Finding diamonds among the distressed

But such properties are not always well-presented – indeed they are often somewhat shabby-looking - and it can take a really keen eye to spot their potential, says Hano Jacobs, CEO of the Realty 1 International Property Group.

“Owners who were having difficulty in making their home loan repayments will obviously not have had much, if anything, to spend on the upkeep of their properties, and it is true that in repossessed properties, grime and clutter can hide a long-term absence of essential maintenance that may cost the buyer a lot to rectify.

“However, distressed properties are different. They are usually sold before the owners have got themselves too far into financial trouble, and most are certainly worth a second look to see if the “bones” of the home are sound.”

What buyers who are interested in distressed properties should especially be looking for, he says, are the following indicators of a “good buy”:

* Good basic structure. Avoid properties with bad cracks, serious roof leaks and rising damp. And if you find a home you like, get it professionally inspected before you make an offer.

* Good infrastructure. Ask your home inspector to also check the electrical system, plumbing and any gas installations and make sure the seller can produce up-to-date safety compliance certificates for these. In some areas, you will also need a borer-beetle certificate.

* Well-proportioned rooms and a good floor plan. Forget any furniture, curtains, carpets and paint colours that are not to your taste and use your tape-measure to get the real dimensions of the rooms.

“If all these three elements are in place and the home is in a good location, the astute buyer will be quick to react, especially if the price is well below current market value for the area, as is the case with many distressed sales,” says Jacobs.

“Indeed, the savings to be made when buying such a property will usually more than compensate for the cleaning, mending and repainting that are probably all that will be needed to turn it back into a real gem.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      The average size of bond granted in SA has grown 7,7% in the past 12 months to R934 000, according to BetterBond, the country’s biggest bond originator.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      In the current market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong, especially in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is according to Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop. However he says that before homeowners let their property out, there are five key points they should make sure are covered before they market the property for rent and sign any lease agreements.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
    • 19 Jun 2018
      Douw Steyn, one of the richest men in the country, recently allowed a rare glimpse into his Fourways Palazzo when it was featured on the SABC lifestyle programme Top Billing - and it is beyond your wildest dreams!
    • 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
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us