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Property buying at different life stages

Category Market News

As we grow older our needs change and with that, the type of home that is most suitable for us. Here is our advice on choosing the best property at various life stages.

The type of property you own in your 20s probably won’t be suitable by the time you reach your 30s or 40s. Likewise, the family home you bought in your 30s probably won’t suit your needs when you retire. In this article we’ll take a look at the various stages of your property life and advise you on the best way to get the most out of your investment, no matter what life stage you are in.

Buying property in your 20s

If you’ve decided you want to buy a home then start saving. Weigh up the pros and cons of buying vs renting and ask yourself if you’d prefer to pay off your landlord’s bond, or your own. Figure out your priorities and give that fancy car a miss if you are serious about owning your own home. Keep debt to a minimum and consider getting a second job to help pay the bills so you can save additional funds. Check your credit rating to ensure you have a clean record and if you do discover that you have been listed, make a plan to settle the debt and clear your name as soon as possible. 

Don’t be too ambitious. Yes, we’d all like to own a swanky apartment in an exclusive block or a palatial home on a large stand, but realistically this is unlikely to be an option for your first buy. Visit estate agents or do an online bond calculation to determine how much you can realistically afford before you begin house-hunting. 

If you’re buying an apartment in a sectional title block, don’t forget to factor the levies into your monthly expenses, and ask to see the books in order to check that the complex is well run and financially viable. Check the rules of the complex before signing an offer to purchase and don’t buy into something that won’t be a good fit.

Ask your agent about the hidden costs involved and make sure you have enough cash on hand to meet those expenses. Remember, these costs could vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the actual price of the home. 

Buying property in your 30s

There are more things to keep in mind by the time you reach your 30s. Space becomes an issue and a growing family generally means you’ll have to find something with a few more bedrooms. However, the size of the home isn’t the only consideration. The area in which you buy is important, and questions like how safe the area is, what sort of schools are nearby as well as accessibility to entertainment and shopping facilities need to be asked.

Just because the bank says you can afford a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to spend to that threshold. Buying something you can barely afford can and probably will cause problems somewhere down the line. Bigger most certainly isn’t better in these circumstances, mainly because the allure of the property will quickly wear off if the only thing you can afford to do after servicing your mortgage is pay the bills. 

Those in their 30s also run the risk of overcapitalising on a property, often in the mistaken belief that they need to be comfortable and they will be staying in the home until they retire. Life happens and people often move out of a property sooner than expected. Attempting to sell a home for a lot more than other properties in the area simply because you’ve gone a little overboard with the renovations can hurt your pocket. 

Buying property in your 40s

According to various experts, this is the time to focus on your lifestyle. It could, depending on the age of your children, be time to downsize as they head off to university, or if you started a family later in life, time to start thinking about schools. Whatever the circumstances, buyers in this age bracket need to focus on their immediate needs and buy accordingly. Those with older children will often travel more and may opt for a lock up and go property. The beauty of downsizing is that this usually frees up more cash because the bond payments are lower. Whatever the circumstances, this is the ideal age to crush that bond. Increasing the amount you pay won’t only shorten the repayment period, it will save you thousands in interest. It’s also time to start thinking of your future and what you plan to do when you retire, and having a fully paid-up asset is most certainly going to help in the long term. 

Buying property in your 50s

To move or not to move? The children have flown the nest and although you have plenty of space when they and the grandchildren come to visit, you probably don’t need all the space of a family home and it could be time to seriously consider downscaling. Once again it’s time to think ahead. Is now the right time to invest in a flat in a block that doesn’t have a lift, or to buy yet another freehold home where security may be an issue? The best advice is to weigh up your options and move into something that will be suitable and safe for the foreseeable future.

Article Courtest Private Property

Author: Lea Jacobs Private Property

Submitted 04 Apr 18 / Views 329