questions
they will often have good advice, but learn to distinguish between
the 'salesperson' and the 'straight-talker'.
When you find a house you like, walk away. Give yourself time to mull
the potential purchase over and to think about whether the property
fits your requirements. Make sure you stick to the plan this
is not the time to make an emotional purchase based solely on that amazing
jacuzzi in the back garden!
Give yourself time to review the propertys value and decide on
what sort of offer you are going to make. Find out from agencies about
similar properties in the area which have sold recently and for how
much. It is better to lose a potential purchase than to make an emotional
purchase without proper planning.
Make an offer
Bearing in mind that in South Africa there are almost no buyers' agents,
be aware that the agent's allegiance will be to the person paying their
commission: the seller. That said, an estate agent plays an important
part in the process and they will be able to provide you with information
about the sales process and should be able to answer most of your questions