Flats and townhouses best for first-timers

“But if you’re keen to get a good foothold in the market, you might actually be better off buying a flat or a townhouse in a good area now and just moving to a bigger property when you need more space,” says Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

Zoning restrictions, he points out, can play havoc with any plans to extend a smaller house by building up or out, especially in areas where stand sizes are generally small and expanded homes could easily overshadow or crowd out their neighbours.

“And even in areas where such restrictions are not a factor, you need to consider how a major home improvement might affect the resale potential of your property. By rebuilding or expanding a home far beyond the scope of surrounding properties and the overall character of the neighbourhood you could very easily create a white elephant.

“In other words, it will be too expensive for most of the potential homebuyers looking in that lower-cost area, but fail to attract the wealthier homebuyers who could possibly afford it because it is in the wrong area for them, and you or even your heirs will be stuck with it.”

This is why, he says, RealNet advises young and inexperienced buyers to rather spend their money on buying an apartment or townhouse in the best area they can afford that is close to work, and focus on paying off their home loans as fast as possible in order to build up equity as well as value growth in their property.

“The advantages of doing this are many. In the first place, you will generally get more home for your money and/ or be able to live in a better area, because if you buy a pre-owned flat or townhouse for up to R600 000, you will pay neither VAT nor transfer duty.

“Secondly, living close to work means you’ll save on commuting time and transport costs, so should be able to pay your bond off faster and also be much less at risk of losing your home if interest rates go up – which is always a concern for first-time buyers on a tight budget.

“And third, living in a well-run sectional title complex where the owners all pay their levies should relieve you of many home maintenance tasks and worries – and more importantly, help protect the value of your unit, so that it is easier to sell and attracts a higher price when you are ready to move somewhere bigger.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Many home sellers are motivated to appoint estate agents because they know that the agency will carry the costs of advertising and marketing their property.
    • 18 Jun 2018
      When a property is sold when it has a tenant in occupation, the questions often raised are: “What happens to the tenant if the landlord sells the property?”, and what rights the tenant will have with regards to cancelling the lease or enforcing it, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Sellers are often caught off-guard by the expenses incurred in the selling of a property. Just like there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is also no such thing as selling your property without incurring at least some costs.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      The second quarter of 2018 has proven to be the turning point for Midrand’s real estate market, especially the upper end which started to waver towards the end of a tumultuous 2017 with a notable drop in both sales and average selling prices.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      According to data recently released by FNB, the average age of a South African home buyer has increased from 38 to 44 this year. In an attempt to help first-time buyers enter the market sooner, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, walks us through the steps of saving for your first home.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      Putting your house on the market can be a stressful process. There are so many decisions to make that will impact how quickly your house is sold and for how much you can sell it for. It’s a serious money game where you can’t afford to make the wrong decision.
    • 14 Jun 2018
      The word tourist describes someone who is visiting South Africa for a limited time and is probably not going to buy a property here – so why is the tourism industry so important to the real estate sector?
    • 14 Jun 2018
      Serengeti Estates has entrenched its status as one of Johannesburg’s most desirable addresses for a spectrum of homeowners with its launch of The Signature Residences, a new cluster village.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us