Following the recession, it is still extremely difficult for first time buyers to enter the property market. Banks have indicated that they will be less strict when it comes to home loans, but figures released from the various banks indicate that 100% loans are very scarce. But that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out while we’re in a buyer’s market. While a house might be out of your reach, a flat for sale is likely to be much more affordable. This would better your chance of qualifying for a home loan. Remember that there are extra costs to buying a flat for sale, for example transfer fees. So even if you do qualify for a 100% home loan, you would still need a certain amount of cash to complete the sale. Ask the agent for an estimated figure of these extra costs. Another important question to ask when you consider buying a flat for sale, is whether the complex or flat building charges levies. Levies should be reasonable in terms of the services that you get in return. Levies could among others go towards security and general maintenance of gardens or lifts. This will be to your advantage, as you would not have to worry about it yourself. And if the building or complex is in a good condition, your chances of reselling in the future, will be much better. But still make sure that the specific building doesn’t overcharge. You also need to know whether you would be able to afford your bond after paying the levies. Don’t be afraid to ask the current owners what their monthly water and electricity bill are, as this does sometimes differ slightly from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and from municipality to municipality. Apart from affordability, you might also feel safer and less isolated in a complex where 24-hour security is present.
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