If 2020 taught us anything, it's that life can be unpredictable and while no one can say for certain how much things will change in the coming year, we can give you some sensible, tried and tested good advice if you're thinking about purchasing a property for the first time in 2021.
1. Take a careful (and honest) look at your finances
You probably don’t need us to tell you that buying a house is a major financial decision. Before committing to 20 to 30 years of instalments, it’s vital to take a totally honest look at your current circumstances, including your short-term debt, savings and investments, as well as your financial goals for the foreseeable future.
Tip: Give yourself a realistic goal of saving for the biggest deposit possible while you start the house-hunting process, or paying off as much of your short-term debt before you make an offer on a property.
2. Consider your career options and overall job security
Before you sign the dotted line, it’s also a good idea to take a realistic view of your current income, your earning potential, together with your future career options. This helps establish a long-term view of your ability to meet your financial commitments.
3. Give some thought to your home office
This is certainly a new but very important factor for many more prospective buyers than last year. If your home has become your frequent place of work and visits to the office are few and far between, you’ll need to have a quiet space to work, and this means that you may be looking for something a little different in 2021.
Tip: Find out if there is reliable fibre in the neighbourhoods you’re looking in; if you’re working from home, you’ll need a decent internet connection.
4. Expand your horizons
If long commutes to the office are a thing of the past, you can expand the ‘zone’ in which you originally considered living. You might find that suburbs outside of this zone offer better value for money, larger properties, and even better security.
Tip: Have you heard about how many South Africans are semigrating away from the big cities because their work / family situation allows them to be remote? Consider this if it’s a possibility and broaden your search area for a new house.
5. Get clued up on interest rates
Interest rates are the lowest they’ve been for years but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay put forever. Ensure you do your affordability calculations anticipating a rate increase as early as the second half of 2021.
*Article sourced from Biz Community*
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