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The book: How to buy a house for half the price, which the Phindile Kunene, editor of the COSATU magazine, the Shop Steward, said is a must read for all South Africans is now available as an ebook which means one can download it instantly.

In her review of the printed version published in 2010. Kunene said: “How to buy a house for half the price is a must read for all South Africans, especially those who fall outside the State low cost housing subsidy net.

“It is an important and timely book given the demand for housing amongst young black South Africans who either resort to buying homes through finance capital or to renting town house complexes in the country’s suburbs.

“It is particularly relevant when considering how banks muzzle and rob thousands of South Africans of their right to decent housing by evicting defaulters and repossessing hundreds of homes yearly.

“This book is an empowering tool for those currently facing the might of finance capital. It can teach you how to play the game to your benefit; how to beat the banks at their own game and how to maximise the gains out of a situation that is not designed to favour you. This alone, makes the book a good read.”

The ebook has been updated and includes statistics from 2013, especially on how indebted South African are.

South Africans, for example, owe more money than the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan set aside to run the country in 2013.

At the end of last year, they owed R1.44 trillion. Gordhan’s budget for 2013 was R1.15 trillion.

Out of the R1.44 trillion, R809 billion, or 56 percent of the debt, was for mortgages.

The book addresses the following:

  • Whether to rent or to buy and the advantages of buying over renting
  • How much bond one qualifies for, that is the maximum amount a bank can give you based on your income and how you can calculate this for yourself
  • How to get out of debt and what the debt situation is like in South Africa
  • How to save for your first house, the important point being that savings has nothing to do with how much you earn but how you use what you earn
  • Buying your first house, what is required, payments you have to make besides the deposit for the house such as transfer fees and bond registration
  • Buying a flat which you have to do on what is called sectional title and what this entails
  • Buying land to build your own house, the advantages and disadvantages one of which is that normally it is more expensive to build your own house that to buy an existing one
  • How to save thousands on your bond by making simple incremental payments on your bond. An extra R100 a month on a R300 000 bond for example will cut your 20-year bond by 21 months- yes, one year and nine months.
  • Saving millions- how lump sum payments will cut your repayment period even further. If you decide to pay your annual bonus of R9 000 on a R300 000 bond and continue to make your usual monthly payments, you will pay off your house in 11 and a half years instead of 20.

Though it was written specifically for South Africa, the book is relevant to anyone who intends to buy a house especially those in Southern Africa as it provides the formulas which one can use is his or her own country.

At it costs only $4.99, less than R50.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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