Hunting for your dream house is very exciting, but where to start? There are currently many homes for sale at bargain prices, as the property market is only starting to lift up its head again after the recession. Another plus is that interest rates in South Africa are currently at the lowest levels in years. You could easily find a home loan with an interest rate of less than 10%.
However, banks are currently very strict when giving out home loans. This is mainly because of the new and stricter FICA regulations. Do the sums in advance. Homes for sale at R1 million, would equal a monthly payment of roughly R10 000. It would be to your advantage if you have a deposit of 10%, bringing your home loan down to R900 000 and your payment to R9 000. Banks are also more willing to hand out home loans if the buyer can bring some cash to the table.
First time buyers often forget to budget for transfer fees. This could be between R40 000 and R50 000.
Knowing what you can afford and which neighbourhood you want to live in, narrows down the search. Buyers should remember that location is still very important when buying a house. A safe neighbourhood with shopping facilities close by is a big advantage. If you plan to rent out the property, these could add to a higher rental income. Buying in the right neighbourhood will also add potential to sell your house at a good price in the future.
A good place to start looking for homes for sale, is online property sites. Often you will be able to do an advanced search, including specific neighbourhoods, budget constraints, and the size of house you are looking for.
Where pictures are added you will also be able to get an idea of how much renovation might be needed – another factor that will heavily impact on your cash flow!