The simple secrets of home buying success

Buying a home can be a daunting experience, and often buyers don’t know where they should start. Maurice Lodewick, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Lifestyle Estates which operates in Nelspruit and surrounds, says that buyers should meet with an estate agent who is an area specialist in the suburb in which they would like to purchase a home to discuss their requirements.

“Buyers,” he says, “should also arrange to meet with a bond originator to determine what bond amount they qualify for.”

Lodewick explains that by providing an estate agent with a comprehensive insight into your ideal home and then relying on the agent’s specialist knowledge of the available properties in a specific area, homebuyers can narrow down their choices to three, four or five suitable options which they can then investigate more thoroughly.

According to Lodewick, the top three things which buyers should look out for in a property is its location, access to work, schools or other necessary amenities and its security features. To ensure that the home has been properly built and well maintained, Lodewick always advises buyers to enlist the professional services of a qualified home inspector.

When it comes to assessing the area in which the property is situated, Lodewick advises buyers to check out the retail shopping centres, the area’s access to highways and crime statistics. “It is also important for buyers to gauge the condition of homes in the area. They should look at whether or not homeowners in the area are renovating or adding on. If not, buyers should evaluate the general condition of homes in the area. They should remember that the future growth in prices of properties in the area is likely going to be less than other areas if the condition of the properties is generally poor.”

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says: “While obtaining some of the necessary information about the property you intend to buy and the neighbourhood in which it is situated may seem like an unnecessary hassle, the more information at your finger tips, the more confidently you can negotiate the deal. Buyer’s remorse on a purchase as large as a home is not a pleasant experience, and one of the best ways to avoid this kind of a situation would be to do your homework, thoroughly.”

Currently around 51% of all bond applications are being approved by South Africa’s financial institutions.  In order for buyers to increase their chances of getting their application for finance approved, Lodewick says they should make use of a bond originator who can assist them to compile the documents required by banks and have them ready timeously. He says that a good credit rating is essential; therefore buyers should pay their bills on time every month in order to ensure that they have a good credit rating. “Buyers should also clear as much of their debt as possible before applying for a home loan, since lending institutions will look at existing debt obligations when assessing whether or not to approve a loan application.”

Aside from the monthly home loan repayments, bond registration fees and deposit requirements, buyers should be aware that a successful property purchase will also mean they need to pay the transfer and attorney fees, electricity and water deposits as well as other items such as satellite television installation, curtain rails or blinds, security systems, pro rata levies (if applicable), rates and taxes. “Buyers should ensure that they factor all these costs into their home buying budget,” Lodewick concludess.

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