Although a worthwhile endeavour, deciding to take the step away from renting and towards owning a property comes with its own set of challenges.
For this reason Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says it is best to consider all the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line.
He provides some pros and cons for potential home buyers to consider:
PRO: The home is yours to customise
Goslett says that one of the best things about owning a property is that there is more freedom around what can be done.
“Whether it’s changing the colours of the walls or removing the carpets, the owner has the ability to do just about whatever they want within the boundaries of their property,” says Goseltt.
“In most cases, owning a home means not having to consult with another party or agent before making changes or upgrades.”
CON: All upgrades and changes are at the owner’s expense
Along with the freedom of choice around changes that can be made to a home comes the financial responsibility.
If anything breaks or needs to be upgraded in a rental property, the tenant can simply request that the management agent or landlord sort it out.
“When one owns a property, bear in mind that the onus will fall on the property owner to find a contractor that they trust to undertake the work, and to cover the cost of the repairs or replacement,” says Goslett.
PRO: You can finally settle in one place
Owning a home means no more worrying about the rent going up or the landlord deciding to sell.
As a homeowner, there is security in the fact that you will probably be in that home for the next five to ten years.
“Buying a home means that the owner can establish their roots, build long-term relationships with neighbours and settle,” says Goslett.
CON: No longer as mobile
Renting a property gives the tenant the flexibility to move once the lease is up or their circumstances change.
For owners, however, the monthly bond repayment will remain their responsibility until the property has been sold.
PRO: Build home equity
The money that is paid towards rent is going to someone’s bond, and it is money that the tenant will never see again.
For homeowners, money paid towards their own bond is paying off an asset and building equity. Ideally the equity that has been built up in the home will be realised once it is sold and the owner will be able to walk away with money for a deposit on another home.
CON: The market plays a part
When you own a property, you are affected by the phase of the market when it comes time to sell.
“The market will have a major impact on how long a property stays on the market, as well as the price at which it sells,” says Goslett.
While it is ideal for a homeowner to sell their property for more than they paid for it, he says this is largely dependent on the conditions surrounding the market, when they bought the property and when they decide to sell it.
“At the end of the day, there are several benefits to buying and owning a home, provided that the buyer is ready for all that homeownership entails,” says Goslett.
“It is important that the decision is not made lightly, and that all aspects are carefully considered beforehand.”