A joint-bond that binds

With applications for joint home loans on the increase between unmarried couples, it is important for couples to secure their individual interest and understand the financial implications of such a bond. 
When Khaya and Alice returned to South Africa (SA) with some hard-earned savings, their first thought turned towards getting the best start back in the country. “We chose not to splurge on a wedding,” says Alice, “but put down a deposit on our first home instead.”
Khaya is still saving for lobola, but he feels they did the right thing becoming homeowners, “We didn’t want to pay rent without something concrete to show at the end of each month.”
Kay Geldenhuys, manager of property finance processing at ooba, SA’s largest bond originator, believes this is a common sentiment amongst unmarried couples who are increasingly applying for joint home loans. 
“When ooba’s February 2015 property statistics show year-on-year growth of 4.8% in residential property prices, it’s an incentive for unwed couples to pool their salaries and buy property as a priority,” says Geldenhuys.
However, there are financial implications should a relationship dissolve. “Despite being together for years, common law marriage is still not a reality in South Africa, so the regulations that apply to married couples don’t apply to us,” Alice says.
Until the Domestic Partnership Bill is enacted it remains essential for unmarried couples to secure their individual interests, which is why Khaya and Alice each appointed lawyers to negotiate a domestic partnership agreement upfront.  “We dealt with the legalities of the joint bond in a very business-like manner so that we’re covered for worst case scenarios, even death,” says Khaya.
The domestic partnership agreement stipulated how the bond would be repaid, the percentage contributions and ownership, how maintenance costs, rates & taxes and home improvements would be split, as well as rules of conduct for the property.   Both also had their wills drawn up to instruct what must happen should they die.
Khaya and Alice believe their arrangement works because of trust and transparency with their finances, which is often where couples encounter issues.
“ooba addresses concerns for partners who have not shared their financial status previously,” says Geldenhuys. ooba’s online pre-approval process performs necessary credit checks then advises the loan amount which a couple can obtain, in order to minimise the chance of loan defaults for which both would be liable.  
“Alice was listed as the primary applicant for our joint loan since she was earning the higher salary while I completed an internship.  It simplified the loan approval process significantly,” says Khaya.  “We also took out joint life-cover to the value of the loan amount, as both our names appear on the deed.”
“It’s not always romantic keeping records of bond payments, along with receipts for other costs, and who pays how much,” Alice says, “but, there’s nothing like a shared bond to cement a relationship.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      The average size of bond granted in SA has grown 7,7% in the past 12 months to R934 000, according to BetterBond, the country’s biggest bond originator.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      In the current market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong, especially in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is according to Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop. However he says that before homeowners let their property out, there are five key points they should make sure are covered before they market the property for rent and sign any lease agreements.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
    • 19 Jun 2018
      Douw Steyn, one of the richest men in the country, recently allowed a rare glimpse into his Fourways Palazzo when it was featured on the SABC lifestyle programme Top Billing - and it is beyond your wildest dreams!
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Many home sellers are motivated to appoint estate agents because they know that the agency will carry the costs of advertising and marketing their property.
    • 18 Jun 2018
      When a property is sold when it has a tenant in occupation, the questions often raised are: “What happens to the tenant if the landlord sells the property?”, and what rights the tenant will have with regards to cancelling the lease or enforcing it, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us