Homeloan strategies for different age groups

Of course people of different ages have different housing requirements, but they also face different challenges when trying to obtain a homeloan.

Retired or almost-retired borrowers, for example, may well have low debt, significant assets, and high home equity, but may also be on a fixed income. And if that income is lower than what they used to earn, it can hinder the approval of a homeloan for their retirement home. Some banks may also be reluctant to grant new 20-year mortgages to senior citizens.

According to the latest statistics from BetterBond, South Africa’s biggest mortgage origination group, home buyers over 60 years of age are now typically purchasing properties worth around R1,2 million, and have to pay an average deposit of about R470 000 (39%) to do so. This puts their average bond repayment at R6 700 a month and the income required to secure the bond, at R22 500 a month.

However, if they’re not sure that their earnings will continue at this level, or that their expenses, particularly in regard to health, won’t rise substantially over the next few years, they need to consider other options. One is to lower the monthly repayments by paying an even bigger deposit, but a much better idea would be to set their sights on a lower priced home – preferably low-maintenance and in a good area or retirement village where they would be happy to live long-term.

That way, they can put more of the cash from the sale of their family home into their “retirement fund”, save on maintenance and property rates, and still improve their chances of being granted a loan.

Homeloan strategies for different age groupsBy contrast, first-time homebuyers in their 20s and early 30s may well have plenty of income to support a homeloan application, but a big debt load that hinders them from being approved.

Banks are only interested in “disposable” income – what is left after all debt payments and regular expenses have been deducted – when considering a loan application, so what buyers in this age group need to do is pay off any other debts as fast as possible, until their disposable income will comfortably cover the monthly homeloan repayment.

The BetterBond stats show that home buyers aged between 20 and 30 typically buy properties costing about R715 000, with a deposit of about R67 500 (9,5%), which puts their monthly bond repayment at just over R5 600 a month.

Some banks do have special programmes for first-time buyers that allow them to purchase without paying a deposit (100% bonds), but they should bear in mind that this will increase the monthly bond repayment.

As for homebuyers in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s, their most frequent need will be to buy a bigger home to accommodate a growing family, whether that means more children, aging parents, or both.

These buyers will usually have enough equity in their existing homes to cover the deposit – or most of it – on their new home, but an expanding family generally means higher monthly expenses, so although they probably have plenty of earnings, they also need to minimise other debts, like car repayments and credit card balances, in order to look good to a lender. At the same time, they should not be neglecting their own retirement savings, which means they should resist buying to the maximum of their financial capacity.

According to the BetterBond stats, the average purchase price for homebuyers in their 40s is currently R990 000, on which they are paying a deposit of around R191 000 (19%). This puts their average bond repayment at about R6 950 a month – while those in their 50s are paying around R7 100 a month, on average.


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About BetterLife Home Loans

Since 2003 BetterLife Home Loans has been SA’s No.1 Bond Originator, handling the entire home loan application process on your behalf – free of charge! Our aim is still to source the best interest rate for you by submitting your home loan application to all the major banks. There is no easier way to apply for a Bond or Home Loan in South Africa!

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