5 Tips to Prepare Your Home Buying Journey in 2020
There is no time like the present to start working on your goals and dreams.
When it comes to buying property, the rule is exactly the same: it is extremely important that you prepare for your home buying journey as soon as possible.
You might think that there is still enough time left, but look - we've started a new year already!
Planning takes a lot of time and with buying a house, you can never be too careful or too meticulous.
You wouldn't want to find the perfect house only to realize that you forgot major things during your planning stages.
Here are 5 easy ways you can prepare for your home buying journey in 2020:
#1 - Got credit?
The first step is to verify your credit score. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to buy a house cash and you will probably need to go to a bank for a loan.
By verifying your credit score you make sure that you are clean as a whistle before approaching any institution.
As a South African, you have the right to review your credit score on an annual basis and it won't cost you a cent!
#2 - The debt-rimental step
This is the trickiest step and sometimes debt is the one thing that can drag us as home buyers down.
However, it is extremely important that you keep an eye on your debt as often as you can. Keep track of any money that you have borrowed or anything that you have to pay off.
And, the sooner you start lowering your debt, the better your record will look when applying for a home loan.
Banks are more prone to loan money to those who are stable, so avoid opening new credit cards or even switching jobs anytime soon.
#3 - Go shopping for mortgages
Gone are the days where we have to travel from one bank to another to apply for a mortgage only to get shot down and start all over again!
Repeat, rinse! Repeat, rinse!
There is a wonderful solution that will help you on your home buying journey: a mortgage originator.
A mortgage originator will assist you by applying to several major banks on your behalf, but without the headaches and the fuss. What's better is that s/he will automatically find you the bank that offers the best rates and interest on your home loan.
Just imagine all the free time you'll have to think about decorating that new dream home of yours...
#4 - Remember that deposit!
For many people, a deposit is regarded as a curse word and often seems like a form of punishment.
However, when it comes to buying a house, the deposit can become your best friend.
So, take the time to save as much as you possibly can. After all, the bigger your deposit is when buying, the less your instalments will be over the course of time!
Remember: just because the bank gives you X-amount of money on your loan, does not mean that you should borrow that amount to purchase the house.
Keep it simple and stick to something affordable.
#5 - Keep it real with your real estate agent
Make sure that you choose your real estate agent with effort and care!
Ask around if you are unsure about someone. In the end, this is the person who will lead you to your dream house or who will turn your journey into a nightmare. They should know the area and the market well enough to make sure that you make an informed decision.
These 5 tips should make your home buying journey run smoothly - and why not start right now? Now is the time to start planning, because tomorrow might never come.
(Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 on ImmoAfrica.net and has been revamped and updated since for accuracy and comprehensiveness.)