Frequently Asked Questions for Homebuyers
Guidelines for first time home buyers and general home buyers' information.
What are the benefits of using ooba?
By using ooba, you'll avoid the red tape involved in going from bank to bank, dealing with tedious and repetitive paperwork, and not knowing whether you're getting the best home loan deal. We know the banks, understand the system and will hunt down the best deal for you.
Whether you are buying a home for the first time or looking to register a second bond, with ooba, your home finance expert will process the home loan application as quickly as possible on your behalf, ensuring that you get the right bond for your circumstances, and reducing the hassle factor. We submit your application electronically to all the major banks simultaneously, ensuring that your home loan is approved at the best possible rate.
Since 1998, ooba has secured more than R200 billion in home loans for our clients. This means we can put our weight behind your application. So you won't have that little guy at the back of the queue kind of feeling. We're skilled negotiators and masters at presenting your application in the best possible way. Several banks compete for your business. That can only mean a better deal. And a better chance of approval. We know our stuff, so you don't have to worry. Independent. Straight-talking. And for free. Plus, oobainsure can advise you on certain essential insurance plans that you should be considering.
What makes ooba different to other home loan brokers?
oobabond is the only full service bond origination company in South Africa, capable of handling the entire home loan approval process, with a national infrastructure and proprietary software to automate the application. This makes going through ooba a great convenience.
We can also offer you advice on other issues related to owning a home. oobainsure offers insurance packages that consider all your needs as a property owner.
Are there any costs, if I use oobabond?
No, there are no costs. The banks pay ooba an outsourcing fee to complete the application process.
If I'm pre-qualified through oobabond, how will I get a full loan grant after I have made an Offer to Purchase?
All you have to do is inform your dedicated ooba home finance expert and they will complete the application process on your behalf.
Can I purchase a property in South Africa if I am a non-resident?
A non-resident of South Africa is a person (i.e. natural person or legal entity) whose normal place of residence, domicile or registration is outside the Common Monetary Area. The Common Monetary Area consists of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Non-residents may purchase property in South Africa but in terms of Exchange Control Regulation 3.1 (f) they may not be granted any financial assistance - e.g. a bond. However, the South African Reserve Bank will consider requests by non-residents for bond facilities not exceeding 100% of your borrowing base.
The "borrowing base" of a non-resident is the sum introduced into South Africa to fund the purchase of a property. For instance, if as a non-resident, you wanted to purchase a property in South Africa for ZAR600 000,00, provided you are able to bring ZAR300 000,00 into South Africa to effect the purchase, you would be able to apply to the Reserve Bank for permission to apply for a bond of ZAR300 000,00. In other words, 50% mortgage loans are available to non-residents. It must, however, also be borne in mind that the banks will only grant a bond of 50% of their valuation of the property, which in some instances might not equal 50% of the purchase price. All requests of this nature must be routed via a commercial bank and not directly with the South African Reserve Bank.
You would need to provide proof of the fact that the funds have physically come into the country (which can be done by the Transferring / Conveyancing Attorney), so that when the property is sold, the deposit plus profit can be released. The title deed will be endorsed "non-res". As a non-resident, you are not required to open a banking account in South Africa, although certain banks do insist on it, as this would facilitate the transferal of funds directly from your account abroad into your mortgage account in South Africa. If you open a banking account - particularly if an access facility is required for the capital paid off - then you would need to obtain an original letter of credibility from your bank.
As Exchange Control is complex, it is advisable for non-residents to consult with an ooba home finance expert, to guide you through the process.
If I am a temporary resident in South Africa, can I purchase a property in SA?
Foreign Nationals (temporary residents) may apply for local financial assistance, including a bond for the purchase of residential property. Such a bond is not restricted and, depending on the standing of the client, it can amount to 100% of the purchase price of the property. The granting of any borrowing facility is subject to the approval of the Lending Manager in the branch of the bank where the foreign national holds his or her account.
It is important to note that when a foreign national departs the Republic of South Africa, the criteria for Non-Resident purchasers will apply and the bond may have to be reduced to fall into line with the South African Reserve Bank's formula requirements.
Please talk to one of our experienced ooba home finance experts to help you to negotiate your application for bond finance.
If I am a South African Resident working abroad, can I apply for bond finance to purchase a property in SA?
Yes, if you are a SA resident working abroad, an 80% mortgage bond can be secured. Most banks will look at granting up to an 80% loan but each application is reviewed on individual merit. Certain clients have been granted 100% finance, in exceptional circumstances.
