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What are the elements that today’s home buyers look for when buying a property?
Submited: 2013-12-05, by Willi

1. Security

One of the number one reasons that South African consumers give for where they choose to live is security and safety. This is largely due to the sobering crime statistics along with the fact that so many families have been affected by crime in one form or another. 

South African home buyers are among the most security conscious consumers in the world, which has led to properties with top-end security features that are in security estates or secure neighbourhoods being among the most sought-after types of properties.

He says security has become one of the most crucial influencing factors in home buying decisions.

2. Quality of schools

Another major requirement for today’s home buyer is proximity to good schooling. “We have found that schooling can play a massive role in the property buying decision process for family buyers due to the fact that they want to be correctly zoned for their children’s intake to excellent schools.”

not only is the zoning a consideration, but also a convenience in that parents will have to travel to and from the school each day, unless the child attends a boarding school.

3. Convenience to place of work

Much like commuting back and forth for schooling, commuting to work is also a factor that most home buyers consider. According to Goslett, buyers often tend to try and buy property as close to their place of business as possible, as this can vastly cut down on their travel time and money spent on commuting. 

4. Quality of neighbourhood 

When buying residential property, industry experts will advise buyers to look at the location, as it can influence the home’s resale potential and the return on investment. “Real estate agents revealed that the majority of their clients are mindful of the neighbourhood they live in, partly because of the impact on their investment and partly because of the lifestyle offering that the area provides.”

today’s home buyer is concerned about the quality of the neighbourhood, as more buyers are viewing property buying as long-term decisions and understand that they will live in that neighbourhood for some time.

5. Long-term suitability

Research indicates that consumers are moving around far less than they did five years ago, so many home buyers are looking for property that will suit their needs both now and in the next 15 years when their criteria has evolved. 

Younger buyers often look for an extra room or space on the property that they can build onto, so that the property they buy will fulfil their needs as they develop and change with their changing life stages, he says.

6. Affordability

Although financial institutions have relaxed their lending criteria to some degree, affordability is still a massive consideration when it comes to bond approval. Affordability ratios and the percentage of deposits required from the majority of home loan applicants has had an influence on the properties that home buyers choose to buy. 

the rising cost of living expenses and utilities has also influenced buying decisions with more and more buyers opting for smaller, more manageable homes.

7. Energy efficiency

This consideration is largely based on the rising cost of living. More buyers are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and their impact on the environment.

Homes with energy-saving eco features such as solar panels and gas appliances are high on the list of essentials for today’s buyers, who are seeing the advantage of green features on their monthly expenses, particularly with the increasing cost of electricity, he says.

8. Open floor plans

Open plan living has become more and more important to today’s buyer, particularly younger generation buyers who want spaces that can be used for dual purposes. Buyers are looking for spaces that can be used for entertaining and spending quality time with family and friends. 

9. Smart features and technology

In today’s era of rapid technological advancement, high-tech has become high-priority. Many home buyers are looking for property that has integrated technology into its design, which allows the homeowner to control the home at a distance via a broadband connection. 

Although these features were once just for the more affluent homeowner, advancement in technology and devices that use Wi-Fi or other wireless connections have made these kinds of home features increasingly more accessible to the general public.

younger generations are highly influenced by technology, which has become a part of everyone’s daily life.

10. Design and layout

Home buyers are looking for a property that is well-designed and flows from one space to another. While some buyers may renovate or change certain elements of a property to suit their taste, if major transformation of a home is needed for the property to meet their needs, they are likely to go elsewhere.

“Irrespective of the reasoning behind why a buyer has chosen their particular property, conditions still favour buyers for now and those who have access to finance will be able to find what they are looking for in today’s real estate market.” 

Electric fences and compliance certificates
Submited: 2013-05-17, by Proprop (Pty) Ltd - Head office

Participants in the Property industry need to be cognizant of the latest developments in respect of the provision of an Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance that governs immoveable property sold with an electrical fencing system in place.

