Property 24/10 - 391

Sellers beware: How to spot a 'bogus' offer to purchase
If you're selling your property and an offer seems too good to refuse, should you be concerned?

“Receiving an offer to purchase (OTP) on your property can be a heady moment, but we urge you to take the time to carefully look things over. Above all, do not allow a seemingly ‘too good to be true’ offer overrule your good sense,” says Andreas Wassenaar, Licensee & Principal of Seeff Dolphin Coast.

“Danger signs are when a potential purchaser is quick to offer full asking price, but cannot show how he or she is going to finance the purchase.

He says an offer where no significant money is paid within a very short period (three to seven days) it is a weak offer and is best avoided.”

SA’s rental market still receiving mixed reviews
The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a “mixed bag of good news and bad news”. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and stricter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.

This is according to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty, who adds that possible tax hikes this year would further exacerbate the situation.

“Another glimmer of hope was the change in ANC leadership in December and the positive response of the rand, but this is only cause for cautious optimism as no real impact will be felt in the market until an exit strategy and date have been announced,” says Geffen.

Cape Town water crisis and the future of property developments
The ongoing proliferation of property throughout Greater Cape Town has put strain on every one of the municipal systems.

Roads, electricity, sewerage and, most notably, water. As a result, there is now a serious shortage of property development throughout the area because new sites cannot be serviced.

“Until recently the biggest challenge facing the municipality was to provide sufficient sewerage networks. However, for reasons we all understand, the shortage of water is now the main challenge, and its alleviation is absorbing an ever larger proportion of the city’s resources with the result that service delivery is falling behind in many areas,” says Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property.

Three rental quandaries: splitting up, death and family
Landlords and tenants alike may be hard pressed to know exactly what to do when a personal shift such as death or divorce happens, and how these types of events would impact a lease.

Natalie Muller, Head of Rentals at Jawitz Properties in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions, discusses these circumstances.

1. A couple who are renting
And now splitting up. What do you do? Perhaps one of you will elect to move out and the other will take over the responsibility of the lease.

“In order to take one person off the lease, the remaining tenant will have to prove his or her creditworthiness to cover the full rental amount,” says Muller.

Off-grid vs grid-tie solar systems in sectional titles: what’s best?
Electricity supply for individual flats, townhouses and houses is likely to continue to increase in price over the next few years due to the fact that Eskom has lost control of its finances.

This is according to Mike Spencer, Master Practioner Real Estate, from Platinum Global, who says the current investigations and the downgrading of Eskom by international funders are an indication of the self-inflicted problems that they are suffering.

A new Board at Eskom will assist the situation but it is going to take time to sort out their mess.

Spencer says Body Corporates and HOAs are faced with how they are going to deal with the situation, both the high cost of electricity and whether the supply is going to be interrupted.

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