1. Affordability is always your main consideration when you buy and own a home, regardless of whether interest rates are going up or down. If you have a bond, be realistic about your monthly expenses and cut back on unnecessary costs. You could increase your loan repayment period to reduce your monthly repayment. While this will provide short term relief, just remember that you will end up paying more interest on the total bond amount as you will add an additional 10 years (depending on the new loan period).
2. Homeowners concerned about future rate increases may want to fix their interest rate. But bear in mind that while this will provide some short-term reassurance in that it will be easier to budget knowing that your interest rate won’t change for the next few years, it will be higher as a fixed rate poses more of a risk to the bank. The fixed rate can only be set for a maximum of five years, and then you will have to renegotiate for a new fixed rate. You also won’t benefit should interest rates drop during this time.
3. Manage your debt. Again, as this should always be a consideration when buying or owning a home it is one of the reasons why a credit check is done when you apply for pre-approval and when you apply for a bond. Now is not the time for homeowners concerned about their monthly bond payments to buy other big-ticket items on credit. Instead, pay off as much of your credit card debt and accounts as possible, so you can free up finance to pay off your bond. Another option, if you have paid off a significant amount of your bond, is to finance your short-term debt by consolidating it into your home loan. This may offer some relief on your monthly financial commitments, but will cost you more in the long run as you will take longer to pay off your debt and be paying more interest. Again, be mindful of the risks before opting for a quick-fix solution to meet your bond payments.
4. Downscale. If the bond payments on your current home are too onerous, consider selling and investing in more affordable property with manageable bond repayments. Property is always a good investment, so stay in the game but buy a property that is within your current financial capabilities.
5. If you are really struggling to repay your bond, consider letting out to generate a rental income. If you have the option of moving in with a family member for a period of time, rent out your home to help with the monthly bond repayments until you are in a position to cover the costs yourself again.
Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.
Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
082 071 1665