select
|

Are you financially ready to own a home?

Since the National Credit Act came into effect, prospective homebuyers have been required to have their financial affairs in order before they apply for a bond. While banks have become slightly less stringent since the act's inception, financial institutions are likely to tighten up their lending criteria in 2017 and bond applicants will be put through their financial paces before being approved for a home loan, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
 
“If you have made the resolution of purchasing a home during 2017, you will need to ensure that you have assessed your financial situation and answered a few pertinent questions before approaching your bank for bond approval. Currently, only around 65% of first-time buyer bond applications are approved, which highlights the importance of being financially prepared before applying,” says Goslett.

He provides a few financial questions that you should answer before approaching your bank for finance:

What is my credit score?


A favourable credit score and clean credit record is a valuable asset when applying for a home loan. Each year consumers can obtain a free credit report from the credit bureaus within the country to assess their finance position. Goslett says that it is advisable for you to know your credit score and check your credit record for any inaccuracies.

“Any missed or slow payment will have a negative impact on a consumer’s credit score. However, it is also important to be mindful of the less obvious credit infractions such as opening too many accounts, numerous credit enquiries, co-signing for a third party or only paying the minimum required payment. All of these things will impair your records and could scare off lenders,” Goslett explains.

What is my annual income?

As a potential homebuyer, the maximum bond amount that you can qualify for is based on your annual income, so be sure to include any bonuses or annual investment returns when making this calculation. Your annual tax return documentation will assist in determining your actual yearly income.

How much debt do I have?


Another major consideration that banks take into account when determining the home loan amount they are willing to grant is the applicant’s amount of disposable income. “To increase the disposable income you have available, get rid of or pay down debt as much as possible. Lenders will require you to provide them with all the debt you currently have to work out a debt-to-income ratio, which will be used as a tool to determine your level of affordability,” says Goslett. “Having a lower debt-to-income ratio will be highly beneficial as it will increase the chance of gaining approval for a higher bond amount.”
What is my financial worth?

Banks will want to see the documentation that relates to any assets, such as vehicles, investments and income-generating properties. Goslett says that all of these aspects add to an applicant’s nett worth and will have a bearing on the amount that the bank is willing to grant.

What kind of deposit can I put down?


According to bond origination company, BetterLife, the average cash deposit required by first-time buyers is 12.3% of the purchase price of the property. Based on the average home price paid by first-time buyers of R739 000, that equates to a cash amount of around R90 000 – not to mention the other costs associated with a home purchase such as transfer fees, attorney fees and bond costs.

What can I afford?


In an ideal situation your monthly home payment, which includes the bond, interest, taxes and insurance should not make up more than around 30% of your income before taxes. It is impossible to get an idea of your affordability levels by using an online bond calculator or consulting with a professional financial adviser. “Even if the bank has approved a certain amount, it is not necessary to find a home at the maximum bond amount if you feel you won’t be comfortable with the monthly repayment. Owning a home is a long-term investment that needs to be sustained for the term of the loan, so it is advisable to purchase a property that you can comfortably afford,” says Goslett. “Financial preparation is the key to homeownership readiness and will make the bond application process far smoother,” he concludes.

Use our Bond Calculator to work out your monthly bond repayments 


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 23 Nov 2017
      As the holiday season approaches, most of us are counting the days until that year-end bonus hits our account. There’s nothing quite like a little bank balance booster to get us in the holiday spirit.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      The Adelphi Centre (now entitled “ARTEM") in Sea Point, Cape Town, is being extensively renovated, and once complete will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      If you are looking to sell your home in today’s real estate market, there are certain things that you need to include both inside and outside your house. Today’s generation of home buyers is looking toward a more eco-friendly, energy and water conscious home, and if your house stands out then you are more likely to be able to sell it.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      While sales have noticeably slowed in most sectors in most Cape town suburbs, the security estate sector in Constantiaberg has bucked the trend by remaining buoyant, with sales by August this year already surpassing total sales in 2016.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK