Essential home buying tips

Essential home buying tips

With house price indicators like the oobarometer perking up, smart buyers are slowly returning to the market and need to be armed with how to make the best purchase possible.

Ben Seymour-Brown, manager of group direct sales at ooba, said: "We expect more people to return to the property market this year and certainly next as the economy recovers, the effect of lower interest rates is felt and confidence returns to bricks and mortar investment.

"Even though buying a home is fundamental to wealth creation, it is one of the biggest purchases most people are likely to make and they need to be well informed."

ooba's tips for first time home buyers.

1. Location, location, location Remember that one of the most important aspects of a home's value is the area it's in. Research the area and check out transport links as well as schools. If your favourite area is too pricey, buy in an adjoining area. Buying a home that needs some work is another option as this can be done over time.

2. Budget Before you start looking at properties, calculate how much you can actually afford. Experienced originators like ooba can, free of charge, guide you through the mass of paperwork and the requirements of the National Credit Act to work out what you can afford. ooba advises buyers to get pre-approved for a home loan so you know exactly what you can afford before you start the hunt.

3. Property wishlist Before you start looking for a property make a list of everything you want and need in a home. Use this as a base guide when hunting for properties to help focus your search. Property listings websites like propertygenie.co.za allow you to select the criteria you want to make drawing up a shortlist very easy.

4. Choosing a mortgage Although some banks have eased their lending criteria and will again offer 100% home loans, for more high priced properties you'll need a deposit.

And this is where originators like ooba are invaluable. Because they work with all the banks, they source the cheapest form of finance for you. They will shop your application around at all the banks and get them to compete for your business thereby securing the best deal possible. All at no charge.

5. Estate agents A good estate agent can access invaluable market information before the public, knowing the homes just on the market and comparable prices. Ask family and friends for referrals and seek someone who is well connected, understands your needs and has experience with homes in your area and price range. Working with a good agent will make the search process much easier.

6. See what's available A great place to start your search is online on a website like propertygenie.co.za which lists properties nationwide of SA's top agents. Information such as the suburb, photos and number of bedrooms and bathrooms is available.

It is also worth looking through the local newspapers for the latest listings in your chosen area.

7. Viewing As viewings do not usually last long take a checklist with you outlining what you should be looking for and what you should be asking. Take a tape measure to ensure your stuff will fit and check the property for any problems and repair work that needs doing. It's also a great idea to write down your impressions as once you've done numerous viewings, they'll tend to blur into one.

8. Making an offer Don't be afraid to put in an offer lower than the asking price as it's still a buyers' market - and particularly if the property has been on the market for a while. You can gauge how fair an asking price is by comparing with recent sales in the area or purchasing a property valuation report for an instant valuation. A good agent will be able to show you the recent sales in the area which will be useful benchmark. Both can be good tools for negotiation.

Hello ooba news

The latest oobarometer stats reveal that the average purchase price growth among first-time buyers remains strong at 12.1% in June. This, together with the continued easing in lending criteria, is good news for potential homebuyers in South Africa.

With the property market beginning to show signs of a recovery, it is more important than ever to ensure your home is correctly priced. Jenny Rushin, property finance manager at ooba, SA's leading mortgage originator, said that a property listed at the right price will give sellers the greatest chance of attracting buyers.

South African banks have loosened their lending criteria which has supported a revival in the property market and helped new buyers enter the market says South Africa's leading mortgage originator, ooba.

South Africa's leading bond origination company, ooba, has seen a 55% increase in the value of approved loans from April to September this year, with a 21% surge from August to September alone.

With house price indicators like the oobarometer perking up, smart buyers are slowly returning to the market and need to be armed with how to make the best purchase possible. Ben Seymour-Brown, manager of group direct sales at ooba, said: "We expect more people to return to the property market this year and certainly next as the economy recovers, the effect of lower interest rates is felt and confidence returns to bricks and mortar investment.