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Buying a Home for the First Time – A Consumer’s Guide

When it comes to buying a home, many first-time buyers don’t realise that there are many factors to take into consideration throughout the entire buying process.

There are various steps to buying a house that can be followed to ensure you don’t end up spending more money than necessary.

buying a home

First Steps to Buying a Home

The very first step of the buying process is making the decision to purchase. However, this decision is multi-faceted and requires you to first make various considerations.

It’s safe to say that every person has an idea of what their dream house will look like, but there are certainly more pressing questions that need to be asked before diving into signing your very first offer to purchase.

The following questions may assist you with streamlining the process of officially becoming the owner of your own home:

  • What are your needs?
    • Do you need one or two garages?
    • How many bedrooms do you need?
    • How many bathrooms do you need?
  • What can you afford?
  • What area or neighbourhood would you like to stay in?
  • What options are available to you?

By asking these questions first, you are setting into motion a plan of action which is not only achievable but also suitable to your individual needs and circumstances.

What to Know When Buying a Home

When it comes to capital, you will want to know exactly how much you can afford and it’s important to be aware of the fact that there are various costs involved with purchasing property.

Therefore, the amount of money you have available is not a direct reflection of the property value that you are able to afford.

The following are additional costs to take into consideration when buying a home:

  • Deposit
  • Home loan or monthly bond repayments
  • Transfer costs
  • Conveyancing fees
  • Title deed registration
  • Relocation costs
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Home insurance
  • Repairs or maintenance to your new home
  • Rates and taxes
  • Body corporate levies if you are buying into sectional title schemes

Keeping these costs in mind when making your purchase will help you get a clearer understanding of what you can ultimately afford.

What to Know About Real Estate Agents?

Relatively new legislation requires all real estate agents to be registered by the Estate Agency Affairs Board and in possession of a fidelity fund certificate or license to practice as a real estate professional.


Thoroughly inspecting a home that you’re interested in is something you should not shy away from. In fact, it may be worth your while to hire a professional to assist you with the inspection to avoid any issues such as patent and/or latent defects which may give rise to unexpected repair and maintenance costs.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated – Conveyancers & Property Attorneys in South Africa

Buying a home for the first time can be confusing and intimidating. However, as experts in property law, our attorneys in Cape Town and Johannesburg can assist you by providing you with answers to all your important questions.

For more information regarding our legal services which include conveyancing and other matters related to property, please contact us.


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