Despite the precarious economy, and because of what the global pandemic has manifested, the lockdown has re-introduced property owners to their homes, which may be a blessing or a curse. Regardless it has provided time to reflect on, and inspect your current home, and there may be some thoughts about selling based on criteria such as:
- Current home is too big, or too small
- Desired structural changes or glaring flaw repairs are no longer affordable
- You cannot envisage a future where you have neither the energy nor resources to continue with necessary home maintenance, thereby devaluing your property
- Bond repayments are too high - despite interest rate cuts - especially if household budgets have been badly impacted
- A divorce is pending.
Budget, budget, budget
Before you enter the property market with a view to buy or sell, we highly recommend you do some online research on alternative accommodation. The first step is to consider what is affordable. Never before has it been more important to focus on a budget, bearing in mind that ‘pandemic-related’ interest rate cuts may mean that you now have the means to enter the property market, or look at a different type of property than previously may have been considered. The inability to impulse-spend because of lockdown may also translate into the possibility that you may have more disposable income that can be directed towards a higher bond repayment.
These are strange times indeed, and in some ways, there are advantages at play. For example, a property type that may have seemed beyond your means in January may now be an affordable option. Only your budget will indicate how far you can stretch your Rands after all the imperatives in your personal chain-of-care have been accounted for.
Overall, if you have made the decision to explore the homes-for-sale market, even if only because you have the time, there are tips to consider that may assist your online search criteria.
Define your property search: The dream list
You need a list of tick-boxes that define your needs: - What is your budget? - Size and type of property (eg: house/apartment, number of bed-/bathrooms, garaging, study, outside buildings, garden, square meterage etc) - Area’s or suburbs you are keen on - Neighbourhood facilities (eg: close to schools, medical care, highways and transport etc) - A turnkey, fixer-upper, or character home - Kerbside appeal - Security and fencing - Animal friendly.
The list can be endless but it’s a good idea to write down everything you’ve ever dreamed of a home providing you with; be that outrageous or as quirky as having TV connections in every room or a separate man cave/meditation room. The difference between getting what you want vs what you can afford is how much you are prepared to compromise on the items on your tick-list. You may, therefore, wish to prioritise the things that you absolutely need against those that would be considered a bonus.
A list of this nature also makes it easier for any estate agents with whom you have contact, to undertake a search on your behalf. If you are clear about your absolute needs, they won’t trouble you with properties that fall outside of those parameters.