Check the boundaries when staking your claim

Buying a stand and building a brand new home to their own specifications is a fondly-held ambition for many homebuyers, but they should take particular care to ensure that the building takes place on the stand they have actually bought.

Confusion can easily arise, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the giant Homenet estate agency group, because the beacons demarcating boundaries in new developments often get lost or misplaced due to building activity.

"Developers usually clearly mark stands in new developments but once building on adjacent stands start it is all too easy for stand markers to be displaced or to disappear entirely.

"In addition, while sales agreements usually contain a clause that states the buyer has familiarised himself with the location, extent and number of the stand he is buying, most buyers see this as a mere formality and don't physically inspect the boundaries.

"And without proper markers in place it is easy to mistake the stand number or to form an impression that the stand is larger than it really is. To prevent buyer's remorse or possibly costly litigation, buyers should thus insist that the developer or his agent replace markers, even if it means that the land must be surveyed again."

Schultheiss says the boundaries of empty stands in developed suburbs are usually clearly marked by neighbour's fences or walls. But in such cases, it is still advisable to 'walk the boundaries' to make sure that neighbouring properties do not encroach on the stand.

"It is much easier to insist that the seller solve that sort of problem than to go to the trouble and expense of having it rectified after you have bought the property. And if the seller refuses, it might be advisable to continue your search for a suitable stand elsewhere."
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