Buyers guide: Step 2 House hunting - homing in on your new house

Buyers guide: Step 2 House hunting - homing in on your new house

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Buying property is expensive so it is important to choose the right property for your needs in order to avoid costly mistakes. Here's how to zero in on your perfect home.


  • Freehold or full title: Applies to freestanding homes in residential areas but also some gated estates. You own your portion of land and the buildings on it. You will be responsible for all municipal charges as well as insuring the property.

  • Sectional title: This usually applies to flats, townhouses and duplexes. You purchase a section (or portion) of a building or buildings. The land and common property is jointly owned by all owners in the sectional title scheme. The scheme is managed by a body corporate and costs of maintaining the property is shared by all the owners.

  • Shareblock – Shares in a share block company (owning the property) can be bought either directly from the company or from an existing shareholder. All shares, rights and obligations are transferred to the new owner. A share is not immovable property. So, you cannot finance the purchase by means of a mortgage loan.

!! TIP : Did you know? Private Property. is the only website where you can find property listings from agents, banks, developers and home owners, all in one place.


Put together a comprehensive list of considerations you need to keep in mind, such as:

  • Your budget – be realistic about what property you can afford.
  • Your needs – property is a long-term investment. So, consider your present- and future needs.
  • Your lifestyle – find a neighbourhood that offers your desired lifestyle. Is it run down or experiencing a lot of development? Is the property subject to a lot of noise?
  • Security – how safe is the property? Is crime in the area under control?
  • Proximity – to healthcare, schools, work and shops.
  • Your space – the minimum number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking bays and garden space that you need. What will it cost to secure your pets? Are your communication needs met? Consider all other initial costs of operating your household.
  • Property type - do you want to live in a freestanding house, a flat or in a complex? Is the complex well run and maintained? How much are the Levies? What are my restrictions?
  • Maintenance – do you have the time to maintain the garden and pool?
  • Cost of renovating/redecorating – how much work does the property need? Can this be achieved without breaking the bank?

!! TIP : You can get the latest property for sale in your area sent to you by email or SMS. Set up property alerts on Private Property and be the first to know.

!! TIP : Private Property has launched SA’s first property feed. Download the app, follow the suburbs that you’re interested in and we’ll send you matching properties instantly.


Research the property online first
Use Private Property to find out as much as you can about the property. Property websites have useful resources like photographs, floorplans, virtual tours and property trend info for you to use.

Arrange a viewing
Once you’ve found a property that appeals to you, contact the relevant agent to arrange a viewing.

Try to arrive early for a viewing so that you have time to explore the neighbourhood, chat to locals and identify any potential issues.

!! TIP : Private Property’s Neighbourhoods allows you to explore the lifestyle of different areas through video, images and content.

!! TIP : Take a camera and tape measure with you. The camera will help you to remember details about the property later and the tape measure will allow you to judge whether your furniture will fit.

Now that you have your bucks in a row...
and you found your new home...

The next step in your First-Time Home Buying Guide is "Doing the deal":

  1. Getting your bucks in a row
  2. House hunting - Homing in on your new house
  3. Doing the deal
  4. Home loan know how
  5. The legal aspects
  6. Moving tips

Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Buyers guide: Step 4 Home loan know-how
Find out how to apply for a home loan and how to give yourself the best chance of getting your home loan approved.
Buyers guide: Step 6 Moving tips
Now that you've taken ownership of your home, it's time to move in. Here's how to make the big move without the stress
Buyers guide: Step 3 Doing the deal
The art of making an offer, negotiating the best deal and understanding the offer to purchase.