Okay, so you’ve decided to take the property plunge and spend your money on your own house – instead of paying off someone else’s bond … Congratulations, this is so exciting! It really is wonderful being able to call a place “your own”.
This is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, however, and it can be very daunting. But have no fear, here’s how the process works, things to do and what to keep in mind in your quest for “the one”.
Buying a house is expensive, and it’s not just the price-tag listed on the webpage or realtor’s board … you’ll have to pay a number of costs, from conveyancing to transfer fees. It would also be wise to save for a deposit as banks aren’t always too keen on providing a bond for 100 percent of the house’s price.
Some say that you should only look at three houses and then decide. Personally, I believe that you’ll know when you’ve found the one.
You can then set the ball rolling by applying for a pre-qualified home loan at your preferred bank. This will give you a better idea of what you can afford and will speed the buying process immensely once you’ve found the right property.
(Yours truly used a bond originator, which made for a hassle free start. The originator checked my and my wife’s credit profile, did a pre-approval, applied at various banks and negotiated a better interest rate, all on our behalf. Best of all, it didn’t cost us a cent as the bank pays the originator once the bond is registered.)
From here you should narrow down your home search by identifying exactly what you are looking for. Make a list of what you want and what is more important to you. It usually comes down to location or space – do you want to be in a sought-after neighbourhood or would you like an extra bedroom, bathroom or a garage.
You’ll probably have to compromise on one of them. It really helps deciding which before you start.
Then let the house hunting begin!
Some say that you should only look at three houses and then decide. Personally, I believe that you’ll know when you’ve found the one. It’s this feeling of “yes, I could call this my home” that washes over you – but you shouldn’t let “romance” rule your decision …
Don’t be shy. Lift carpets, open cupboards and move furniture. If the sellers have a problem with it, they might have something to hide. You can even arrange a professional home inspection service as a condition of purchase (you don’t want to have any nasty surprises after you have moved in).
Be sure to take loads and loads of photos and revisit, review and get as many second opinions as possible. Worry might set in that you’re taking too long and will lose your “dream home”, but it’s better to ensure that it IS your dream home than having regrets afterwards.
It’s also wise to research the home’s value and to compare it to prices in the neighbourhood (your negotiation power will be greater if you’re informed).
Before this point is reached, your blood pressure would have probably gone on a rollercoaster ride but the purchase of your first home needn’t be scary.
When you’re happy with everything, make an offer and be sure to read the fine print when signing the offer to purchase as this will be the deed of sale once signed.
This is when you formally apply for the bond (which will go a lot quicker if you did a pre-qualification). The home loan approval process starts when all the documents have been received and the home valuation has been performed.
The estate agent will facilitate the transfer process between the buyer, seller, and the various attorneys for the transfer, cancellation and bond registration.
You’ll have to sign more documents before everything is submitted to the Deeds Office, where it will lie for 10 to 14 days before the property is registered in your name.
Before this point is reached, your blood pressure would have probably gone on a rollercoaster ride but the purchase of your first home needn’t be scary. Try your best to remain calm and always ask if you’re unsure about anything.
The bond originators, estate agents and attorneys are usually very accommodating and we here at Cyberstoep are always willing to help where we can. Leave a post in the comment form below and we’ll get back to you.
Happy house hunting!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I’ve learned that a few sentences can be worth much more … My parents dubbed me “Johannes Jacobus de Klerk”, but I prefer “Jaco” (or “the beard of this operation”: my aim is to grow a “yeard”) … Read more