In South Africa, the residential real estate industry is geared towards sellers: estate agents represent the interests of sellers, while no one looks after the interests of buyers.
That is, until now. A new National Property Buyers’ Database was recently launched by the same brainchild of Rent2buy and the Attorney Realtor Hub, attorney Meyer de Waal.
Besides enjoying access to a comprehensive free online Home Ownership Course, buyers can also indicate the type of property they want to buy, where they want to buy, and how they intend on financing the purchase. Purchasers can also indicate if they want to buy directly from a property developer, with transfer costs usually included in the sale, or if they have sufficient funds to pay for transfer and bond registration costs.
Whether buyers are first-timers, seasoned investors, or those wanting to upgrade to a new home, every type of buyer is catered for, and has access to exclusive free online tools, such as affordability assessments, credit profile checks, and the ability to upload their important supporting FICA documents. All of this is used to create a comprehensive buyer’s profile.
Personalised buyers’ concierge service
“We realised the dire need for such a service catered to property buyers in a market when every sales agent is chasing after property mandates for sale, and little or none are looking after home buyers,” says de Waal. “Every home buyer has different requirements and budget restraints, and we developed a personalised concierge-type service for home buyers. Every property buyer is treated like a VIP.
“We cater for all types of home buyers, from an entry-level home buyer who may require a government Flisp subsidy, up to a multi-million-rand property purchaser and investor. Our buyers even have access to a financial service which assists those who have had their bond applications denied by a bank.”
With a current database of more than 28,000 interested home buyers spread across de Waal’s various platforms – which have been developed with associate business partners – his team is well placed to have a deep and comprehensive understanding of the needs, financial realities, credit and purchase abilities of home buyers.
“This enables us to guide and assist a home buyer or investor to make an informed decision,” says de Waal. “After all, buying a property is most likely the largest purchase one will ever make and is also the biggest debt one will commit to repaying.”
What if I am not ready to buy?
Buying a home is not a decision anyone should take lightly. Besides the upfront finances required to purchase property – which can cost almost R50,000 for a R1m property – the contract between the bond holder and their bank could have unintended financial consequences down the line. For example, bond holders may not have access to the same amount of credit as they did before buying the home, and they need to be aware of this.
This is why the National Home Buyers’ Database is so special: home buyers who are not financially ready to purchase and own now have access to additional tools and products to assist them.
- Online homeowners’ education courses and information guides
- A free online, paperless bond and affordability indicator
- A free online credit profile check
- Debt and affordability repair
- Assistance with government subsidies for first-time home buyers
- Rent2buy Finance solutions
- Investment calculators – rent vs buying your own property
These homeownership educational and purchase improvement tools have already been proven in the market, successfully introduced to a database of a leading property group and its tenant database of about 11,000, as well as to some 3,700 employees of a leading commercial bank.
“We have developed similar bespoke educational and Fintech tools for more than 15 stakeholders in the property sector already,” says de Waal.
Avoid paying thousands more on your home loan
What buyers don’t always realise is that their home loans – while seemingly affordable on a month-to-month basis – are the most expensive costs of buying a property.
“Your home loan can cost you up to 32% more with just a 2% interest rate added to the prime lending rate (currently 10%),” says de Waal. “A bank may add up to 2% to the prime lending rate to compensate for the risk of lending to a home buyer with no deposit or with a credit score that is not very good.
“Our calculations show that 2% added to prime can cost a home buyer with a R1m bond up to R320,000 extra in repayments over 20 years. The education and home buyers’ guide helps buyers avoid these ‘traps’.”
Alternative finance for home buyers
Excluding the usual bank financing, private funding is also available for home buyers on the National Home Buyers’ Database.
“The recently launched Rent2buy Finance product proved a huge draw card, and in only a few months more than 3,000 new Rent2buy Finance subscribers registered on the Rent2buy Finance subscription platform for a free online Rent2buy Finance assessment,” says de Waal, noting that the Rent2buy Finance product is available for home buyers in the R400,000 to R1,8m price range, and is currently exclusively available in Gauteng and the Cape Town Metropole. “It’s available for both first-time buyers and property investors.”