Thinking of buying your own home? Very exciting! However, it can also very be daunting … after all, this will be one of the biggest financial commitments that you will ever make.

The average age for first-time homebuyers in South Africa is 34. Our younger buyers tend to be a more cynical group of home buyers, given that many have no financial buffers with which to weather an economic storm, and are highly credit dependent.

Truth is, entering the property market for the first time can be a challenge. There’s so much to consider. First of all, it used to be easy to get offered 100% financing in the past. Nowadays, you will most likely need a deposit to buy your dream home; which is usually 10 to 20% of the purchase price.

So, will you be doing the right thing leaving rental life behind? Absolutely! The housing boom may have slowed down for sellers, but for savvy buyers this can be a period of opportunity. Property investment has always stood the test of time. Remember, buying a home is a compulsory saving, bearing affordability in mind, off course.

There’s an old Chinese proverb which says: “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is today.” It’s the same with property.

Luckily there are a few crucial pointers to make the journey to homeownership a little less bumpy:

  • Check your credit profile. Working towards a good credit status is important to improve your chances of being approved for a home loan. The better your credit record, the better the interest rate you’ll be able to negotiate.
  • Find an experienced realtor.
  • Be aware of all the costs. Ask your real estate agent to explain transfer costs as well as what the occupational rental amount will be if you move into the property before transfer takes place. If you’re buying into a sectional title development ask to see the financial statements and if it is a security estate, the estate rules.
  • Apply for a pre-qualified home loan. Go to your bank directly or avail yourself of the services of an experienced mortgage originator. These professionals assist potential buyers with a comprehensive pre-qualification in order to accurately assess your buying power. Cited on the pre-qualification will be the amount, the interest rate, and the instalment amount.
  • Save, save, save for your deposit.
  • Your bond repayment should not exceed 30% of your monthly income. Ideally look to buy “the worst” house in the best possible area. Start of modestly. Rather be conservative and build up from there.
  • Consider your 5-year plan before buying your first home. If you’re single and plan remaining so for some time, it’s advisable to purchase a smaller, but more modern unit with good security. But, if you’re a couple wanting to start a family, consider a property that will accommodate this, even if it means living with older finishes for now.

Owning rather than renting affords you the benefit of capital appreciation of your asset, which in turn can enable you to trade up in the future … if you can afford it.


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.