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Low-tech Lifehacks to Keep your Home Warm This Winter

It’s cold outside. With the large cold-front which has hit Johannesburg, these words seem like an understatement. The cold and dark months of winter, when we spend more time indoors and keep our heaters turned up…. is also the time when our electricity bills go sky high. As South Africans, we’ve also become used “rolling black-outs’” or what we more fondly refer to as “loadshedding”. Our electricity supply often becomes more unstable when the high demand increases because we all need to keep warm. We would look for more cost effective and natural ways to heat our homes, without breaking the bank or worrying about the power going out at any time. Here are some of our top tips, to help out in your home; If it’s sunny out… Open the Curtains Once the sun is up, capture as much of that free heat as possible Even on cold days, the sun is still warm.So before you leave the house for the day, open up those curtains and let the light shine in(If there are certain parts of the house that don’t get sunlight, no need to open those curtains) When the sun sets… Close the Curtains While this seems […]
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My Home is Ready for Summer is Yours?

Quick pointers to help prepare your home for the summer rains Johannesburg is notoriously infamous for its frequent heavy, summer thunderstorms, this continuous hard rain can lead to all sorts of problems in and around your home if you are not prepared for it. If your home has been relatively problem-free during the dry season, you will need to do a THOROUGH all-round check and some maintenance to ensure it stays that way during the rainy season.   By following some simple steps, you should have a problem-free rainy season:   1. De-clutter Your Gutters Clean out all the leaves, debris and other dirt trapped in your gutters by hand. Once done, put a hose-pipe onto the roof and allow the water from it to run into the gutters. Walk around the house and make sure that water runs through the gutter as it should, check if any of the gutters are leaking or overflowing. If there are leaks, then do what you can to seal them up – ask your local hardware store for advice on what would be appropriate to use for this. If you notice that the gutter is overflowing or not flowing, check the down pipes […]
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Voetstoots and The Consumer Protection Act

Q:  Can a ‘voetstoots’ clause still be valid under the new Consumer Protection Act? A:  YES, unless you are a developer, investor or speculator Our common law position is that a seller is liable to a purchaser for all latent defects in the property sold for a period of three years after the discovery of the defects. Latent defects refer to defects which exist in hidden or dormant form but are usually capable of being brought to light. Patent defects refer to defects which are readily seen, discovered, or understood to be defects. As a consequence of the harshness of this provision, the ‘voetstoots’ clause has been included in all agreements of the sale of immovable property and offers the sellers protection from the discovery of latent defects by the purchaser after the sale. This applies across the board, except where the sellers acted fraudulently by either; being aware of the defect and not disclosing it or concealing the defect from the purchaser or agent. In terms of this, the balance has shifted with transactions that are covered by the CPA. The operation of the ‘voetstoots’ clause is excluded from transactions that are concluded in the ordinary course of the […]
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Consumer Protection Act, Your Easy Way Out…

Or is it? The Consumer Protection Act sets out the minimum requirements to ensure adequate consumer protection and came into effect from 1 April 2011. With the new Consumer Protection Act (CPA) now in effect, property professionals will be forced to look at the way they do business and how certain procedures affect both them and their clients. The main objective of the CPA is to promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace, therefore all terms within the property sale agreement must be fair and reasonable for both parties. Until now parties could agree to any term in the contract, even if it severely prejudiced one party, which in most cases was the buyer. Parties had the freedom to negotiate contract terms at will, but now the CPA will set out to restrict contractual rights and make sure that parties prescribe to specific, just practices in the negotiating and selling of property. In certain cases, risks that were previously assumed by consumers will now be placed on the supplier. This means that South African’s are now among the most protected consumers across the globe. So what impact will this have on the real estate industry? The CPA will definitely have […]
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Tips for Sellers

Preparing your Home for a Showday or Viewing Read our list of tips below to help you show the very best of your home. REMEMBER: Disclose any defects to avoid any problems after the sale Initial Appeal : The first impression for the buyer is the garden and the exterior appearance of your home A pretty neat garden makes a good impression Exterior walls, woodwork and gutters, should all be neat and clean. If there is a pool it should be sparkling and clean Have a fresh smell in the home, as people will find it welcoming Have an electrician inspect the property and issue an electrical compliance certificate Make the property easily accessible, either making the keys available for viewing or ensure there is a person at home to allow the agent access The Property: Make it as bright and light as you can Keep the house neat and uncluttered, all toys and clothes should be packed away neatly so as not to distract from the property Freshen up the carpets, paintwork, floors, doors Place fresh flowers in a vase Repair any hairline cracks, cracked window panes, broken light fittings and kitchen counter tops Keep garage tidy Cut back […]
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Tips For Purchasers

  Location, Location, Location Check the driveway and the accessibility to the property Check for any damp in the property See if the property has been recently painted Ask all questions regarding the condition of the property and if there any defects that you should be aware of, there are no silly questions Be aware of the selling price the surrounding properties have achieved EVERY PROPERTY HAS MORE THAN ONE PRICE… What the seller thinks its worth What the agent values it at:- The Comparative Market Analysis What the you, as the purchaser, is prepared to offer The final settlement price Be informed of any special type of security in the area Know what the municipal valuation of the property is Find out the rates and taxes levied on the property Know all the special features on the property Stipulate what is to moveable features are included in the sale Make sure that all electrical Motors are in good working condition eg Stoves, pumps and automated gates and doors
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Buying versus renting property

In a depressed market, such as the one we are currently in, many people ask them whether it is more financially prudent to buy their own home or to rent one instead. Although the amount of South Africans who now own their property has drastically risen, with the increasing cost of living and high personal debt-to-income ratios, many South Africans are selling their homes in order to downgrade their lifestyle to more affordable levels. The result is the need for many people to rent instead of buy a home. Rentals are also being fuelled by the fact that house prices remain relatively high when compared to earnings, the banks’ lending criteria remain strict and deposits are still required. This has made the move towards renting, gain increasing momentum. The great news for buy-to-let investors is that the ‘renting trend’ is one that is not only growing in South Africa, but also in other countries around the world. In fact, it is expected that in the UK, the percentage of people who will be renting instead of buying their homes will grow by as much as 20%, while in countries such as Germany for example, over two thirds of the population […]
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