Property 24/10 - 336

Attend a seminar on the new community schemes laws
The recent promulgation of the new legislation covering community schemes like townhouse complexes, retirement villages and residential estates is a positive development in South Africa’s property sector.

This is according to Marina Constas, Director at BBM Attorneys, who says owners, investors, estate agents, trustees and managing agents should arm themselves with the basics of the new laws in order to benefit from them.

“Come and spend a Saturday morning at the offices of BBM Attorneys, where I will be sharing my insights on the legislation,” says Constas.

How to pick the right development real estate specialist
Developers are a very special breed of entrepreneurs, they take on the significant risk of bringing a product to market and delivering on their promises to purchasers. The process can take many years to bring to fruition, and the red tape that needs to be negotiated is not for the faint-hearted. The rewards can be great but so are the risks.

This is according to Steve Caradoc-Davies, Harcourts Platinum Principal, who says one of the most important decisions for a developer to make is selecting the right real estate company to assist them. There is a huge difference between selling residential real estate and selling developments – and very few real estate companies have the skills or infrastructure required to sell developments.

It's cheaper to buy an older home than to build your own
Construction, and especially residential construction, is a major creator of employment and ultimately also of housing demand, so it is always worrying when the home-building sector goes into decline.

This is according to Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says the latest available figures from StatsSA show that although there are pockets of strong activity, the overall picture is deteriorating at the moment, with levels of activity in both the planning and construction phases of private sector housing having shrunk considerably in the first seven months of the year.

According to the report, Rawson says the number of plans passed for new homes showed an overall year-on-year decline of 8.4% during this period to just over 32 000, while the total real value of those plans showed a 1.9% year-on-year decline to R28.4 billion. Three regions, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape, actually recorded increases in the number of plans passed, but these were eclipsed by huge declines in Limpopo, North West and the Free State and falling numbers in the other regions too.

Buying property: don't forget to check the restrictive conditions
Many buyers have purchased their dream home, only to realise that the plans they had to add another storey, or to subdivide the property, can’t be realised because of restrictive conditions they weren’t aware of.

“The majority of buyers ask questions about the condition of the plumbing, the maintenance conducted and so forth, but completely forget, or don’t know to ask about the restrictive conditions attached to the property,” says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.

“It can not only cause frustration, but could lead to legal and financial ramifications if the new owners make structural changes that are not in compliance with the restrictions listed.”

Entrepeneurs, apply for 2017 enterprise development programme
Property Point, a Growthpoint Properties initiative, invites entrepreneurs that have businesses operating in the property industry to apply for its next two-year enterprise development programme intake before 31 January 2017.

“We want to transform South Africa by supporting small businesses. Property Point is passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed,” says Shawn Theunissen, head of Property Point and head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Growthpoint Properties.

Property Point is an award-winning enterprise development initiative founded by Growthpoint Properties, the largest South African primary listed REIT that creates value for all stakeholders with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It collaborates with partners across the property sector, such as Attacq Limited, to drive enterprise development forward for the sector.

How to ensure your home renovations are legal
One of the best ways to improve the value of your home is to renovate it, or add extra rooms. You may have a good idea of what you want to do, but who should you speak to in order to make sure your building dreams don't turn into a construction nightmare?

Possibly the best reason to hire a registered architectural professional is to save you money, says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. While this might seem like a contradiction, as their services cost, he says take into consideration that they have the skills to create a cost-effective design that meets your brief and may even exceeds your expectations - and the competency and technology to adapt the plan if need be before the job starts.

This might be the difference between a life-long investment or a continued money pit, says Hutchison.

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