8 Steps to help you SAVE money and reduce STRESS when house hunting

21 Nov 2017

During the excitement of buying a home, we often forget about hidden (or sometimes obvious) expenses. Take time to read through the following points to help you save money and reduce stress:

  1. Your credit card could be a stumbling block when looking for a bond on a property purchase. Check your usage, your payments and your history. Are you a good or bad payer, do you make payments timeously, etc? Speak to your bank, your bond originator and your real estate agent. If you have any credit problems, the time to sort them out is before you apply for bond finance. You don’t want to have an application rejected for any of the above reasons.

  2. Pre-qualifying for bond financing gives you a very clear idea of how much you will be able to borrow, and what you can afford. This means you can aim at looking at houses in that price range.

  3. An inspection report can save you a great deal in repairs. Ask your real estate agent to make it part of your Offer to Purchase. This is not a standard request but if you believe the property has problems, there is every benefit in making sure. It may cost a little to obtain, but it is worth it. An electrical certificate is standard in an Offer to Purchase and covers all electrical points in the home.

  4. Make sure you get a comparative market analysis of similar homes on the market in the area you are buying. You are not just buying a home; you are making an investment which may well be your biggest asset. View the other houses before making an offer. This will give you a good idea of what is on the market and will confirm if you are buying the best available home to suit your needs.

  5. Remember the financial institution you approach will be checking to see if the house is in a good condition. Any repairs can be included in your Offer to Purchase. If the seller is not willing to make the repairs, then you could consider using this as a negotiation point with regard to the price you are willing to offer.

  6. We tend to forget our present situation. Are you a homeowner staying in your home? Is your bond paid up? Do you have to sell your home first or can you afford to keep it and buy a new home? Get your estate agent to give you a market analysis on your home. If you are renting out your home, check the lease agreement for the expiry date. Advise the tenants of your intention to sell. If you renew the lease with them, make sure that there is a clause in the agreement which gives them at least two to three months notice to vacate the home once you have accepted an offer on the property.

  7. If you are you currently leasing someone else’s home, check your lease agreement to see when it ends and tie the occupation date of your new home in with the expiry date. An essential part of your offer should be the date of occupation of your new home and the occupational rent required by the seller.

  8. Work with a full-time professional estate agent and ask appropriate questions. Make sure your brief is understood and that you are getting excellent customer service from both the agent and the financial institution he/she has recommended. Being a responsible buyer is the only way to avoid costs before, during and after the purchase of a new home.

Author - Unknown

See latest COVID-19 updates on government website www.sacoronavirus.co.za.