Monday, 20 May 2013

To buy or not to buy? Throwing the bones..

How to survive when retired?  This thorny problem lies menacingly behind one's thoughts for about the last ten years before retirement kicks in. Most of us try to work the sums as best we can, but what if we live to a ripe old age and inflation times us out? Are we destined to die in poverty?  My father-in-law managed 83, my mother, 90, and bless him, my dad - 94.  I shouldn't say this but the nett result of my dad living so long is that although I have just received a nice little windfall from his will, my husband is now teetering on retirement age himself, so that means he can't qualify for any further housing loan once he hits the age of 64, which is in August this year.  It has crossed my mind to wonder how the banks can in any case grant a mortgage at this age in South Africa, as companies have a mandatory retirement age of 65, but apparently they can grant you a loan for 12 years up to the age of 75.  (How do they expect you to service this once retired?)  Anyway, we still owe on this house, because of building our retirement home so we should have one property at least to rent/sell in August next year. But we won't be able to live comfortably. We need another investment property to earn a rental income.  We started looking on the websites: big disappointment - we got all excited about one apartment only to discover the website had not been maintained and that place had been sold two months ago.  (Shan't be using that company then!)  The most reliable method of finding properties for sale seems to be the week-end newpaper supplements. To this end, I phoned an agent on Sunday afternoon regarding an advertised property.  He was currently sitting in a Show Flat, he told us, in a complex we were actually very interested in: so we went to see him there first.  It transpired that this apartment had not been advertised this week because it had been sold to people who had changed their minds and backed out of the deal 5 days previously. Not enough time to advertise as a show house. We looked, we liked, we made an offer.  I signed the papers this afternoon, thinking maybe, that Fate was looking kindly on us for once. The numbers worked out:  the property's number was the same as our own house: 24.  I don't have any bad feelings yet... just waiting to hear if our offer has been accepted.... Hopefully, the holiday rentals will help to support us one day.  That is if our offer is accepted.... more anon.

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