Buying a house  is most probably the biggest investment of your life.

Enslins want to ensure that your journey to home ownership is a smooth one.  These tips may come in handy if you are looking at buying your first home

* Deposit

Save for a decent deposit.

A deposit increases the chances of bond approval.

It also decreases your monthly payment.

* Bond amount

Establish the repayment you can afford.

Total your income less expenses which equals spendable amount.

Remember to take into account potential increase in your municipal charges for the new property etc.

Banks normally finance 25% to 30% of your total income up to the spendable amount.

* Additional costs

Do not forget to budget for Transfer Duty, Conveyancing Fees, Initiation and Administration Fees, Legal Costs as well Bond Registration Fees.

Many attorneys have calculators on their website to assist you to calculate the fees.

Visit www.duncan-rothman.co.za to find a bond and transfer cost calculator

* Bond application

Do applications at all major banks.

You can then choose the best deal and interest rates to suite your needs.

* Estate agents

Use well respected agents that are registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board with valid

Fidelity Fund Certificates.

* Where to buy

Location.Location.Location. This is the golden rule in property investment.

Rather scale down your requirements to buy in a better area because this will prove to be a better investment in the long run.

* Security

Do research on the crime statistics of the area you are looking to buy in. You can get statistics from the Police.

* Traffic

Observe roads and traffic in the area as well as noise-levels of traffic.

Try to drive by the home at different times of the day to observe traffic flow in the area.

Schools and shopping centers can have a huge effect on the traffic flow but it is also beneficial to have them nearby.

* Structural problems

A house may seem great on the outside but there may be potential defects with the structure. According to South African law homes are sold Voetstoots and it is the responsibility of the buyer to identify patent and if possible latent defects and if necessary the repair thereof in the Deed of Sale.

Don’t therefore be shy to inspect and observe the following to see if you can observe any patent defects:

  • Missing or loose tiles on the roof.
  • Ask the owner if the roof leaks

– Water marks on the ceilings and walls

  • Cracks in the walls

– Open/close cupboard doors

– Open/close taps to test the plumbing.

– Inspect the swimming pool and ask for the canvas to be removed if it is covered.

– Scrutinize the pool for obvious damage and leaks.

The seller must provide you with an electrical certificate for the house and a certificate

for the electric fence before transfer of the home takes place.

If you are unsure about something – get a professional to inspect the home for potential latent defects.

Remember – You are making a huge investment so get down on your knees if necessary

to inspect something that catches your eyes.

* Online Property Search

Estate agents often shows potential buyers only the houses where their commission is higher.

They can also pressure you into signing a contract before someone else.

With online property searches you can see which homes are in the market in a

specific area and what the asking prices are – all on your own time.

This helps you to make better informed decisions.

Property24.com offers an easy way to do online searches and this service even enables you to determine the average cost of properties recently sold in this area.

Property24 also has an app in the Play Store which you can download as well.

* Occupation

Remember that the home only becomes your property on the date of registration at the deeds office.

Be careful not to spend money on the property prior to registration date as you stand

a chance to loose that money you spend if something goes wrong with the transaction.

Enjoy your journey in acquiring your dream home.