The English dictionary defines a home as ‘the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.’ A home is considered more than adequate physical shelter and is as much about incorporating a sense of belonging for households who share a sense of commonality in their respective societies. What this means simply, a ‘home is where the heart is’, a place where you belong.
So, what does it mean to belong? Simply put, it is about being seen, heard and acknowledged by the people you live amongst. In addition, right of access to the city is important for those in search of better lives, and to create at best a place that is worthy of shelter. Those with access to city will have a better chance of accessing accommodation, finding employment and creating livelihoods.
Bringing it closer to home, South Africa is facing a housing crisis, particularly with increased urbanisation. This crisis is further compounded by staggering high unemployment, lack of access to innovative housing finance, alternative accommodation options, and stagnant policies. It is suggested, a contributing factor to our crisis, is that a large proportion of the population is looking to government to provide access to decent homes. Though government (post 1994), has made great strides in providing access to decent homes, orchestrated through state subsidised programmes, this alone cannot narrow the housing crisis.
It’s time to take the cards we have been dealt and make right by ourselves and our families by dreaming and hoping again. Owning a home isn’t as difficult as most institutions have led us to believe. Owning a home and investing into that home equals wealth creation and leaving a legacy of investment for your family. Think about all the money you have spent on luxury items, unnecessary investments and renting? Add up what you have spent and consider what that amount of money would’ve meant to you and your family, if you had considered investing that money in a housing loan or extending your home to earn additional income.
Extending your home is an important investment step, especially when developing backyard rental units. These housing units provide access to decent and safe accommodation for many mobile labour migrants. Having said that, a house is a place you go to lay your head providing safe temporary tenure relief. Circumstances unfortunately change so, paying towards a rental house means that you are subject to outside influencing factors such as unforeseen house sales, house auctions and sadly even, owner mortalities. Owning a home on the other hand, means a place you can lay your head with the certainty that it is solely yours. It still means, that you must be responsible and set goals to pay the housing loan off, leaving a legacy of wealth in property investment to your family.
So how then, do you get on the fast track to owning your own home? It’s easier than you think. If you don’t have one already, draw up a monthly budget and stick to the spending this budget dictates say for at least six months. Saving helps your set money aside especially for unforeseen costs associated in financing a home or extensions, e.g. initiation fees, conveyancing fees and professional fees. Once ready visit a few registered financing houses and learn all you can about the terms of the housing loan. A reputable financing house will guide and educate you on the process to ensure that you are comfortably settled into your new home or extension. They should also contain minimal red tape to allow you easy access to their specialists should you have any questions about your housing loan as essentially, you are paying them for more than a home. You’re also investing in their skill set with which, they need to lead you to wiser purchases when it comes to securing a home.
If you have managed to sign on the dotted line by now, remember that you will still need to keep your spending frugal, allowing for maintenance costs to the home or extensions. At this point, well done on choosing wisely for you and yours. You can now lay your head down in rest knowing that you have contributed well towards your family’s core needs. With more South Africans opting to plant in a country ripe with investment opportunity, we’re on the winning team to changing our history for the better.
Xtenda Housing Finance (XHF) is a community-focused housing institution which provides simple and easy small housing loans to the population living in the rural areas of South Africa. Created on the pillars of integrity, respect and honesty, XHF seeks to empower previously disadvantaged individuals’ access to housing microfinance.
XHF aims to become the leading, low income housing microfinance provider within South Africa through its commitment to creating a positive social impact within the communities it serves. XHF’s model is designed with the objectives of developing, creating and growing wealth in the country which in turn, enables families in the communities XHF serves to (1) Gain access to housing microfinance and (2) Generate an income and improve their standards of living through home ownership.
Our team have spent years working within the mainstream financial housing industry and come with extensive experience and expertise which they have tailored specifically to suit the low-cost housing market in South Africa and globally. As a first in South Africa, the XHF team have developed this offering to enable many home owners and communities to create wealth for themselves and future generations.