Property 24/10 - 186

Holiday home investment tips
With many South Africans about to migrate to different holiday destinations throughout the country, those who are looking for a way to make the most of the money they may have saved up might be considering buying a second property or holiday home as a solid long-term investment.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says while being a full-time landlord may not be for everyone, there are other options for buyers who would like to invest in a second property. He says based on the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand, a well-chosen holiday home for example, is a great way to own property and make money by renting it out to holidaymakers during peak seasons.

Goslett says many holiday homes offer excellent potential income during holiday seasons, and this way, investors have the opportunity to reap the benefit of owning an immovable asset that helps pay for itself.

Interest rate on overdue levies
The age-old debate continues on whether the interest rate charged on overdue levies should have a maximum or whether bodies corporate should continue charging the rate they feel is necessary, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager at Propell.

It has also been mentioned as to whether the Prescribed Rate of Interest applies in cases such as these, which is currently set at 15.5 percent per annum, but previous case law shows that the PRIA rate does not apply to sectional title scheme levy interest amounts.

When the trustees determine what interest rate to charge, it would usually be the rate that they would have to pay, were they to borrow money in lieu of the levies due. If one were to compare the PRIA rate to what is charged commercially, it is not high enough, she says.

Prescribed Management Rule 31 (6) allows trustees to determine the interest rate charged on overdue levies in their scheme and to recover the amounts due by all means necessary.

Identity theft still a major problem
It is important that business leaders and employees proactively take steps to minimise the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.

Identity theft in particular, occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, without your authorisation, in order to commit fraud or other offenses, such as obtaining loans, services or credit. Identity theft is one type of fraud that affects both businesses and individuals, explains Sharon Coppola, legal risk and compliance executive at information services group, Experian SA.

“Identity theft is widespread and don’t ever think it can never happen to you because without the right precautions it can,” says Coppola.

Fraud awareness is critical as organisations and individuals around the world lose revenues annually as a result of fraud related crimes, she says. Identity theft in particular, occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information, without your authorisation, in order to commit fraud or other offenses, such as obtaining loans, services or credit.

7 home staging tips for selling fast
According to statistics, nearly 90 percent of home buyers will look for property online before using any other method. This means that in today’s age of modern technology and digital shopping, a home’s online listing photo has become one of the most important marketing tools when trying to match the right buyer with their dream home.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says a beautiful home could easily be overlooked if the photo of the property is a bad quality image that does not show the property in the best possible light.

He says as the first impression of the property, it is important that the photos highlight the home’s best features and draw the buyer’s attention for the right reasons.

Goslett says buyers are not likely to want to see more of a property if they don’t like what they see in the initial photos, so sellers who want the best chance of selling their home need to ensure that they are happy with the images used when listing the property for sale.

Homes in estates and gated communities
From a rare occurrence to about 4 percent of formal residential properties, estates might become an even more common option in the future housing market.

“With rising security concerns we’ll see a greater diversification to gated properties which might also be more tailored towards affordable properties,” says Hayley Ivins Downes, head of property at Lightstone.

A recent survey by Lightstone reveals a rise in estate living in South Africa noting that even though the amount of new properties built inside estates are comparable to pre-housing boom volumes it should be remembered that new developments in general have also declined.

Estate developers and risk assessors will find value in not only considering the absolute price of potential projects but also the rate at which estate property values are currently growing.

Developers to appeal council decisions
Hard lobbying by the SA Property Owners’ Association (Sapoa) to drive the appointment of a Services Appeal Tribunal in Mpumalanga province has paid off.

The purpose of a Services Appeal Tribunal is to allow property developers to appeal decisions made by municipalities and obtain independent resolution in such matters.

Sapoa took up the cause after numerous concerns were raised by local Sapoa members, who pointed out that such a Tribunal is already provided for in Section 124 of the provincial Town Planning and Township Ordinance 1986.

There has been no Tribunal in place for more than three years.

Neil Gopal, chief executive officer of Sapoa says as the voice of the commercial and industrial property market in South Africa, they appreciate the Province's decision to act swiftly to correct the situation.

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