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The First Time Buyer’s Guide to Property

Lenient loan criteria and interest rates at a record low are attracting more and more South Africans towards buying residential property. In a time where travel and event restrictions are limiting movement and more people are working from home, many are being forced to re-evaluate their priorities and for some owning property may seem like the logical next step.

Here are a few things you need to consider before you put in that offer.

Don’t Rush    

Buying a home can be complex and rushing the process can cost you later on as you may not be able to save enough for a deposit and the associated costs, get your credit rating in check or make informed financial decisions.

If you are considering buying residential property, be sure to plan for it well in advance. This will allow you time to do the necessary research, scout out your ideal location, interrogate what it really is you’re looking for in a home, repair poor credit ratings if needed and save enough money for your deposit and the costs associated with purchasing and owning a home. 

Buying is not always Better

How many times have you heard that renting just means you are helping someone else pay off their bond? While owning a home might help you make marginal savings on rental prices that tend to increase each year, buying a home is a relatively long-term investment that may require you to make semi-permanent lifestyle choices you may have not anticipated. 

For young people, who are still exploring career options and are thus not settle down in one house for at least nine years, and people living in economically unstable environments like South Africa, buying property can introduce rigidity to your career and lifestyle options. In some instances, renting can be preferable to owning a home as it can offer you the freedom and flexibility you need to explore different options at will.   

Save, Save, Save

Owning a home comes with a lot of added costs tenants do not have to deal with. Levies, rates and taxes, home insurance and maintenance costs are just some of the regular financial responsibilities that fall on the homeowners’ shoulders. 

In addition to having a deposit to make against your bond, ensure that your retirement savings are on track and that you have a sizable emergency fund available that you can use for those unexpected costs associated with owning a home.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Deciding to buy a home is a long-term decision that will affect your overall lifestyle and financial picture. Interrogate your finances and your short, medium and long term goals so you can decide if owning a home fits into the life you have planned and envisaged for yourself. 

At LifeCheq, our dedicated advisors can help you build a personalised roadmap to achieve your personal and financial goals. Visit lifecheq.co.za to sign up for your obligation-free consultation now.

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