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Buying a new home

Buying a house requires one to be careful about some of the hidden costs involved

Buying a new home is a big financial commitment. What’s more, there are a number of hidden costs you might not be aware of. In fact, the additional costs of buying a house can be as much as 10% over and above the asking price. Take a look at some of the extra expenses you can expect, and how to prepare for them.

Administration costs

There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into buying a house, and it all comes at a price. Be sure that you have enough in your bank account to cover admin costs such as the deposit, transfer duty tax, transfer attorneys, insurance, bond attorneys and bond administration fees.

Moving up?

If you’re upscaling into a bigger home, be aware that the larger the home, the higher the utility costs. These include everything from rates, taxes and electricity bills to pool and garden maintenance, amongst others. Be sure to put aside some additional funds each month to cover the costs.

Repairs and maintenance

Whether you’re moving into a recently renovated home or more of a fixer-upper, you’re likely to encounter a number of things that need fixing or adjusting. Some of these can be done relatively affordably, while others may be a deal breaker for you. These days, many buyers insist on adding an official home inspection clause to their contracts. This means that you have the right to end the contract if the condition of the house isn’t up to standard according to the inspection report.

 Fittings and fixtures

When it comes to fixtures such as curtain rails, doorknobs, light fittings and so on, it’s a good idea to agree with the seller on what stays and what goes when you move. Make a list of all the fixtures you expect to be included with the sale and ensure that the seller agrees to everything upfront.

Moving costs

Once you’ve purchased your new home and all the paperwork is concluded, you can start preparing to move. If you aren’t moving too far and don’t mind doing the heavy lifting, you could hire a van and do it yourself. But, if you’re going cross country or have a lot of belongings, you may need to hire a moving company. If possible, move in the middle of the month during the week, as the costs are often lower due to less demand.

Buying Off Plan

A great way to cut down on costs is to buy off plan. This means buying a property directly from a developer based on the architectural plans before it has been built. There are a number of benefits to buying a property this way, the biggest being that there are no hefty transfer duties and the deposit can be as low as R2000. Furthermore, bond payments only begin after the property is built, which gives you plenty of time to get your budget in order. Modern developments also use the latest building materials and brand new fixtures, so you won’t have to pay for repair and maintenance for a good few years after moving in.


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