Whilst it is customary for a Seller to provide an electrical compliance certificate in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (the Act) a “user” of an electric fence system, in existence after the1 October 2012, is now obliged to render a certificate of compliance in respect a electric fence system, or if an alteration or addition has been made to a system installed prior to October 2012.

This is an additional requirement and is separate from an electrical compliance certificate.

It is envisaged that these fences will be inspected and evaluated to ensure that they are compliant.  Should a fence be found to be non-compliant remedial measures will be required to be taken with the Act providing redress under criminal law in instances of electric fencing found to be illegal.

The regulations relating to the change of ownership are unfortunately not as clear cut as the regulations relating to electrical compliance certificates. The regulations do not specifically state that the current user or seller is responsible for obtaining the electric fence system certificate before transfer, neither does it prohibit transfer of the immovable property from taking place without the certificate. Therefore it can only be inferred that the Seller will be responsible to provide the electric fence system certificate and will transfer it to the purchaser.

Furthermore, there is no time limitation which has been placed on the validity of the electric fence system certificate so a new electric fence system certificate is not required for each subsequent transfer of the immovable property unless an addition or alteration has been effected to the electric fence system since the issue of the previous electric fence system certificate.

There is a prescribed format for the electric fence system certificate and it can only be issued by a party that is registered as an electric fence system installer.

When entering into an agreement of sale for the purchase of immoveable property that has an electric fence system, it is recommended that it should be a condition of such agreement that an electric fence system compliance certificate should be delivered prior to the registration of the transfer of such property. The certificate is thereafter transferable, subject to the qualification above.

In respect of the transfer of ownership of a sectional title unit, where the fencing is erected on common property the Sectional Titles Act imposes a general duty on the body corporate to control, manage and administer the common property, of which such electrical system forms a part.  A body corporate will be deemed a "user" in terms of the Act, and will subsequently be liable for the issuing of such certificate.  When an owner therefore sells his sectional title unit, a certificate from the body corporate confirming that a compliance certificate exists in respect of the electric fence system, will suffice.

Unless it is stipulated by the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, there is no obligation on the conveyancer to obtain the certificate on behalf of the purchaser, unless this is expressly agreed upon in.  Conveyancers may proceed with transfer of the property unless prohibited specifically in terms of the agreement of sale. A clause in a sale agreement that places an obligation on the seller to provide the purchaser with an electric fence system certificate serves the purpose by protecting both the Seller and Purchaser by certifying the validity of such installation.

Meredale ext 2
Submited: 2011-03-21, by Shelter Surge

4 bedrooms. 3 bathrooms. tilted diner and lounge fitted with fireplace leading onto entertainment area with sparkling pool with lapa on a landscaped garden, garaging for 2 cars, outside room that can be used as home office as well as the servant's room. R985 000.00. Tel Joe at 082 963 1310 

Submited: 2010-11-02, by Alley Kolesky Properties

This lovely cosy home has the following to offer:

3 bedrooms each with own bathroom, 2 living areas, beautiful loft entertainment area, indoor braai, open plan kitchen, double garage, magnificent garden. 2 wendy houses included in the sale

This all for only R1 695 0000.00


Submited: 2010-11-02, by Pronamic Real Estate

With property sales regularly falling through when the bank turns down the buyer's application for a bond, don't be tempted to word your bond clause too widely.

The danger of doing so is clearly illustrated in a matter recently before the High Court, where a developer had worded its sale agreement in such a way as to allow it to extend ("in its absolute discretion", and with neither notice to, nor permission from, the buyer) the time within which the buyer had to obtain a bond.

In effect, it depended "entirely on the will" of the seller to determine whether or not the buyer had performed in terms of the bond clause; and that, held the Court, rendered it "void for vagueness".

The buyer accordingly escaped from the sale.

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Last modified: July 27 2012.