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Dear Khanyi: first time property buyer

Posted  March 2, 2017

Buying your first property is a big deal.

Dear Khanyi, I recently got a new job, which has afforded me a higher income. Because of this, I am considering buying my very first property. After years of renting, I think it’s the next step. Do you think it’s the right time to do this?
Sincerely,

New Buyer

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Hi New Buyer,Congratulations on the new job. Buying a property for the first time, comes with a lot of responsibility and it’s important to make sure that before taking this step you have considered all the elements that come into play. Here are five ways that will help you figure out whether buying property is the next big move for you:

  1. Can you really afford it – Getting a new job with an increased salary, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can afford to buy property. Yes you may have a little more income but it might not be enough. Sit with your financial advisor and determine whether you are absolutely ready for this responsibility, and make sure that you have ticked off things like retirement savings and emergency funds off your financial needs checklist. A quick way to check if you would be able to afford bond repayments are online calculators like FNB’s Home Loan Bond calculator. Click here and get an estimate of what you’d possibly be paying back. Because you will be the owner, you need to also understand that every repair will need to be taken care of by you, which is something you need to keep in mind. You will also have the added responsibility of paying for things like utilities and levies, so these additional expenses need to be taken into consideration.
  2. Be reasonable – When thinking of buying your first home, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can afford something that’s out of your budget. Again, look at your numbers sensibly and make sure you strictly look within your designated financial bracket. SA Home Loans advise that, “very few people have the money to buy exactly what they want, so make a list of your requirements and break it down into ‘must have’ and ‘like to have’. It will help you when you start looking at homes.” This is really worth remembering when you start making those calls to view properties.
  3. What do you need – So you’ve decided that you want a property but what exactly are your requirements? Make a list of everything that you want to consider so that the whole process can be made easier. How many bedrooms are you looking for? Do you want a garden or a balcony? These are all important questions that you need to ask yourself, and they will make your search that much better and you stick to what you can afford. If you are undecided about a lot of things, perhaps you should take a step back and wait until you really know what it is that you want. It could save you money.
  4. Is it the right time – So you’ve decided that it’s time to buy, but have you considered if it’s the right time to buy in the current market? If you’re looking for details like taxes, costs and country statistics regarding property it might be worth your while to have a look through the Global Property Guide in order to see exactly what the world of property has in store. The guide includes everything you need to know about buying property, renting it out, extra costs you will incur as well as places that you can make the purchases. This way you will know the exact time to start making the move towards buying your property.
  5. Do you have a good agent – it’s good to ask around for really good estate agents to help you in the journey to buying a new property. A good one, will make the whole experience seem less daunting and allow you the ability to feel calm about your purchase. If you’re in Johannesburg, here is a list of the top 10 real estate agencies in the city of gold.

Wishing you everything of the best in this new journey.

Yours in financial health and prosperity,

Khanyi

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