Avoid property pitfalls

Whether you are a first-time buyer or seasoned property owner, the purchase of a house is an emotional decision with far reaching financial and lifestyle consequences.  The search for your dream home can easily turn into a nightmare if you fail to do proper research. 

Retha van Zyl, owner of Retha van Zyl Real Estate,  is no stranger to the real estate market, as exclusive real estate marketer for Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, she has seen many people embark on the journey for their dream home. Armed with years of experience as Area Specialist of the residential market within Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate and boasting extensive knowledge of the real estate market on the estate, her advice on how to avoid property pitfalls is invaluable. 

Work with your budget

“Woodland Hills offers a rich diversity of properties that entice many a buyer to this estate. A vast number of visitors to the estate dream of finding a home here.  Buyers should carefully consider their budget to prevent disappointment,” says Retha.

“Many enthusiastic home buyers have been forced to let go of their dream home because they did not pay sufficient attention to their own financial position.”

Therefore the following important must be answered before you embark on the search for your dream home:

  • Monthly income and expenditure (including household expenditure such as fuel and travel costs, accounts payable, school fees, etc.)  
  • The cost of a bond and insurance on the new property. 
  • The cost of levies, rates and taxes, sanitation, water and electricity of the new property.  
  • The costs involved in the maintenance of the property.  
  • Cash on hand to the value of at least 10% of the purchase amount of the property to serve as deposit; plus the cost of transfer duty, transfer and bond registration fees.  

Look before you leap

Retha says that analysing the market is a vital step to take when you are considering buying a property. “A limited number of houses, townhouses and erven are available for sale in any given price range in Woodland Hills.  Consequently, competition is fierce and price increases are visible.” Adding that by doing your research you will prevent yourself from buying a property for an unreasonable price but will also help you obtain a home loan. “Banks are not willing to finance houses bought at exorbitant prices,” said Retha.  

The following considerations can prevent hasty decisions:  

  • Confirm the size of the property and compare it to other similar properties recently sold on the estate.  An experienced Estate Agent with knowledge of the prevailing market, can assist in this regard.  
  • Make sure that the quality and neatness of finishes are suitable for a property in the luxury market.  
  • Make sure that the property conforms to the aesthetical requirements of the estate.  It remains the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the property adheres to all requirements as stated in the Community Participation Manual.  
  • Make sure that the family will feel comfortable with the unique character of the estate, by reading the Community Participation Manual before an offer to purchase a property, is signed.  

Is this really a bargain?

“Each buyer wishes to buy the best property for his/her unique circumstances, while each seller wishes to receive the best possible rand value for his/her property.  Bargains are seldom found, but when the opportunity arises, buyers should ask themselves is this really a bargain?” explains Retha

The following critical questions should be asked to ensure that the "bargain” does indeed have merit: 

  • Is the apparent bargain not presented at a market related price?  
  • How does the property compare to surrounding properties?  
  • Does the location of the property justify potential costs of repairs or alterations without the risk of overcapitalising the property?  
  • How long has the property been on the market?  What are potential buyers’ impressions of the property?  
  • If the property is sold by means of an auction, what are the costs payable by the purchaser?  Is the property still a bargain considering costs such as levies, penalties, rates and taxes that might be in arrears, additional costs such as auctioneer commission, etc.?
  • What is the probability that the property will be enticing to future buyers?  

“A wise man once said: if one does not really need something; that something is no bargain, no matter how low the price is” Retha advises that the buyer should be certain  that the property does indeed address the requirements of the family, or in the very least has the potential to address requirements within the available budget, and without the risk of overcapitalisation.  

“Armed with the correct information, a little patience and proper planning, the search for your dream home will run smoothly and you and your family will reap the benefits of the exceptional lifestyle offered by Woodland Hills.  Contact Retha van Zyl for support and advice on the important decision regarding your property in Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate,” concludes Retha. 

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