Homing in on your new house

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Buying property is expensive so it is important to choose the right property for your needs in order to avoid costly mistakes.Here's how to zero in on your perfect home.

Which property type is right for you?

Freehold or full title: Freestanding homes in residential areas and on some estates. You own your portion of land and the buildings on it. You will be solely responsible for all municipal charges as well as insuring the property.

Sectional title: This usually applies to flats, townhouses and duplexes. You purchase a section (or portion) of a building or buildings. The land and common property is jointly owned by all owners in the sectional title scheme. The scheme is managed by a body corporate and costs of maintaining the property is shared by all the owners.

Shareblock – You do not own the flat in a sectional title scheme. A shareblock company is registered as the owner of the land and buildings, and each flat is allocated a number of shares which entitles the owner to its use. This type of ownership is uncommon and it is extremely difficult to finance this type of property.

Consider these before starting your property search:

• Your budget – be realistic about what property you can afford
• Your needs – property is a long term investment so consider your present and future needs
• Your lifestyle – find a neighbourhood that offers your desired lifestyle
• Property type - do you want to live in a free standing house, flat or in a complex?
• The minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you need
• Do you need parking spaces and how many?
• Do you need an outside area?
• Security – how safe is the property and area
• Cost of renovating/redecorating – how much work does the property need?
• Maintenance – do you have the time to maintain the garden and pool?
• Proximity to schools

Once you have a good idea of what you need, you can search through thousands of properties on Private Property to find the one that meets your needs.

Tip: You can get the latest property for sale in your area sent to you by email or SMS. Set up property alerts on Private Property and be the first to know.

Tip: Private Property has launched SA’s first property feed. Download the app, follow the suburbs that you’re interested in and we’ll send you matching properties instantly.

Did you know? Private Property is the only website that lists property from agents, banks, developers and home owners.

How to get the most out of your property viewing

Research the property online first
Use Private Property to find out as much as you can about a property first. Property websites have useful resources like photographs, floor plans, virtual tours and property trend info for you to use.

Private Property’s Neighbourhoods allows you to explore the lifestyle of different areas through video, images and content.

Once you’ve found a property that appeals to you, contact the relevant agent to arrange a viewing.

The viewing
Try to arrive early for a viewing so that you have time to explore the neighbourhood, chat to locals and identify any potential issues.

TIP: take a camera and tape measure with you. The camera will help you to remember details about the property later and the tape measure will allow you to judge whether your furniture will fit.

Property viewing checklist
Have a checklist ready to make sure that you cover everything you need to know.

The things you might want to include on your list:

· Is the property in good condition?
· Does it offer enough space?
· Does the property lie within close reach of schools, hospitals and shops?
· If it forms part of a sectional title complex, is the complex well run and maintained?
· Is the property pet friendly?
· Is the surrounding neighbourhood run down or experiencing a lot of development?
· Is crime in the area under control?
· Are there enough parking bays for visiting friends and family?
· Is the property subject to a lot of noise?
· If you want to add on or renovate, can this achieved without breaking the bank?

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