Buying a house is very exciting but to be informed is important.

Make sure you know the do’s and don’ts when buying a house. Image by Pexels/Oleksandr P

Thinking of buying a house? Here are the dos and don’ts

Have a look at these do’s and don’ts if you are considering buying a house.

Buying a house is very exciting but to be informed is important.

Make sure you know the do’s and don’ts when buying a house. Image by Pexels/Oleksandr P

Buying a house is a dream for many South Africans, but navigating the buying process can be tricky. This guide will take you through the essential do’s and don’ts to ensure a smooth home buying experience.

The do’s

Get a pre-approved bond. If you have a home loan that has been provisionally approved, you will have a stronger standing in the negotiation process when buying a house. Going through the approval process will also inform you exactly what you can afford and how it will affect your finances.

Research the market and the area. Make sure you understand the current property market trends and property values. Do thorough research around the specific area or neighbourhood. Consider safety and crime levels, and expansion opportunities.

Consider the future. Give some thought to your plans for the future. If you are planning on starting a family, you may want to consider things like nearby schools. If you are planning on living in this house for the foreseeable future, you may want to investigate possible renovation options or possibilities for building on to the house. Are you considering other people to move in with you in the future, e.g. your parents? Is there a garden on the property and is it important for you to have one? There are many questions to ask, based on your situation and plans.

Negotiate. Do not feel shy to ask for a better price. In fact, many agents and sellers expect that the potential buyer will negotiate and therefore, they are often willing to negotiate.

The don’ts

Do not overlook additional costs. Many first-time home buyers focus on the price of the property only and overlook the extra costs involved. Extra costs include registration fees, agency fees, property taxes, and maintenance. If the property is part of a gated community or a complex, monthly levies are another expense to consider. These levies usually cover costs to maintain common areas and security.

Do not skip the home inspection. An inspection can uncover hidden issues that could significantly impact the property’s value and your living conditions. Costly repairs down the line can be avoided if this step is followed. An electrical inspection is also important to make sure the electrical wiring, etc. is up to standard.

Do not act on emotions. It is easy to rush into a decision when feeling excited. Think about the decision thoroughly and stay focussed on the practicalities and realities.

Do not feel rushed. Agents will often push you for a decision as they want to close the deal. Buying a house is a big decision and comes with a lot of commitment. Make sure you are sure about the purchase without feeling pressurised.