Buying property is not only one of the biggest investments you’ll make, but also one of the most exciting ones. However, seeing that the South African property market has seen its ups and downs of late, you would be wise to follow a few tips for buying property in South Africa just to make sure you are well prepared for your newly-acquired investment.
Know Your Budget
First and foremost, you need to have capital available to use as a deposit. After that you can consider scouting for that perfect home by establishing what your budget will be to avoid any disappointment. An easy and convenient way to determine what you can afford is by using an online calculator provided by bond originators and mortgage lenders on their websites. This way you can get an idea of exactly how much you could qualify for as a home loan. Alternatively, visit a home loan consultant.
A mortgage advisor will not only be able to give you an estimate of how much you would be able to borrow, but should also be able to tell you about what home loan products they have available, and which would suit your needs the best with regards to interest rates and so forth. They will be able to assist you with all the necessary documentation in order for you to apply for the home loan.
Remember to include transfer costs and conveyancing fees in your budget.
Conveyancing fees vary and can easily be in the region of about R20 000. Transfer fees depend on the purchase price of the property. This you’ll obviously only be able to establish once you have chosen the property and know the purchase price of the property. If it’s a new development there usually won’t be any transfer duty fees to pay.
Finding the Right Home
When buying property in South Africa, or anywhere in the world for that matter, location plays a major role in the decision.
Decide which suburb or area would best suit your needs. What amenities, such as schools, shops and so forth are close by that add value to the property?
The reason for purchasing property will influence your choice of area. If you are only purchasing it for investment purposes with the idea of selling it again later on, you’ll probably look at an area where the market value has seen major growth, whereas if you are buying property for the family, the safety and security of an area will play a bigger role in your decision making.
Once you’ve found your ideal property, make your offer. Remember that the purchase price listed is not cast in stone, so don’t be afraid to negotiate in order to get yourself the best deal possible.
Once you’ve agreed on the price of the property, make sure to read your purchase and sale agreement documents carefully before signing. If need be, seek out the advice of a property lawyer to set your mind at ease.
Talk to your real estate agent if you have any queries or problems so that these can be sorted out with the owner of the property. Once the offer to purchase has been signed, both you and the seller of the house will have to perform certain activities to make sure the purchasing process continues smoothly.
You are well within your rights to have the property inspected, so use it! Although by South African law you are not obliged to do so, it will set your mind at ease to know of any patent or latent defects the house may have.
Once you’ve signed the contract, should any defects occur, the rights of a buyer are minimal due to the Voetstoots Clause in deed of sale contracts. By having the property inspected first, should any major defects be found, you can still change your mind about the purchase.
Before finalising the contract, have insurance lined up. As with mortgage advisors, it would be advisable to source which products and deals suit your personal needs best. This can easily be done online by requesting quotes from different insurance companies and making your decision upon the results of your request.
When you finally sign the contract, don’t be shy to ask any last minute questions.
Remember this is a big investment, so be 100 percent sure before making it final.
As soon as the contract is signed, enjoy the luxuries of your new home.