How to buy a house

How to buy a house

Make the right choices & you’ll strike gold with a home for life!


Buying a house is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make. Whether you’re looking for a home to call yours forever or making an investment, it’s a long-term commitment: to saving, to making payments, and to a space
that you’ll love for a lifetime.

Here’s what to look for:

There’s a reason it takes people months – or even years – to find their perfect home.

‘It’s a long-term commitment that requires plenty of planning and research,’ says Albertus van Staden, head of credit at FNB Housing Finance.

Make sure your home has everything you need before buying it:


Do some research to identify what you can afford, advises Van Staden. Bear in mind your interest rate, utility rates, taxes and levies, which you’ll be paying monthly.


‘When you buy a home you also inherit its neighbourhood,’ says Van Staden.

Look at the value of properties in the area, and security in the neighbourhood. Check that the malls and schools suit your lifestyle, too.

Viewing opportunities

Viewing property is the best way to get an accurate feel for the home that you’ll be buying.

‘Check out the roof and gutters, and anything you may need to fix,’ says Van Staden.

Enough space

Find a space that’s big enough for a growing family, if that’s what lies ahead for you.

Good neighbours

It’s great to live in an area where many of your neighbours are at a similar stage of life and your children can all grow up together.

Saving for your deposit

Experts say that saving for a deposit might be the trickiest step to affording your own house. Deposits are determined on a sliding scale according to property price. Buyers who fall into the R250 000 to R500 000 purchase
price category could pay 12.3% of the total amount. Those who fall into R500 000 to R1m pay an average of 18.7%,
and R1m to R1,5m about 22.2%. This is important to remember when saving up for your deposit.

Are you ready?

Most buyers need a 20-30-year home loan from the bank to buy a house. Banks also require a down payment before securing a house. On top of being able to afford the deposit, there are a few checks you need to have in place before taking out a bond.

It’s time to consider a home of your own if:

  • You can afford long-term debts with changing interest rates.
  • You’re in a healthy financial position.
  • You can afford the insurance on your house.
  • You can afford a deposit.

After paying monthly bills, many people don’t have enough disposable income left to comfortably afford a bond repayment. Prioritise saving and paying off debts before taking the plunge so that you can be sure you’ll get to your monthly payments once you’ve made a commitment.


Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.


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