Owning it

You’ve made the move from homebuyer to homeowner… now what? Here’s how you maintain and look after your most valuable asset, and watch it grow over time.

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Why being informed about home insurance is imperative

Why being well-informed about home insurance is in your best interest.

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Deep Dive: Owning it

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Showing 1 to 6 of 14 items
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On Property Matters this week: Sectional vs freehold title. What are the positives and pitfalls?

Why use BetterSure?

It’s simple, really! We’re a specialist home insurer, focused entirely on the homeownership space. And with BetterBond as our partner, we’ve got the entire home-buying business covered.

We believe that every bit better your home insurance is, ultimately prevents your life from getting that much worse. And that’s why we’ll offer you meaningful insurance options – like whole-of-life cover that extends well beyond your bond, even when it’s fully paid up.

We’ll ensure that your better home insurance costs you less and offers you more cover, because that financial protection becomes a partnership for the better, when life heads for the worse.

So, why settle for any insurer when you know better?

Do I have to take the bank’s insurance, or can I choose BetterSure Homeowners Cover?

You’ll need to have homeowners cover in place if you hope to secure a home loan for a free-standing residential property. Of course, you can choose any cover you want, as long as it meets all the bank’s minimum requirements – and our BetterSure Homeowners Cover (HOC) ticks all the boxes!

Are BetterSure Homeowners Cover and bank insurance the same thing?

Nope! We’re not affiliated with bank insurance in any way. So, it’s really, really important that you make sure you’ve selected only one homeowners cover, or you’ll be paying double the premiums each month!

Obviously, we’d love you to choose our cover, because we offer you a range of unique, meaningful benefits, like maintenance cover and an annual geyser inspection – which you won’t get with other insurers! And because we’re home loan specialists, and we work closely with our sister company BetterBond to bring you a full-circle service, we like to think we know exactly what new homeowners need.

Just remember, when choosing your insurance policy, always ask about the cover, exclusions, excesses and any additional benefits, so that you have all the info you need to make an informed choice.

Will my premium increase each year?

Sadly, yes – because the price of bricks, cement, fixtures and fittings increases each year, and so the cost of maintenance and repairs also increases. To make sure you’ve always got enough cover, the sum insured of your property will also have to increase. We do this to make sure you are never under-insured.

When will my BetterSure Homeowners Cover begin?

When you choose an ‘ordinary’ loan, your policy will kick in when your bond is registered.

When you choose a building loan, your policy will kick in only once a BetterSure Financial service consultant has contacted you to confirm the date of completion.

But it’s always a good idea to double check that your cover has been activated. To find out, just give us a call.

Do I have to do medical tests when I take out a BetterLife Protection Plan?

We’re really determined to make the insurance process simpler, easier, better. So, if you’ve taken a bond through BetterBond or any of our partners, we have a unique policy just for you – and no medical underwriting or tests are required!

All you have to do is answer a few simple questions so that we can provide you with a competitive rate.

Will my life policy lapse once my bond is paid off?

Nope. Unlike conventional life policies, our BetterLife Protection Plan continues even after your bond is paid off, so that you never lose that protection.

Should I take out my life policy immediately, or can I wait for registration?

It’s really up to you! You can request that your life policy kicks in when your bond is registered, or you can start sooner.

But we always recommend that you start your policy sooner. Why? Well, to be honest, if anything should happen to you before the registration of your dream home, at least your family will still have the opportunity to continue with that dream.

At BetterSure, we want to make sure your insurance policy protects your loved ones for the better, when life takes a turn for the worse.

What costs are related to home loans?

Then there are a few once-off costs that you will need to pay such as your transfer costs, transfer duties, initiation fees and bond registration costs. However, aside from these once-off costs, the only amount you will have to pay will be your monthly home loan repayment. For more information.

What are transfer costs?

The transfer cost is a once-off fee you will pay the transferring / conveyancing attorney. This fee covers their cost of registering you as the owner of the property with the Deeds Office.

What are transfer duties?

The transfer duty is a government tax (the higher amount you pay on a property, the higher your transfer duty).

What is a bond registration cost?

This is the amount that the bank charges you in order register your home loan.

What costs are in my monthly bond repayment?

Your monthly repayment includes the amount you owe the bank along with the interest owed to the bank.

What are the upfront costs for a home loan?

Upfront costs relate to the bank’s initiation fee, the transfer cost, transfer duty, deeds office levy, postage, petties and other application fees applicable.

Can I pay off my bond earlier?

Yes you can. By paying more into your bond, you can decrease the loan term and also pay less interest.

What's the difference between freehold and sectional title properties?

Sectional title speaks to complex living, where you essentially own everything within the four walls of your property, but whatever is outside that – hallways, lifts, gardens and recreational spaces – is communally owned and cared for. With freehold title, in contrast, you’re the queen or king of your complete kingdom – house, out-buildings, land and leisure areas.

What are the different types of freehold properties?

Free-standing houses, cluster homes, residential properties used for small businesses, smallholdings.

What are the different types of sectional title properties?

Semi-detached homes, townhouses, flats/apartments, duet houses.

Is it better to rent or buy a property?

It almost always makes more sense to buy rather than rent a home, simply because, as a tenant, you’re paying monthly into another person’s pocket what you could be paying into your own bond account.

Why is buying a home an investment?

Because the value of property appreciates over the years, and the size of the outstanding home loan decreases month by month.