Popular culture has it that the much awaited Final Countdown is truly on. The 2012 Mayan apocalypse is headed straight for us, and its going to crush the tourism industry and squash the housing market. Or is it going to squash tourists and crush houses?
It’s difficult to remember all the many hare-brained theories. So when our tie-dye and sandals, wacky-baccy smoking friends start planning their diaries around that last solstice in December, that’s pretty much expected. But when a highly successful property magnate starts giving properties away – that’s a little alarming. After all, the rich are all in daily contact with their grey alien overlords aren’t they? – and THEY’D know!
Why else would the boss of real estate investment gurus Longain Affordable Apartments be prepared to just hand over the keys and title deeds to a perfectly sound apartment in Zuurfontein? Admittedly, you need to buy an apartment through them before 1 December to qualify for the December 14 lucky draw (a deeply suspicious date) – but still: the rental from your prize apartment will pretty much pay the bond on your other one. They’re practically giving away TWO apartments.
So do we poke this offer suspiciously with a stick and think no more of it, or is this competition one of those rare not-to-be-missed genuine opportunities? Despite a lack of degrees in soothsaying from those highly reputable online esoteric universities, my prediction is that the clever thing to do is to bet against the Mayans and maybe win that free apartment.
The logic is simple: if the Mayans are right, paying your bond won’t be on your mind much anyway; if they’re wrong, you’ve bought at the bottom of the market cycle and started a property empire. Longain’s investment strategy is also sound – low cost means low risk and less commitment, while the yields are potentially better and more reliable than prestige properties.
Longain Affordable Apartments are also a relatively lean operation, with a small portfolio of properties on their website at any given time. This isn’t the lotto, you’ve probably got better than a 1% chance of getting winning the prize. Better yet, you’ve got a 100% chance of owning a low-risk asset that’ll appreciate in value well after 2012 becomes another one of those Y2K memories we share around the braai.