Don’t underestimate the task of home buying! Don’t get into a situation where you have just viewed a house and can’t remember the kitchen. Don’t focus on a home’s furnishings such as curtains and carpets. These visual items can be changed if need be.
Look for defects and determine an estimated cost of fixing them. Then find out if your budget allows for renovations.
Once you have narrowed down your selection to a few homes, view them again. It’s good advice to take a closer look.
Imagine what could go wrong with your home purchase! Houses are made up of hundreds of different parts and materials from a nail to a roof tile and much, much more!
New or used, the home purchase will most likely be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make! Therefore, with this type of investment, it only makes sense to have a professional home inspection done beforehand.
If you’re thinking, “Why do I need to spend the time and money on a home inspection?”
My question to you is “Why take any unnecessary chances with your hard-earned money?
Protecting your home purchase
An inspection and report will give you a clear, concise picture of the important components and systems of the home. Therefore, you can make an informed decision on the purchase of the home. In doing so, you avoid buying a new home only to spend thousands of rand on unexpected or unforeseen problems.
My thorough, impartial inspection will let you identify any minor or major repairs or maintenance issues. Furthermore, the inspection report is a valuable tool in the bargaining stage to address any issues before finalising your home purchase.
Moreover, you will have a highly trained, experienced and dedicated professional on your side. My report will help you make the right decision with your property purchase.
Don’t make the mistake so many other home buyers are making over and over again!
Protect your investment by having a home inspection!
The Bill was supposed to finally provide buyers (consumers) more protection in the secondary housing market.
However, it appears the Minister of Human Settlements and his staff and the National Assembly totally missed the point!
Here is that portion of the Bill:
Mandatory disclosure form
A property practitioner –
may not accept a mandate unless the seller or lessor of the property has provided him or her with a fully completed and signed mandatory disclosure in the prescribed form; and
must provide a copy of the completed mandatory disclosure form to a prospective purchaser or lessee who intends to make an offer for the purchase or lease of a property.
The completed mandatory disclosure form signed by all relevant parties must be attached to any agreement for the sale or lease of a property and forms an integral part of that agreement, but if such a disclosure form was not completed, signed or attached, the agreement must be interpreted as if no defects or deficiencies of the property were disclosed to the purchaser.
A property practitioner who fails to comply with subsection (1) may be held liable by an affected consumer.
Nothing in this section prevents the Authority from taking action against a property practitioner or imposing an appropriate sanction.
Nothing in this section prevents a consumer, for his or her own account, from undertaking a private property inspection to confirm the state of the property before finalising the transaction.
This is the protection this Bill offers to buyers (consumers) who buy properties from sellers.
Do you believe that you are protected by buying from a reputable developer or builder? Will you be able to identify all the snags without a professional snag inspection?
What buyers don’t realise is that other building contractors sub-contract to the developer or builder. Both the developer and builders are under pressure to complete the units or homes within a contractual timeframe. Often, the builders take shortcuts resulting in best building practices falling by the wayside.
In addition, most new homebuyers believe the NHBRC, bank and municipal building inspectors provide them with this sort of protection.
This is not the case!
Your bank inspector determines the market value of property, land, and improvements for the bank. Therefore, he is not concerned with the state of the property unless it affects the value of the property.
Municipal Building Inspectors
The municipal building inspector checks your building to ensure it complies with approved construction drawings, local bylaws and zoning regulations. In addition, he or she is also responsible for ensuring compliance with local and national building regulations.
Structural engineers inspect and evaluate the structures of your home only. This is the foundations, slabs, walls and roof. They are not concerned with the installations and finishes which make up more than half the value of your house.
NHBRC inspectors inspect all new homes to check that the builder is complying with the NHBRC requirements on site
The NHBRC Warranty Fund covers you against major and defined structural defects for up to five years. Enrolling your new home with the NHBRC is a statutory requirement. Theoretically, this affords you protection against contractors who deliver substandard design, workmanship and poor quality materials.
As a new homeowner, you have the right to instruct your developer or builder to rectify shoddy and defective work. This includes non-compliance or deviation from the terms, plans and specifications of your building agreement with him.
Many homeowners have installed gas appliances due to high electricity costs. However, homeowners must comply with specific regulations which relate to safe installations, Gas Certificates of Conformity and South African National Standards.
Appliances must conform to the relevant SABS standard (SANS 1539).
As from 2009, the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) requires that all gas installations must have a Gas Certificate of Conformity! This applies to all permanent installations such as gas fires, hobs, stoves and braais. After an installation has been inspected a Gas CoC is issued if it is safe and leak-free.
