Preparing to buy a home
Buying a home is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. It’s also one of the biggest things you’ll ever buy. So, here’s what you need to know.
What is the interest rate and how does it affect you when you're buying a property?
It helps to understand the interest rate and how it will affect your home loan over time.Watch the video
Property is a tangible asset that has remained a good investment option even in challenging economic times.Read more
A bond originator could save you hundreds of thousands in interest on your home loan.Read more
Deep Dive: Preparing to buy a home
Documents required for a building loan
Use this list to make sure that you put together everything you need for a successful building loan application.
How to find a good builder
Your builder is the most important part of your project. Find someone you trust and make sure they're the right fit for the type of build you have planned.
What to expect when buying your first home
Planning on buying your first home? It can feel a little daunting, but take heart from the fact that there are basically five steps to follow – we’ve broken them down for you here – and you’ll soon be unlocking the front door to your first home!
Knowing if you are ready to buy
Buying a home is always exciting, and sometimes daunting. One of the big questions you might be asking yourself, is whether you’re ready to buy, or not?
Nope! You pay nothing. Niks. Nada. Our service to you is completely free of charge
The bank pays us a once-off fee for brokering the home loan deal for you.
No, there are absolutely no hidden costs. The fees you pay the bank and attorneys will be exactly the same, whether you use our services or not.
We’ll do everything we can to get you a lower interest rate, but there are no guarantees: your individual credit rating, risk profile, financial stability, and whether you’ve put down a deposit or not will all influence the interest rate the bank is willing to offer you. What we do promise, however, is to negotiate with multiple banks (including your own) on your behalf. You’ll be able to see all the offers side by side, and choose the one that works best for you.
Sadly, we can’t – but no-one else can either. Your credit profile is really the deciding factor. What we can assure you, however, is that we have an 80% bond approval rate, so your chances are so much better with us.
The choice is entirely up to you. Typically, estate agents establish a relationship with a particular bond originator over time, built on trust, to ensure that the customer secures the best deal and is looked after in this transaction. There is real value in this.
You should hear from us within 48 hours, but if it takes any longer, we’ll let you know right away. And we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.
The bank will ‘approve’ your loan based on your supporting documentation and your credit history. ‘final grant’ is awarded once the bank has sent a valuer to value the property. Once this happens, the transfer process will begin. Exciting!
It’s a huge decision to buy a home, and a long-term commitment! The loan period could last as long as 30 years, so all parties need to be sure of the loan terms and ensure that the paperwork complies with current legislation. We know it’s hard work, but it’s worth doing it properly.
We want to make you as ‘attractive’ as possible to both the bank and the seller. The pre-approval process will give you a better sense of what you can afford, and what you can expect from the banks. And with your pre-approval certificate in hand, the seller will know that you’re a serious buyer. It’s just a really smart move.
Nope, you don’t pay a cent! Our verified pre-approval certificate is on the house!
We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for you. Once we have all your documents – and if it’s a regular workday – we should be able to supply you with a pre-approval certificate within one business day.
The certificate we give you is valid for three (3) months, maximum – but, remember, if your financial situation changes in that time, you’ll have to go through the process all over again.
In a word: no. We are not a financial institution and we do not provide finance. What we do offer you is an origination service, free of charge. What’s origination? We approach various financial institutions on your behalf, bring back multiple offers, and help secure you the best possible home loan available. And we’ll guide you through the entire home-buying process.
The income you earn and the expenses you incur will determine the loan you qualify for. Banks calculate your score using your total salary package, before deductions and excluding benefits, like medical aid. Some banks may include housing and travel allowances. As a benchmark, we suggest that your minimum single or joint gross household income should be no less than R10 000 per month.
We help every type of homebuyer –first, second or third! And investment property buyers too. But here's a helpful insight for first-home buyers: In some cases, you may qualify for transfer and registration attorney fees to be discounted or even included in the bond amount.
Homes are our thing – our only thing. We specialise in residential property and not property purchased for commercial or business-related activities.
BetterBond can happily help you with the following types of applications:
- Residential homes, flats, townhouses, new developments, etc.
- Unbonded properties – where you have the title deed of the property and would like to apply for a bond on this property (with no bond currently in place)
- Building loans for residential premises
- Vacant land that will be used for residential purposes
- • Residential farms smaller than 20ha
Whether your residential home loan applications are in your personal, business or legal entity names (company, cc, Pty, trusts), we can help you out.
