Take the headache out of home buying – know what questions to ask

Whether buying your dream home or a fancy new set of wheels, doing your homework upfront and knowing what questions to ask is essential in preventing any surprises down the line. ooba, South Africa’s biggest bond originator, has been finding the money for home owners for over 15 years and is well placed to offer expert advice on how to take the headache out of home buying.

Assess your Affordability

The question of affordability is an obvious one and very important to bear in mind from the beginning.  In addition to thinking about the deposit, you need to also consider the monthly bond repayments and whether you will be able to afford to keep your property in a good condition.  A good place to start is to get prequalified by ooba; this will give you an idea of what you can afford. Before signing off on the property, do a spot check to ensure that, should you need to do renovations, this has at least been accounted for in the asking price.

Ensure that the location suits your lifestyle

Location is crucial in ensuring that your home fits the lifestyle you lead. It is important to consider the following factors when thinking about the area you are buying in: what is the distance from home to work, is the property in a developing area where you see the resale value increasing at a considerable pace and lastly, is the neighbourhood safe?

Gather a history of the property and area

Do some research on the property and area; find out how long the property has been on the market and how long the current owners have been living there. If it’s possible, speak directly to the owners to find out why they are moving, just to make sure there is nothing wrong with the property. Also approach neighbours to get an idea of what their experience of the area has been. All this information should answer the question: is the property a worthy investment?

Get certified

Ensure that all your compliance certificates have been issued by an authorised independent contractor; these include the electricity, plumbing, gas if there is gas on the property and extra’s such as the electric fence certificate. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise with regards to compliance issues once you have moved in.