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Monday Oct 22, 2018

Be property savvy

Avoid a house of horrors – experienced advice is key to sidestepping those unforeseen expenses

Experience is said to be the best teacher, and when it comes to buying property, this cannot be more true. Cape Town resident Nicola Williams bought her home in 2015 and knows what she will do differently when she buys her next one.

Shortly after I bought the home, there were many electrical problems, even though there was a certificate of electrical compliancy. I did not get my own electrician in to check or give me a second opinion when I moved in, but next time I definitely will.

Although it appeared the electrical faults were already present when Williams bought the property and so she could have lodged a complaint, she did not check and take photos of the electrical distribution board when she moved in, so had no proof.

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Bonny Fourie

Make sure you budget for everything needed when you move to a new home

Unforeseen expenses are part of being a homeowner, especially if you want to keep on top of home maintenance and avoid small problems escalating.

Moving into a new home, especially one you have just bought, can be an exciting although daunting experience, and is often accompanied by unpleasant surprises. The first rates bill is one of these, says Lisa Connellan, sales manager at Knight Frank Residential.

It often takes the council a month or two to get the new owners’ details on the rates account, so when that first rates bill does come it can be triple what the new owner was expecting.

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Bonnie Fourie

Realistic rents rewarded

Many landlords keep properties tenanted by accepting that some income is better than nothing in tough times

Although rental demand rises during an economic decline, rental rates come under pressure so this means many landlords will need to take a new look at their rental price expectations, say property experts.

The Seeff Property Group says it is better for landlords to fill their properties at a lower rent than to let them stand empty.

Although their profit margins may be a bit lower, and therefore not ideal, at least they are still learning rental returns.

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Property Writer

Heritage comes at a cost

Owning a structure that is more than 60 years old means you cannot make changes without permission

The idea of owning a home in a heritage zone is, for many buyers, added excitement in the home-buying process. But being the owner of such a home does come with its own downsides, agents say.

The National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 states that any home older than 60 years is, technically, a heritage home, and according to the act: No person may alter or demolish any structure or part of a structure which is older than 60 years without a permit issued by the relevant provincial heritage resources authority.

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Property Writer

Friday Oct 19, 2018

Be prepared and budget for rental repairs

No matter how carefully they are chosen to be “low maintenance” or inspected by both tenant and landlord, rental properties – like other homes – will require some upkeep and, from time to time, some repairs.

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Friday Oct 12, 2018

Retail has been the hottest property sector

The Retail property sector appears to have outperformed the other major property sectors over the past two to three decades, according to FNB.

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Wednesday Oct 10, 2018

Gansbaai draws whale watchers, shark divers and serious buyers (Southern Cape)

Gansbaai (which includes Kleinbaai and De Kelders), is just over 2-hours’ drive from Cape Town and about half an hour from Hermanus. It is situated on Walker Bay at the foot of the Dynefontein Mountains with a magnificent coastline rich in fynbos vegetation.

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Coastal reserve homes in demand, Jakkalsfontein (West Coast)

With only a limited number of coastal nature reserves with housing estates available along the coast, these tend to be very popular as they offer the best of beach and pristine nature reserve living according to Cynthia Cousins, Seeff’s agent for Jakkalsfontein.

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White-washed Paternoster fishing village lures holiday and retirement buyers (West Coast)

Aside from the beautiful coastline and white-washed architecture of Paternoster, just about 90-minutes outside of Cape Town, it is an ideal base for people looking to catch a glimpse of the stunning flower carpet that envelops the area during Spring.

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Four things to know before buying a heritage home

South Africa is dotted with historic architecture, from elegant Cape Dutch manor houses to quaint Victorian cottages and Art Deco office blocks scraping the city skyline. For many of us, owning a property that forms part of this collective history would be a dream come true, but that dream brings with it certain rules and responsibilities.

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