House hunting? A cool head will get you the best deal

2017-05-18 06:00

When you buy a home you are not just buying bricks and mortar or a roof over your head. You are also buying your future.

“Where you choose to live will determine who you make friends with, how you entertain, where your children go to school, where you shop and go to gym and how hard you have to work,” said Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“So it is very important to keep a cool head when making your choice and avoid the serious miscalculations that can easily occur if you are too emotional about the decision.”

For example, he says, it’s a big mistake to get hooked on a home you can’t afford.

“So we suggest that you start your search at the low end of your price range and work your way up. This way, there is a good chance that you will find a home that has everything on your must-have list long before you reach your affordability ceiling.”

On the other hand, says Kotzé, it’s a mistake to get desperate if you have been house-hunting for a while without finding anything you really like.

“Buyers need to remember that doing nothing for a while is also an option. New homes come on to the market every day so there is no need to get stuck with one you hate.

“If you do, the chances are that you will just end up moving again, with all the expense that entails, or making costly and disruptive alterations and additions to get it the way you wanted it in the first place.

“Similarly, if it turns out that there are snags with a home that you do like - major repair issues that were not obvious at first, an inflexible asking price or a difficult possession date – you should consider moving on. Being open to keep looking can help you regain perspective and save you from making rash decisions.”

He says another common mistake that many buyers make, especially when looking at charming older homes, is over-estimating their DIY skills. “You might love the idea of buying a fixer-upper in order to secure your place in a pricey area, but before you go ahead you need to be seriously realistic about how much home improvement you can handle in terms of time, money or ability. If you bite off more than you can chew and end up having to hire contractors to finish the work, the chances are that it will either wreck your budget or seriously try your patience as the project drags on and on due to limited finances.”

In addition, you should never let your heart rule your head to such an extent that you rush into making an offer before you’ve taken some other important steps, like checking whether the area is safe at night, what the traffic is like and how long it would take you to drive to work or school. You should also make it your business to find out what other buyers have recently paid for similar homes in the area, says Kotzé.

“Remember that even if there are other buyers interested in the property you like, you shouldn’t ever offer more than market value – unless you want to have trouble getting a home loan, or risk making a much lower profit than you should when you resell. Just as it is important to ensure that your expectations are in line with your budget, it is vital to stick to that budget and protect your financial future.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own

If you think it’s too boring to own a cat or a dog, consider getting one of these pets.

 
 

Paws

Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
The top 6 poisonous foods for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.