SORRY

Earlier in the year I stuck my neck out and said that Joburg would show an 8% notional increase in house prices and implied it would be hot property news. Not so, I’m afraid. Sorry. Then, I stuck my neck out [with the IMF as I’ve said in a previous email], and said we’d grow at 1.7%. I was only out by 1, but that’s the 1 in the front. Drat! Another Sorry is due. So before you stop reading and call me a Wuzz, give me a break.

You see, we’re not in technical recession, the first time I heard President Ramaphosa (CR) say that I thought he was taking advantage of the latest weed laws, but then, Roelof Botha, ex-RMB, who I have always considered at the top economist in the country, was reported having the same stance. So maybe, CR has been sticking to Johnny Blue on his Fresnaye property’s stoep. So without boring you with the details, the numbers are skewed by Agriculture in the main, and what remains is some other drought-stricken technicality. All of that said, we should pop out of technical recession fairly soon and recover a tiny growth this year.

Now let’s see why Growth with a capital “G” is on the cards. 

Firstly, the SARB held rates recently and that is good news for our ailing economy. Remember, they walk a tightrope, because the Bond investors love a big differential between the Bond yield and their own country’s interest yields, adjusted for inflation and the Rand volatility. In simple terms, if you don’t raise the rates and the risk of doing business increases for whatever reason, then money flows out of the country. Big risk, but well taken given the current slowdown in our economy. In fact, a complementary decision to my next point.

So, secondly, our President has announced amazing benefits to our economy today. I am so excited even though we know we need far more. On the lighter side, #paybackthemoney would provide more than enough to stimulate our economy; just seeing someone go to jail would really lift our spirits. So again, I have no desire to go through all the details and, if truth be told, I have no idea where we find the money, but a stimulus of R50bn to “stabilize Education and Health Care” is seriously welcome and R400bn to really stimulate the economy is a mind-blow. So much stimulation in one day could be bad for one’s heart; but, thank you, President Cyril and your 10-person Advisory Board, you’re going to announce in the next few days.

We’ll cover a tiny bit of the details, the rest being your homework, but seriously, I cannot tell you how amazing it is to see a President, obviously trained by Pravin Gordhan to read teleprompters, reading a huge economic breakthrough and flawlessly enunciating Four Hundred Billion Rand, that’s R400000000000. So glad the author of 400…Rand…million, billion, ten…he, he, is no more.

We need stimulation. Money flows of private citizens offshore feel to me to be at record highs. People are leaving all around me – kids who comprise our future being snapped up for their artisan, IT and teaching skills. Out there are countries building countries on the back of our young, competent families and I feel like putting my finger down my throat when I think of the loss just when we need the skills the most to rebuild this beautiful, tortured nation, but at least we have a President who sees the issue and has the gravitas and presence to rectify the problem, albeit, over a very long period.

Healthcare needs stabilization. The Minister of Health should have declared a crisis a long time ago, but at least, finally has some money to spend. Heaven knows we need it well spent on priorities that benefit our people. Please don’t steal our hard-earned cash and don’t turn a blind eye to those who would! For education, desks and toilets would be really helpful. Make the former out of recycled plastic and achieve a double whammy. Then, for the latter, build toilets with septic tanks where you can’t easily access a sewerage pipe. For goodness sake, [I heard a guy on CapeTalk saying the sewerage pipe was 4 kms away so they could not give a school a flushing toilet.] Really??!! I used a septic tank in Amanzimtoti for years, because we had no water-borne sewerage and what about every farmer in the country?? Imagine a civil works programme that dug and kitted-out septic tanks at schools using recycled water and then teams of guys keeping them in working order? Now there’s a project worth doing.

So, in the R400bn, is a mega-fund for Infrastructure. Just to put that in perspective, a year or two ago, it was pointed out on 702 that the market capitalization of Mr Price was more than the entire Construction industry. So a company which imports clothes from China and sells them to us is worth more than Basil Read, Grinaker/LTA {Aveng], Group5, Murray and Roberts, and WBHO [the only one making money at the moment] combined. In fact, the shares of Aveng, two massive companies that we grew up with, are currently 4 cents, I am advised. How do we get to this position where the industry would probably battle to revive such is the job-bleed? Well, firstly, you steal from the SOE’s and then you take all the taxpayers’ money and spend it on salaries in government and what do you get? People affording millions of t-shirts, but no repairs of sewerage works and no building and maintenance of roads. It’s called selling your childrens’ future and is great for failed-state ignominy.

So am I depressed? No, very upbeat that we have a President who can recognise the problem and before he jets off to the United Nations and presentations to global business leaders, can announce our best shot at economic revival. His intellect, business acumen and sense of resoluteness is just a breath of fresh air. I’ve said many times before, my faith lies way above him, but if you offered me these packages announced this week and the Zondo Commission in November last year, I would have been amazed at your largesse.

