Purchasing a new home can sometimes be fraught with challenges, from a lack of funds to a lack of available homes, or even just complicated family dynamics to navigate through. In most cases, there are workarounds for the challenges if buyers are willing to lean into the advice provided by a local real estate professional.
“It can be frustrating when you face roadblocks to your house hunting journey,” Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa sympathises. “But, the key is not to give up on the idea of purchasing your dream home. Perseverance and patience are often the answers to most of the challenges buyers will face. In time, buyers can work out solutions to help them achieves their homeownership goals,” he encourages.
Speaking into some practical examples, Nadia Aucamp, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX All Stars, says that some of the homeowners she has worked with are faced with a predicament where they cannot afford to move into a new home owing to their financial situation. “Either they could not qualify for finance or they might be blacklisted for bad credit,” she explains.
Should the client not be able to buy due to being blacklisted, Aucamp advises them to settle the outstanding debts and work towards getting their credit record in order before beginning the house hunting journey. This will take some time, as any default payments can remain on your credit record for up to two years and if the debt isn’t settled, it can remain on your credit profile for up to five years. “Once the bad debts are cleared, we can then advise on what the client qualifies for and assist in finding the perfect property within that price bracket,” says Aucamp.
A second scenario involves those who are unable to move simply because there are not properties available for them to buy within their price bracket. “If finding a home within the budget is proving to be an issue, we would ask clients to save money for a deposit and wait a little longer until they can afford to buy for a higher price. They could also sit tight and wait for more homes to enter the market. We will then advise as soon as something new is listed within their criteria,” Aucamp explains.
Those who live with extended family might also run into obstacles when looking to buy a new home. “Some clients are unable to move as there are too many families that will need to find new places and affordability might be a problem. As a workaround for this, we have seen many families build a flatlet onto the new home to accommodate family members,” suggests Aucamp.
For those who have no choice but to stay in their current home for the time being, there are various adjustments homeowners could make to help make their stay more comfortable. “We can always advise the client on what to do to make the house work for them in a better way,” says Aucamp.
“In some instances, we have worked together with the town planners and assisted our clients to extend on their current homes. Those who do not wish to do that could always change the living areas by swoping the furniture of the dining room with the living room or a bedroom with a study. This will give the homeowner a feeling that it is a new space. If you do this and paint the rooms new colours, it can feel like a new house,” she recommends.
No matter what the obstacle might be, Goslett encourages homeowners to seek out the advice of a local real estate professional.
“In most scenarios, a real estate professional can help homeowners come up with a plan to help them achieve their home buying goals, whether this means putting them in touch with a debt counsellor, financial advisor, or a local contractor to help them renovate their existing home. The most important thing is never to give up on your homeowning goals,” Goslett concludes.