Property 24/10 - 448

May conference to address crisis in SA's property and construction industry
From the collapse of companies such as Group Five and the stagnation of government processes and procurement to intimidation and violence on construction sites as well as the stalemates around inclusionary housing policy, the property development and construction industries are in dire straits.

These are all issues to be tabled at the upcoming Western Cape Property Development Forum’s (WCPDF) conference, under the theme: “The Perfect Storm: Investment and Jobs or Bureaucracy and Stagnation”.

The conference, which will be held from 16 to 17 May at the Century City Conference Centre, has secured a strong line-up of speakers that have committed to attend due to their own concern for the industry.

Three reasons show days are still relevant when selling property
These days having a robust online marketing strategy for your property should do the trick in getting it great exposure.

However, Joel Harris, Sales Manager of Jawitz Properties Bedfordview, says he strongly believes that some old-school marketing strategies still work extremely well to get your home over the sold hurdle, and despite being able to view a property online, there is nothing like being able to use all your senses to experience the feel of the home.

“We’ve recently noticed a significant increase in visitors to show houses, which is a positive sign for the industry. The other interesting factor is that the calibre of buyers seems to be more serious.” This makes it even more vital for sellers to consider having a show day so as to attract the right buyer at the right time.

How to get US citizenship via the EB-5 investment programme
While European Residency programmes, and most notably Portugal’s Golden Visa Programme, remain popular among South Africans wishing to obtain a Schengen Visa and European residency, others have expressed a preference for the USA should they one day want to relocate overseas and set up a new life and businesses for themselves and their children.

“As a result of this demand, we now offer access to the USA Immigrant Investor EB-5 programme, which provides the opportunity to acquire US citizenship via investment in a commercial property venture,” says Chris Immelman, head of Pam Golding International.

Created by US Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors, EB-5 is currently the fastest way to obtain a US Green Card for your immediate family, including children under the age of 21. Applicants need to invest only $500 000 in an eligible business that will create 10 jobs, and the Green Card is valid for 10 years.

Why having up-to-date and approved building plans is vital
South African banks are increasingly insisting that any residential property to be sold or in need of a home loan cannot be assisted unless the property has up-to-date building plans that have been approved by the local municipality.

This is according to Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, who says that to be fully compliant, the seller or the buyer has to be able to show that the building was awarded an Occupation Certificate, confirming that the construction was done in accordance with the approved plans and the regulations pertaining at that time.

To qualify for such certificates, the building will have had to be inspected at specified stages by a licensed building inspector. The same process should have been followed with any subsequent alterations or extensions, says Alexander.

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