Property 24/10 - 3

Required deposits still high
Latest figures from mortgage originator ooba show that the average deposit required by banks in February as a percentage of the purchase price was still relatively high at 19,4%.

Check your tenant's bills
Did you know that if your tenant does not pay for his water and electricity - you as the landlord are ultimately responsible!

It is not easy to know if your tenant is paying for his services or not. You could draw up a copy of the accounts, but this is time-consuming.

The financial benefits a mortgage holds
One of the biggest reasons for property's gain in popularity as an investment over the past few years has been the ability to leverage the purchase by accessing mortgage finance.

"This has of course been much more difficult to do over the past two years because of the economic downturn and ensuing consumer credit crunch, but the power of gearing has remained attractive and is currently even more so because interest rates are at such a low level," says Martin Shultheiss, CEO of Harcourts Africa.

Joburg suburb has priciest houses
Where does SA's super rich segment invest its millions to get a sought-after address?
Surprisingly enough, the suburb with the most expensive houses in the country is not on the Atlantic Seaboard, but in Johannesburg.

Data from Lightstone shows that Sandhurst in Sandton, with an average price of R13,024m, is the suburb with the highest average price for full-title properties in the country out of 5,223 suburbs.

John Loos, property analyst at First National Bank (FNB), says it makes sense as Sandton is the primary business node in the country. "Gauteng is also the region with the highest per capita income in the country."

Property industry professionalising
A tough property market and stricter qualification imperatives means that going forward, fewer, yet more professional estate agents will be available to service buyers and sellers.

This in turn is changing the dynamics of the sector dramatically and the era of the 'moms and pops' estate agency and weekend dabblers is now all but over.

So says Linda Erasmus, CEO of property group Fine & Country South Africa, who notes that there is still a lingering perception that the real estate industry is a "soft option" populated largely by individuals who "can't crack it" in other professions.

Filling your blind spot
Window blinds have a number of functions, and there are a few things that need to be considered before you decide on which type of blind to use.

Things to consider comprise the degree of privacy you required, the décor style of the room in which the blind will be featured, child safety, your budget, installation issues, and how much maintenance they will require. It would be prudent to also consider a blind's appearance from the outside of your home.

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