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Tips for first-time home buyers

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First-time buyers should view as many properties as possible, and not rush into buying anything.

If they are desperate to move, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Marc Plastow advises they find a value-for-money rental property and save for a good deposit while renting.

“It takes about five years before your property has grown enough in value to sell it. Buy small and cheap to start out. You can always upgrade or renovate later.

“While Plastow says buyers usually have their minds set on particular areas, Greeff’s Tim Greeff says they should consider buying in areas with stable demand for homes. This is to ensure a fair return upon sale in the event they one day wish to buy a bigger property.

He also advises them to buy properties at more or less the same value as the area’s average. In other words, if the average value in an area is R2 million, buyers should purchase for around that price.

The agency’s Ryan Greeff says: “If you see a property that ticks 80% to 90% of your boxes, submit your offer. We see many instances where first-time buyers miss out on a property ideally suited for them in the pursuit of ‘perfection’.” Aspiring homeowners should also chat to established agents.

“I am always happy to chat and help them on to the property ladder, even if I don’t have the right property for them,” says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Jill Lloyd.

She adds potential buyers should save as much as they can in preparation for buying. She also advises they buy in the best area they can afford. “It is all very well having a fancy house, but if the position is not good, you can’t resell it. The old adage of the worst house in a great street is still true.”

While many first-time buyers do not have children, Rawson’s Errol King encourages them to look at their finances and life plans before buying property. For those looking to buy for investment purposes, Re/Max’s Darrelle Visser Scheepers says they should look at the rental income of the property versus the bond repayment.

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