Affordability, location, size of property and security are the main factors South Africans need to take into account when buying property. As buying a home is one of the biggest long-term investments you will make, you need to make sure you choose the best property for you.

The economy and property market in South Africa is showing improvement, however, consumers are having to contend with high fuel hikes, VAT and other indirect tax increases. If you’re an aspiring homeowner, read the tips below to ensure you get your loan amount approved and buy the right home for you.

Buy within your means

Just remember, a lot of unforeseen costs come with buying a house. Before you start looking at houses to buy, have a very clear idea of how much you can afford for the transaction as well as research the total cost of buying a home. You could end up in financial trouble if you’re not able to pay off your home loan.

Make sure the property isn’t overpriced

An opportunistic seller that is not in a rush to sell a property may put a house on the market that is overpriced for current marketing conditions. Alternatively, if a property has been on the market for a long time, the buyer may cut down the price to sell the house faster.

Double check the price

Similar homes in a specific area will have similar market values so it’s important to compare the prices and values of similar homes (in terms of location, size, space, security, etc.) in the area you’re wanting to purchase a property. Use a property website to do comparative research on different properties to ensure you’re getting a good price for your new home.

Find alternative ways to negotiate with the seller

It the seller refuses to budge on the price, try to negotiate on other issues. Perhaps request a paint job or a few other fixes and upgrades that will improve the state of the home you’re wanting to buy.

Use tools and take advice from experts

There are lots of digital tools you can use online that can help you calculate the loan, transfer and other costs that come with buying a new home. Also, speak to a private banker or home loan consultant to ensure you know what you’re getting into and you have enough money to cover all the costs.

Unforeseen damages, such as theft, lightning, fire and burst geysers can cause loss or damage to your home and personal assets. Therefore, once you purchase a new home, make sure you have comprehensive insurance for your home.