What to consider when buying

What to consider when buying

16 Apr 2021

There is no shortage of online checklists and advice to help homebuyers make good decisions. Even so, there is no full-proof formula for finding the perfect place, and nothing beats good old gut-feel - that moment when you see a place that you just know you are going to love.

To cut through the noise, we suggest you break it down into two parts: first find a good area and then find a great home. Because whether you are a first-time homebuyer who wants to live there yourself, or a seasoned investor having to take prospective tenants' preferences into account, there are certain things to consider along the way.

When choosing an AREA, look at...

  1. Appearance. Are the other homes or complexes, buildings, gardens and pavements in the area well maintained, are fences and gates neat and in good working order?
  2. Atmosphere. What is the vibe like in the area, for example, quiet and calm vs busy and bustling?
  3. Access. Is it easily accessible in terms of roads, public transport, cycling paths, etc.?
  4. Traffic. Are there traffic-calming measures like speedbumps, pedestrian crossings and circles or do people just speed through?
  5. Proximity. Are the places required to fulfil everyday needs conveniently close, like shops and malls, health or sports clubs, salons, doctors, hospitals, schools and childcare?
  6. Surrounds. Is there a park, green belt or other natural area nearby where people can relax and enjoy some rest and recreation?
  7. Public areas. Are public areas neat and clean, and free from litter?
  8. Crime. Is there visible crime control? For example, do security companies conduct vehicle, bicycle or foot patrols, are there CCTV cameras, a neighbourhood watch, etc.?

When choosing a HOME, think about...

  1. Type. Do you want a freestanding house, a sectional title apartment, a unit in a brand-new development, a home on a lifestyle estate, etc.?
  2. Lifestyle. Does the property cater for different lifestyles? For example, can it accommodate working from home?
  3. Security. How safe and secure is the property and its immediate surroundings?
  4. Space. How many bedrooms, bathrooms and parking bays are there? Does it offer an office or work area, outside space, balcony, patio, braai area, garden or pet-friendly place?
  5. Connectivity. Is the property fibre-enabled or has wi-fi or fibre been installed, and what will the ongoing costs be?
  6. Renovations and repairs. Would you have to spend time and money renovating or fixing things before it could be occupied?
  7. Maintenance. Would you have time, money and the inclination to do what would be needed to maintain the property over time?
  8. Pets. Are pets allowed in the complex or on the property?

Look closely

When viewing a property, do not be shy to look closely and get a good sense of what you are buying. If you are really keen on a place, ask for another viewing and do it at a different time of day than the first. This will give you a sense of light, temperature and a better overall feel for what it would be like to live there.

Always ask, as a matter of courtesy, but when viewing, remember that it is acceptable to take a look inside cupboards and under sinks, check the sturdiness of shelving, open and close taps, flush toilets, lift loose carpets to look underneath, turn light switches on and off, check that doors and windows are functioning as they should, etc.

Finding the perfect home is one of the most rewarding parts of the home-buying process if you equip yourself with good information and ask the right questions.

You could also have the property inspected by a home inspector before you get too attached, especially if you're worried about hidden defects, such as faulty geysers, cracks in walls, a leaking pipe or roof that could soon cause problems. The seller is legally obligated to disclose all defects, but might not even know they are there.

Finding the perfect home is one of the most rewarding parts of the home-buying process if you equip yourself with good information and ask the right questions.

Once you've found a place you love, BetterBond will take over the shopping around to find you the best deal on your home loan. We negotiate on your behalf to get you the best interest rate on your home loan. We apply to all the major banks, including your own - you do not have to approach them, we will take care of that too. We can help improve your home loan affordability home loan affordability and this could save you hundreds of thousands in interest over the course of your loan term. Our services do not cost you a cent.

If you are still shopping around, let us pre-approve you for a home loan, to find out exactly what you can afford. This means you can focus your search on places you can realistically afford. Getting pre-approved also tells sellers and agents that you are serious about buying and could give you the edge over other buyers.

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