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


4 Brilliant Old School Property Tips

You’re thinking of selling your property, but how will you get the best price? The value of your property is only worth what a buyer is prepared to pay for it at any given time. If a prospective buyer wishes to raise a home loan to purchase your property, the assessors of the financial provider will need to find sufficient value in your property to merit financial assistance. Will they find this value in your property?

Tune In To the Market

Speak to the professionals and obtain an unbiased and professional opinion on the estimated value of your property. Estate agents will possibly be happy to grant this visit and give their evaluation of your property freely.

However, you might have to pay for the professional advice of others you might engage, such as an engineer, if you are unsure of certain existing or proposed new building structures. You will need to ensure that your property is cleared in terms of the certificates of compliance: electrical and termite soundness.

In accordance with the CPA (Consumer Protection Act), all information must be disclosed to a prospective buyer. It would be wise to maintain and repair while living in your home and not to not allow it to deteriorate over time, which could ultimately prove costly.

Good Old-Fashioned Tips for Adding Value before Selling

  • Professional Opinion
    Paying for a consultation with a professional could be well worth the upfront cost and add value when a buyer applies for a home loan. Persons with a trained eye and experience will quickly realise which changes will make an enormous impact. The removal of a wall can create an impression of space and give an updated open-plan appearance to a home, which could translate into a quicker sale at a better price.

    It is advisable to have serious alterations performed by professional workmen. The quality of the repairs will be evident in the time saved and value added to your home.

  • Bathrooms
    Bathrooms and kitchens are the rooms that date a home and are especially important in a selling market. An olive green bath, toilet and basin in a setting of busy brownish coloured tiles, is enough to trigger a bout of depression.

    Entering a bathroom with pristine white porcelain set against neutral light stone-coloured tiles and effectively lighting, immediately creates images of relaxing in a bubble bath, sipping a glass of wine and listening to Andrea Bocelli…

  • Kitchens
    The amount of time spent in the kitchen cannot be denied. Crowded, sad-looking work areas, insufficient light and undersized storage spaces will kill off any Master Chef aspirations in anyone.

    Repaint the cupboard carcass but think about replacing the doors. If the doors are wooden perhaps sanding them with a fresh coat of varnish will restore the original glow. Textured paint finishes were the trend a while ago; but today consider having a white, or neutral coloured, coat of paint professionally applied to the cupboard doors.  The state of the counter tops should also be taken into account.

    It might be prudent to allow certain appliances that have custom-built spaces, such as a really large double-door fridge, to remain as an added incentive to the buyer. Besides, it would probably be difficult to accommodate it in your new home.

  • Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
    This is a proverb which should take you back to your old school days when you had to learn lists of sayings, and it is brilliant advice when selling a property. Nothing comes close to discouraging a buyer as does dirt, clutter and bad odour.

    Firstly, pack away the clutter. Yes, you have been meaning to get to it, but now is the time to do it. Sell it; give it away or if you are unsure: pack it up, hire a storage garage and put all “clutter”, including excess furniture, out of sight. The importance of visual space cannot be over emphasised. Your home will be lighter, brighter and appealing without subjecting buyers to visual overload.

    Why does your home smell old and musty? Is there damp to be dealt with; do the carpets need to be removed or is it too crowded with furniture, books and belongings? If the task appears daunting, hire an interior decorator or professional cleaners for help.

    You will be given advice on how to put your space and furniture to effective use. Professional cleaners will not only pack away excess goods but will bring in a cleaning team and soon have your home fresh and sparkling.

  • De- Personalise Your Home
    The truth of the matter is that others are not as interested in your special mementos, family photographs and Aunt Susan’s grotesque ‘silver’ vase you keep so as not to offend her. Your prospective buyers will want to imagine themselves in the home, adding their own personal touches, valuables and belongings.

An opinion is formed within the first few seconds of contact. This is true, especially when viewing a property. A beautiful approach and entrance to a property will win anyone over leaving them anxious to discover more. A tidy, well laid out and cared for garden is an asset to work on. A well-presented clean home with a wow entrance and approach will be a sure winner in acquiring a home loan for the property you have fallen in love with.

