How to Buy a House in Grahamstown

January 2013

  • Realise that between the two of you; you are actually earning enough to maybe afford to buy a house.
  • Plug in figures into variety of on-line calculators (e.g. Ooba, BetterBond, SAHomeLoans) and figure out what price bracket you fall in
  • Start looking at houses to get a feel for the market and what’s available and at that price point.
  • Start saving like mad.

Late Feb 2013

  • Discover you are pregnant (surprise!) but think that 10 months or so is plenty time to find a home… HA!

April 2013

  • Bemoan the fact that for some reason, house prices are on average higher in G’town than anywhere else in the country. Say and think some bad words.
  • Realise that your really  are not interested in a ‘renovator’s dream’ after being shown a house where a rather large fern was growing out of a crack in the lounge wall

June 2013

  • Grow despondent and sick to death of house hunting because you a.) Have seen nothing that you like; b.) Have seen plenty that you can’t afford
  • Start feeling twitchy as you are starting to accumulate baby stuff, but have no designated baby room. Two junk rooms though…
  • Keep looking

July 2013

  • Find a house that your really like, it’s  sold in about 3 seconds
  • Decide to give it until the end of September and then abandon search for another year and make rental home baby-ready.
  • Keep looking!

2nd August 2013

  • Visit a brand-new-listing with the agent. Tara falls in love with it instantly. John’s not so impressed.

5th August 2013

  • After talking about the house incessantly all weekend, drag a friend round to have a look. A fresh set of eyes.
  • Convince John to ignore hideous paint job and look a the bare bones.
  • Begin dreaming of all the amazing things that could be done.
  • Convince John that we have to at least try. If we get rejected for financing, we can take steps to address that.

6th August 2013

  • Decide to put on big girl panties. Put in an offer. It’s accepted.
  • Fill out the offer-to-purchase paperwork over our 45min lunch ‘hour’.
  • Feel like it was hugely anti-climatic; it shouldn’t be that easy to offer that much money, especially when, um, one doesn’t in fact have that much money!
  • Make a conscious decision not to think about the house/decorating plans/garden plans/paint jobs/swing set placement/paddling pool/rainwater tanks/fencing needed until financing is in place and it’s a signed done deal.
  • Fail at above point.

8th August 2013

  • Paper work countersigned by seller and returned. Hear from lovely lady at BetterBond.
  • Run around like crazy people gathering together all our paperwork as well as explaining slight hiccups like the fact that John doesn’t yet have an employment contract, or all his payslips, and that he only got paid for July mid-way through August. Ah, the joys of working for government! Fortunately the Bond-Lady just laughs.

12th August 2013

  • Send off life history, they promise a return within 5 – 7 working days (hahahahahha!!!)

23rd August 2013

  • Starting to get realllly nervous as we’ve heard nothing. Zip. Bugger all.

27th August 2013

  • Finally hear back from Bond-Lady (11 working days & counting), one bank has come back. But they need our degree certificates. Um “sure no problem” says I but secretly I’m panicking inside as John does not actually have his PhD certificate yet…

28th August 2013

  • By some miracle, get all degree certificates and send off to Bond-Lady.
  • And wait…12 working days…

02 September 2013

  • Finally get all offers from the banks back. Begin obsessively twiddling with the figures to decide which to take…decisions decisions…!

03 September, 2013, 08:27

  • We accepted the loan offer from the bank. Oh My God. We’re actually buying a HOUSE!

For various very boring reasons, we still have not actually had the transfer processed; hopefully everything will be submitted this week. (I’m not holding my breath though!). Initially we’d not wanted to pay occupational rent and we had wanted to delay moving into the property until it had been registered in our names. However, as the process dragged on and on (and on and on….) and the estimated date for transfer came closer and closer to my due-date it became clear that fixing a move-in date was going to be smart because moving house with a a newborn is not a great idea! Neither is moving when 8 months pregnant, but that’s the way it goes! So long story short, we moved in on November 2nd and we are still waiting on transfer. Yeah. The less said about that the better!! But still; our own home!! Guess we’re proper grown-ups now? Photos and details of the move to follow!

6 thoughts on “How to Buy a House in Grahamstown

  1. C says:

    I dont know if you’ve realised this but when I try to read your posts, your instagram pics cover most of the text, it’s kind of annoying. Hope you can sort that out :)

    • Yeah…that was a surprise to us too! So glad the issue is fixed! Helps that WP actually has an Instagram widget now…instead of having to codge together a work-around!

  2. Wow, didn’t realise it was such a hassle … since we’ve been going thru the same (but much simpler in retrospect) here. Our bond approvals took the regular amount of time, I will count myself lucky :)

    But YAY for you two (+1), very exciting times ahead. PS. I’m with you, the house has so much potential. Can’t wait to see it change as you make it your own :)

    • I think it was a combination of being newbies at the whole thing, as well as John’ unique situation (total lack of payslips!) which complicated matters. And the Eastern Cape lackadaisical approach to timely responses…but we got it done! Mostly….

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