Choose a home loan that will serve you in the long run

When looking at various available home loans in South Africa, we can help you figure out what you need to consider and why. Buying a home is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime so it's a good idea to get it right and choose the best option!

Have you decided that you want to buy a home because you don't want to waste more money paying rent? If so let us guide you through the need-to-know facts about home loans in South Africa!

First-time home buyers in South Africa

It is natural for you to be a bit nervous and have many questions when you're buying a home for the first time. You want everything to go perfectly  without any obstacles or undue hassle and so do we.

The best way to get prepared for that major step is to be well informed about the home buying process. Knowledge is power and the more you find out about home loans, the better you will position yourself to negotiate with the banks and alternative home loan providers.

LoansFind offers you all the information you require for buying a home in South Africa and will help you find a home loan provider that offers just what you need. 

Is buying a home the right thing to do?

If you have fears about buying a home, you should give this option more thought before committing to it. Although owning your own home is considered a safe and wise investment, there are many instances in which buying a home is not the right financial move. 

The choice depends on many factors including lifestyle, financial health, future goals and occupation.

Renting vs buying a home in South Africa

You may not be prepared to buy a home if you have insufficient savings or a poor credit history. Similarly, renting involves fewer responsibilities compared to homeownership and allows you to remain flexible in terms of moving, scaling down or even changing jobs and careers.

At the same time, when you rent a property, you will not be able to build wealth with this type of safe, long term investment. 

Reasons to buy a home

Generally, the benefits of owning a home exceed the benefits of renting. You will accumulate wealth. You can resell your home and recover your initial investment or even make a profit. You will be able to use this asset for taking out cash loans. You can rent out your home if you wish to buy a bigger house and use the rental and property as security for your second home loan. Keep these benefits in mind to give you confidence.

Homeownership & marriage

It is certainly easier to finance the purchase of a home when both you and your spouse earn an income. Traditionally, most people buy a house when they get married and decide to have children.

At the same time, you can buy a home with confidence if you are still single and have a sufficiently high income.

Prepare your finances to buy a home

There are many financial aspects to take care of before you can buy a home in South Africa. You have to know where you stand financially and what home loan options are available to you.

Step 1 – preparing your credit for buying a house

Request a free credit report which you are entitled to and go through it carefully. Have any errors which you find fixed and keep a watchful eye for any fraud.

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to get rid of debt. Generally, the lower your debt is at the time of buying a home the better as this leaves you with a greater disposable income and this will be seen favorably by the banks.

Step 2 – Finding a home loan

Consider as many lenders as possible and compare their home loan products based on interest rate, fees and repayment schedules. You should check what your bank has to offer since they may have a special deal for you as a loyal customer.

You may also want to make use of a mortgage broker whose job will be to apply for a home loan to all the banks and lenders and negotiate the best deal on your behalf. It is important to note that mortgage brokers or bond originators will not charge you for their services. They will receive a commission from the bank once you choose and approve a home loan offered. 

Step 3 – Save for a deposit to buy a home

Virtually all lenders require you to place a deposit however first time home buyers can easily apply for a 100% bond. Your deposit is the amount of money which you will pay out of your pocket when purchasing the house.

The bigger the deposit is, the better not only because the banks will offer you a better rate on your loan but because it will lower your monthly payments and help you save in the long run. A deposit will increase your chances of approval especially if you have a good, but not great, credit score and history.

Step 4 – Government home buying programmes

You should check whether you qualify for a home loan subsidy or a home loan backed by the South African government. You will certainly get a good deal with low interest rate and a small deposit.

Step 5 – Getting pre-approved for a home loan

If you get pre-approved for a home loan by a lender, you will have greater bargaining power when buying a house and can also make sure that you don't look at house in a price range that you cannot afford. 

Help with home loans in South Africa

You can readily find for sale listings online plus tons of useful information about home loans in South Africa. Despite this, working with a real estate agent remains the best option. A professional knows the local market insights and has considerable negotiation experience.

Step 1 - Reason for hiring an estate agent

In addition they protect you from a contractual perspective and have the ability to inform you of everything that you need to know prior to concluding an Offer to Purchase. A good estate agent will prevent you from making costly mistakes. They can help you secure the best deal as well.

Step 2 – Finding an agent

You should ask around first and compare different service providers online. You should look for a professional with plenty of experience and high achievements. One of the best options is to choose the estate agency that is the busiest in your area and call them to discuss your needs.

Step 3 – Working with an agent

Estate agents do not charge for their services. Once you purchase a property they will earn a commission from the sale of the property. In South Africa estate agents earn a commission that ranges from 5% to 8% of the sales price of a property. You should explain exactly what you want and ask all questions that you have prior to going to look at any properties. 

Avoid Common Home Purchase Mistakes

Find out what the most common home buying mistakes are and how to avoid them. It pays off to be prepared and the more you know the better positioned you will be to make an informed decision.

Step 1 – Forget about print ads

You should search for a property online. This is the more convenient and the most productive method as well since sellers and agents prefer using the web for advertising. When using property listing websites online you will find more pictures and more detailed information than you will find in a space limited newspaper advert.

Step 2 – Avoid viewing properties that don't suit you

You should not visit every home that an estate agent offers. You should have your agent to preview the properties and arrange visits only to the ones which meet your requirements. This will prevent a huge waste of time and will make deciding on what you want a lot easier. 

Step 3 – Do not make last-minute decisions

You should not make any big purchases or take out other personal loans before closing a home loan. You should protect your deposit with contingencies in your contract.

You must be absolutely certain that you are buying the right house, especially when it comes to location.

Use Negotiation & Win

There is plenty of room for to negotiate when it comes to home purchase in South Africa. You just need to know how to exploit the available opportunities.

Demonstrate commitment to the property – You have to make your offer clear and concise as well as attractive to the seller. This can be done by offering a deposit and by letting them know that you are pre-approved and that they will not have to wait weeks for you to be approved for finance. 

When your offer has to compete with a large number of other ones, you should consider providing a larger deposit and shortening or waiving some contingencies. You should demonstrate that you have qualified for finance with a pre-approval letter.

Deal with a counter offer – If the seller makes a counter offer after you submit yours, you should negotiate further to reach an agreement.

Inspecting a home before making an offer

You have to ensure that the home which you will buy is in excellent condition. For this, you have to get a thorough and objective property inspection.

What's covered – Find out what the home inspection will cover and make sure that no important feature is missed.

Material facts disclosure – These are defects which may influence the buyer's decision and influence the property sales price. Common examples include lead-based paint and asbestos panels. They must be disclosed by the seller.

Final inspection – Inspect the property once again on the day before signing the agreement to ensure that everything is as it should be.

Close a home loan deal like a pro

Given the required procedures for finalising a home purchase deal in South Africa, the whole process may take up to three months and possibly longer. It makes sense to book a moving service in advance to avoid further delays.

Home insurance in South Africa – You should do this as soon as possible. Shop around to find the best home insurance deal. You may be able to get a great discount from your current insurer if you take a package deal.

Consider sectional title insurance – It is designed for South Africans who live in sectional title units. Its purpose is to protect their household goods.

Get familiar with the closing process – This will give you a clear idea of how things will work out for you.

Now you can take the necessary steps for buying a home in South Africa. Browse through our range of lenders and home loans in South Africa to get an idea of what your options are.