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How to get past ‘buyers block’

If you’re a homebuyer who has been pre-qualified for a home loan, spent weeks visiting show houses, been given a truckload of good buying advice and still can’t bring yourself to sign an offer, you may have what agents call “buyer’s block”.
 
And, says Harcourts Africa CEO Richard Gray, it’s not something you should ignore. “Frustrating as it may be to your family, your friends and even yourself, you should not discount your instincts when it comes to entering a transaction of this importance.
 
“Instead, take the time to backtrack and find out what is causing the conflict between wanting to buy and being unable to make a decision. The root cause is usually money – that is, fear that you might run into financial trouble if you take this step – and fortunately, there are several constructive ways to address this concern,” he says
 
You can start, for example, by asking an agent you trust to show you some more homes in a lower price bracket. "You can't go wrong buying for less and taking a smaller home loan than the one for which you pre-qualified. It's always wise to have some leeway in case of financial emergency, or in case interest rates rise faster or more than expected.
 
“Indeed, many financial advisors are now suggesting that clients should budget a maximum of 25% of their income for home loan repayments so that they can also save, invest, make home improvements and cope with unexpected expenses."
 
Alternatively, says Gray, if you’re intending to buy primarily because you plan to start a family, perhaps you need to reassess your ability to accomplish two big financial goals at the same time. "It is difficult to cope with a new home loan and burgeoning family expenses all at once.”
 
And finally, if what you’re worried about is the future of the property market and its possible effects on the value of your investment, you need to remind yourself of two things: Firstly, that there is always a buyer for an attractive, well-maintained home and secondly, that property is generally not very volatile.
 
“Consequently, if you give yourself sufficient margin when you buy to be able to keep your home in a good state of repair, and you choose an area with similarly well-kept homes, the chances are more than good that your property will increase in value and you will do well out of your investment.”
 
ISSUED BY HARCOURTS AFRICA



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