Estate Agents you can help Your Buyer Qualify for a Home Loan by asking them to get prequalified. Get in Touch with Homeloan Junction for more details about our homeloan options.

Yours In Property



Buy-to-Let Home Loans

Buy-to-let home loans are the smart way for South Africans to invest for their future. Buy an investment property while your children are young and when their college-time for comes around, you can borrow against the investment property to help finance their education. When the home loan is fully paid up, you will not only have a property but also additional income every month.

The way to make money on a house is to buy it and keep it for a long time.  It is a lucrative way to supplement your retirement income. Because:

● someone else’s money is helping to buy your investment property;

● when the loan is paid off, the property and the growth value is yours;

● a property can be used as a tax deduction;

● besides the maintenance, it is a relatively unencumbered investment with excellent growth over time.

Getting a Buy-to-Let Home Loan

A successful buy-to-let investment begins with thorough investigation into buy-to-let home loans. If you do your homework and seek the support and advice of an experienced estate agent or bond originator, you will likely do well.

The less it costs you to borrow the investment money the greater your profit will eventually be. The way your taxes are structured will play a role in your margin of profit. Consult with your tax accountant before making any final decisions.

Begin By Researching On Your Own

A buy-to-let home loan is an investment strategy that is growing in popularity with South Africans. If you think property sounds like a promising investment for you search for a buy-to-let home loan lender on the Internet. There are calculators you can use to find answers to preliminary questions.

Questions such as: how much you can afford to invest in a rental property; is a down payment required; what the interest rate will be; the term over which the loan will run; if the loan can be repaid over a shorter period without incurring penalties.

Study the Real Estate Market

There is certain criteria to look for in an ideal real estate investment property. If you look at small to medium sized single-family homes, use this checklist:

  1. The house should be in good condition. It is okay to refresh the paintwork and the landscaping but you do not want to spend money on expensive refurbishments to a rundown house.
  2. The wise choice of house is not the most expensive on the street. The least expensive would be preferable because you will realise increased value if the nearby properties are expensive.
  3. Check the selling history of the neighbourhood. Have prices gone up or down over the last ten years? You want to see a steady increase.
  4. Your investment property will be attractive to many tenants if it is near schools, parks, a shopping centre and public transport. A stable and safe neighbourhood is a priority.
  5. Check the average rental of homes in the area to help determine the possible monthly return on your investment.

It is advisable to view and research several different areas. A real estate agent would likely be helpful in your investigation and save you some time. This is especially true if you decide to invest in commercial property instead of residential. Comparisons will require extensive investigation.

How do Your Numbers Compare?

When you pre-qualify yourself for a buy-to-let home loan, you find out how much you can afford to borrow for an investment property. You will also discover how much the loan repayments will be every month. These will differ according to the interest rates and loan term.

You will need to juggle the advantages of larger repayments over a shorter period – resulting in an overall eventual saving – opposed to a lower affordable monthly repayment over a longer period.

Part of the equation will be whether you can expect to receive a rental to offset the monthly buy-to-let home loan payment.

This exercise will tell you whether an investment property is the right decision for you at this time.

The Right Decision for You?

In South Africa, the buy-to-let loan market is at an all-time high. Rent with capital growth has become a favoured choice for additional retirement income since the returns on traditional annuities and endowments have proved inadequate for retirees to live comfortably.  It is somehow reassuring to be able to drive by, look at and or even touch your investment.

Property is as valid as any other investment asset. Over the last few years property asset investments have outperformed many other assets investments. Banks are well prepared to help investors with the purchase of buy-to-let residential and commercial properties. Would this be an investment choice for you?

Yours in Property,


Inside Tips on getting your homeloan approved first time

Let’s face it, particularly in the South African context; securing a homeloan in order to purchase your first home can be quite scary. Do you even qualify? Most men and women dream of settling down and starting their own family and to have their very own home in which to do this. The bad news is that the challenges of meeting the criteria as a first-time and successful applicant have increased. Does this mean you won’t qualify?

