Looking for Love? Buy a House

In a recent survey conducted on PropertyGenie.co.za, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that potential partners are more attractive to them if they already own a home. The poll, posted on PropertyGenie.co.za on behalf of ooba, South Africa's largest bond originator, showed that 75% of respondents view a potential partner as more attractive if he or she owns a home. Another 18% said that they didn't have a preference, while 4% said partners who rent are more attractive and only 3% said that they would prefer a partner who still lives with his or her parents. "The image of a newlywed husband and wife entering their first home together is becoming outdated," says Careen Mckinon, ooba Provincial Sales Manager.

"Modern relationships are clearly about two independently established individuals building a life together. Since property is the largest asset that most people will ever own, it's a measure of your financial standing and independence." Of course, most people can't just dash out and buy a property in the hopes of attracting romance, but any young person with an income, whether they are in a relationship or not, should start thinking about how to invest in property in the future. Mckinon suggests the following ways to prepare yourself to purchase property, even if you're not ready to take the plunge just yet.

-Save for a deposit.Banks will look on you favourably if you have shown that you have the income and discipline to save in advance, and will be more likely to grant your bond.

-Keep your credit rating clean. You can check your credit rating for free once a year to make sure that there are no judgements against your name, and always make sure that you pay any owed money on time. It helps if you can show that you have serviced debt well in the past.

-Find out what you can afford. You can get a pre-approval from ooba or use the bond calculator at http://www.ooba.co.za/calculators/affordability-calculator to get a sense of what you can afford, so that you can start working towards that.

-Start looking. There's nothing worse than having to purchase under pressure, so start looking for and even viewing properties in your desired area, in your price range. You'll get a sense of what you can afford and what compromises you'll have to make.

-Do the paperwork. When you start to get serious about buying, make sure that you have your hands on all the necessary documentation to make an offer. An ooba consultant can help you with this.

"By starting early and getting a foothold on the property ladder, you're preparing yourself for anything that the future might hold," says Mckinon. "And if your property gives you the added opportunity of attracting you a partner, then home really will be where the heart is."

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A prequalification certificate will take some of the uncertainty out of the house hunting process.

When applying for a home loan, one of your most important considerations should be securing the lowest interest rate possible. And when the home loan is granted, you should do everything you can to reduce the term and the interest that you pay.

In a recent survey conducted on PropertyGenie.co.za, an overwhelming majority of respondents said that potential partners are more attractive to them if they already own a home.

"According to a recent poll conducted by bond originator ooba, three quarters of South African consumers are unaware of their credit profile.

"Many of South Africa's consumers with bad credit records are unable to secure home loan finance to enable them to buy property, according to ooba.