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Q: The market conditions for buying are currently really good and I am tempted to take advantage of them to buy my first home.

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I have done the numbers and I do think that I can afford it, although only just, but I do not want to lose out on the opportunity to own.

Should I just take the plunge and buy or wait until my affordability levels improve?

A: Indeed, with the prime interest rate now at a mere 7%, a 100% bond on a R1 million property could cost R7 753 a month – R1 700 less than in January this year. This brings it within the affordability range of buyers earning around R26 000 (gross) a month.

However, I do caution buyers against extending themselves to limits of their personal finances. Now is an excellent time to buy but it’s not the time to push the boundaries of affordability.

Our economy is under extreme pressure and job security is low – it would be much smarter to use this time to buy low and pay off debt faster than to push your limits and risk losing it all if your finances take an unexpected knock. – Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group

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