Here are 5 insider tips to help you to secure the homeloan that will help you buy your dream home:

Tip #1 Create a Record of Good Standing
Many first-time applicants have had their home loan application rejected. Why? The problem lies in the fact that young applicants have no credit record and history of their ability to pay promptly and consistently. So, in spite of having saved for a deposit with the bank, you may not be able to secure that homeloan simply because you have no other loans. Before making an application, spend some months creating a good credit history by paying smaller loans on time, like your cell phone or clothing accounts.

Tip #2 Generate Financial Discipline
While the country’s leading lending institutions and major estate agents warned against this, the government under Thabo Mbeki was determined to and ultimately succeeded in relaxing credit access rules and lending criteria. There are two ironies in this. One; Mbeki’s Minister of Finance (who did not have jurisdiction over these rulings) was openly opposed to the relaxing of previously prudent credit rules. Two; while the banks were initially sceptical when the laws were quickly passed, they obligingly processed new applications and granted them. This proved to be a disaster waiting to happen. The trick is to have financial discipline – don’t accept just any offer of credit. Make sure that you can afford the repayments first. This way you won’t be in any danger of being blacklisted.

Tip #3 Make Formal Inquiries with Home Loan Junction
Today, the homeloan application process is relatively simple and straightforward, and most South Africans with access to computers, laptops, mobile devices and the internet, can self-test while completing a pre-application. Correctly, banking criteria still prefer the first-time applicant (or any applicant for that matter) to make a formal application and ideally with one of our officials in person (although the application can, in certain instances, be made online). Invariably applicants are reminded of, or advised on what records and documentation are required to make inroads towards a successful application.

Tip #4 Ask About Options and Opportunities
In reaction to the disastrous effects of the relaxation of credit lending criteria, the government initiated new legislation which saw the founding of the National Credit Regulator which essentially acts as a watchdog for both clients and lenders. This has also made the homeloan application process more difficult for many applicants. But, today there are still companies, particularly new entrants to the personal and home lending markets, arguing in favour of more flexible, merit-based and opportunistic rules. Their argument is sound because if more people have access to credit within the parameters of properly regulated checks and balances, of course, the country benefits economically as a whole.

Tip #5 See What You Can Afford
Let it be known that all is not lost for new applicants. Homeloan Junction leaves them with some clues on how to go about securing their homeloan successfully. As a bond originator and not a traditional lender, We promises a speedy delivery of services ideal for helping you plan ahead of time. The emphasis is also on savings and tools which are available online to help you assess affordability and whether you qualify for a first-time loan. We also offer innovative alternatives to traditional bonds which could see you paying far less in the long term and also paying off your loan over a shorter period of time.

Tip #6 And Learn How Much You Can Save
For more information on whether you meet all criteria and what you can do next, you can contact Homeloan Junction directly online. Our service and advice is free.  Blog posts on our website have important information on what influences first-time home buyers.

In view of all the challenges, expectant applicants should have realistic objectives. With enough information on the home buying process, and with online calculators at their fingertips, there is no reason why South Africans cannot plan and succeed in buying their home at their first attempt.

Part of our service entails good advice based on experience and qualifications. Talk to Homeloan Junction today about how you can successfully secure your loan. We have contact with banks and conveyancers and knowledge of the products, and various credit terms available to advise you of all the options which will best serve your requirements.

How better to serve your needs than to approach a company who will, on your behalf, motivate and negotiate one of the most important deals of your life? Homeloan Junction is a one-stop service complete with efficiency and convenience at the tips of your fingers.

Yours in Property

Interest rate hike comes as no surprise

This week’s interest rate hike comes as no surprise.

This statement, not in the sense that I think we should have it, but simply that the matter is so “on the fence” that the decision could go either way in any of the MPC meetings. The SARB is faced with horrible decisions because GDP growth is pathetic and nothing exists on the horizon to change the situation. You get the feeling that the world economy is moribund as the USA growth story is so fragile and based on the billions of printed Dollars, whilst the China story has been coming for some time and now that it has hit, seems obvious and irreversible in the medium-term [make that 3-5 years]. The impact of both on South Africa is direct and inescapable – the USA is needed for global growth particularly amongst our leading trade partners and we critically need China to buy our primary commodities [frankly, so do Australia and many other so-called development economies, in Africa, Asia and South America]. The Rand is weak and we sit with the Rating agencies’ threat of junk bond status hovering like Damocles’ sword over our national head.

