Eyeing your first home? Here are some crucial things you need to know first

Purchasing your very first home can be a stressful and confusing process. Picture: Pexels

Purchasing your very first home can be a stressful and confusing process. Picture: Pexels

Published Feb 19, 2024


You can avoid rookie mistakes when buying your first home by conducting research and seeking professional advice from a real estate agent.

This could save you from making errors that can burn a hole in your pocket.

Purchasing your very first home can be a stressful and confusing process. This can be exacerbated if interest rates are high, and it is not known whether another increase is coming.

The chief executive and regional director of RE/MAX Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, said starting this exciting journey on the right foot is extremely important to avoid encountering disappointment down the line.

“Many first-time buyers dive straight into house hunting without knowing their financial boundaries. Instead of rushing into property searches, it's essential to first understand what you qualify for,” he said.

Goslett advised that to avoid the shock of an interest rate hike in the first stage of house buying, start by trying a bond calculator to gauge what the home loan instalment would be at various interest rates.

Along with determining what your monthly repayments might be, it is also important to see what the total bond fees and transfer costs will amount to, as these will be payable upfront as soon as your offer is accepted.

“After doing your initial research, I would always recommend working through a bond originator like BetterBond, as they will be able to guide you and will also help you get the best deal on your home loan by applying to all the major banks on your behalf – and at no cost to you,” said Goslett.

“They will also help you get pre-approved so that you know exactly how much you could qualify for on a home loan.”

When you have received a pre-approval certificate, reach out to a local real estate agent.

“While solo searches are an option, partnering with a real estate agent can streamline the process,” said Goslett.

“Agents possess market insights and often have access to listings before they appear online. By communicating your preferences and dislikes, agents can efficiently narrow down options, saving valuable time.”

Chairman of the Seeff Property Group, Samuel Seeff added that there are a lot of benefits to buying property at the moment, especially for those who are doing it first time.

“The interest rate is expected to come down over the next few months and the banks are still keen to lend,” he said.

“Although putting down a deposit has many benefits, first time buyers can secure mortgage loans of 100% of the purchase price, and even up to 105% to cover the transaction costs.”

The average price for first-time purchasers is roughly R1.123 million, according to mortgage provider ooba.

This amount was R900,000 before to the Covid-19 epidemic and R750,000, around 10 years ago.

The conclusion is that houses are not becoming cheaper, and the sooner you buy, the better.