Find Your Next Home Online - The Right Way

Private Property South Africa
Cath Jenkin

Know Your Property Market

The search for your new home truly begins once you know the kind of home you are looking for. Keep in mind that your next home will need to cater for your new needs. We recommend you:

  • Sign up for news, sale, and rental alerts related to the type of property you’re looking for. These will help you stay in touch with news and trends relating to the type of home you’re searching for. Of course, we recommend the Private Property newsletter.
  • Start conducting casual online searches to see what the average price, in your chosen area, for your intended new home would be. You’ll quickly become an expert at spotting a well-priced deal.

Know Your New Neighbourhood

This is especially important if you’re moving across the country: learn as much as you can about your new neighbourhood. A simple online search could tell you quite a bit about your next hometown, but really getting to grips with what to expect in terms of lifestyle takes a bit more effort. We recommend:

  • Finding out about community newspapers in the area, and signing up to their newsletters.
  • Joining online community groups and forums, to get a true perspective on the day-to-day goings on in your next neighbourhood.

Know Your Price Point

If you’ve had your home loan pre-approved, that will make life a whole bunch easier. But, if you’re still looking for the right type of finance, we suggest you conduct a thorough financial assessment, to understand what you can afford. Check out our Bond Repayment Calculator and Bond Affordability Calculator. Once you know your price point, start applying those criteria to your search results. We recommend you select a starting search price filter of “Any” or “O”, and a secondary search filter that’s just above what you can afford.

Know Your Next Home

This is where searching for a property online can turn tricky, because photos and videos can be somewhat deceiving, in good or bad ways:

  • If you find a property that suits your needs, but the photographs don’t seem to match up with the description, contact the agent or owner, via the contact form supplied. On the Private Property website, you’ll find that on the right-hand side of the screen. Request more photographs and information relating to the property, and then use those to decide whether or not to eliminate the listing from your property shortlist.
  • A particular listing seems to tick all of your boxes, but it seems to be underpriced? There may be a good reason for this exceptional deal though, so we again recommend contacting the agent or owner via the contact form to find out why this listing seems so inexpensive.
  • Don’t DIY, unless you want to. Pay careful attention to the descriptions attached to each property listing you come across, and avoid anything that recommends a home “needs work” or is “made for the DIY lover.” Of course, if you’re handy with a spanner and enjoy renovating your home, then those are the homes you should focus in on.

Filter Your Search

There’s one big step you can take to make your search even simpler: turn on notifications. We’ll use the Private Property app as our example here, because it is South Africa’s smartest property app, after all! Receiving instant alerts for listings that match your requirements puts you ahead of the game when it comes to your property search, as you’ll be able to act fast when something suitable comes up. Your Property Feed on the Private Property app is made up of properties that are located within your preferred suburbs, and setting it up is easier than you’d expect. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Once you’ve downloaded the Private Property app to your mobile phone, click on “Set Up Your Feed”.
  • You’ll be prompted to Register or Sign In, and then the app will ask you to specify the type of property you’re looking for.
  • Fill in the correct details, that’ll help the app select the right type of results for you. You can select your: price range, property type, bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, and parking spaces. The app also helps you drill down to important features, including whether you need pet-friendly listings, furnished properties, and other important facilities.
  • Thereafter, the app asks you to add suburbs you’re searching for properties in. Well done! You’re all set up.

Don’t Sign Before You See

Before you sign on the dotted line and book your moving company, stop: have you met your new home “in person” yet? If not, we deeply recommend you arrange a viewing before committing to your big move, and a responsible agent would almost always insist on this. Of course, that’s not always possible. But, if a friend lives nearby, or someone you can rely on is passing through the neighbourhood, ask them to pop in to view the property. They can take a video for you of their walkthrough, or conduct a video call with you, as they inspect your potential new home. However it works out, try your best to at least “meet” your new home before you move in.

Good luck and happy house hunting!


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