If you’re planning to buy a house in South Africa, these expert tips and overview of costs can help you prepare for buying property in South Africa.
Buying your house or property will probably be the biggest purchase you will make during your lifetime and it is necessary to avoid the common pitfalls when making a property purchase. It is therefore important to make sure that all things are considered to ensure that your property purchase in South Africa is secure in all of the following aspects.
- Deposit: Establish the amount that you can put down as a deposit on your bond.
- Bond amount: Establish the amount of the monthly repayment you can afford. You can do this by totaling your monthly income (joint income if you are married) less your expenses. The banks will normally grant a maximum bond where the repayment is no more than 25 percent of your gross monthly salary which should not be more than the amount you calculated above, otherwise you may be overcommitted.
- Transfer cost: Do not forget to provide for the Transfer Duty and Conveyancing Fees that are normally payable by the purchaser.
- Bond approval: Not only has banking changed dramatically in the last few years, the new credit act has made it more difficult to get bonds approved, so get good advice and assistance with regard to home loans and bond finance.
Transfer duties and conveyancing fees
Transfer fees in South Africa are as follows;
- ZAR 0,00 for properties valued below ZAR 500,000
- ZAR 25 000,00 for properties below ZAR 1,000,000
- ZAR 25 000,00 + 8 percent of the value over ZAR 1.0m for properties over ZAR 1.0m
Conveyancing fees vary but can easily be in the vicinity of ZAR20 000,00
One way to avoid paying Transfer Duties and Conveyancing Fees is to buy a property off plan from a developer. Developers normally waive the legal costs, and if the property is new and has not been previously registered, there won’t be transfer duties to pay
Before paying duties, it’s worthwhile noting that some bond originators and finance houses may pay some of these fees for you if you register your bond with them.
Where to buy in South Africa?
Location, Location, Location
Everyone knows that the most important point when it comes to buying property is the area where it is located. What this means essentially is that it is more advisable to downscale on the size or quality of house in favour of the area it is located in.
Once you have identified the area you want to buy in, consult with the local residents and police station regarding the crime rate in the area.
Look out for open tracts of land and developments going on in the neighbourhood, which could promote incidents of criminal activity.
Also take note of the presence (or lack thereof) of schools, libraries, shopping centers and other facilities that you would require in the area.
How to find a suitable property
A traditional method of sourcing properties is registering your preferences with as many agents in the area as possible and hoping that they are diligent, patient and committed enough to find you the right home.
Online Property Search
You’ll find many sites advertising properties, which can be a quick way to guage potential areas, prices and properties on offer.