Ja. Oui. Da. Yebo. That’s a big ‘yes’, in any language. We can happily help foreigners and non-residents wishing to purchase property in South Africa. You will simply need to comply with South African legislation. Banks here will apply their own LTV restrictions on the application.
If you want a home in your home country, we are here to help. BetterBond can guide you through the process while you’re abroad. All you require is a South African bank account and a good credit record. A deposit may also be needed.
Yes! Depending on your need, we can assist with:
- Individual applications – where you apply alone, are single or are not married in community of property
- Joint applications (two individuals) - you may wish to apply with your partner, friend or parent. (Remember, if you are married in community of property, by law you will have to apply with your spouse.)
- Multiple applications (three (3) or more individuals)
Just remember, when there is more than one applicant, each of you will need to have a solid credit record. And all your finances will be taken into consideration by the banks.
Yes. We’re here to help you build your dreams. We can assist you with a building loan.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- An offer to purchase (OTP) or the title deed of the land you want to build on
- Approved building and municipal plans
- A certificate from the builder who is registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC)
- A building quotation detailing the costs to build
- A signed building contract with the builder
Sorry! Unfortunately, we’re unable to do this.
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but FLISP stands for the South African government's Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme. The FLISP subsidy amount depends on your monthly income. FLISP either brings down the initial home loan amount, making monthly instalments more affordable, or makes up the shortfall between the home loan amount you qualify for and the purchase price of the residential property you want to buy.
You can apply for FLISP if:
- You are a first-time homebuyer and want to purchase a residential property
- You earn between R3 501 and R22 000 per month
- You’re a South African citizen with a valid ID or a permanent resident with a valid permit
- You are over 18
- You have never had a government housing subsidy or been part of a housing subsidy scheme before
- You have an agreement of sale for the residential property, and an Approval in Principle of a home loan from an accredited South African bank
Qualifying applicants may use FLISP to do one of the following:
- Buy an existing, new or old residential property
- Buy a vacant residential stand that is linked to a builder registered with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).
- Build a residential property on a serviced residential stand or tribal stand. Again, the builder will need to be NHBRC registered.
Getting your big break as a homeowner is a carefully managed process. Once the bank has granted your home loan, you submit your FLISP application, together with your supporting documentation, to the NHCF. If your home loan application is approved, the FLISP application will be processed. If the FLISP outcome is positive, the subsidy will be granted. This would be a good time to celebrate!
Yes and no. You do not need to have an offer to purchase or agreement of sale in order to pre-approve, but you do need one to apply for a home loan.
Our pre-approval service allows you to understand what you can afford so you can shop around with confidence. We’ll verify and vet your income and expenses, and issue you with a certificate that lets you know exactly how much you can afford to buy for.
Once you’ve found that dream home, you simply sign the offer to purchase and send it through to us. One of our bond experts will help you through the entire home-buying journey.
With just a single application form and some supporting documents, your personal BetterBond consultant will submit your application to multiple banks, including your own, they’ll negotiate the best terms, and present you with all the options. You can then compare offers and make an informed decision, based on what works best for you.
BetterBond is all about helping you achieve your home loan goals, but we are not a financial institution and don’t provide pre-approvals for home loans. Our pre-qualification service, however, is totally aligned with bank-qualifying criteria and will let you know exactly what you can afford to buy. Our expert consultants will then vet and verify your credit record, income and expenses, and issue you with a Pre-Qualification Certificate, so that you can shop around with confidence.
With over 19 years’ experience in home loans – and having helped over one million customers secure their dream home – our average approval rate is 80%. Compare that to the current average approval rate of 35% among buyers who apply directly to their banks! As you can see, getting pre-qualified is an essential first step on the home-buying journey.
Unfortunately, not. Although not a guarantee, a pre-approval is a great way of knowing exactly what you can afford to buy, and it sends a signal to sellers – and lenders! – that you’re serious.
Each bank has its own specific lending criteria, and bases its decision on its own merit. There is, therefore, no guarantee that your home loan application will be approved.
But with our average approval rate of 80%, compared to the current average of 35% among buyers who go directly to their banks, there’s a really, really good chance of approval. And once the banks start competing for a deal, they’ll be more eager for the business, and are likely to consider an application more carefully. And we make it our business to help you secure the very best deal.
