New year, new you, new home

Private Property South Africa

Focus your new year on the investment that never disappoints.

Losing weight, getting fit, saving money or changing your career are usually the standard New Year resolutions, instead of wasting time and effort on to the same old, why not focus on the one investment that never disappoints.

“Adding a property to your portfolio as an investment, selling to upgrade to a larger home, downscaling, renovating your current property or most importantly, if you have not yet entered the property market – obtaining your own home. Whichever position you are currently in, start a new year with your property portfolio in mind and start planning” advised Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

New years resolutions can change your life if you are determined enough to see them through. In order to succeed, you need specific goals, careful planning and realistic expectations. We would like to give you this essential overview to guide you in the right direction to ensure that the property industry works for you this year.


  • Speak to your local property sales advisor to get a professional opinion of the value of your home, this will put you in a position to decide which route you will be taking this year – renovating or selling.
  • Request advice about minor or major renovations that could improve the value of your property, we recommend contacting builders or a handyman to get quotes and then determine whether it is actually worthwhile.

  • Determine whether you are looking to purchase immediately when the property is sold. Buying and selling at the same time requires a lot of planning and your sales advisor can help ease this process by explaining all the options and even finding you your new home and managing the transition process.

  • If you are selling an investment property, speak to your financial planners and accountants first. You might feel that now is the right time, but there may be financial implications with the timing of your sale that should be considered, and you might benefit more by keeping your investment or even growing your portfolio. Cash in hand might seem appealing, but an investment will give you an ongoing income as well as assets which continue to grow.


  • Are you relocating, looking at a holiday home or investment property? When you are buying in an area that you are not familiar with, do even more research. A real estate specialist could save you a lot of time as this is their area of expertise and can give you all the information you could require. You would not call a plumber to do your electrical work, so do not leave your biggest investment in the hands of anyone other than an expert.

  • If this is not going to be your main place of residence or purchased as an investment, have a good look at the numbers and start-up capital required for rates, taxes and transfer fees. Don't buy your property and then see if the investment will pay off. Remember the old saying “measure twice, cut once.” Getting the right advice about structuring the ownership of the property to minimise tax, increase your return and provide greater asset protection is also important. The right specialist will even be able to assist with managing your investment after the transaction is concluded.


  • Renovating is most definably always first in mind when one needs a change. However this decision should be taken with caution and a lot of homework. You might end up spending more on the renovations than you would by selling and buying the property that meets the requirements you are aiming for.

  • Also be aware not to renovate your home to such an extent that you put it over the area's market value. Spending too much on your renovations might mean that you will lose if you do decide to put your home on the market in a few years' time.

  • If you do decide that renovating and upgrading is the best route, ensure that when surveyors, architects, builders and general tradesmen are required, that you find the right people. Get multiple quotes and opinions as there may be a number of different methods and cost saving options available to achieve the same result.

  • If your renovation requires Council approval, or even just the consent of a neighbour, like an additional room or second level to your property, try and get this approved early in the project to save you time, energy and money. If you do not get the proper approvals from Council, be prepared for a potential neighbourhood dispute and issues in trying to sell the property down the road.

  • With many parties often involved in a renovation, be realistic about projected timeframes and disruption to your home life.

There is a common theme to these tips, always look at the right advice to ensure you set the right property goals for 2016. “We at Engel & Völkers are experts in this field with each of our sales advisors having to undergo continues training to ensure that they are always true professionals in their field. We pride ourselves on giving accurate and strong professional advice and always try our very best to help you make the big decisions seem lighter” concludes Craig.


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