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First-time buyer: what to do if you are not ready to buy

Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting concept – as a result, some people choose to delay the purchase until they are well prepared.

The problem is that property prices keep appreciating over time. For example, the repo rate has increased by 3.5% since 2020, from 3.5% to 7% to date, with another expected increase coming next week.

The longer a buyer delays getting into the market, the more expensive it will become. Unlike renting, buying real estate will allow individuals to climb the property ladder over time – even if it is a starter apartment.

There are several common reasons why first-time buyers delay entering the market:

  • Buyers do not realise how much they could qualify for in home finance.
  • Buyers are unsure of all the costs of making a real estate purchase.
  • The process of buying seems overwhelming and complicated.
  • They feel they will have to compromise too much based on what they can afford.  

The solution to many of these problems starts with an appointment with a local real estate professional. After one appointment with a reliable expert, who can provide some information and advice on the matter; you might feel more comfortable with the buying process.

I would also advise that a potential buyer looks for a property for lease that has a "right of first refusal" option. This is a contractual right to enter a transaction with a person or company before anyone else can, for example, should the property owner want to sell; they will allow the tenant to make the first offer before they consider offers from any other potential buyers.

This will allow the buyer to get accustomed to some homeownership financial and maintenance responsibilities. 

Another option might be to consider a rent-to-own home. Rent-to-own options include a clause in the rental agreement which either gives you the opportunity to buy or an obligation to purchase after a specific time. You make rent payments each month, and some of those payments can or might count toward your down payment. 

Renting to own can be appealing for people interested in owning property but have thus far been shut out of the traditional home-buying process. If your credit score is too low to qualify for a mortgage. A rent-to-buy option can give you time to save and work on improving your credit rating to improve affordability prospects. 

 * For enquiries, text, call or email #yourhomegirl Justina Hamupembe at +264812726001 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Last modified on Monday, 17 April 2023 11:45

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