Buying your first home: Everything you need to know

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You’ve just finished studying and started working, you’re sick of renting and you’ve decided to buy your first home. This is an exciting time for you but before getting swept up into it, you’ll need to consider quite a few factors. Here are some of the things you need to think about.

Where do you want to live?

You need to be sure about the area you plan to buy and you’ll need to live there for quite a few years. If you sell a home too soon after buying it, it may not have grown in value to cover the costs of buying the house. It is generally accepted you should stay in a new home at least three to four years to cover buying and selling costs.

How much can you afford?

It is important to know exactly how much you can afford before you start looking at properties. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a three bedroom R1 million home only to find out you can’t afford the bond payments. Use a bond repayment calculator to work out exactly how much you can pay each month.

Can you pay deposit and transfer fees?

Most banks require a deposit of at least 10% from you before you are able to buy a home. Some banks are offering bonds with no deposit but it is always preferable to put something down at the start. Unless you’ve bought a brand new place (lucky!), you’ll have to pay transfer fees for your new home. It is important you’ve budgeted for these additional expenses. Many people are curious about how long it takes to register a bond. This differs for a number of reasons but can take between one to three months.

Will this home suit your lifestyle?

Your house needs to suit your needs and your lifestyle. If you enjoy going away for weekends often, a lock-up-and-go flat in a secure complex may be your best bet. If you have a dog, you’ll need to look for places with gardens. If you are a young person living alone, a bachelor flat will be perfect for you. But if you plan to live with a friend or partner, that will soon be too small.

Keep these tips in mind and soon you’ll be the owner of your own home.