High interest rates: Tips to help you keep your property

Tips to help you keep your property during tough economic times

A real estate agent shares tips that will help you keep your house during tough economic times when you are battling with bond repayments. 

Bank owned house
Bank owned house/ iStock

Financial experts are predicting that South Africans will soon deal with another interest rate hike, which means bond repayments will increase. 

With increased bond repayments, some people will be at risk of losing their properties. For instance, some homebuyers are finding that they must pay thousands of Rands more each month than they had originally planned. 

For those who can't afford to pay, defaulting on bond repayments can see them lose their properties. 

READ: How to increase your chances of qualifying to buy property

Nunky Koma, a real agent estate at Keller Williams Realty, says the first tip to help you keep your property is to be transparent about your challenges with the bank. 

"For people that are struggling to pay their bonds," says Nunky, she strongly recommends that they "speak to the bank."

The danger with defaulting on bond payments is that it will negatively affect your profile and result in an extension of your overall bond term. An extension of your bond term might see you paying more interest in the long-run. 

Continuous failure to pay your bond might lead to you being blacklisted or your property being repossessed by the bank. 

"Once you start falling behind; even if it’s only on one payment, speak to the bank," says Nunky. 

The bank might assist in the following ways: a temporary or permanent reduction in your monthly repayments, a repayment holiday, or debt consolidation.

"The bank wants to help the people, but people need to speak to the bank."

The retail estate agent says a small payment towards your bond will go a long way. 

"Even if you can only pay a little bit of your bond, pay something," she adds. 

READ: Property sells for R22m... without a bedroom or bathroom!

Another tip to help you not lose your property is to speak to a property professional. 

"Get a property professional in as soon as possible, to really give you the right advice, not just to push you into giving him/her a listing, but to look at your situation, and speak to the bank and find out what’s going to be the best way forward for you," says Nunky. 

If you decide to sell your property before the bank reposes it, Nunky says the property professional will help you "to price your property right if you must put it into the market because if it’s priced too high it’s not going to sell. And an overpriced property is an undersell."

READ: How much will you save with no transfer duties for properties less than R1.1m?

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