Where does that leave us? As Homeloan Junction we work tirelessly to provide a consistency of service and interface with the banks that surpass expectations. We don’t always succeed we’re sure, but we press on. The wonderful thing about business is that one hand washes the other in a virtuous cycle. As I serve you, you serve me and we serve our customers. Together we do more and everyone wins. From a political perspective, we try our best to encourage each other to lose the “noise” and focus on the good in the system. The initiatives above are good by anybody’s standards and we hope they are implemented and bear fruit – jobs, upgrades, service deliveries and municipalities that work again – for all of our People. We will press on and we and we invite you to join us. We’re not Pollyanna’s, we understand the crime and grime, but we are determined to put in a solid day’s work for a well-earned reward, productive in the knowledge that we know what we are doing and we do it well.

Success to you, our readers, as you take the good, park the bad, and move on to success. We appreciate your support.

Yours in Property.

Go Big or Go Home

A bond repayment calculator makes light work of trying to work out what monthly repayments will be required when taking out a bond. It certainly beats frantically scribbling down numbers and firmly thumping your calculator while your blood pressure rises!

Everyone’s dream is to own their own home, but you need to make sure that you can afford the monthly repayments before you take on such a big financial commitment. Mortgage repayments can change from time to time if the interest rate is linked to the prime rate. A financial provider is sometimes agreeable to a fixed interest rate, if this is what you favour. Terms of a home loan are flexible and range from between 20 to 30 years. As this is an extensive time period, one should carefully calculate the affordability of the loan amount you settle for.

To help home owners get the feel of the responsibility attached to taking out a loan we have a bond repayment calculator on our website. This is a tool which bond originators supply to assist a prospective homeowner like you to calculate various mortgage repayments.

Bond Affordability Calculator

A bond repayment calculator will work out the size of the bond you qualify to apply for. By visiting our website you will be able to get an idea of what bond repayments you can afford each month. There are many factors that come into play and which can affect the bond you are offered. The general idea is that the higher your salary, the larger the bond you would qualify for.

However, a person earning a large-numbered salary but having many obligations (debts) could find that they qualify for a smaller mortgage than another applicant earning considerably less but with no serious commitments. This is called the DTI ratio (Debt-To-Income) and is used to calculate how much ‘extra money’ one has after monthly expenses are accounted for. Every person has unique circumstances and requirements and we will treat each application with these distinctive factors in mind.

Bond Repayment Calculator 

What portion of your salary should you spend on a bond each month? This is another situation which will rely purely on individual circumstances.

  • The traditional rule of thumb consideration is mortgage repayments should be no more than 30% of your pre-tax salary. Another conservative view is that it should be not be in excess of 25% of your take home salary.
  • Most banks prefer a deposit before granting a home loan as 100% loans are hard to qualify for.
  • The calculator will give you an idea of what your monthly repayments could be. A different interest rate will alter your monthly payment as will the time period in which you chose to pay it.
  • By paying back more than the stipulated amount, an exceptional difference in the eventual time and amount your home will cost you.
  • We suggest you to play around with numbers on our bond repayment calculator and have your questions ready for us to help you answer.

The Big Picture

Sound advice is to take into account the whole of your housing obligation and not only the mortgage. Your housing budget should include your bond repayment, municipal rates and taxes and home insurance. Do not be drawn into over-extending yourself as what seems affordable today could be very uncomfortable down the line. Children grow up, educational costs increase and perhaps supporting a parent will come into the equation, not to mention maintenance and repairs.

This is a long-term commitment and it is wise to consider all factors. Research residential areas before deciding on a home that is affordable.  Where is there expected growth? Will the location work for the family’s needs?

Place the purchase price, years you are planning to repay the bond in, current interest rate and your expected deposit amount into the bond repayment calculator to get the big picture on what the real monthly mortgage costs will be. Homeloan Junction has a separate calculator to help you ascertain your bond and transfer costs.

Loan – To – Value Ratio (LTV)

Giving financial assistance to home buyers is a risk for the lenders. They want to be sure that their money is repaid, with interest of course, and in the event of any unfortunate circumstances that they are not the ones to lose financially. Therefore the bond you are granted will also be linked to the property you wish to purchase: what it is valued at and what the asking price is. Being able to recover their money is an important consideration.

Smart Thinking

Being cautious does not mean doom and gloom and your dreams flying out the window. Perhaps a little trade-off is all that is needed: buy a smaller home that can accommodate renovations or alterations at a later stage. The cheapest house in the best neighbourhood is an alternative view as you cannot over capitalise and all improvements will add value to your home. Do you have to buy a small home in the newest trendy area? Think about the well-established areas with older homes that have huge rooms, established gardens but need just a little tweaking to make them your dream home.

Use our online bond repayment calculator to see where you stand, and contact us for expert consultation on applying for your homeloan. You can go big on your dreams and go home with the help of Homeloan Junction.

