From renting to buying – advice from a RE/MAX agent

With vast experience in sales and numerous accolades under his belt, Stephen Frizelle of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors rightfully earned his place as agent of the month in March.

After spending 15 years in the IT industry both in South Africa and abroad, Stephen was looking for a new challenge that would take him out of the corporate realm, allowing him more time and flexibility to enjoy the incredible lifestyle on offer on the North Coast.

RE/MAX fitted the bill perfectly, giving Stephen the opportunity to indulge his passion for sales in the most rewarding way – by matching families with their dream homes.

Now four years down the line, Stephen is active throughout the Dolphin Coast from Umdloti to Tinley Manor, and he’s accredited in almost all of our local estates, including Simbithi Eco-Estate, Dunkirk, Zimbali Coastal Resort, Hilltop Private Estate, Seaward Estate, Palm Lakes Family Estate as well as the new kid on the block, Brooklyn.

Stephen thrives on personal interaction, holds honesty and integrity as core values, and relishes the energy and unpredictability of the real estate industry.

Thanks to many years around the boardroom table, he’s also an expert negotiator and committed to bringing a new level of professionalism to the industry.

He also believes strongly in navigating his clients through the buying or selling process from start to finish, and is known for going above and beyond to ensure as smooth and stress-free a transfer as possible.

From renting to buying – how to know it’s the right time to make the change

Renting certainly has its advantages, such as allowing the renter the flexibility to move around, but buying a home gives a sense of stability in owing an appreciating asset – in the words of Suze Orman

Although owning a home is a highly rewarding endeavour, it’s a long-term commitment and likely to be the largest investment a person ever makes.

It’s vital that potential homebuyers do their homework and give the decision due deliberation.

Some factors that warrant consideration before making that big decision, are:

Costs involved

Not only the monthly bond repayment, but recurring monthly costs such as utilities, rates, levies and the inevitable maintenance costs.

When leasing a home, one’s costs are generally limited to a fixed monthly rental, sometimes excluding utilities.

Ownership can be considerably more pricey, with unanticipated costs arising.  A buyer should also note which features have a limited lifespan, and might need upgrading or replacing in the future – financial planning is a must where big-ticket items are involved.

Whether the fundamentals of the home are solid

One should thoroughly inspect a property before signing on the dotted line.

Whilst normal wear and tear is unavoidable, be careful of major defects that could cost a fortune to repair.

There may be recourse to recover costs from a seller in certain instances, for example where major defects were intentionally hidden from the buyer, but nobody needs the stress or expense of having to go the legal route just after making such a significant and substantial investment.

Whether there’s potential for growth or change

Life has its twists and turns, and most buyers’ circumstances will change over the years. The chosen home should therefore meet the buyer’s current needs, but also have the potential to make changes or expand, as new babies arrive, family members move in or out, home offices are called for, and so on;

That the home is the right home

It may not have a swimming pool or killer outdoor entertainment area, but certain features are vital and certain others are ‘nice to have’. If the home ticks the priority boxes, and the buyer is willing to compromise on the extras (that they may otherwise have in a rental property), then the time may be ripe for making the switch from renting to buying.

Whether the chosen home is in the right area

This will vary from buyer to buyer, with considerations such as security and school-catchment being top of mind. Also, certain areas are generally considered more affluent and preferable to others.

If the buyer is not yet financially in a position to buy a home in the right area (but is able to afford to rent a home in that area), it might be best to hold off on the big purchase.

The state of the local and national market

Something which is undoubtedly on the minds of many South Africans given recent political developments, and which obviously impacts on property prices and interest rates.

That being said, people have to live somewhere, and the property market in our area has proven itself markedly resilient and robust, with values more or less holding steady through economic uncertainty.

To contact Stephen call 032 946 0881 or email [email protected]

The North Coast Courier

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