Property 24/10 - 270

Buying property jointly - who holds the reins?
About 75% of residential property sold annually in the Western Cape metro area is being bought jointly by spouses or partners. But do they want the same features in their homes? And who has the final say?

Today, more women than in the past are signing the transfer documents to their new homes bought together with their spouses or partners, and many of them are also undertaking to pay at least part of the monthly home loan repayments from their own income. But is house buying a joint venture in every respect, or do male partners still have the last word?

According to Laurie Wener, MD of Pam Golding Properties (PGP) Western Cape Metro Region, things have changed radically.

Buying and owning heritage property in South Africa
There’s nothing quite like the romance, charm and grace of a heritage property, but many people are wary of buying into the historic market, for a variety of reasons according to Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group, who says for some, it’s the expectation of high prices and excessive maintenance that puts them off, for others, it’s the seemingly endless rules and regulations governing their preservation and care.

Clarke says the realities of owning a heritage property, however, are not always as imposing as they may seem.

“There are a lot of benefits to owning a heritage property. Some of them are intangible; the pride and prestige that comes from owning something one-of-a-kind, of living in, and taking care of a real piece of our country’s past, and some of them are quite down-to-earth and practical.”

Ombud getting ready to handle sectional title disputes
While the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act is yet to be passed, the good news for sectional title homeowners is that ombud Themba Mthethwa and his team are not sitting idly by waiting for this to happen according to specialist sectional title attorney and director of BBM Attorneys, Marina Constas, who says she recently ran a training seminar for the senior managers and staff from the Community Schemes Ombud’s office on the legalities of sectional title.

“They are honing their skills, to ensure that they are well placed to resolve disputes in community schemes when the Act does become effective, including getting to grips with sectional title legislation,” she says.

How to choose the right agent to sell your property
With the current standing of the local property and new developments springing up all over, it can be incredibly difficult for a seller to choose an estate agent that can help him or her best market their property to achieve the desired price according to Mark Brickles, CEO of Urban Link Western Cape, who says it is often the choice of agent that leads to a dissatisfied seller.

He gives five tips to keep in mind when selecting an agent:

1. Find an area expert
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make is choosing a well-recognised brand over an agent with his finger on the pulse of the community. Knowing how to market a property in a specific area can make the difference between getting your home sold or not.

How to ensure your rental property generates cash flow
Agents servicing rental properties in Cape Town, from the City Bowl to Plumstead, believe that good cash flow is, and should be, a priority for landlords according to Caron Leslie, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Property Associates, who says the first step in checking out potential cash flow for any prospective landlord would be taking a detailed look at similar properties in the area in which the rental property is situated, and verifying that the projected monthly rental amount is in fact achievable.

“If a landlord is looking at buying a new unit in a complex to rent out, they should be on the lookout for units with low levies and maintenance costs,” says Leslie.

Financial trouble in sectional title schemes
Financial insecurity in sectional title schemes can be caused by various factors and these, once identified, should be dealt with swiftly to avoid problems according to Mandi Hanekom, operations manager at the sectional title finance company Propell, who says the causes are usually in the budgeting and planning within the scheme, cash flow mismatches, where the levies are not high enough and the bills amount to more than what is coming in, unforeseen repairs to items such as lifts, roof repairs, which can run into large sums of money, or levy payments in arrears.

Hanekom says all of the above have solutions and if the managing agent or the trustees have contingency plans in place there is no need for the sectional title scheme to have any financial difficulties.

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