A whole new mean­ing to ‘home page’ – Can you re­ally buy a prop­erty on­line?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

IT’S UN­LIKELY that any­one would part with so much money with­out first see­ing a prop­erty, but thanks to the won­ders of the dig­i­tal world, there is plenty you can do on­line to make house-hunt­ing and the buy­ing process eas­ier.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search done in May by bond orig­i­na­tor ooba, the average age of first-time buy­ers is 34, and the average age of home buy­ers overall is 38.

“From this data, it’s clear that the prop­erty mar­ket needs to keep pace with the de­mands of younger, tech­no­log­i­callysavvy con­sumers,” says Bron­wyn Philip, an oobaelite con­sul­tant.

“The ad­van­tage of buy­ing prop­erty in a dig­i­tal world is that ev­ery­thing you need is at your fin­ger­tips,” says Philip.

She rec­om­mends start­ing your jour­ney with a bond orig­i­na­tor to find out what price range you can af­ford to buy in. Ooba’s web­site in­cludes many tools, such as an af­ford­abil­ity cal­cu­la­tor which helps you work out monthly mort­gage re­pay­ments and a home loan de­posit sav­ing cal­cu­la­tor. All th­ese tools are com­pat­i­ble with mobile phones, which means you can ac­cess them at any time, even when you’re not in front of your com­puter.

Now that you’ve es­tab­lished your price range, your house­hunt­ing can be­gin in earnest.

“There are many prop­erty por­tals and real-es­tate web­sites which al­low you to search in spe­cific price ranges,” says Philip.

Some of th­ese sites will in­clude the floor plan of the house, which will en­able you to see whether it’s north-fac­ing and give you an idea of the overall flow.

“You’ll be able to find use­ful in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing prop­erty growth in the area, which should give you peace of mind that you would be mak­ing a sound in­vest­ment,” she says.

Many prop­erty web­sites also have links to Google Maps, show­ing you where the house is in the neigh­bour­hood, and prox­im­ity to schools, parks, shops and other ameni­ties.

Philip be­lieves that SA prop­erty web­sites could im­prove their of­fer­ing by giv­ing vir­tual tours of the prop­er­ties they’re ad­ver­tis­ing, in line with in­ter­na­tional trends.

“Many peo­ple don’t have time to look at ev­ery prop­erty on the mar­ket in their de­sired neigh­bour­hood or they may live in an­other city,” she says, “so how prop­erty por­tals present homes on­line can be of huge value.”

There are also some dis­ad­van­tages to search­ing for prop­er­ties on­line.

“Per­haps the big­gest disad- van­tage is that the prop­erty may ap­pear far bet­ter on­line than it ac­tu­ally is, re­sult­ing in a feel­ing of dis­ap­point­ment when you ac­tu­ally do see it,” Philip says.

An­other valid con­cern is se­cu­rity, she says. There is always a risk in sup­ply­ing your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on­line and the var­i­ous por­tals this in­for­ma­tion may be leaked to.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.