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Ready to take the plunge? Follow the expert’s advice

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Here are seven steps to owning your dream home provided by Buyisile Maseko of FNB.

1 Know what you want

Do house-hunting homework first. Know what size suits your needs. Think about accessibility to work, public transport routes, schools and shops.

2 Do your sums

Know exactly how much you can afford. It’s not just the bond instalments you’ll be paying – include insurance (homeowner, household and life cover) and municipal costs in your budget. Insurance: Your house could be damaged by fire, flooding, a burst geyser and natural disasters. Comprehensive insurance is essential because it covers damage to the property and losses. Since your home remains the security of the bank, you are required to take out adequate coverage for the duration of your home loan. It usually covers the physical structure of your house, including fixtures such as pools, damage by fire, lightning, floods and storms, and replacement value of the property.

3 Bank on a budget

A home loan for firsttime buyers can be diffcult to understand, so contact your bank to do an affordability assessment to find out exactly how much credit you can access.

4 Save and put down a deposit

You may need to put in some of your own money before you can buy. Depending on your financial situation, some mortgage products allow you to qualify for larger loans without paying a deposit.

5 Plan for additional costs

Other once-off costs can include bond initiation and admin fees, legal costs, bond registration fees, VAT and transfer duty.

6 Begin the search

The sale prices of similar houses in the neighbourhood for the past year will give you a good estimateof current market value. The estate agent will assist you.The general condition of the house is also important.

7 Know what you are buying

View as many properties as possible. Make comparisons. Ask the seller or estate agent questions until you are satisfied. Viewing the selected property several times will help you make a final decision. It is your responsibility to ensure that a prospective home will not require excessive future maintenance. You are allowed to question the reason for selling.

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