Your in Property

Vincent

Take control of your monthly expenses today! [Free HLJ Budget Tool]

Funny how things happen at the same time!

In this post we will give you our Homeloan Junction Budget Tool and refer to a Moneyweb Today article. The Moneyweb post arrived just as I put the finishing touches to the HLJ Budget Tool. Serendipitous, I would say!

So why the Tool?

Most of us don’t have a budget. We live from hand-to-mouth, month-to-month and while away our time and our money on necessities and fancies. The danger is that as this forms a habit pattern, we wonder where the money’s gone and why there’s so much month. Month after month, year after year, we live as if there is no tomorrow financially. Often, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we take on bad habits in the process – we eat, drink and smoke too much. After all, life is stressful, you know. Then, we may rack up some unexpected medical bills in the process as we get older. All part of life, you know.

6% of South Africans can retire comfortably. In case you wonder about the other 94%, they don’t retire comfortably by level of degree.

What we mean by that is that the next 6 % below the “comfortable 6%”, live a little less than “comfortable”. Starting to experience the world of retirement myself a little, I have family in their 80’s. Retired since age 58, 25 years later they’re finding prices very high. Thank Goodness, they have not squandered their money but things are tight – much tighter than when they retired.

What we learn from this is that retiring with income that rises, or is supplemented with assets that may be sold, is wise financial planning. So, the next 6% behind the second 6%, is probably already not ready to retire at all in South Africa; of a truth, the situation quickly becomes dire and a Government pension of about R1600 per month, rising at 6-7% per annum, does not satisfy even basic needs.

Everything in our beautiful, tortured country points to sadness as we ponder these thoughts. My wife read me an article the other day that said one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to not be a burden to them in your retirement. Oh may that be a simple goal for you when you finish reading this blog!

Get the full Moneyweb article here – MONEYWEB-TODAY-ARTICLE.pdf

Using elementary Excel, I have created a Tool for you to budget. Customise it for your own circumstances and please note that the numbers are just examples, so put your own in.The Tool allows for your Gross Income. It then deducts your direct expenses like UIF, Income Tax etc to arrive at your Net Income Before Expenses.

Then it deducts two kinds of Expenses: Need To Have’s and Want To Have’s. Call them what you want and re-arrange the items as you wish [after all, we need a little retail therapy or entertainment some time J] but just be true to yourself. Question what you earn and what you spend honestly. Commission earners especially project their earnings – like true sales people, they often believe they are going to earn more and spend less than they really do over the long-run. Don’t fool yourself. And, if you really want to test your reality, then commit to an extra amount repaid monthly on your bond and see how good you are at sticking at it.

You can download your copy of this tool here –HLJ-Budget-Tool.xls 

The point is, every few hundred Rands you save in this exercise could literally put you into the top 6% at retirement. And, keep you there.

 Now to the final points……….

1. I am not a financial advisor, so speak to yours and begin to commit to a long-term savings plan. Retirement Annuities, Satrix, DBX’s etc are great vehicles to discipline your savings. And, by the way, remember some Life and Disability cover for those you love, if you don’t make it.

I have tried to teach all financial levels of people the simple fact of compounded interest. By the way, Albert Einstein called it his “most profound” learning. Two elements for now:

  • R100 invested for 10 years and 20 years at 8% is R18294.60 and R58902.04 respectively. The compounding is not a straight line as interest on interest continues to kick in the more you save.
  • The inverse of this, which the Insurance industry correctly calls “the cost of delay”, is that if you want R60000 , then the faster you start saving the less you have to save. R60000 costs you R101.86 over 20 years and R327.97 over 10 years, both at 8%.

2. I am a banker, so back to the tired old truth that your bond is a good place to save. Whatever interest you save is at your bond rate after tax.

For example, at a bond rate of 10%:

Bond: R80000
Years to go: 20
Repayment: R7720.17
Total Paid: R1852841.56
Interest spent: R1052841.56
Payment increase of 20%: R9264.21
Years to pay: 12.83 years
Total paid: R1426688.00

Original total payment less new total payment: R1852841.56-R1426688.00 = R426153.56

SAVING AFTER TAX: R426153.56

Homeloan Junction cares. This blog may seem trite and simplistic to some. To others, it may just be the spark of new financial life. If it touches one life today then the last two hours writing and calculating has been worth every minute.

Yours in Property

Homeloan Calculator

Buying your First Home? Have a look at our Home Loan Affordability Calculator and Get in Touch to see how we can help you –http://www.homeloanjunction.co.za/calculators/affordability

Home Loan Deposit Saving Calculators

Home Loan Deposit Saving Calculator -Use the savings calculator to work out how much you need to save and for how long, to save for a deposit for your home loan. www.homeloanjunction.co.za/calculators/savings

How much interest are you paying?

How much interest are you paying?
Our amortisation calculator shows you how much of your bond installment goes towards interest and how much towards reducing the actual home loan amount – www.homeloanjunction.co.za/calculators/amortization