We want to help you handle any red tape in the application process. We therefore require a completed application form from you – but don’t worry, we’ll be here to help you complete it. Your application form should include a signed offer to purchase, consent form, asset and liabilities, and income and expenses form. We’ll also need:
- A copy of your ID
- Personal bank statements (three (3) months if your income is fixed/six (6) months if your income is variable or if you are a sole proprietor)
- Six (6) months business bank statements
- An auditor’s letter confirming your income (this will not be required for a sole proprietor)
- An auditors letter confirming your shareholding percentage if your business is a (Pty) Ltd. Company
- The latest two years financial statements (if older than six (6) months, the latest management accounts will also need to be provided)
- Pay slips, as additional documentation, depending on your shareholding percentage of a (Pty) Ltd. Company
- • An IT34 form
The criteria at each bank may differ, depending on the complexity of your business. We’re always ready to help you with your application, and to help strengthen the motivation to the bank.
It’s highly unlikely, and rarely happens. Each application is evaluated on its own merit, based on the finance-approval principles of that specific financial institution.
Absolutely not. Our service is completely free of charge, and there are zero hidden costs. The bank pays us a once-off fee when the bond is registered, for placing the business with them. The fees you pay the bank and attorneys remain exactly the same.
What we do, however, is provide you with multiple options to choose from. You can then compare the offers and choose the one that works best for you. BetterBond will always negotiate the best deal on your behalf.
Yes. By law, if you are married in community of property, your spouse will have to apply with you. Your credit score and application will be looked at jointly, as one application.
At BetterBond, we offer you an origination service, free of charge. Simply put, we approach various financial institutions on your behalf and help secure you the best possible home loan. And we’ll guide you through the home-buying process, every step of the way.
We offer you two helpful services:
One: Our pre-approval service, where we verify and vet your income and expenses, and issue you with a certificate which empowers you to understand what you can afford and to shop around with confidence.
Two: Our bond origination service. Once you’ve found that dream home, you sign the offer to purchase and send it through to us. One of our bond experts will then help you through the entire home-buying journey. With a single application form and some supporting documents, they’ll submit your application to multiple banks, including your own bank or private banker. They’ll negotiate the best terms and present you with all the offers available. Then it’s up to you to compare offers and choose the one that works best for you.
The following are minimum requirements:
- You and/or your spouse need to be permanently employed for a minimum of three (3) months
- You need a good credit record (and should show good management of your accounts)
- You need to make sure that your monthly expenses don’t exceed your monthly income
- You need a valid and active South African bank account reflecting your monthly salary (unless you are a foreigner)
- Your gross monthly household income needs to be R10 000 or more
When it comes to home loans, there are cut-off points. In our experience, 65 is usually the limit. Most financial institutions won’t offer a home loan to anyone over that age – and the closer you are to 65, the more likely it is to impact your loan repayment terms.
Nope, we’re not. But we do approach multiple lenders on your behalf, and we’ll provide you with the perfect home loan in the process!
Oh, yes! We regard your details as top secret. Of course, we do have to pass them on to the banks, so that we can bring back all those brilliant home loan offers – but this is done with state-of-the-art bank-level security. And, once you’ve selected the offer that works for you, your contact details will be sent to that bank only, so they can get in touch with you to seal the deal.
Indeed, we do. Whether it’s for a home or for an asset, we’ll still find you the deal that works best for you.
Of course! Once you’ve selected the offer that works best for you, and once the bank has contacted you, negotiations can begin.
Our home loan calculator deducts your monthly expenses from your monthly income. This gives an indication of how much money you can spend on a home loan repayment monthly.
Yes, we can help you apply for home refinance.
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.
Upfront costs relate to the bank’s initiation fee, the transfer cost, transfer duty, deeds office levy, postage, petties and other application fees applicable.
A verified pre-approval certificate will give you a good idea of what you can afford, and the type of offers you could expect to get from the banks. Plus, a pre-approval certificate increases your chances of bond approval by up to 90%! It will also let the seller know that you are a serious buyer. And best of all, our pre-approval certificate is absolutely free. That’s right! You pay nothing.
Nothing- it’s free
Banks consider the following: your credit history, your income and expenses to determine whether you can afford to pay your home loan monthly and whether/ not you have put down a deposit.
No - our credit check is free and leaves no footprint
Pre-approval actually speeds up the home-buying process: it gives you an accurate measure of your purchasing power, so you can narrow down your hunt to the properties you can actually afford to buy. And this will also prevent you from buying way beyond your budget, pushing you into unmanageable debt.