Property 24/10 - 236

SA's avant-garde home designs
South African architects are proving more innovative and are producing more attractive designs than their colleagues in the UK and many of the other European countries. Rawson says, his two trips to the UK this year have convinced him that this is the case - particularly in the residential sector.

This is the view of Bill Rawson, Chairman for the Rawson Property Group, who says it may be that in the corporate mega-blocks world, South African architects, sometimes operating on more limited budgets are not able to compete with some of the more spectacular UK central city complexes, which he has seen on his trips abroad.

However, he says when he looks at the homes that are currently on the market in affluent areas such as Sandton, Umhlanga, Constantia, Fresnaye and Camps Bay, he is amazed at their innate quality and style - the sheer boldness and inventiveness of many of today’s designs.

PGP wins international awards
In today’s rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive and sophisticated property environment, the marketing of real estate is a highly specialised business, as real estate agencies compete not only for stock, but also to gain the attention and trust of informed and knowledgeable potential buyers who have access to a wide range of market-related information across a broad spectrum of media.

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group, who says with constant advances in technology potentially serving to level many of the playing fields, an ongoing challenge for any business is to find points of competitive differentiation in all markets in which it operates, which is why striving to achieve international standards of excellence - and thereby global recognition - is of key importance.

Picture perfect photos sell homes
Statistics reveal that nine out of 10 buyers will start their search for a property on the internet before going anywhere else. Essentially what this means is that the first impression most buyers will have of a property will be based purely on the home’s online listing photos.

This shows just how important it is to ensure that the photos being used to market the home are the ones that showcase the home’s best features and have the buyer wanting to see more, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

He says that it is possible that a home could be overlooked if the online images are of poor quality or don’t highlight the property’s selling points. “It is extremely important that the photos are high quality photos that draw in a potential buyer’s attention and give them a good idea of what the property has to offer.” He says buyers are not likely to take the time to go and see the property if they don’t like what they see online. For this reason sellers need to ensure that they are 100 percent satisfied with the images that are used to market their home.

Renovate to get best possible price
The market may be a little quiet during the festive season, but in the new year, people will be looking to relocate, perhaps to be closer to new jobs or schools.

Carel van Niekerk, Principal at Jawitz Properties Tygerberg, says the holidays are the ideal time to get your home looking as good as possible if you’re thinking of selling.

He says buyers prefer to simply move in and settle down. He explains that most buyers don’t want to renovate and repair, and would rather pay a little more to move into a home that has been renovated and is in good nick. The difference in monthly instalments between a bond of R1 million and R1.1 million is about R1 000 per month. He says R1 000 a month is easier to afford than R100 000 cash for renovations.

Top 4 property buying influencers
When it comes to investment decisions, there are very few that can have such a large effect on a consumer’s financial standing and long-term well-being as purchasing a property. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says that for most, buying a property will be the single biggest financial decision they will ever make.

“For South African consumers a property is often their largest financial asset that makes up the biggest percentage of their personal wealth. Many regard owning a property as a measure of success, with a great deal of the South African population placing more value on homeownership than on many other types of investment vehicles,” says Goslett. “Of course there are certain aspects that need to be considered before consumers can realise their dreams of owning a home.There are several external influences that can impact on the property market and it is important that potential home buyers are aware of these factors before they embark on their property purchasing journey.”

Must-knows for sectional title renters
Lots of tenants relocate at this time of year, but before they sign the lease for their next sectional title apartment or townhouse, they need to take a few precautions.

Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, says for a start, they need to make sure that the financial position of the scheme is sound and that it is well-managed. If the owners have been lax about paying or collecting the levies and the body corporate is short of money, the maintenance of the building or complex will inevitably suffer, and they could shortly find themselves living in run-down surroundings.

He says in addition, if it turns out that their landlord is one of the owners who are in default on levies, the unit they are renting could well be attached and sold in execution to pay for the arrears, leaving them in an uncertain position.

Secondly, Everitt says sectional title tenants also need to be clear about what their monthly rental covers, and if or how any increase in levies might affect them.

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