How to Protect Yourself When Buying the Home of Your Dreams

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The average monthly rental in South Africa has increased by 6.25 percent in the last year, which makes monthly rental costs exceed ZAR 757. With prices of rent skyrocketing, many people are trying to get the lowest price possible on their dream home. However, this also means that rental scammers are trying to take advantage of the competitive market. To empower yourself and buy the home of your dreams without any hiccups, you should consider these helpful tips.

Do Your Research Before Contacting a Landlord
South Africa has 2 million Internet users and an internet penetration rate of 54 percent. Therefore, many rental searches are done online. As you know, not everything you see online can be taken at face value. So, conduct your research to find out all you can about the rental agency, landlord, and home. Do a reverse google image search to see if the picture of the home has been posted anywhere else, or google search the home address. This will give you a good indication of whether the landlord actually owns the home or not.

Never Give Anyone Money Before Seeing a Home
A good landlord will never ask for you to place a deposit on a home without showing it to you. If someone does request money prior to a visit, it may be because the home isn’t real. You always want to take a tour of an apartment or house to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you want. You may also want to take pictures of the home for future records.

Get Everything in Writing
If the landlord offers you the option to contact him/her via phone or email, always choose email. This allows you a paper trail in case something does happen, and provides you written evidence of any agreements. This should also be taken into account when picking movers for your new home as well. Be sure to get any prices and quotes in writing so that they can’t change the price later on, or take your furniture hostage. In general, you should get any business deals in writing so that you have any evidence in case you need to reach out to a lawyer.

Only Take Advice from Credible Sources
If you take out a loan for your apartment or home, you will most likely want to consult financial advisers to ensure you’re getting the best deal. These advisers will help you afford the home of your dreams and give you the information you need to finance everything you want. However, not everyone offering help is a credible source. Loan fraud tends to occur between people that know each other, such as family members and friends. Therefore, only take advice from credible loan advisers and do your research to ensure they are licensed and trustworthy.

The housing market is extremely competitive right now and that can be stressful for anyone. However, take your time and do your research so that you can own the home of your dreams.

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