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We have this week looked at the CPA; but today we will look at something completely different and will share with you some tips on the buying of residential property.

Your house is your home and probably your biggest ever investment. It helps to study in detail all aspects of the purchase of a house before making the investment.

There are, in my view, as a previously practising Conveyancer, 6 simple factors that should always be checked out by anyone looking to buy a residential property.

  1. The first factor to be considered is the home’s position in relation to public transport. As petrol has risen most people have and will have to use public transport. One only has to look at the popularity of the MyCiti bus service in Cape Town. Proximity to public transport will increasingly be seen as a major plus factor for immoveable property.
  2. The second aspect to be considered is the property’s rental potential; especially if you intend purchasing it as a buy to let investment; but also because the owner may decide that he might for a time do better renting the property out rather than selling it in the future. Certain areas in Cape Town are high rental demand precincts eg Claremont and Rondebosch; because they are high student residential areas, where rental returns of 7-8 per cent gross are immediately achievable from day one. A good return in this day and age.
  3. The third factor is the schools in the area. Homes close to good schools have withstood recessionary times and appreciate faster than most areas.
  4. The fourth factor is retail facilities. This is particularly true of less affluent areas, as having these outlets within walking distance is a huge bonus and generally people chose to be close to well-appointed and convenient shops and centres.
  5. The fifth factor which is often overlooked is the zoning of the area. Although our Courts have become less lenient on property owners building properties which block others views; buying in an area zoned for multi-storey developments may be problematic in the future as, at some time, a developer may capitalise of this.
  6. Lastly the security of the property needs to be considered. Many new developments have state of the art security but others have proved to be less secure. It will pay you in the long run to buy a home in a really secure and protected complex as with the amount of crime around these properties will increase in value over time.

Another point regarding specifically sectional title units: Check to see how the owner is charges for water and electricity. Independent meters are always preferable to those which are simply charged on an average user basis or in relation to the area of the unit in the complex. This latter way of doing things may well be to your detriment.

I hope this guideline is useful to you all.

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Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.


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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (0) 82 093 2304