What to do before buying a house in South Africa

 ·11 Nov 2023

Purchasing a property is a legally binding contract, and failure to abide by this contract can result in serious fines.

This is why South Africans must ensure that they are ready to purchase the property before they put in an offer, according to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.

Once an offer is put in on a property, it is binding unless it lapses due to the buyer’s inability to fulfil any potential suspension conditions.

With this in mind, Seeff provided a list of things that buyer’s should consider before putting in an offer:

Firstly, buyers should check to see if they can pay the purchase price.

If a buyer needs a home loan to buy the property, they must also do a formal prequalification to see how much they can afford.

They must also ensure that they have cash available to put down as a deposit.

Although first-time buyers may get a full purchase price loan, all other buyers will need to put down a deposit – which is usually 10% of the total cost.

Buyers will also need cash available for the transaction costs. These include transfer duty, attorney fees, bond registration costs and other incidentals.

This money should be available upfront and become payable when the Conveyancing Attorneys start with the transfer process.

In addition, buyers should ensure that they have all the necessary documents, such as their proof of employment and three months’ bank statements for their home loan application.

Buyers will also need to check to see if the property will meet their future needs. For instance, alterations to a property that is part of a community scheme will require the buyer to find out what the restrictions and regulations are.

Finally, as buying a property is a legal contract, one should first familiarise themselves with the surrounding neighbourhood, amenities, schools and daily traffic.

Read: New shopping mall launching next year – pushing South Africa’s growing retail trend

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