Don't move, improve!

Don't move, improve!

Banks currently only approve one out of ten home loan applications. "In normal circumstances seven out of ten mortgage bond applications were
successful, however this figure has dropped dramatically since the onset of the global economic stress," says Brian Maher of Insight Capital. House
prices have also decreased dramatically. However, the recent drop in the prime lending rate from 15% to 14% has given home owners hope for the
future. "There is an expected drop in interest rates of 3-6%, however the property market usually experiences a lag of 6-9 months before the effects
taper through," says Maher. It is therefore advisable to focus on increasing your property value in preparation for a healthier market in the near
future. Potential buyers will be interested in features that transform your house into a good investment.

We have all been sufficiently warned against selling property with the current state of economic affairs locally and globally. "Although
residential demand is expected to show some improvement in the very near term as interest rates drop, a customary lag between demand changes and
price trend changes leads me to stick to the view that we'll have to wait to 2010 before seeing national house price inflation resume," said FNB Home
Loans Property strategists, John Loos in a recent article on Real Estate Web.

Property experts are advising home owners to buy and improve while property markets are on the low, and to sell when the market improves. "Property is
a long-term investment; therefore focus on improving the value of your property now to enable you to sell it at a fair price when the market
improves," says Maher.

The first step is to get an idea of what people really appreciate and value in homes, inside and out. This can be done by visiting various houses on
show. This will also give you a better idea of the different options out there when doing small renovations or adding trendy appliances, such as
solar heating.

Be careful to keep the value realistic in relation to the area and size of your property. Although reports confirm that the property market will
stabilize eventually, there is no reason to over-spend and lose when selling your property. Renovation experts can be contacted for advice on a feasible
market value for the positioning and size of your home. They will also be able to tell you which improvements are the least costly to up your return
on investment.

"Your home is a growing investment and should be maintained as if it is on show 24/7," says Nigel Tebbutt from Impact Exhibitions organizers of the up
and coming Home Improvers Exhibition. He added by saying that you should make your home appeal to all the senses, in order to attract interest and
allowing you to set a healthy price when it's time to sell.

Released by Affinity Strategic Communication on behalf of the Home Improvers Show

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