From Dream to Reality: Tips for First-Time Homeowners

From Dream to Reality: Tips for First-Time Homeowners
Susan Abro of Susan Abro Attorney. Photo credit: Jacky Herbst

In observance of New Home Owners Day (1 May), Susan Abro of Susan Abro Attorney shares valuable insights aimed at saving new homeowners time, money and effort.

“Buying a new home can be daunting, so it’s important that you make informed decisions from the outset,” explains Abro.

Here are some useful tips for new homeowners.

  1. Before embarking on your home search, it is essential to know what you can afford. A quick and easy way to do this is to use a bond calculator. A bond calculator will look at your income and expenses and calculate what size home loan you might qualify for and what your monthly repayments will be.


  1. Many people are caught unaware by the fact that you still need to cover the costs of transfer and bond registration fees before your new home is registered. These can be expensive, especially if you have not budgeted for them. There are several bond and transfer cost calculators available to assist you in calculating these additional costs, so that you can include these in the total cost of buying your dream home. Some banks offer home loans of up to 105% to cover these additional costs, if you meet certain qualifying criteria.


  1. If you want the best deal on your home loan then you should apply to all the banks, not just your bank. A 0.25% difference in interest rate can save you almost R40 000 on a million rand home loan.


  1. Mortgage bond originators are also useful as they can immediately inform you whether or not you qualify for a home loan and assist you with making an application.


  1. During property viewings, pay attention to essential details such as water flow and plumbing and electrical functionality. Ask where the geysers and distribution boards are located. Check what the levy covers: Does it cover water usage in your unit or apartment, does it cover insurance in the building? Insist on a comprehensive disclaimer form from the seller that discloses any known defects or issues such as old damage, leaks, mould etc.

“Embrace the journey of homeownership with confidence and anticipation. May each step bring you closer to discovering the joys of your new home,” concludes Abro.