Property 24/10 - 307

Cape Town rates: property values and electricity costs
Some prepaid electricity customers in Cape Town may be in for nasty surprise come October 2016, when the city adjusts their qualifying criteria for their subsidised Lifeline Tariffs.

Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, says the new, more stringent rules add a maximum municipal property value to the mix that will see many households currently on Lifeline rates migrated to the more expensive Domestic Tariff.

“Basing electricity tariffs on property value isn’t a new thing,” says Rawson.

“In fact, the City of Cape Town has been implementing tariff restrictions based on property values for a while - it’s a simple way to ensure subsidised rates are only available to those who are legitimately poor.”

R14 bn spent on Eastern Cape housing delivery
Eastern Cape Human Settlements MEC, Helen Sauls-August, says the department has made remarkable strides in building houses for poor people.

Releasing the department’s five-year performance report on Thursday, 2 June 2016, the MEC said R14 495 374 billion has been spent on building 64 917 new houses between 2011 and March 2016 in the Eastern Cape.

“The quality of the houses has improved, as well as the spending on the conditional grant from which we have spent 100% for four years,” said MEC Sauls-August.

Conveyancing fees: What are you paying for?
The conveyancing fee is one of several costs - above and beyond the purchase price - that buyers need to budget for when making a property purchase. Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, says conveyancers are typically appointed by the seller, but paid for by the purchaser, and are an essential part of every property transaction.

But what is it that they do, and how much value do they add for the buyer and the seller?

“Simply put, conveyancing is the process of transferring legal ownership of fixed property from one person - or a company or trust - to another,” says Rawson.

Top seven tips for making money from buy-to-let
Buy-to-let is an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility, and has seen a strong resurgence in recent times.

But beware the low interest rates - one day they may rise, and as such you need to know that your investment can stand that test, says Paul Stevens, CEO of Just Property. Nevertheless, despite the potential for interest rates to rise, Stevens says the current low house prices, rising rents and improving home loan deals are tempting investors once more.

If you’re considering investing in property - or improving your returns on a buy-to-let you already own, he says it’s important to do things right.

Beware of a new rental scam
The emergence of new rental scams where potential renters pay deposits to a middleman who then disappears with their money once again highlights the importance - for both renters and landlords - to work with an experienced, professional and reputable rental agent. Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop, says the scammers market legitimate properties that they copy from popular property listing websites and place on other well-known and widely-used buying and selling websites.

“They use the correct images and property description, but change the contact details and pretend to be the landlord. When people contact them about the property, they set up an appointment with the actual agent marketing the rental property pretending to be the interested party, and tell the renter they have an appointment with the agent,” he says.

Showdays still sell homes
With digital and social media platforms becoming the new way of marketing, one would think that finding potential home buyers would be easier, however, most individuals looking to purchase a property still believe in a very hands-on approach when making such a big investment - after all, seeing is believing.

“Presentation is a key factor to make your listing fly of the 'For Sale' shelf,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

Hutchison says pictures can be misleading, and therefore old school methods such as staging a show house and inviting buyers to view your home is still a fail-proof way of creating interest in your property.

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