What a first-time buyer must con­sider

Lesotho Times - - Property -

WHILE rent­ing a prop­erty of­fers a ten­ant the luxury of se­lect­ing a home that meets their short-term needs, pur­chas­ing a home is a far larger com­mit­ment that re­quires care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion.

This is ac­cord­ing to Adrian Goslett, Re­gional Direc­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, who says that it can never be overem­pha­sised how im­por­tant it is for would-be home buy­ers to un­der­take thor­ough re­search be­fore they buy a prop­erty.

Goslett sug­gests five things that ev­ery first­time buyer should con­sider as they begin the process of pur­chas­ing a prop­erty:

1. Is there the pos­si­bil­ity for growth? Due to the fact that prop­erty is a medium- to long-term com­mit­ment, it is im­por­tant to look for a prop­erty that can grow with your de­vel­op­ing needs.

If pos­si­ble, buy­ers should shop for a home that meets their cur­rent re­quire­ments, but also has the po­ten­tial to ad­just to a chang­ing house­hold, says Goslett.

“It’s not an ex­act science as your five-year plan may not pan out as ex­pected, but it is a good idea to con­sider the pos­si­ble life changes that could oc­cur and im­pact your need for an ex­tra room or ad­di­tional space.”

But it’s not only growth in size that buy­ers should look out for. Goslett says that any prop­erty pur­chase is an in­vest­ment, so it makes sense to en­sure that the prop­erty be­ing bought has the po­ten­tial for growth in value too.

“By fol­low­ing the ba­sic rules of buy­ing a prop­erty, such as ad­her­ing to the adage of ‘lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion’, and check­ing area statis­tics and fig­ures to en­sure that the home is be­ing pur­chased for fair mar­ket value, buy­ers can be fairly cer­tain that their in­vest­ment will see cap­i­tal ap­pre­ci­a­tion over the long term.”

2. Make sure of the ba­sics While the first prop­erty you buy may not have many luxury fea­tures, buy­ers must en­sure that all the ba­sics are in good con­di­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Goslett, the prop­erty should be thor­oughly in­spected to en­sure that there are no hid­den de­fects that could be costly to re­pair. While a list of any known de­fects should have been made known to the buyer, it is still worth­while to en­list a pro­fes­sional in­spec­tor to take a look at the prop­erty.

3. Ev­ery­thing has a life­span Along with iden­ti­fy­ing aes­thetic and struc­tural de­fects, it is im­por­tant to look at fea­tures of the home that are cur­rently in good con­di­tion, but may need to be re­placed in the near fu­ture. Ev­ery­thing has a life­span and may re­quire re­pairs at some stage, so look at the con­di­tion of fea­tures such as roof and floor­ing, he says.

How long will it be un­til th­ese need to be re­placed? Re­search­ing the ex­pected re­main­ing life on large-ticket items can help you plan for the fu­ture.

4. There is no per­fect home It is likely that the first home you buy will not be per­fect, but it’s im­por­tant to make sure that it is the right home for you.

“The way to en­sure that you are buy­ing the right home is by pri­ori­tis­ing the el­e­ments that you can’t do with­out, nice to haves and the things you are will­ing to com­pro­mise on.”

Although a dou­ble garage is nice to have, it may suit you more at this point to have an ad­di­tional bed­room or larger gar­den. The im­por­tance of each of the fea­tures of­fered will de­pend en­tirely on the buyer’s per­sonal tastes and needs, says Goslett.

5. Weigh up all the costs Buy­ers need to re­mem­ber that it is not just the bond re­pay­ments that need to be bud­geted for and con­sid­ered.

There are other re­cur­ring monthly costs in­volved in own­ing and main­tain­ing a home. Ac­cord­ing to Goslett, it is vi­tal the home buy- er se­lects a prop­erty that meets their bud­get in terms of what the full living costs will be, and not just the bond re­pay­ment.

Things to con­sider would be the cost of the util­i­ties, rates and taxes, levies and main­te­nance costs.

Th­ese are not costs that are con­sid­ered by the bank when ap­prov­ing fi­nance, so it is im­por­tant to cal­cu­late th­ese costs with an ex­pe­ri­enced real es­tate agent or a bond orig­i­na­tor.

In terms of the fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment and length of time that home­own­ers are likely to be in the same home, buy­ing a prop­erty re­quires far more homework than rent­ing, says Goslett.

“To en­sure that the cor­rect de­ci­sion is made, which will re­sult in a re­turn on in­vest­ment, and more im­por­tantly their hap­pi­ness, buy­ers should take the time to weigh up all the op­tions avail­able to them.”

— Prop­erty24.

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