06 Oct I Bought a House, and this is all I got…
A few months ago, I did the very adult thing that any adulty-adult could do – besides populating the planet, even that is questionable – and I bought a house. I bought a house.
Let that sink in…
I bought a house.
An only child, very much brought up in a privileged white household, with everything at her fingertips. She buys a house, jumps through the hoops, gives over obscene amounts of money and signs her signature everywhere. I mean everywhere. I signed proof of addresses, papers that had words from a different English dictionary, and even old pieces of paper stuck to keys. I signed till my hand ached. My dad joking in the background that I was now signing over my life.
Now this 69 square foot abode that so aptly forced my independence on me with such force, I spent the first few nights sobbing on the kitchen floor because I didn’t know how to balance the washing machine, or set the correct temperature for my fridge. Overwhelming. I wanted so desperately to go home, where I had a table in the lounge and tables beside my bed and no cripplingly-overly-expensive-tied-into debt.
I moved in, everything was empty, except my bookshelf – because that was the only thing I owned. What do you expect from a newly-thrown-out single female under 30? OK, I wasn’t thrown out, but the nights that followed seemed like I had been set aside, left alone to live my life in whatever way I chose. Even if it included cereal for dinner.
I quickly knew, by some miracle that was not my own, what interest rates were, how to work out levies, where to find the body corporate chairman, and why I had to pay bond fees, on top of more bond fees.
So I chose to buy new. This isn’t ideal for everyone, it is sometimes more expensive, and sometimes it isn’t (you don’t pay transfer fees). If you are looking for a great translator of bond terms, try the SA Home Loans website, What Fees Can I Expect to Pay? So I picked a new flat, ground floor because the rental would be more popular, and the resale much higher. I opted new, because less costs. I went for a complex, because a house would be too big and I would be alone and vastly unsafe, yet is far more expensive in cost and levies – and smaller. These choices come with their own pros and cons. I chose according to what I needed – so it might have been different for my neighbours. It’s no cookie cutter process.
It hasn’t been an easy transition, and all I ended up getting was broke. The type of broke that rappers rap about. As much as people convince I made the right choice, the little voice says, ‘yeah, right!’. I know deep down they are right, correct and have seen and dealt with the world longer than I have. I still weep when the stop order goes off – even six months in, and I hate the body corporate guy, my neighbours dog yaps and my flat is still empty – but I do love every inch of that flat. I do.
Advice (for what it is worth):
- Pick what you want to buy. Remember: you have to live there.
- Buy something that earn money – ground floor, rent-able, modern.
- Have a 10% deposit. It helps banks see you are serious.
- Always set your debt order before the 28th of the month, you won’t pay the interest amount.
- Look around, ask banks to see if they can beat an interest rate.
- Use Ooba Home Loans to help you find a better rate.
- Before you buy, try saving by ‘paying rent’ into a savings account to help with big appliances/moving fees/transfer costs.
- Make the space your own – you aren’t renting. So paint, bash, stick to your heart’s content.
- Remember that it is really worth it. Maybe not in the first five years, but it will be.