Buying / Step-by-Step Guide / Types of Properties / Checklist / Estate Agents / Expenses / Required Documents

Step 1: Calculate your budget

You need to sit down and calculate your monthly income and expenses. Be honest with yourself and don't leave anything out. Remember that if you buy a property you might "save" in other places, e.g. you will not be paying rent anymore so you need to take that into account. But you will have to pay insurance, water and electricity, etc and you need to take these "new" expenses into account.

All the major banks have calculators on their websites that will assist you in calculating the maximum bond you will qualify for. These calculators almost always include other costs associated with your bond as well. Remember that you need to have money available to pay bond registration fees, transfer duties, property evaluation fees and legal fees. See our section on Property Expenses for more information.

Step 2: Start looking

Now that you know what you can buy for you can start looking for a property. It is important to decide what type of property will suit your needs, how many rooms you will need as well as the location and distance from your work as well as the schools. There are lots of websites where you can look for property or you can contact an estate agent or simply get in your car and take a drive. Remember to take your digital camera with you to take pictures of interesting looking places. This checklist will also assist you in remembering all the details. Make sure that your estate agent is registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board before dealing with him or her.

Step 3: Offer to purchase

So you've found your dream property! In most cases the owner or estate agent will ask you to sign an Offer to Purchase (basically stating the conditions under which you are prepared to buy the property). If you don't have an approved or existing bond you need to make sure that everyone understands that you buying the property is subject to you getting a bond. Make sure this is also stipulated in the Offer to Purchase.

Read the Offer to Purchase very carefully because, once signed, you are legally bound to the transaction. Cross out empty spaces and initial next to all amendments. Make sure that all verbal undertakings are also written in the Offer to Purchase.

Step 4: Beg for money

You might be in a position to have money available to buy the property straight away. Alternatively you will have to approach an institution for finance. It is important to remember that the type of property you want to buy will affect what the bank will require from you. See our page on required documents for more information. Remember that the bank will also do a property evaluation, credit checks, etc before committing to anything. Now is also a good time to discuss an access bond with the consultant at the bank - you might need the funds later.

Step 5: Sold!

You will be informed in writing that your bond has been approved. You will need to sign a lot of documentation and this usually takes place at the office of an attorney. All the documents will now be forwarded to the deeds office.

Step 6: Ready to move?

You can now move in (see our section on moving for more help). If you move in before the property is registered on your name you will most likely pay occupational rent. This can be quite heavy and you need to speak to the seller before moving in. You will start seeing bond repayments go off from your bank account as well. It is important to never get behind with your bond - at the first sign of repayment difficulties you need to speak to your bank. If you can afford it you will save a lot of money by paying a little bit extra each month.

Step 7: Want to change a few things?

Back on the homepage you will get more information on decorators, gardening, pools, furniture, appliances and everything else you will need to make this your dream home.