Five good reasons to buy your own home now

 If you’ve seen your future and there’s a home of your own in it, there could be few better times than right now to start making that dream come true.
 So says Hano Jacobs, CEO of the Realty 1 International Property Group, who notes: “Prospective owners should not be put off by gloomy predictions about the global economy, the SA economy or the cost of living. 

 “The fact is that whatever the economic conditions, everyone needs somewhere to live, and if your plan is to own your home, this is a good time to put that plan into action, for several reasons.”

 He says these include the fact that you can negotiate a very good deal right now. “This is still very much a buyers’ market, meaning that there are many more homes for sale than buyers. Consequently, most sellers are much more flexible in their attitudes. In addition, there are a lot of distressed properties available at below market value and if you buy one of these you will usually not only get more house for your money but discounts on purchase costs such as bond registration fees.”

 Secondly, says Jacobs, mortgages are cheap right now. “Interest rates are at an historic low and monthly mortgage payments are almost 30% less than they were two years ago. Even if you pay a premium for a fixed-rate home loan now so that you can budget your monthly expenses more accurately, it is unlikely that rates will be this low again in a very long time.”
 Other good reasons to buy now include the fact that a monthly home loan repayment can be regarded as a “forced” saving – on which you will get a better return than cash in the bank. “We’ve all heard the argument about renting for less than you could buy, and putting away the difference or investing in something else, but actually this only makes sense if you are renting as part of a plan to eventually own a home and saving up for a deposit. 

 “South Africans are in any case notoriously poor savers, and most people would simply spend the extra cash. If you are paying off a home loan, however, you are effectively earning the current home loan interest rate on your ‘savings’ and at the same time building equity in your own asset.”
 Fourth, says Jacobs, home ownership has traditionally provided people with inflation protection. “This is not perfect, of course, but many studies have shown that over the long-term, home values have beaten inflation by a at least a couple of percent a year. And with SA’s growing status as an important developing economy, we can expect increased housing demand over the next few years, which combined with the current lack of new housing provision will cause values to start showing real increases once more.”
 And finally, he says, a very good reason to buy your own home is simply that it will be yours, to use as you please. “You can paint it whatever colour you like, decorate it as you please and adapt it you suit your unique lifestyle, which you can never do with a rental property. 

 “Obviously the type of home you choose – small or large, city apartment or country cottage – will depend on your own preference and pocket. How you live in it will also be up to you. But the decision to actually own it - or at least start seriously planning to own it - should not be delayed now.”

Issued byRealty 1 International Property Group

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