Guide to buying your first property

Guide to buying your first property

Here are five great tips to help you make the right decision when buying your first property. 

Door with key and home shaped keychain
door with key and home shaped keychain/ iStock

One of the most important decisions to make in life is whether or not to buy property. 

Many people view property as not just as a roof over their head, but an investment. 

Entering the property market is not a decision to be taken lightly, especially with the tough economic times the country faces. 

According to Ooba Homeloan's data, the average age for first-time home buyers is 36. 

READ: No transfer duties for properties less than R1.1-million: How much will you save?

Before buying property, one needs to check the following: 

How much can you afford? 

Depending on where your property would be located, you might need to pay the bond, rates, taxes, and municipal bills. You will also need to budget for water and electricity. This means you need to have a few more hundreds or thousands of Rands in your budget allocated to the extra costs that will come with having property. So, it is advisable to go for a property that is a bit less than what you qualify for to make an allowance for the extra costs. 

Shop around

It is not advisable to go with the first offer for a home loan. Try and negotiate for a better interest rate and ask several banks for offers. You might save an enormous amount of money by doing thorough research. Even when it comes to the property you are interested in, try and shop around to see how much similar properties go for. Also, try and negotiate the selling price. 

Research the neighbourhood

It is advisable to buy a house in an area where you will have peace of mind, especially because crime is a big problem in South Africa. Check the crime stats in the area, service delivery in the area, and the distance to crucial facilities such as hospitals, shops, etc. Remember buying property in the wrong location will not only cost you your peace of mind, but it can also affect the value of your property in the future.

Check the state of the property developers 

If you are buying in a new development area, research the property developers and the quality of their work. Sometimes you can buy a property that looks good after being built, but after a while, it might start to deteriorate and that will affect its value. 

Save up for attorney fees

When buying property, you will have to fork out on attorney fees. You might need to pay the bond registration attorney fees, bank initiation fees, post, petties, FICA, other administrative fees, property transfer attorney fees, and transfer duty fees. All the fees might cost you tens of thousands of Rands, so it is advisable to research before you purchase the property just how much you will need to pay for them. These costs are not included in your home loan. You will need to have the money available yourself. 

READ: Rate hikes shouldn’t deter potential home owners – expert

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