Authorised installers registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGSASA) issue certificates.
Gas appliances that leak could have major health implications for a family. Not to mention the huge danger of an explosion.
If you don’t have this gas certificate an insurance company will repudiate claims. This could have severe financial repercussions for you. Such an inspection is essential for your insurance policy to remain valid. Moreover, an inspection will ensure that the installation is safe and your family is not at risk.
When you sell your home. you are required to hand over the gas certificate to the new purchaser.
Safety service checks
If you smell gas or suspect your gas appliance is leaking turn off the appliance immediately. In addition, open all the doors and windows to air the room and shut off the gas supply at the control valve. Before you use it again, have it checked by a registered gas installer.
Have a registered gas installer perform an annual service check to ensure your gas installations remain in working order. Go to either the LPGSASA website or the SAQCCGAS websitefor a list of registered gas installers near you.
Home buying is an exciting and significant decision. However, obtaining a home loan also remains one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
Where to start
When home buying, you must do your homework first. Numerous estate agencies have open houses in various areas every weekend, and some even during the week. You will get a feel for the sizes that suit your needs. You also get insight into your choice of area. Think about accessibility to work, public transport, schooling and other amenities.
Keep in mind that location is of great importance, especially to secure your investment for the future. It may also affect your loan approval.
Viewing a few homes in different areas will help you to know exactly what type of property you can afford. It’s not only the home loan instalment you will be paying. You need to factor into your budget costs such as bond and transfer fees, insurance and municipal costs when home buying.
What costs to factor in
Make sure that you are aware of the process and all associated costs when buying a home. Ask your estate agent for help if you are uncertain. Get a bank pre-approval, so that you know which bond amount you would qualify for. This will also assist in your home buying.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to forget about the cash funds needed in home buying. On approval of the loan, you will start receiving invoices from the attorneys. This is when you realise that you will need additional funds. This could put a damper on the excitement of owning your property.
A reputable estate agent will provide you with the information you need to prevent any unforeseen costs.
If you qualify, some of the home loan products will allow you a larger loan without paying a deposit. Others require the security of investing by having an upfront amount.
Also, be aware of other once-off costs that you will have to pay, over and above the deposit. These include initiation and administration fees, legal costs, bond registration fees, VAT or transfer duty. And a home inspection!
Making the offerwhen home buying
Consider sale prices of similar houses in the neighbourhood for the past year, as well as the current market situation. Your estate agent will assist you with this information and advise you to ensure you make the right choice. This will give you a good estimate of what you should expect to pay.
The general condition of the house is also an important pricing factor in home buying.
Take into consideration maintenance in or around the building.
What should you do once you have made up your mind sign an offer to purchase with the seller?
The importance of a home inspection is paramount. How else will you determine the actual condition of the home?
Applying for a home loan
When applying for a home loan, you will need the following documents:
A signed offer to purchase.
Proof of income.
A South African bar-coded or Smart Card identification document.
Proof of current residential address, such as a municipal account, Telkom account or valid TV license.
Salary earners need to include a recent salary slip.
Bank statements for the last six months.
Once you have all your documentation, the approval process begins, and you will receive approval in principle (AIP). This usually takes five to seven working days.
The bank will then arrange an appointment with the seller to do a full valuation of the property. This ensures that your investment is sound and that your home choice is at market value.
The home buying transfer process
Once the seller has signed the sale agreement you need to obtain a home loan. On approval of the home loan, the conveyancer (transferring attorney) to start the administration process. The transfer is processed as follows:
The seller has the choice of appointing a conveyancer, who will obtain FICA (ID and proof of residence) of both parties.
The conveyancer then applies for the seller’s bond cancellation figures. Thereafter, the bank sends the original Title Deed to the bond cancellation attorneys.
After their preparation by the conveyancer, you and seller sign the transfer documents.
The conveyancer then requests a rates clearance certificate from the local authorities and municipality to ensure that all the seller’s rates and taxes are paid up to date.
The bond attorney contacts the conveyancer and advises the amount available for guarantees.
They then request the draft transfer deed and guarantee requirements. The bond attorney is requested to cancel the seller’s home loan on receipt of a guarantee for the outstanding amount.
When home buying, if the property price is above R1,000,000 you then pay the South African Revenue Services (SARS) transfer duty, a tax levied on property transfers. The conveyancer will request a transfer duty receipt on SARS e-filing and also make the payment of the transfer duty on your behalf.
The conveyancer then lodges all the required documents, together with the new bond and the old bond cancellation, with the Deeds Office.
After 8 to 10 working days for these to be examined and, provided there are no changes, the transaction is registered. You are then the rightful owner of the property!