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Top Tips for finding the right property

Top Tips for finding the right property

If you’ve spent any amount of time looking for a property to rent or buy, you’ll know that getting the biggest bang for your buck is no straightforward task. It takes time, research and a bit of property-related savvy to know what to ask and look for when assessing a landlord’s or seller’s offerings.
And, if you happen to be the seller or landlord, you’ll need to keep abreast of what buyers or tenants are looking for in a property (to increase your chances of a sale or securing a tenant) and what the going price is for equivalent properties in your area.

The following are some tips for getting some of this right:

  • Get all your ducks in a row

There are a few things you’ll need to do before being able to buy or rent a property. For example, if you don’t know how much you can actually afford to spend on rent or a bond each month, you won’t necessarily be able to know in which areas to start looking.

Get your budget in order so you have a clear picture of what your fixed and regular expenses are versus your actual income. Are there some luxury items or unnecessary spends you can do without? Look for where can you cut back on expenses so you can save more towards a deposit on your rent or home loan.

In addition, get a credit check. “If you don’t have a good credit score, financial lenders will be less likely to offer you a home loan, and landlords will be nervous to rent their property out to you (out of concern that you’ll default on your payments). Knowing your credit score and affordability are, therefore, two important steps for putting a plan together to be ready and able to rent or buy a property,” says Carla Visagie, National Business Manager at Just Property.

How to get a credit check

Just Property's Credit Check Me service provides you with your personal credit report so that you can know what your current credit profile looks like. If you don’t get a great score, you can then work on improving it ? by paying off debt, removing incorrect information off your credit report or opening credit accounts to provide credit bureaus with a healthier and more active credit history.

“If you are looking to rent, you can then complete our Just Property tenant application form, and upload your FICA documents to get the ball rolling,” says Visagie. “A Just Property agent will show you all the listed properties you can afford to rent, provide you with a lease agreement to sign and get all the paperwork in place for you so you can move in,” she adds.

When it comes to buying a property, you’ll also need to get your credit score, do an affordability check and work on getting a pre-qualification certificate, which you can then use as leverage with financial lenders when applying for a home loan.   

  • Get out there

We recommend you start looking at properties in your price range as often and early as you can. It takes time to build up enough knowledge about a specific area and related property prices to feel informed and equipped enough to put in an offer to purchase.

  • Get a reputable estate agent on your side

“Our Just Property Estate Agents do property evaluations based on systems or tools, such as Lightstone, to compile a comparative market analysis (CMA) so they have a general idea of what the property market is doing in a specific area. They also use area stats and information about sales prices in that area to help price a property,” says Visagie.

An estate agent's experience and industry knowledge are invaluable. According to Visagie, factors they need to consider when pricing a property include:

  • Understanding the current market (supply vs demand; buyer or seller's market)
  • Area / Neighbourhood (caliber of surrounding properties)
  • Location / Security (good schools and amenities nearby) 
  • Condition of the property (well-maintained or neglected; exterior and interior)
  • Renovations / Improvements done to the property (necessity vs luxury)
  • How quickly does the seller need to sell / why they need to sell

“Zoning also has a huge role to play in the pricing of a property, something which an estate agent will also be knowledgeable about,” concludes Visagie.

For more information on credit checks, property evaluations and finding the right property, click here to contact a Just Property Branch near you. 

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