Advice for first-time home buyers

Buying your first home can be exhilarating and overwhelming at the same time. Navigating the world of real estate and home finance for the first time can be daunting, especially when it comes to applying for finance and finding the best interest rates. As a first-time buyer, here are some things to keep in mind:

Use technology to your advantage

Advances in technology have made shopping for your first home so much easier than it has in the recent past. Most reputable real estate agents now run interactive websites where potential buyers can take virtual tours of each property being marketed, access 360-degree photos of each room, and filter the properties based on their specific needs to narrow down their choices. These days, potential buyers looking at a property for the first time are already armed with a tremendous amount of information about that property, which puts them in a much stronger position when it comes to asking questions, identifying and negotiating deficiencies. Use all of the available online features when searching for your home, including Google Maps and Google Earth, to get a good look at each property’s location and area.

Work with a real estate finance professional

If you need to apply for a home loan, you should use the services of an originator as they tend to have a much higher success rate in securing home loans. A bond originator is essentially an intermediary between you and the various banks who will assist you in negotiating the best deal for you. They take care of all the paperwork and application submission, and can help you get a pre-approved loan that will improve your purchasing power and give you a clear idea of ​​your affordability. Additionally, an originator of a bond earns a fee from the bank with which you ultimately place your business. Therefore, as a buyer, you can use their guidance and experience effectively and free of charge.

Understand the costs involved

As a buyer, you are responsible for a number of expenses in addition to the purchase price and it is important to budget for these costs. First, in order to register the bond on the property, you will be responsible for the cost of registering the bond, which will vary based on the value of the property, a Deeds’ Office registration fee, and the cost of bits and bobs, postage and sundries. As the buyer, you are also responsible for paying the transfer fee, which is a government tax levied to transfer ownership from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name. This money needs to be transferred to the referring attorneys who will then transfer it to Sars on your behalf. You will also be responsible for paying the referral fees to the referral attorneys to cover the cost of registering your property with the Deeds Office. When taking out a home loan, a buyer can also expect to pay a borrowing fee to the bank, which can either be paid upfront as a one-time fee or capitalized over the life of the home loan. This fee is essentially paid by the bank to process the home loan application for you, keeping in mind that if your home loan application is denied you will still be liable for the fee.

Determine the type of property you want to buy

Think carefully about what type of property you want to buy and remember that each property has its own advantages and disadvantages. Buying a condominium gives you more privacy and more freedom to renovate to your liking. On the other hand, owning partial titles means paying dues, but it offers more convenience in terms of maintenance and upkeep. Similarly, living on the estate can hinder the appearance of your property and garden and be expensive, but it has the benefits of better security.

Explore the area

Once you’ve identified an area that you think fits your needs, make a concerted effort to do as much research as possible. First, check out what other properties in the area have recently been sold for what price. This gives you a good sense of the value of real estate in the area. If there is no property for sale in this suburb, you are wondering why. Find out if there are any real estate developments planned in the area, if there are any problems with traffic congestion, and if large office buildings cause problems with traffic flow at peak times. Depending on your circumstances, assess the proximity of important facilities such as schools, doctors, hospitals, shopping malls, and parks. Find out about the crime statistics of the suburb and which armed task force or neighborhood observation groups are active in the region. Read the local newspaper or magazines and do your best to get a feel for the neighborhood before making an offer to buy. Please note that an offer to buy is a binding legal document.

View the property several times

Make sure to view the property multiple times before submitting an offer. Be sure to look beyond aesthetics to identify potential flaws and defects, especially those that could be critical. Pay particular attention to moisture or water ingress, structural damage, and cracks. Note that these shortcomings can easily be covered up. Ask about the age of the geysers and whether they are still under warranty. As a buyer, you will also need gas and electrical certificates as proof that these facilities have been installed correctly and safely. Ask about hazardous materials such as asbestos roofs, whether the chimneys and chimneys are working properly, and what type of electricity meter is running on the property. While you may love the property, it is important that you put your emotions aside and be realistic about the financial implications of the property’s shortcomings. Make sure you also determine if there are any restrictions on the title deeds that you need to be aware of. It is also important to make sure the property has approved and current plans.

Offer to buy

When you’ve done your research, you should be able to provide an educated quote. When completing the offer, check all the details including the erf number, the purchase price and the description of the property. Further information that you must provide is the date of the occupation and the professional rent to be paid if you want to move in before the transfer. Make it clear which costs are covered by the professional rent. It is also important that the offer to buy indicates when the risk will pass from the seller to the buyer. If your purchase offer contains conditions precedent, e.g. For example, if the sale is subject to the approval of a bond, see the 72 hour clause. Most purchase offers include a 72 hour ratification clause that allows the seller to continue to market the property until the conditions precedent are met. This means that if the seller receives a different offer without conditions precedent, the seller can give you 72 hours notice whether you wish to waive the condition precedent or meet it. Otherwise the offer expires and the seller can accept the second offer.

Additional costs

Finally, it is important to budget for the cost of your property. The important thing is that you need to consider the cost of the move and possibly storage, including short-term insurance for the duration of the storage and move. When you move to your new home, you also need to budget for the installation costs for services such as fiber optics, WiFi, network, DSTV and landline. If the home isn’t adequately secured, set aside money for burglars, alarm systems, and / or electric fences, as well as the recurring costs of armed response. Maintenance and upkeep costs include cleaning, gardening, pool maintenance, and general home improvement. You also need to consider the monthly cost of home and building insurance, utilities, tariffs, taxes, and electricity, which vary based on the size and price of your home.

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