This is now your new life. A student life. 

You came here to realise your dreams, but while you wait to start attending classes and make the most of varsity life, you have to look for affordable and safe housing.

Whether you do it by yourself or get some help from parents or guardians, it can be a very hard decision.

Steve van Wyk from popular Pretoria property agency Seeff shares the pros and cons on buying as opposed to renting in the Jacaranda City.

Advantages of buying
– When you buy a home, you own an asset that will in all likelihood increase in value over time. It is also a place in which you can live or rent out as an investment.

– When you own a property, your monthly expenses are more stable (although probably more than when renting), especially if you have a fixed interest rate and do not have to be concerned about any rental escalations.

– You can alter or renovate the property when and as you please and mostly without the consent of others. You also have more privacy than when renting, as you can choose your own service providers such as maintenance, gardening services, etc.

– After 20 years of paying a bond, you finally own the property; after 20 years of renting, you own nothing.

– Once you have paid off a part of the bond, you may use the property for security or you may have the use of a flexibond.

Disadvantages of buying
– Buying a home is a big responsibility and is in most cases a long-term financial commitment.

– People who rent can often afford to live in a place that they probably would not be able to afford if they had to service the bond. When you rent you might not own a property, but you can enjoy a more upmarket lifestyle in the shorter term.

– You have less flexibility when you own a property as opposed to renting. As an owner, you probably want to be close to your investment to keep an eye on it, making it difficult to be a free spirit.

– The market is always fluctuating and may not always be favourable for sellers, which means that you might have to wait a considerable time to sell.

Advantages of renting
– You would probably be able to afford a nicer property when you are renting, because costs go up considerably when you own a property.

– Your landlord is responsible for levies, property taxes and any maintenance the property may need, while you are only responsible for the rent and electricity costs.

– You are only tied to the property for as long as your lease binds you and you can then move on to the next thing or property without too much (if any) admin.

– If you are disciplined enough, renting enables you to save for a deposit to eventually buy your own home.

Disadvantages of renting
– You have to accept the property as is or have to obtain the owner’s consent to make any alterations. In most cases, you also will not be reimbursed for alterations if the owner does give consent and you may not take it with you when you leave.

– Although you may choose not to renew your lease when you want to move on, it goes both ways, unfortunately. The owner can also decide not to renew the lease or sell the property, leaving you disappointed.

– Rental escalations are out of your control and are annual.

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