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Expert advice for first-time home buyers

Property
Property/ Tierra Mallorce/Pixabay

By: Lifestyle Reporter

Over the past few weeks, viewers have been taken on a journey to see exactly what life is like as a real estate agent in Johannesburg as ‘Listing Jozi’ flights on BBC Lifestyle. The popular series follows the daily hustle of five high-end brokers competitively listing and selling high-end local properties from R5 million to over R60 million.

The realtors featured in Listing Jozi are a combination of some still in the process of building successful careers in the business to others already at the top of their game, each with lessons to learn and tips to share on the exciting world of the fast-paced Jozi property market. They include Jabulile Mazibuko, Ryan Kwan and Edgar Nche from Law Real Estate as well as Lara Nathan from Pam Golding Properties and Grahame Diedericks from Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

Now, with interest rates being at their lowest in approximately 50 years as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, more and more first time buyers are purchasing a house. Naturally, the decision to buy property is a daunting one and, for many, it will be the biggest financial decision of their lives. So, we’ve enlisted the expertise of the cast to share some important tips they wish they knew when they purchased their first property.

READ: Your quick guide to property auctions in South Africa

Plan before committing yourself financially

With so many properties on the market at any given time, it’s important to know where to draw the line in terms of budget to make sure that you live comfortably while paying off your bond. Edgar Nche says that “Everything seems impossible until you break it down into your own understanding which is why planning is important when it comes to committing yourself financially.” He adds “Start your journey by doing a credit check to see what the loaning institution are willing to loan you based on your affordability and stick within a budget that you feel comfortable with.” Edgar explains that “Once you have identified your ideal home, make sure you confirm and are aware of the transfer and bond cost of the particular property you have placed an offer to purchase on.”

Compile a checklist and check that the property ticks your boxes

Walking into a potential home often comes with an overwhelming amount of emotions. Often times, one doesn’t have too much time to spend at the property before putting in an offer to purchase. So, Lara Nathan says that planning ahead can make or break a decision. “Having a checklist can assist in narrowing your search down to the home that meets most of your requirements,” Lara explains. “Find the home that ticks most of your boxes and make the rest work.”

READ: Women in Property: Zamantungwa Khumalo on Kaya Bizz

Location Location Location!

When it comes to buying your first property, Grahame Diedericks explains that the location of the property is extremely important. Buying in an up-and-coming area means that you will likely see return in your investment should you ever decide to sell. Similarly, buying in a less likeable area could mean that you could land up selling your property cheaper than the price you paid for it.

Don’t overthink it

For many first time buyers, purchasing a home often signifies a momentous occasion in their lives. Naturally, because of the massive financial cost of a home, Ryan Kwan reveals that many first time buyers overthink the small details when it comes to buying their first property. “Buying a home is massive decision and can often be a scary one too, especially when it’s your first home. First time buyers often fall into the trap of overthinking every little detail by trying to find the perfect home,” Ryan reveals. However, he does have some tips on how to navigate your first step in the property world. Echoing the advice of Lara Nathan, Ryan says “Have basic checklist and stick to your budget in an area you are comfortable with. Remember your first home is not your forever home!”

Catch ‘Listing Jozi’ on Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).

READ: Buying or selling in a volatile property market

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