Talking about our “sword of Damocles”, according to Wikipedia:

“Damocles (literally: “fame of the people”) is a figure featured in a single moral anecdote commonly referred to as “the Sword of Damocles”, an allusion to the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. The Damocles of the anecdote was an obsequious courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a 4th-century BC tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily. According to the story, Damocles was pandering to Dionysus, his king, and exclaimed to him that he was truly fortunate as a great man of power and authority, surrounded by magnificence. Dionysius then offered to switch places with Damocles so that Damocles could taste that very fortune first-hand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the king’s proposal. Damocles sat down in the king’s throne surrounded by every luxury, but Dionysius arranged that a huge sword should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by a single hair of a horse’s tail. Damocles finally begged the king that he be allowed to depart because he no longer wanted to be so fortunate, realizing that with great fortune and power comes also great responsibility (and danger). “

The decision to raise the Repo rate is as tense. We are told that the USA has to raise rates at some stage so as to protect inflation in that country from raising its head as growth rates rise. In addition, there is justifiable concern that not signalling a rise of interest rates will over-stimulate the propensity of the American public to spend on credit. Many consider that the rise of the rate will occur later this month partly to curtail overspending for Christmas. For SA Inc, this means that money will be invested in the Dollar and our currency will weaken further. Roll on R15 to the US$ which will have its own impact on our inflation and require rate rises to temper it. Not pretty by any means. But remember to see the interest rate rise in relative and not absolute terms. When it started, our Repo rate was 5% and the 0.25% absolute increase was a 5% rise in interest cost. This rise, off a base of 6% was absolute 0.25% but only a 4.2% rise in interest cost. The Prime rate is still below 10%, psychologically in  single digit territory. To put it in monetary terms with which we may better identify, a R1m bond just became R164 per month more expensive with a total of R807 per month in total since the upward rate cycle began, which is 2% and 9% relative increase in interest costs, respectively. Necessary? If the USA rate rises, yes; if not, then no, too much too soon in a struggling economy.

However, don’t lose heart. The increases are really well controlled and pre-emptive. In the figure below you will note how interest increases have been cone-shaped in the past – steep and effective but with the risk of collateral damage. In the recent rate increases, much circumspection has gone into grasping the nettle early but not squeezing the life out of the economy.

South African Repurchase Rate

With this background, I was struck by a Moneyweb article by Patrick Cairns on 20 November 2015, titled, South Africa needs a “Modi moment”.

We have a great country, tortured yet beautiful. We have people with a will to stay here and continue to make it greater. We need leadership in every sector but are blessed with good examples in the property industry. Our estate agencies, originators, developers and property funds are world-class in many respects. So we in property are truly blessed. Homeloan Junction is proud of its place in the tapestry of the industry, small but well deserved.

Yours in Property

To Buy or not to Buy? How to make the choice right for you…

I have been trawling the property information keeping myself up to speed with developments. There is a gloom in the economy, but fortunately the property sales and mortgage business is not in the doldrums. Affordable housing has looked good for years and developments continue in many areas of the country. It has probably been the manner in which the SARB has guardedly raised rates that has keep the property market on an even keel. Let’s hope it stays that way; boom and bust is disruptive and we cannot afford disruption in a national asset being Residential Housing.

The question often comes up, especially from First-time Homebuyers, is this the right time to buy? In other words, To Buy or not to Buy? – that is the question.

The answer is always the same for me: Do you think the cost of building is going to go down? If the answer is Yes, then wait. If the answer is No, then buy. Let’s explore this issue in a bit more depth.