You must only be living abroad temporarily and must have plans to return to South Africa. In addition, an application to emigrate must not have been made, nor should you have surrendered your permanent residency status in South Africa. Please consult one of our experienced ooba home finance experts to assist you.
Will I get the same interest rates as if I applied through the bank directly?
Amongst other things, your credit profile, affordability and loan-to-value ratio determine your interest rate on your bond. All these details are captured into the bank's credit scoring models and your interest rate is calculated. Whether you apply personally to the bank, or through oobabond, the same credit scoring model is used to determine your interest rate.
However, with ooba, you'll have a home finance expert motivating on your behalf, applying to more than one bank on your behalf, and ensuring that you don't have to deal with too much paperwork.
Is there any obligation to accept a home loan sourced by oobabond?
No. If we source a bond on your behalf, you can accept or decline it. You're not obliged in any way.
What if I already have a pre-qualification from another bank?
ooba can complete the application process on your behalf - or we can investigate the possibility of getting a competitive rate from another bank.
Do I have to apply online?
You can either apply online or by clicking the please call me button on this website - and an ooba home finance expert will contact you.
After I apply for a loan online, what should I expect?
When we receive your application, a credit check will be performed and an ooba home finance expert will contact you to collate any supporting documentation needed by the bank to complete the process. Your application will be submitted electronically to all the banks that have products suited to your profile and affordability.
If all goes well, the bank will approve your application in principle. A quotation setting out the cost of credit, interest rate applicable and special conditions will be issued following successful assessment of the property.
How long will it take to get an approval in principle?
Usually, applications are approved in principle within a couple of days, as long as we have received all the necessary information.
How will I be able to track my application status?
Your ooba home finance expert will keep you in the loop throughout the entire process. If you have any questions at any time, they'll be able to answer them.
Who will see my application?
Only those parties involved in processing your application will view your application details.
When will I need to contact a home finance expert?
When you want to get pre-qualified for a bond, or if you're ready to apply for a bond, just complete the call me form and an ooba home finance expert with contact you.
Why have we changed the name of the company from MortgageSA to ooba?
There are a number of reasons for changing the name of the company but the primary reasons are :
When MortgageSA pioneered mortgage origination in 1998, we had a one service offer. Currently we have evolved to a multi-product & services offering that extends beyond mortgage origination.
The MortgageSA name was restrictive in meaning in that it was descriptive of the mortgage origination business only, and was difficult to stretch outside of mortgage financing.
What does the ooba brand name stand for?
It stands for a brand that promises to get you closer to the ideal home, the 'super' life.
Can I use my own attorney for the bond?
Banks have a panel of attorney firms from which the Bank will appoint a firm to supervise the registration of the bond on the bank’s behalf. These attorney firms have to comply with the conveyancing requirements of the relevant Bank and therefore Banks will usually not allow the nomination of another attorney firm.
What period of time should I get an extension from the Seller for the bond approval?
A buyer should negotiate with the Seller for as much time as possible to obtain a bond approval to allow for instances where the banks may require additional documentation from the buyer to make a credit decision and/or to allow the buyer to shop around for the best home loan deal.
What interest rate can you obtain for me from the bank?
As part of ooba’s service offering, we will negotiate a competitive rate for your home loan from the bank. The bank will base your rate on your credit risk profile, the size of your home loan and the size of the deposit you are placing.
Do I have to take a 20 year term?
You can apply for any loan term up to a maximum of 30 years. The shorter your loan term, the higher your monthly instalment repayment will be but will result in a saving of total interest paid in comparison to a longer term loan.
How do I best use my access facility as a savings mechanism?
An Access Facility on your mortgage loan allows you to be able to deposit extra funds to your loan that you have over and above the minimum required installment and is a very effective way to save as, by reducing the outstanding balance on your mortgage loan, you will reduce the interest that you pay. You are therefore effectively saving at the bond interest rate, which is considerably higher than the interest earned on a savings account at a financial institution, whilst still permitting you the flexibility of withdrawing your savings when needed. Naturally, by exercising the discipline of not withdrawing your savings, your will be making capital repayments to your loan, which will enable you to repay the loan over a shorter term, resulting in a saving of total interest paid.
How can I reduce the interest and the loan term i.e. amortization?
Interest on a mortgage loan is calculated daily and compounded monthly on the outstanding balance. Therefore, should you make additional repayments to your loan over and above the minimum required installment, you will reduce the outstanding balance and reduce the interest you pay. This will enable you to repay the loan over a shorter term, resulting in a saving of total interest paid.
Who pays ooba’s fee?
On registration of the bond, ooba is paid a fee by the lender for the functions that it performs on behalf of the lender in respect of the home loan application process.