No need to rush

Although market conditions are currently ideal for buyers with many prime opportunities available to them, there is no need for them to rush their decision, says Gerrit Stenvert, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Outeniqua, whose office is situated in the beautiful Garden Route city of George.

“In fact,” he says, “because purchasing a property is not a decision to be taken lightly, a buyer should take their time and do some research. They should make a list of their needs and wants along with determining their plans for the future.”

According to Stenvert, once a buyer has decided what they are looking for, it is very important for them to work in conjunction with a reliable estate agency that comes with good referrals and is registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board and operates according to the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act and Consumer Protection Act. “An experienced property professional with a reputable company will be able to assist the buyer in various ways, such as helping them determine what they can afford, providing the buyer with valuable information regarding the area they are interested in and finding them a home that matches their criteria,” he says.

Stenvert adds that online property sites will provide the buyer with an estimated bond that they could qualify for.  He notes that this is by no means a guarantee, but it provides an estimated price range of properties that the buyer is likely to be approved for, as well as an indication of the possible deposit required. “The current bond approval rate is around 51%, however, buyers can improve their chances of obtaining a loan by providing a deposit, handling their debt responsibly and maintaining an excellent credit record. Disposable income is a key factor used by financial institutions to determine the applicants affordability, so wherever possible buyers should reduce their debt-to-income levels,” say Stenvert.

He says that aside from saving for a deposit, buyers should also take into consideration the other costs that are associated with purchasing a property such as transfer duty, transfer cost, bond fees and the bond registration cost. It is also important for them to make provision for municipal deposits, electricity deposits and levies in the case of a sectional-title purchase.

Stenvert advises buyers that when purchasing a property, there are a few aspects that they should pay special attention to, such as the property’s location. “Location will always be a vital factor when purchasing a home. This is for two reasons, one being capital growth and the other reason is safety.”

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says: “The area in which the home is situated will largely determine the home’s future appreciation potential. A well-kept area with a relatively low crime rate that has excellent amenities within its proximity is more likely to have a higher appreciation value over the long term,” he says.

Stenvert notes that another vital factor buyers should look at closely is the condition of the property they want to purchase. “Make sure that the property is structurally sound. When viewing a home, carefully check for signs of water and damp damage, huge cracks or little heaps of sawdust where wood is present. All of these defects are very costly to repair. An indication that damp has been covered up is normally identified by a fresh coat of paint in some rooms, while other rooms that may be in need of paint have been ignored,” says Stenvert.

RE/MAX Outeniqa is currently marketing a beautiful, contemporary property in a secure estate situated in Blue Mountain Village, George. This three-bedroom home is close to Garden Rout Mall and is a short drive from Victoria Bay.  Priced at R1,495 Million, the home features two full bathrooms, a Ceaser stone open-plan kitchen, patio and boma with a stainless steel braai, low maintenance indigenous garden and lovely views of the mountain.

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