Inflation, on a global scale, has been kept in check very nicely. Some of the major countries, Japan noteably, have reduced interest rates to historic levels on the back of close-to-zero inflation. Costs of production have been driven down by the Asian countries and currencies have been relatively stable for many years. In the past year or two that has no longer been the case and currency fluctuations and even devaluations, have become the norm. As we’ve mentioned before, thank goodness for the low oil price.  So the inflation story sounds quite benign until it comes to building costs. News24, on 20 February 2015 reported, Building costs have continued to increase by more than the average consumer price inflation rate over the past 15 years, according to Jacques du Toit, property analyst of Absa Home Loans. The latest Absa residential building review compiled by Du Toit shows the average building cost of new housing constructed came to R5 828/m² in 2014, which was 12% higher than the cost of R5 205/m² in 2013. The building costs are affected by a number of factors such as building material costs, labour costs, transport costs, equipment costs, land prices, rezoning costs, developer and contractor holding costs and profit margins.

That insight answers the first question and clearly, building costs are not reducing and frankly, seldom have. I guess the question then is, what should I be buying?

Think about the following:

Don’t buy what you cannot afford. The bank will help you with this and strictly test your income and expenditure in terms of well-known affordability guidelines laid down by the National Credit Regulator. Do an affordability calculation to see what you can afford to buy.

Improve or Buy
Buying and selling homes is an expensive affair. As a rule of thumb, knock off 20% – 30% of the price of your new home for costs. Transfer and estate agent commission could already be about 12% and then bond settlement and registration costs and furnishings add to the tally. Improving instead of buying could prove much cheaper and convenient.

What to buy
If you’re going to buy, buy wisely. For normal family living, close to shops and schools, proximity to work, sport and social events makes eminent sense. Remember, what you like or don’t like as a normal consumer probably counts for many others’ opinions as well. It may be cheaper next to the highway but probably all the b
uyers agree that you can’t hear yourself talk in the garden. Then, if you can afford it, take some advice from my late Uncle – there are two strips of land that are scarce, along the coastline and along the top of a mountain range. Houses in these two places carry and hold a premium in the long run. I am also a proponent of secure estates and, in particular, golf estates. Secure estates for the obvious reason of enhanced security but golf estates, in addition, give you lifestyle for the family. And remember, few additional golf estates are being developed – they are just too expensive and water is becoming a serious problem – thus adding to the scarcity value.

Future plans 
Don’t put yourself through the trauma of moving twice! If you have your eye on emigration, a job in another town or a particular suburb or estate, don’t buy now. Wait until you can settle and then sell and settle in the new environment. By the way, building can be a real pain and you would be a rare person to not have a “builders story” after completing your house. The same can be said for renovation but it is normally on a smaller scale.

Investment or not 
Robert Kyosaki [of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame] is quite right when he says that an asset that does not produce income and requires maintenance and services, is actually a liability. In fact he goes so far as to say, buy and rent a factory and let the factory buy the house from nett rent. But most of us don’t live there and we get great pleasure from owning a property and knowing it is the domain of our family. For this reason, the comments about What to Buy become really important. You would at least look to capital appreciation to offset the costs when you sell the property so choose the Location well. This section particularly applies to “that little house at the sea”. Truth is that we could do well, in most cases, to rent or use a guest house for our holidays, rather than battle financially to pay off a second home.

If you think you can afford it, buy now. Be wise and look around. Consider all your options and do your best to think ahead a few years. But, I would posit, do not delay too long if you can afford to buy now.

And always remember Homeloan Junction is there for you. Dealing with us is free. Yes, you read right – free. And we’ll back that mortgage service up with sound advice and expert knowledge.

 Yours in Property.

Five good reasons to go with a real estate agent

While a real estate agent can’t cut through the red tape with regards to securing a homeloan, they can most certainly facilitate the home buying process so that it is as smooth and painless as possible. They have the skills, the resources and the experience to help make the process so much easier. This is particularly important for first time home buyers and for those purchasers who are dependent on the sale of their current house in order to afford a move up the property ladder.

1. Choices, Choices, Choices

As an expert in the real estate market, a real estate agent can assist you, the buyer, in finding a property that best suits your ideal location, size and needs at the most favourable terms. A good real estate agent will go to the effort of establishing the price range you can comfortably afford and not take you to view properties you can’t afford.

