Property 24/10 - 477

More South Africans buying in mixed-use developments with prices from R2m
You’d be forgiven for thinking the phrase ‘live, work, play’ was coined by modern property developers to sell a new urban lifestyle, but it’s actually rooted in a way of life that goes back a very long way.

“The desire to live close to where we do business, enjoy our leisure time or interact with our community, is far more about our ancient evolution than our contemporary present,” says Nicholas Stopforth, Managing Director of Amdec Property Developments, owners and operators of Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.

"As humans, we’ve been seeking out these attributes in our surroundings since we first grouped together in sophisticated societies, as far back as the seeds of civilisation when villages were first established to bring communities together.”

The very first mixed-use complexes can be traced back to the Romans, who built large multi-use constructions throughout the empire. Medieval homes also used to be places where people lived, manufactured and sold their wares. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that people really started to separate their homes from their industry or trade environments.

Renegotiate your home loan interest rate to save thousands
Raising a home loan is often the one of the most stressful times in one’s life - but don't forget, renegotiating a lower interest rate a few years later can save you thousands of rands. You have nothing to lose, so it's worth a try.

“If your own bank does not want to lower your interest rate, switch to another bank that is willing to do so,” says Meyer de Waal, a Cape Town conveyancing attorney.

Let's unpack it how it can be done, says De Waal, starting with the home buying process:

  1. You find the house of your dreams and submit and offer to purchase to the seller.
  2. Your fate is in the hands of the financial institution to approve your home loan.

You are aware that a bank will dig deep to look into your past payment behaviour, your exposure to debt, your income ratio compared to your living and debt repayment expenses and the strict ‘rules and regulations’ of the National Credit Act.

Seven red flags home buyers should not overlook
When we buy home, we are not merely making a financial investment, we are also choosing where we will live, raise our children and create all our memories for the foreseeable future, so it is critical that the dream does not become a nightmare and a drain on our hard-earned finances.

“While it’s understandable that most people initially focus on factors like the layout, room size and storage space, it’s essential that they look beyond the veneer and conduct a thorough inspection for tell-tale signs of significant potential problems down the line,” says Yael Geffen, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“You can tell a lot about a house just by noting the overall condition of the property. If a home that has clearly not been well-maintained has a number of obvious problems, then hidden problems are very likely.”

So unless you are looking for a challenging fixer-upper, Geffen says your inspection should verify that the house is up to your standards and, if you are unsure of what to look for, then you are well within your rights to have the home professionally inspected.

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