Friday, 31 October 2008

Top 5 buyers tips for a declining real estate market!

Goooooooooooooooooooood Morning South Africa......

For those of you visitors who aren't native to South Africa, we used to have a TV show in the mornings (the apartheid days) where we all used to sit around the television and wait for the first morning show to start at 6:00 am (i think) called "Good morning South Africa", just thought I'd add my little "Gooooooooood morning Vietnam" twist to it...!

Before I carry on with my "5 safest buys in a economy that's taking a beating" post, I just wanted to say that I'm tired of people feeling sorry for themselves. I'm tired of people being unhappy in these gloomy times and I think it's time that people realised that even if it's a GLOBAL meltdown of world economies that we might be experiencing, there's always light at the end of the tunnel, and I think it's times like these that we all need to stick to friends and families and see the positive side to life! MONEY is not EVERYTHING!

So, smile, be merry & we're going to try and help you do that by giving you 5 tips for buying properties in a tough economy. Remember, when economies are down, people need money, this means bargaining skills and patience are the keys to scoring that ultimate real estate investment.

We have one advantage to our interest rates being so high. Those people that bought houses that they couldn't actually afford, are the people that are going to have to downscale (no offense to anyone but it's the truth). It means they're going to have to sell, or their properties are going to be repossessed. However, with times like these the banks aren't granting home loans. This is resulting in a massive influx of houses going on auction.

TIP 1: Keep your eye our for auctions, BIG BIG BARGAINS.

Think about your property before you buy it, think about the location. Everyone needs schooling. So why not buy around close to a school or educational facility like a varsity or college? It means you can save money by allowing your kid to walk to school. It's also a very safe buy because generally, prices of house around schools don't decline. I bet a piece of real estate next to Harvard or Cambridge is worth a fortune :)

TIP 2: Buy close to a school or educational facility.

Deposit, Deposit, Deposit... Make sure, that you have enough money to pay a 10% deposit PLUS cover the registration and transfer costs on a property. With banks being as tight as a ducks backside at the moment, it's imperative that you put down a 10% deposit. In fact, most banks are probably going to end up offering 90% loans by the end of the year.

TIP 3: Put down 10% deposit and cover bond + registration costs

World Cup 2010, tourism boom!!! Where are the stadiums? Where are the tourist hangouts and places to be for travel industries throughout South Africa. Do I need to say more on this topic? Let me give you a hint, Cape Town - Seapoint & Greenpoint seaside apartments. You will not get a better return on rental investments anywhere in the world. Greenpoint stadium is right up the road, Waterfront is right down the road, and it's central and on the seafront. I'm buying!!!

TIP 4: World Cup 2010 rental market

Use a bond originator to get your home loan. The silliest and most simple mistake you can make when applying for a home loan is to not use a bond originator. The service is free, the admin is ZERO and they'll apply to all the banks on your behalf at NO COST. It's really a no brainer. They know the tricks of the trade and WILL fight for your loan as it's their living!

TIP 5: Use a bond originator when buying property

Hope this helps.
WizardMan Out!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

US set to cut interest rates

Breaking news this morning....
Looks like the US Federal Reserve is set to drop the interest rates by 50 basis points.

This will be one of the biggest rate cuts in US history dropping the interest rate to just 1%.

Will South Africa's reserve bank follow suit? Or are we going to have to sit out the 15.5% interest rate until early next year?

What do you think?

Monday, 27 October 2008

More on ABSA's flexi reserve policy changes


Absa Home Loans has taken a decision to amend the FlexiReserve Comprehensive facility.

The bank’s stance to amend the facility was primarily due to the decline in property values over the past six months. Allowing access to the original loan granted without a validation of the property's value poses an increased risk for both the customer and Absa. As a responsible credit provider, the bank acknowledges that the amendment of the facility will prevent customers from going further into debt, thereby placing their homes in jeopardy.

This means that customers will now access the equity in their home loans differently as of 24 November.

The FlexiReserve Advance/Prepaid option is not affected by this change. Customers may still access the extra money paid over and above their regular instalment. If customers do not have this facility loaded onto their account, it can be loaded by filling in a form at any Absa branch.

Customers can access the advanced/prepaid amount through our mechanisms such as internet banking, cell phone banking, telephone banking, Absa ATMs or any Absa branch.

The Absa FlexiReserve Comprehensive facility enabled customers to withdraw the money already paid off on their Home Loan at any time. Customers can still access these funds until 24 November. Thereafter they will have to apply to do so and will be subject to standard credit criteria and pricing. Successful applications will have the facility re-instated within in 24 hours.

If a customer’s home is worth more than the value of the Absa home loan they took, the customer may apply to increase the value of the loan amount. This is a Absa Further Re-advance option and normal credit criteria and pricing policy will be applied.

Should you have any queries on this facility, please contact us on 0860 111 007 or email

Other Absa home loan articles:

Absa fixed rate lending policy

Absa, no more 100% bonds

Absa international mortgages

Absa home loans, a switched on unit

Thursday, 9 October 2008

SA Interest Rate Cut Looms?

The picture to my left, is because I have been useless... I've neglected my BLOG and neglected you my readers.

So with that little sad thought in mind I've decided to make a little more effort. Take a little more time in writing my BLOGS but giving you, the readers good, unique, fun readable content, that'll make you laugh and smile and cry at times (that's just how things are in the times we face)...

Now that I've made you all cry, lets talk about something a little more interest"ing".

There's been alot of speculation about the interest rate cuts worldwide. As you all have probably heard by now, half the 1st world countries have decided to drop their interest rates by 1% or more. This in an attempt to slow down the economic melt down we're currently facing and of course in an attempt to save markets from crashing along with helping people save money!!!!!!!! OH REALLY!!!!!!

So if this is what was intended, it most certainly has not had positive effects on the GLOBAL economy or on South Africa more specifically. Another thing that interests me, is why South African economists along with our friend Tito Mboweni decided not to drop our interest rates?

Does South Africa have the most advanced banking systems in the world?

We've not felt the knock like the rest of the world, and our banks are still in an ok position.... We're also lucky in the sense that should there every be a need to drop the interest rates dramatically, we've got a whole 15.5% to play with people.... Countries like ITALY where interest rates sit at a cool low 1%, are in trouble.

So, if you're South African and bitching about paying 15.5% interest on your current home loan. Think AGAIN, Think Mcain!!!

WizardMan Out!!!!

Cityscape Dubai - ROCK AND ROLL

So Cityscape 2008 has been a cracker!!

The new Nakheel Tower 1 KM high thats awesome.

All the news daily through the local papers and newsguys

Well if ever you wanted to see what the future holds for the UAE this has to be the event to see.
A pity that sales were not happening on site and were being left for later as the normal frenzy was missing a bit, however last nights after party (sorry invite only) at Mina al Salam was a frenzy on its own finishing at dawn. Well done Cityscape you guys have done a fine job.

Even with Loans being reduced to 75% of sales value and everyone panicking in the world markets, sales are solid, mortgages for serious buyers are on the go and the UAE is cool.
Lastly, if you want to invest in the UAE or Dubai contact Independent Finance to get you a pre-approval and then invest here, they love South Africans!!