A real estate agent will usually work in a specific residential area and will therefore be familiar with logistics such as the positioning of a prospective home in relation to schools, shopping facilities, access routes and other amenities like medical facilities, bus routes and so on. And as an objective party, the agent can easily spot the strengths and weaknesses of a property. They will be able to highlight aspects of a prospective home that may still satisfy your expectations and needs even if said property does not quite meet all your given requirements.

2. The Duty’s in the Details

When you use a real estate agent to help you buy a property, the agent is legally and ethically duty bound to serve your best interests. This extends to not misrepresenting a prospective property. Your real estate agent is obliged to make you aware of any and all information in relation to the property including disclosing any defects the property may have. This said, should you have any doubts, it might be worth calling in an expert structural advisor as certifying your prospective home’s construction falls out of the purview of your agent. Full disclosure also covers any potential zoning issues your agent is aware of such as plans to build a three-storey apartment block on a neighbouring property as this could dramatically, and negatively, impact on the future value of your new home.

3. Help with your Homeloan Application

When you have made the ‘big’ decision, a good real estate agent can advise you on making a reasonable and market-related offer on your ‘dream’ home. If you’re in agreement, your agent will complete the obligatory ‘offer to purchase’ form on your behalf. Your estate agent can also assist with the homeloan application process; they all have long standing relationships with Bond Originators like Homeloan Junction.

4. Negotiating the Paperwork

The home buying process is complex and there is a great deal of paperwork involved. Once your offer to purchase has been accepted and your homeloan is secured, your real estate agent will guide you through the remaining purchasing hurdles and help you cross the finish line. Your Estate Agent will be with you until the sale is successfully closed and your new property is officially registered with the Title Deeds office.

5. Communication Counts

When you have a real estate agent helping you with the home buying process, you not only benefit from their expertise and knowledge; you get someone in your corner who will keep you informed through every step of the home buying process and be there for you in the event of problems with any aspect of the process. This goes a long way to alleviate the stress and risk involved in making such a critical financial commitment. Practising clear and open communication prevents misunderstandings and messy disputes down the line and is in the best interest of the agent whose reputation is at stake if he/she is marked as disreputable. After all, the agent doesn’t want what should be an exciting and positive experience for you to be tainted by buyer’s remorse.

Yours In Property


3 Steps to master staying Motivated in our Economy

In this blog I was going to write about the economy. But I have decided to talk about a few aspects of motivation.

One thing about the economy and the circus in parliament, is that we always need to be motivated. We who awake to a new month every month, must somehow understand what’s going on and then lift ourselves above the negative and move on. I like John Loos, FNB’s Property Economist. I have known him for many years as a good writer, extremely well researched and with a sense of humour. He wrote this month in the FNB Property Barometer:

“Some minor increase in economic growth in 2015 is not expected to provide any meaningful boost for residential demand growth in a slowly rising interest rate environment. While nominal house price growth may be slightly stronger in 2016, compared to 2015, this would be due to higher CPI and wage inflation next year and not necessarily due to market strengthening.

Rather, one should look at our real house price growth forecast, where house prices are adjusted for CPI inflation, to see our forecasts of weakening residential demand growth through 2015 and 2016 being reflected. Here, we expect a turn from positive average real house price growth for 2015 to negative real price growth in 2016.

Let’s make no mistake, the indicators still point to mediocrity at best.”

In turn, Barclay’s forecast of interest rates is that they will rise in September but as early as July 2015, from 9.25% to 10.50% by the end of next year.

What all of this is saying to you and I is that 2015 lacks lustre but is pretty good under the circumstances. 2016 will appear slightly better as GDP rises but inflation and rising interest rates will probably push things a little lower – hence the words: “mediocrity at best”.

But the great thing is that we have a task to wake up to. Some would say you don’t choose Property, Property chooses you. If that seems true in your life, then here’s some thoughts to take with you.

