If you’re ready to take the leap and buy your own home, you need to do your homework to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, Head of Special Projects at FNB Housing Finance says that many first-time buyers are so excited about buying their new home that they don’t do their due diligence. Apart from the home loan application and registration process, there are a number of other important factors you need to consider when choosing to own a home:
- Future needs
Think about the big picture: will this house still cater for your needs when you grow your family? A two-bedroom house may be perfect for newlyweds, but could soon be too small once the children come along.
That spacious house outside of town may cost less, but have you factored in the distances to and from work, schools and medical centres, which may end up costing you more time and money.
- Freestanding or Sectional Title
When you rent, you rely on your landlord to maintain and improve the property. Owning your house means you are solely responsible for its condition, while purchasing a townhouse (sectional title) will leave you liable for a monthly fixed cost for levies, rates and taxes, over and above your home loan repayment.
- Buying an old house
Sometimes it’s worth looking at buying to renovate. Weight the costs of a new house against those of renovating an older property. Just be aware that an older property requires professional inspection by plumbers and electricians, etc., to help identify any hidden defects.
- Neighbourhood safety
No area is immune from crime, so research the crime statistics in your chosen neighbourhood. For example, if you have a job with heavy travel requirements, your house might be a soft target for burglars.
- Save for rainy days
It is advisable to save at least six months worth of your home loan installment (and monthly expenses) even if your job is not under threat. This will create a good safety net and give you a peace of mind should something go wrong.
Source: FNB. Image: Pixabay