Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. The process in South Africa can be a whirlwind of activity, from the time you first see the listing to the point when you’re ready to make an offer to purchase.
At Simply Online, it is our mission to reduce the hassles associated with buying a home and to make the process as stress-free as possible. To give you a head-start, we’ve put together a list of some things to consider, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer in South Africa:
1. Get pre-qualified before you buy
Getting pre-qualified means simply getting an idea of the price range you can afford, based on your net monthly income and credit score. We’ve partnered with Ooba – a leading home loan expert – to make it easier for you to get pre-qualified. You can use Ooba’s free, online pre-qualification tool – the Ooba Bond Indicator.
2. Choose your area wisely
If you have identified your ideal neighborhood and found a home that appeals, you’ve already done a lot of the legwork. If not, you’ll need to do a bit more research. Try to find out what similar homes have been sold there in the past year. How does your future home compare? If it’s at the top of the price range it might be hard to resell, but if it’s at the lower end you can only benefit when prices of other homes begin to increase in value.
3. Talk about it
Get opinions on schools in the area (even if that’s not an issue for you now, it might be when you want to resell). Good schools are a draw card for young families. Visit the local police station and ask about crime statistics. Neighbors and store owners in the area will also be a good source of information.
4. Assess the convenience of the location
Where are the shops, police and fire stations, medical centres, schools, and hospitals in relation to your new home? Are you close to a major road or highway? Is there air traffic overhead?
5. Get a house inspection
It’s worth the money to find any structural problems with the home that could cost you thousands to repair further down the line. Once you have the report you can ask the necessary experts to quote on any essential repairs. There’s no harm in getting a second opinion if you’re not happy with the inspection report. For example, if an inspector says a foundation is cracked, but it’s nothing to worry about, start worrying and get a second opinion.