3 Steps to Master staying Motivated in our Economy:

  1. Look Up. Psychologists and Neuroscientists will all tell you that Looking Down is sure to take you down. The only time you look down is to gain perspective. Lift yourself out of the current pressure, step back from negativity, take a helicopter view and assess what is preventing you from success and motivation and then Look Up. The period you look down and around you is to understand what’s going on, what the causes are or may be, what you are allowing to control your life and how you may begin to arrest control again. Looking down is for perspective – is Eskom really that bad? Is South Africa really going to the dogs? – and then armed with the new truth, you begin the actions and the self-talk that take you back to positivity and motivation. That implies you Look Up. So what happens when you do? Well, faith begins to flow in your veins. If you are spiritual, you will know exactly what I mean. If you are less so, you will begin to “confirm” what is good and can still be counted a blessing in your life and in your country. You see, it is the action of taking the reality and then deciding the path through it, that is motivating. It is Action that casts our Fear, it is Desire that replaces Fear. You cannot deny how you feel but you can decide to not allow your feelings, often expressed as Fear or Negativity, to control your actions. Feelings are not inane, they have life and energy – one lecturer in my Executive Coaching diploma said “feelings are as good data as sales graphs.” The only question is how do you order your “feelings”, how do you take grip of them and allow their energy and “tingle on your skin” to drive you to success. Look Up is not so much a mighty action to Permanent Motivation but rather a day-by-day attitude to make the best and be the best you can be. Like a good golfer or tennis player, you look at those around you only to gain insight, to learn, to propel yourself and your game to new heights.
  2. Make Choices. There is a wonderful saying: “You make the choice and then the Choice Makes You.” How true! How many times do we look back and wish our choice had been different? But on the other hand, how many times do we look back and see the power and the sense of direction in our choices? Encourage yourself with those events that have been as a result of your choice and have turned out well. The lovely thing about Choice is that the one you make today is the one that sets the new direction. I struggle to say that your future is solely in your hands and you can create your future – I leave much room for the will of God. But it is undeniable that when a good choice has been made, it has changed the course of my life for good. Choices of who to marry, which company to work in or leave, what to study, what business to pursue, have all affected our lives and made them what they are. If the choices we have made in the past are so powerful to have brought us to this point, then why are the choices we decide on today not just as powerful? And things we must remember: Big choices are often disguised as small – what you eat is who you are, exercise is beneficial and taking some “me time” strengthens you – tiny things that when consistently applied, can change the way you think and who you become over time. Secondly, making a choice is Taking a Risk. I like to talk about the law of Unintended Consequences. Just like Murphy’s Law [if something can go wrong, it will], unintended consequences will occur – after all, you are just human and you cannot see everything that can happen. Making a choice often involves risk-taking. The challenge is not to stop making choices, the challenge is to manage the risk. Do that as part of your decisioning, do that as you transition from one state to another, and then be prepared to do that as your choice unfolds through action and execution. Risk is not risk because it does not exist for the fearless entrepreneur [yes that’s you every month, my successful homeloan consultant and estate agent!], risk is not avoidable, it is only to be managed.
  3. Choose Your Company. It is the people we mix with and spend time with that define who we become, what we believe, what we consider as important and how we progress. That cynic, the person who with sarcasm makes some people laugh, the demotivators who complain all day and live here anyway, the guy who is unfocused and complains about the state of the market – all of them have more of an impact on us than we choose to believe. I listened to JP Landman last week as he spoke about removing the “noise” so as to see what is really happening. On Kyknet, he had previously described himself as a “Rational Optimist” – he sees the reality and then sees the hope for a brighter future. Needless to say, it was refreshing for me. Sometimes seeing politicians turn the gravitas of parliament into the colourfulness of a circus, sometimes sitting in load-shedding is not “romantic”, sometimes, well, I’m not as optimistic as I should be.. but then I am in the company of a man who provides tangible proof that “things are not that bad” and my spirits lift. When you’re feeling the stress of the market, when cash flow looks bleak, when relationships falter, when flu strikes, when illness besets you – look at the company you’re keeping. Do those people motivate and encourage you? Do they make you laugh until your belly wobbles? Do they inform you, guide you, express an honest opinion, avoid advice and let you think things through yourself? Find these people, mix with them and see the difference. And, by the way, BE ONE FOR OTHERS.

Motivation is not a feeling, motivation is an action. Homeloan Junction says to all of those that share a common view, Look Up, Make Choices and Choose Your Company – it may just be the antidote that changes the course of your life.

Yours in Property.