Episode 2: How to make the move from renting to owning

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Find out from Private Property's CEO about how to prepare for buying your very first home.

Presenter: Right now we're heading over to property advise. Now, along with private property we're going to be helping you out through everything you need to know when it comes to buying your dream home.

Starting the journey to buying your first home can be a rather daunting experience. But being prepared and getting the right advice can make the world of difference. Together with the country's leading property website, Private Property, we're guiding you through the finer details of being a first-time buyer and what you should be prepared for before you buy. Simon, I'm looking to purchase my first property, and I think it goes without saying that preparation is very important.

How do we go about building that platform?

Simon Bray: The property for you is an incredibly personal thing. A lot of us have different reasons for getting into the property market. Maybe the family is expanding. Maybe there's a new job. We're moving to a new city. We were looking to invest in property perhaps as a second home. In your case, you want to get off of the rental market and onto the property ladder. And I think that's a really exciting process for a lot of people. But it does tailor the requirements for your next home. And it's really important to understand what those personal features are that are best for your property choice. So you're probably looking for things like lockup-and-go, secure, convenient, and easy to maintain. And absolutely you're looking for something that's affordable. Because it's often a shock when you move from renting to buying your first home.

I've been renting for a number of years now. How do I know when I'm ready to purchase?

Simon Bray: That's a big question there. I mean, we often get asked rental versus buying. And I think that it's really important to understand when it's right for you. So I mean, first of all answer the personal questions around are you happy to be in one place for a while? Is it the right time financially? Have you got other commitments and stresses that you're not taking account of that you need to sort out first? But then you look at the market, and you say, "Okay. Well, we're going to have to cover interest. We're going to have to cover maintenance. We're going to have to cover levies and rates." These are things that you're not used to as a tenant. So the capital growth in the asset is going to need to be great enough over a period of time to make those costs make sense. So you're looking for neighborhoods that are going to appreciate, neighbourhoods that are going to grow, and you certainly want to buy at the right price.

Financially, how important is it to have a financial plan? And what are some of the requirements we need to be aware of?

Simon Bray: Planning for your first home starts a long time before you jump on a property website like ours. You want to start saving from as early as you can. You want to get that discipline of saving. Because once you move from that rental apartment to your new home, you're going to have to cover those costs. And then another thing that a lot of our customers don't figure out is how important your credit history is, how important your credit score is. If you have a credit card or a retail account, and you pay that account off regularly, you start to build up a positive history. And that makes your chances of getting a mortgage so much better.

While you're evaluating your financial situation and preferences, you can start researching properties online. Make notes of the homes you like and prices to get a sense of the trends in your desired areas. Before you start looking for your dream home, take the time to write down exactly what your needs are. That way it will help you make your final decision. For more information and expert advice, visit www.privateproperty.co.za.

Whether it's your first apartment in the city, a trendy suburban townhouse, or that dream family home on a golf estate, there's a home for everyone on Private Property.

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