What to Look Out For When Buying Property

With interest rates at their lowest since 1974 and house prices being pretty flat at present, now is probably a good time to invest in property if you can afford to do so.

To make sure that you realize the best returns on your investment it is imperative that you do your homework before you purchase any property. If you are looking for a good return on your investment then remember that the three factors that will have the most significant impact are firstly location then features and lastly the price. The more sought after houses are in the suburb the better chance you have of reselling at a good profit in the long term. Proximity to schools, shops and hospitals will have a direct impact on the popularity of a suburb, or area in a suburb.

With all the excitement and stress that comes with buying property people often overlook important factors that could end up making your newly acquired home a lost more expensive than what you had bargained for. People tend to place too much value on the aesthetic appeal of property and underestimate the importance of assessing the integrity of its components.

To avoid unnecessary costs there are certain common flaws that you should look out for when inspecting a property with a view to purchasing it.

  • Check the state of the roof as leakages can have a major impact on various other elements of the house, including the electrical components.
  • Check the drainage on both the property and the perimeter roads as poor drainage can have a detrimental impact on the foundations of the buildings.
  • Check all the woodwork on the buildings, especially in areas that have been exposed to moisture, such as in kitchens and bathrooms. Door and window frames may be in need of replacement, which could prove to be costly.
  • Check the gutters and downpipes to make sure that they are in a good state of repair.
  • Check all railings on decks, balconies and stairways and make sure that they are not loose or broken.
  • Check the space between the ceiling and the roof for proper insulation. A house that is well ventilated should have ventilation ducts in the ceiling to allow heat in this area to escape.
  • Check for leaks and damaged pipes under sinks and make sure that taps and toilets are in good working condition.

These are common flaws that you as layman will be able to detect without making use of a certified property inspector. If any of the above flaws are present you may wish to walk away from the sale. Generally if homeowners have neglected their homes in one area it is more than likely that there will be other areas that have been neglected. If you do however decide to purchase the property with its defects it is advisable to call in the expertise of a professional property inspector.

The services of professional property inspectors are invaluable when its comes to ascertaining whether there are any major defects and the costs associated with the repairs thereof if any defects in the property do in fact exist. Certified property inspectors will also be able to check for any renovations or additions that have been made to the property that have not been approved by the local municipality or that are not in accordance with building regulations.

Land surveyors will be able to assist you if there is any discrepancy about the boundary lines of the property. They will be able to research the original deed and stake out the boundary lines, thereby avoiding future disputes with neighbours and there will be no confusion as to the size of the property that you are purchasing.

Buying property is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make – it is well worth your efforts to make sure you are buying wisely.

Finally it is vital that you shop around to make sure that you get the best deal for a bond on your property. Every financial institution that is in the market for bonds has its own unique strategy and these will change according to the current exposure requirements of the institution. Should the institution require exposure in a specific region, for example, Western Cape, then they might offer preferential rates to clients from that region applying for bonds.

In conclusion, take your time to ensure that you are purchasing the most suitable property at the best price and getting the best deal for your bond. This is more than likely a lifetime investment – make sure you can reap the benefits by doing your homework.

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