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Q: Is it wise to own a home if we are relying on a single income only to make ends meet?

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A: Those planning to live on a single income need to be realistic about what they can afford and leave plenty breathing room so they never end up in a position where they can no longer afford the repayments on their home loan.

Bond repayments change every time the interest rates change so taking on debt to the hilt of what a household can currently afford is seldom a good idea.

Buying is also recommended over renting as this eliminates the possibility of annual rent increases and provides a family with an appreciating asset that can be sold in times of crisis. If the homeowners have an access bond they can treat their home loan as a sort of savings account that can be accessed in case of an emergency.

If need be, the property can also be sold and the money can be used to see the owners through the crisis. On the other hand, those who have suddenly found themselves in this situation will need to reconsider their current living situation to identify where to cut down on costs or possibly leverage the property to access some much-needed financial relief.

 

Homeowners might be able to let a room in their home, either on a short-term basis via platforms such as Airbnb or on a long-term basis with the help of a rental agent. If this is not possible, then homeowners may need to downscale. – Adrian Goslett, chief executive of Re/ Max of Southern Africa

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