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The hidden costs when you buy a home

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We walk you through the process of getting a mortgage, from the application, through the documents to signing on the dotted line

Assessing what you can afford in terms of a home is not just about being able to make the monthly bond repayments or pay for ongoing maintenance.

Nor is it just about calculating the transfer duty payable on purchase of the property. There are a number of hidden – or perhaps unknown – costs associated with the transaction, says Dave Nezar, partner at Kaplan Blumberg Attorneys.

“The costs of transferring ownership of property into your name comprise costs due to the government in the form of transfer duty, legal costs as well as a number of payments the attorneys have to make to obtain clearances.”

1 Transfer attorney fees: These fees are prescribed by the Law Society of South Africa and are calculated on the purchase price of the property. In addition, Transfer duty – a tax levied by the government on property transactions – is payable.

2 Postages and petties: These include phone costs; postage and courier fees; administration fees and bank charges.

3. Deeds Office fees: These fees are published in the Government Gazette and calculated on the purchase price of the property.

4. Electronic generation fee: The generation of electronic documents will also be charged for.

5. Fica costs: These costs are incurred when verifying the identity of a client prior to establishing a business relationship with them.

6. Rates clearance fees: A rates clearance certificate must be obtained to verify that there are no outstanding rates and taxes payable by the seller of the property. A fee is charged for this.

7. Bond costs: The bank will appoint an attorney to attend to the registration of the bond, which will attract a fee

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