Tips for saving for your first (investment) property

When you have no idea where to start with (investment) property


This is where we start. 

Good – now that we have you dreaming, let’s start thinking about some practicalities.

You would need to explore the options, so that you know what you are working towards.

Let’s finish it off then with top tips on upping your savings for your first investment property.


Know what you want

Once you have a dream, you need to discover what the market has to offer. You need to know what you are saving for so that you can measure reaching your goals. Check out property sites to get an idea about what is out there. You need to know your market and what you want:

  • how many bedrooms are you looking for?
  • Pet-friendly?
  • Garden?
  • sectional title or full title?
  • Price range? Target market? Rental market?

Know what you qualify for

People often times start saving and then start making offers to people. There’s a lot that needs to happen before that. There’s also a few rules that the N.C.R. and other government bodies require you to follow. For example, did you know you can only spend 30% of your income on a home loan? 

You could contact a bond originator such as BetterBond who will be able to tell you how much you qualify for. Note that they need a full budget from you, with all your expenses and income. They will then determine your disposable income (i.e. income – expenses) and how much you qualify for. 

You probably would need to pay a deposit. Did you know the average home deposit is 12%? It would be a great idea to have an absolute minimum of a 10% deposit at hand for in case you do not get a 100% loan. Remember the banks are doing this to make money!

Planned and unplanned costs

Knowing what you can afford is great! unfortunately many people don’t actually save or plan for extra costs. They believe that it’s as simple as buying a cup of coffee. As you probably know by now, everyone wants to make a buck. 

Thus, you will also need to save for bond and transfer costs. You can access a calculator for them here. Note that you might need to add some more cash for municipal fees and other unplanned expenses – I suggest an extra R 8 000, because government. Check out my article here for all planned and unplanned costs that could eat into your profit. 

Note that you also need to prepare for monthly costs when you have the investment property. 

Tips for saving for your property

Once of the biggest reasons I am for starting to save money for the bond and transfer costs / deposit, is that it would get you into the habit of putting that money away. Remember that you would need to put that money in a bond! 

Here’s some money tips to get you going:

Get rid of debt

Snip the cards, kill the debt monster. Free up cash flow. Take the extra money and save it.
Debt costs more and escalates faster than your savings

Budget and monitor your money

You know I hate the word budget by now. Start monitoring where your money is going. Make it flow in the direction where you want it to go

Make the money unreachable

Put the money away in a 32 day notice or some place where you cannot get access to it to spend it immediately

Transfer money regularly
to your savings account

Make it a routine that you transfer any excess money to your savings account on payday.

Have an 'evil tenant' fund

Tenants sometimes don't pay. Have at least 3 months of bond repayments available in case "the evils" happen

Set money goals and make it visible

Stick the notes on your fridge, Add photos on your mirror. You need the see the dream everywhere you go.

Tips to save some money for your home loan:

Get a cheaper car

Do you really need a R 1 mil car? Sell it and buy a cheaper car. you can save so much money

Sell unneeded stuff

We all have that old phone, books and old television we are not using anymore. Why not sell then for your property fund?


Find opportunities to make money on the side - check out my article here for more info!

Swap the takeaways for a house

This is a challenging one - your dream needs to become bigger than your wants right now.

Get that mobile phone under control

Calculate if you really do need that contract with THAT expensive phone. Prepaid with an okay phone often does the trick.


I know it’s not that simple saving for a property – it takes work, effort and planning. You need to cut expenses and grow your savings substantially to cover all the needed costs.   

I do believe with enough dedication and effort, this is doable. And in many cases, all you need is a debit order going off 3 days after your salary is paid into a savings account. 

Don’t settle for excuses – you CAN save for a property.

Happy investing!

You are currently viewing Tips for saving for your first (investment) property

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Schalk Burger

    Thanks so much! Good article for someone saving up for their first property.

    1. frugallocal

      Thanks for the feedback!

Leave a Reply