Buying a house is one of the most precious moments in one's life, but also the most stressful.
No matter how careful you are about getting your ducks in a row, there could always be someone or something that throws a spanner in the works.
Allister Long, managing director of Powerhouse Financial Solutions, says that learning from history is one way to help you avoid the mistakes other people have made.
He provides the following tips when buying or selling your house:
l Not understanding the buying or selling process
Do not leave everything to an agent without understanding the basics of the buying or selling process. Do your homework to make sure that you know as much as possible.
lDon't let emotion cloud your vision
Don't be too dreamy-eyed about buying property because emotion will cloud your judgment. Rational thinking is crucial for making practical and informed decisions.
l Work with only one agent Common sense dictates that an estate agent cannot best serve both a seller and a buyer. Find your own agent.
l Location versus price
Buying property might be regarded as a balancing act, a weighing up of various pros and cons. Even those who have never bought or sold property are familiar with the legendary "location, location, location". But the ideal location comes at a higher price. Consider your priorities. Get information about the area in which you are buying.
lKnow what you are signing
Not everyone is an attorney, but signing an offer to buy without understanding the legal implications is not wise. Make it your business to understand what you are signing. If you are unfamiliar with terms such as "voetstoots" and "roukoop", take the time and effort to research them.
lDon't take interest rates for granted
Making assumptions can result in problems later. Interest rates, perhaps more than most factors, have been known to fluctuate and behave erratically. Do not take them for granted. Know exactly what you are dealing with and how this is likely to affect your financial position.
l Inspect your new home
Inspect the property thoroughly. Get a structural engineer to check any defects. An assessment built into the offer of purchase gives you recourse in case defects are discovered.
l Know the tax implications
There are several tax implications when buying property. Transfer duty, Capital Gains Tax, VAT and even income tax could be applicable to your purchase. Sars has introduced a practice whereby transfer duty receipts are withheld if tax is not up to date.