Common Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

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Common Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

23 February 2021 | Insights Team

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime, and certainly the largest of purchases. It is probably also one of the most exciting and positive experiences that you will experience.  

The magnitude of this occasion means it is vital that you “get it right the first time” and you don’t make any unnecessary mistakes. These blunders could mean that you are railroaded in the process – by either losing money, or buying the wrong property, sometimes both.

As a first-time home buyer, what are some of the most common mistakes that you can make and how should you avoid them?

Not knowing what you want

If you go into the house-hunting process without a clear idea of what you want to buy and where you want to live, then you will be asking for trouble. It may seem like obvious advice, but you need to do your research and have a clear plan of what you want to achieve. Make sure that you take a few hours to clearly define what type of property you want to buy, what your price range is, and the area you want to live in; taking into account variables such as security and proximity to shopping centres, schools and general amenities. 

Not knowing what you can afford

When buying a home, many of us have, unfortunately, unrealistic expectations with regard to what we can afford. As previously mentioned, you need to decide on a price range that fits in with your earnings and budget. 

Factors you should consider in this regard include:

  • How much of a monthly bond repayment can you afford?
  • How much of a down payment can you make?
  • What are your other expenses? How will they affect your ability to maintain the property and make monthly mortgage payments? 

Once you have factored in these variables and worked out your budget, you can move forward with the process, knowing you won’t be in over your head financially. 

Underestimating administration costs 

You should be aware that there are a number of administration costs associated with buying a property. These can include (but are not limited to) transfer fees, attorney fees, conveyancing transfer fees, deeds office fees, and, of course, fees for your estate agents. Ensure that you have planned for these costs and they are included in your budget. It’s best to use Leadhome Properties, as we allow you to choose what type of fee you want between Fixed or Plus price. 

Click here to read more about our pricing options.

Underestimating the cost of maintaining your home 

There are always a host of hidden costs associated with owning and managing a home. These include refurbishments, upkeep, and rates and taxes. You will also have to take into account the monthly costs of electricity, garden care (if you have one) and gas (if you use it). If you don’t have the money to offset these costs, then you will soon find the value of your house decreasing and your property investment may end up keeping you in debt. 

It is becoming clear that getting a good grasp of one’s finances is very important when buying your first home!

Overestimating the size of your home

Many new home buyers don’t realise that the property they have just bought is insufficient to suit their lifestyle and house all their belongings. Perhaps the kitchen turned out to be too small, or maybe some of the bedrooms may have looked bigger when you initially bought it. Therefore, it is critical that you think carefully about whether the property you want to buy is sufficient in size and if it can evolve with your family’s needs.

Always keep in mind that the first property that you buy may not be your last! So, be prudent, don’t bet the entire bank on your first property. 
At Leadhome, we are industry experts in buying and selling homes. Let your life changing decision be your best with the advice and guidance of our estate agents or property advisors. Contact us today!

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.