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Q: We are finally ready to buy our first home but have no idea where to start.

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We are inclined to just go to our own bank and do everything through them as it will be simpler. How much could we really hope to save by going through a mortgage originator and possibly getting a better rate at another bank? What is the difference in the current interest rate being offered and how much would that translate to in the long run?

A: Working through a bond originator is a must in order to get the best deal. Originators are skilled in presenting your application and have the advantage of being able to get the banks to compete for your business by soliciting comparable quotes from the various banks. Using an originator has become imperative to get the best deal. – Roger Hoaten, Seeff Berea

A: My advice is definitely to contact a reputable bond originator in your area. The procedure is quick, hassle-free and reliable, and costs you nothing. The originator will guide you in certain areas, and can follow the process, motivating if there are any problems, and will then get you the best interest rate, by negotiating with the different banks. At different times, the various banks’ rates can vary by up to 2%, which can mean a difference of thousands of rand in the long run, or you could shorten your period of repayment. – Debbie Bennett, Prime Estates

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A: The cost of using a bond originator is nil to you. They will shop your application to various banks and will broker the best interest rate and transaction for you. Interest rates are the lowest in South Africa since the 1970s and I would take advantage of this situation. – Keith Anderson, Dogon Group Properties

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