Property 24/10 - 322

How the new Sectional Titles Act will affect owners
The sectional title property industry has been long awaiting the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) and Community Services Ombuds Service Act (CSOSA) to fully come into effect.

The Act has been ratified, and certain changes will have to be made immediately in the management of sectional title schemes, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.

He says the public participation process was carried out late-2015, and the comments that were submitted have been assimilated and incorporated into changes made to the original amendments.

SA's top outstanding architectural designs
The movers and shakers of the architectural world in South Africa gathered at Shine Studios in Braamfontein on Friday, 2 September to witness the presentation of the 2015/2016 Corobrik SAIA Awards of Merit for Excellence in Architecture.

The seven best designs and a book earned Awards of Excellence - the highest accolade to be given to an architectural project in South Africa since the inception of the programme in 1990.

A further seven projects received Awards of Merit, which were first instituted in 1999 to recognise good design or a substantial achievement in the industry. In addition, 16 commendations were awarded for remarkable design.

According to Kevin Bingham, awards convenor and SAIA Vice President, the large number of awards and commendations this year bore testimony to the high quality of the entries.

Agents, are your property adverts making an impact?
When you open a daily newspaper, weekend spread or browse media online more, more often than not you’ll notice there are property classifieds or property-related adverts. Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says the real estate market remains a large advertising contributor to media groups, and rightly so.

Estate agents oftentimes have to compete in selling the same property, and in the modern age where multiple available platforms undoubtedly influence your reach, Gray says structuring your advert is of utmost importance.

“The dawn of modern technology and digital marketing has made the inclusion of keywords in your advert an essential component,” says Gray.

Seven steps to buying a 'fixer-upper' for profit
While it may be reasonably easy to find a property that is in need of a facelift, there are quite a few things to consider when looking for that home to renovate and sell on for profit.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, says the suburb you ultimately buy in will have a huge influence on whether or not you’ll make a profit on resale. “Look for a suburb which is known to comprise similar properties at widely varying prices.

“A qualified agent with experience will be able to help you research the selling price of properties in your specific suburb going back at least 24 months, as this will also reveal if there are seasonal peaks and troughs in prices achieved.”

Greeff says to get specific data, you need to research the sold prices of both renovated and unrenovated properties of similar size and accommodation, within a defined pocket of the suburb – this will usually cover a few streets, and an agent can be invaluable in assisting with this data.

Four reasons why investors are turning to property managers
A property is not just bricks and mortar - it is a living organism that needs to be maintained and taken care of. Whether big or small, empty or occupied, Grant Holton, a founding director and CEO of HQM Properties, says home maintenance and management is something that homeowners serious about seeing their property's value increase can't take lightly.

“Particularly in the high-end market, the trend of hiring a professional property manager to proactively manage one's property is growing from strength to strength,” says Holton.

Here are four practical reasons why property managers are fast becoming indispensable:

How to handle debt collection in sectional title schemes
A steady income stream is extremely important for the financial health of any sectional title scheme, as payments of bills and regular maintenance is what is needed for the scheme to maintain value and be managed properly.

If the body corporate is unable to collect all the levies due on a regular basis, the scheme might end up in financial difficulties, which affects all the owners negatively - and not just the non-payers, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager of the sectional title finance company, Propell.

“If owners of sectional title units do not pay their levies in full and on time, they place a huge burden on the others who do pay, which is an unacceptable situation,” says Hanekom.

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