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Tyson Properties Top 10 Tips for 1st Time Property Buyers

Thandiwe Sithole, Sithembiso Majola and their daughter Kwahlelwa were congratulated by Tyson Properties Morningside agent, Peter Korte, after buying their first home in Durban recently

Buying your first home can be pretty daunting – but it is a great way to begin investing in your future and paves the way for you to begin climbing the property investment ladder.


Right now, Tyson Properties is seeing renewed interest in first time homes with new buyers queueing up to take full advantage of the fact that we currently find ourselves in a buyers’ market – which means that prices are good and sellers are eager.


To ease your transition into property ownership and help you make what is probably your biggest investment to date, Tyson Properties has 10 tips: 


Find your neighbourhood: Before setting your heart on a particular street or

Windermere one-bedroom apartment, with a garage – Durban R495,000

neighbourhood, do your research. Find out the average prices and the potential re-saleability of a property. If you spot lots of ‘For Sale’ signs, find out why so many people are leaving. Convenience is also key, so check where you can do your shopping, how close a suburb is to your place of work as well as key facilities like doctors, schools and restaurants. Find out about security in the area. Chat to those already living there who will fill you in on the pros and cons when it comes to everything from noise to traffic congestion.

Be prepared: Save up for a deposit. This is the best way to secure a bond at a good rate. The more money you put in at the beginning, the less you will owe and the more inclined a bank will be to sign you up. Better still, get prequalified for mortgage finance. That way, you’ll know how much you have to spend. 

Calculate affordability: The amount of credit a bank will give you depends on how much you

North Riding three bedroom sectional title home in a pet-friendly complex has a solar-heated pool and enclosed patio. R1,450,000

earn, your expenses and the leftover disposable income you have to service your debt. Most banking and bond originator websites have a calculator which will work out how much you can afford. Balance your lifestyle needs with your income so that you do not become “house poor” and have to sit at home whilst friends are out having fun. The credit check and affordability assessment your bank will require when you apply for finance will be a useful safety net and provide a reasonable idea of what you can afford. Confine your searches to properties in the recommended price range to avoid disappointment.

Stick with the professionals: It is always good to get advice from friends and family, but also remember that there are plenty of professionals to guide you on your buying journey. A knowledgeable realtor from Tyson Properties can advise about the property as well as any additional hidden expenses that you may encounter. A reputable bond originator like ooba, can help you to navigate the worlds of home finance and help you get the best deal.

Randpark Ridge three-bedroom home in a gated estate

Understand the cost of living: Apart from upfront costs such as transfer fees, find out what other expenses you are likely to encounter prior to move in – an internet connection, home security, renovations and repairs. Then look at your potential monthly costs factoring in levies, garden services, rates and insurance.

Shop around: Take time to educate yourself about what’s available. Don’t buy in haste, without considering the alternatives. When you have a sense of what’s out there and the prices, you’ll be able to make better decisions as an informed buyer.

Spot potential problems: Be aware of hidden defects and check for things that are not working properly - from faulty wiring to water leaks or even subsiding walls. If you want to make an offer, bring in a specialist to inspect plumbing, electrics and structure, with particular attention to the roof. If you uncover something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t buy the property, but it puts you in a position to negotiate on the price.

Time it right: Know the difference between occupation and possession. It is not your house

Randpark Ridge three-bedroom freehold home. R2,650,00

until the transfer is registered at the deeds office. If you are renting, make sure that you know the notice period so that you do not find yourself paying both your first bond repayment and final rental at the same time. Check the requirements for occupational rental with your agent should you need to move in ahead of transfer and, remember, if you spend money on alterations before this happens, you could lose it if the transfer doesn’t go through.

Read the rules: If you are moving into a housing estate, chances are there are plenty of rules and regulations that will impact on your lifestyle. Many complexes have restrictions on pets, so find out if you can accommodate your pooch ahead of time rather than finding he is not welcome after you have purchased. Parking, gardening and even decorating rules need to be checked ahead of time.

Plan ahead: If you are buying a property off-plan, don’t rely on artist impressions and brochures but rather make sure that you have the full details in terms of the square-meterage of each room. If you are buying an older home, insist on a valid set of building plans that are approved by the municipality. Even if your bank doesn’t demand approved plans, you might need these for insurance claims, if you wish to add on to your property in the future and for future buyers when you are ready to sell. Redrawing them can be expensive.


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