Power to the ladies making waves in the property market!
Insights Team, August 6, 2020

At Leadhome we have some very interesting statistics concerning our women buyers and sellers that we’d like to  share with you:

55% of seller enquiries come from women – 22% come from women in their 30s.

42% of offers are made by females compared to 34% of offers made by males!

58% of our buyer enquiries are from women and 25% of our buyer enquiries are from women in their 30s. Leadhome has seen a  greater interest from female buyers in their 20s compared to female sellers. This trend makes sense as most people look to buy their first home in their 20s and their second home in their 30s (as their families start to grow), with 49% of offers made on homes through Leadhome from people in their 30s and 26% from those in their 40’s.

This leads us to…both Ladies and gentlemen the time is ripe to buy!

Whether you are male, female or don’t identify as either, here are a few tips that can help you when taking that big step.

With all the bad times that 2020 has thrown at us, home-seekers can at least take comfort that conditions in the property market are currently favourable for buyers.  While the economy is stuttering, bonds are still being granted by banks and the interest rate is currently at a low and on hold, possibly for the duration of this year.

As such, there has arguably never been a better time to buy a house.

Despite these favourable conditions, there is always a certain amount of anxiety and stress associated with buying a house, particularly for first-time buyers. Both women and men can sometimes find it daunting when purchasing a property for the first time, so we have compiled some tips for you:

  • Planning and Budgeting

It goes without saying, but affordability is the single most important aspect to consider when purchasing a property. If you extend beyond your financial means, you are liable to encounter unwanted consequences, including debilitating, long-term debt.  As such, before you even start to look for a property, it is critical to put together a viable plan and work out which properties are within your budget and which properties will send you to the “poor house”.

As a starting point, you should use an affordability calculator to determine what type of mortgage you would qualify for. This calculation takes into account factors such as your gross and net income, your total expenses, your preferred interest rate and the number of years that you would need to take out a home loan.

Most first-time buyers will require home loan financing, and you must know what is required and the process involved – once you work out what you can afford, you must ensure that you can qualify for a home loan. During this process, you should compare numerous bond quotes in order to get the best deal for yourself.

You also need to consider several additional costs that you may incur once you have bought and taken ownership of the property. These costs include rates and taxes linked to the property, electricity, general maintenance of the property and lawyers’ fees. 

  • Do your Homework

To find a property that is adaptable and suitable for both your lifestyle and your purse, you must be thorough in your research. As mentioned above, there are many extraneous costs and considerations that you should find about and take into consideration, including:

  • Longevity – the type of property you buy should be proportionate to your needs; as buying property is a long-term investment, you must only look for properties that have long-term potential in terms of your current and future needs.
  • Type of property required – while you may start out thinking that a freestanding house best suits your needs, you may change your mind upon further research. Consider all the factors listed here and then determine whether a complex or a house is better for your particular situation – it’s truly a “horses for courses” approach.
  • Lifestyle – find out if the property will fit in with your particular lifestyle. For example, if you are looking for a quiet place, ask the agent and or/neighbours whether there is a lot of noise within that neighbourhood or complex. You may love a property but it may also have inadequate internet and fibre connectivity, which would generally rule it out of contention.
  • Space required – always consider whether the property you’re looking at meets your basic living requirements: are there enough bedrooms, bathrooms and parking bays/garages?  Is there enough space for a pet?  Is the garden large enough for kids to safely play?  Try to only accept a place that meets these requirements.
  • Renovation and maintenance costs – examine the property closely relating to what will need to be fixed, what aspects will need constant maintenance (such as the garden and pool) and consider whether you will be able to afford these costs.  If possible, you should ask someone with construction experience or knowledge to provide estimates of what renovation work is required and potential costs in this regard.
  • Security Considerations

Any South African knows that security is one of the foremost requirements for any property that you buy.  It is essential to determine what security measures are in place in the neighbourhood and/or complex and the severity of the crime rate in the area.

It is best to buy a property that has adequate perimeter fencing on both the outside property and surrounding the main structure of the house and includes additional security measures such as barbed wire and electric fencing.  There should also be a security company that either guards a complex or regularly patrols the area near the property or both. 

  • Location, Location, Location

In your deliberations, the location in which you buy should carry as much weight as the type of property and its price tag.  Many of the considerations outlined above will align with the area in which you buy, such as affordability and security. You should also factor in which area best suits your lifestyle needs, particularly in terms of proximity to amenities that will make your life that much easier.

Is the property close to your work, the school you want to send your kids to and adequate healthcare? How far is it from shops and entertainment venues that you like to frequent? Your new property shouldn’t only meet your home living needs, but also provide you with a convenient, rounded, general lifestyle.

  • Find a Reputable Agent

As a first-time buyer, you may be unaware of many of the administrative and legal factors associated with buying a home. These factors include the process for applying for a home loan, the mandatory compliance certificates that the seller is required to produce and property zoning laws.

In this instance, it is crucial that you use a real estate agent that is on top of their game and will serve your best interests.  Real estate agents can often prove to be untrustworthy and self-serving, so you should ask other people you know about which agents they used and whether they were happy with them. Having a competent and honest real estate agent who will serve your interests and reliably guide you through the process should be considered a “must”. Search for one of our Agents of Change click here: https://www.leadhome.co.za/estate-agents

Finding an affordable home that suits all of your needs is no easy task; however, it is an imminently achievable goal. The most important thing to remember when undergoing this process is to be meticulous and extensive in your research and to ultimately be thoroughly prepared. Should you adequately prepare, you will have the tools at your disposal, both financial and otherwise, to make the right choice.

So in celebration of women this August we would like to send a special shout-out to all the driven, multi-tasking ladies out there and wish you a wonderful and prosperous month.

Insights Team
We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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