The property market is looking younger and female, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late for you to get started on your journey of purchasing your dream home.
If you are wondering where to begin when it comes to securing your first home, it is crucial to know a few practical steps that can get you there. How can you turn your scrolling for a dream house on property markets to one where you finally get to sign the title deed? Here is what you need to know.
Assess what you can afford
Just because you can save up for a deposit and be approved for a home loan doesn't necessarily mean you can afford your home. There are once of payments such as taxes, transfer duty, administration, and insurance fees, along with ongoing costs. Carefully researching the ongoing costs of a house such as the monthly repayments of a bond, home insurance, rates, water, and electricity can adequately prepare you on whether you will be able to afford your home or not.
Using the interest rate in your favour
The interest rate can also play a big factor when it comes to affording your property, especially if you are a first-time home buyer. With the current interest rate being at an all-time low in 50 years, many home buyers are taking advantage of it to get onto the property ladder. Giving yourself a better footing by checking your credit score and cutting back on things that you do not need can boost your chances of being approved for a home loan that comes with a better interest rate. This will be ideal for anyone who is looking for ways to reduce how much they repay and for how long.
Shopping within your price band
Once you have assessed what you can afford, shopping for your new home will be easier. According to statistics by Lightstone, most first-time home buyers tend to enter the residential property market in the R700,000 - R1.5 million price range.
While a dream home in South Africa's cities with extra space and views to kill may be on most of our lists, it is important to start with something affordable. You may want to even consider houses that are further away from the city centre or small towns which tend to be suitable for anyone looking to get a step onto the property ladder.
Protecting your investment
Buying property is one of the ways South African's can invest in something that accumulates in value and also yields a good return on investment. However, this also means you will need to have sufficient measures in place to protect it. Make sure to have things such as home and life insurance to ensure that your property will be protected. Doing this also shows lenders that you are serious and responsible, improving your chances of being approved.
Keep the future in mind
Always shop for a home that can be re-sold. What this means is that you will need to put in careful research in property trends in the area you are planning on buying in. Carefully assess if the house is energy and water-efficient as these are becoming high selling points in a country that faces infrastructural issues such as water cuts, rising utility costs and load shedding. As much as you want to add your unique signature to a space always think about how it will affect the selling of your house in future.