House hunting induced ranting

Rohan Büchner

Rohan Büchner / April 10, 2017


Before I get into it, I'd like to deviate off-topic somewhat just to set the scene as it where.

I often wonder what the ideal answer is to this. Living in South Africa is currently making things that (I'd assume) the previous generation took for granted, very hard or unattainable. I've often been told by parents, older friends, or even my current generation peers: "Renting is just you paying off someone else's bond"...

While the above statement is 100% true, the alternative options aren't viable for most 90s or post-millennials, unless you have access to "old money", that, coupled with a failing economy, makes for a scary reality for anyone seeking to purchase a first-time buyer, invest or save up for retirement.

In Cape Town CBD the general cost of a 1 bedroom bachelors apartment is around about 9000 - 10000 ZAR, this cost or notion of paying this rent is also made less appealing taking into account a bond of about 1 000 000 ZAR, which will equal repayment of more or less the same (...without levies and insurance, etc)

I'm of the opinion that living in the CBD is:

- (+) Somewhat safer (being that statistically South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world)
- (+) Lifestyle-wise it's more convenient
- (+) Everything is against traffic
- (+) Services like Uber, healthy food delivery, etc are a dime-a-dozen
- (-) No parking ever
- (-) Hella expensive for no space at all


Outside suburban areas:

- (+) Space!
- (+) ... could potentially purchase
- (-) Not as safe
- (-) Traffic
- (-) Fewer convenience services

The pros in my mind, at least seem to be geared towards city living (at the cost of trading luxuries like space and a "braai" area :P)... but it seems like a pipe dream at this stage.

Does it make sense to take a leap now to purchase before it is "too late", or rather aim for what seems to be the more sensible route, and save for a few more years at the risk of then entering the property market?

To be honest, I'm not sure what the point of this post is...if anything. I'd just like to see if anyone else has had similar thoughts, and how do most people handle this choice in our current economy.