Top players in the industry give advice
For buyers and sellers transacting over the next few months, the advice from property experts is simple: This is a buyer’s market, so if you don’t have to sell, don’t, says Herschel Jawitz, chief executive of Jawitz Properties.
Buyers must budget correctly for their bond repayments and factor in a 1% or 2% increase in their interest rate charges, advises Harry Nicolaides, chief executive of Century 21.
Sellers need to be realistic. If you are taking a hit on your current sale, there is opportunity in the onward purchase. Everything is relative, says Richard Hardie, chief executive of Knight Frank South Africa.
Understand your needs and gauge them against the market activity in your desired areas is the advice from Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa chief executive.
Sellers should guard against holding out for unrealistic prices as it will take time before a market upturn, according to Samuel Seeff, chairman Seeff Property Group.
Prospective buyers are encouraged to save as much as they can so they are in a position to pay a substantial deposit when applying for a home loan, says Mike Greeff, chief executive Greeff Properties.
Property buyers must not overpay because, in the shorter term, prices may not increase as much as they have in the past, says Andrew Golding, chief executive Pam Golding Properties.
Prospective buyers must work wisely with their money now so they are ready to purchase should we enter a full recession and should property prices drop, says Adrian Goslett, chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.
Buyers must buy a little lower and pay off as much debt as they can while interest rates are favourable is the advice from Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group.
Buyers and sellers should not make emotional decisions, but rather look objectively at their own financial risk and their mobility options, says Paul Stevens, chief executive of Just Property.
Homeowners who are already feeling financial pressure should consider selling sooner rather than later to avoid defaulting is the advice from Chris Tyson, managing director of Tyson Properties.
Prospective buyers should be fully aware of their financial positions and live within their financial means, warns
Jacques du Toit, Absa property analyst
Home Improvements: Best and Worst Ideas from the Point of View of Adding Value to Home
Homes are assets that keep increasing in value on their own unlike other things that face depreciation with use and passage of time. However, homes require repair and maintenance from time to time to look like new and attractive to others. Home improvements are ways to infuse new life and also to add value to your property. There are minor, cosmetic home improvements that cost little and there are also improvements that are elaborate and expensive. Here are some of the best and worst ides for home improvement keeping in mind value addition to your property:
Best Home Improvement Ideas
Kitchen is truly the heart of a home. Many individuals decide in favor of buying a home solely on the basis of the condition of the kitchen. Remodeling a kitchen is one home improvement project that not only ads significant value to the home but also allows the owner to recoup all of his investment in this project. Do not go overboard trying to turn your kitchen into a luxury kitchen but make it modern and modular with attractive cabinets and appliances.
Paint job goes a long way in adding value
The charm and smell of freshly painted house adds value to a home. Not only does your home start to look beautiful, it also looks different from other homes in the neighborhood. A paint job need not be an expensive one to achieve the objective of home improvement. Your home painted in a colour that hides the harsh climate factors of the Namibian coastline which attacks your home daily, such as dust, sand & salty mist, ads value to the property.
Adding extra living space
There is no better way to add value to your home by adding extra living space to it. Square footage means a lot to the buyer and it doesn’t matter if it comes in the form of rooms on the first floor or extra living space through a renovated loft. . Of course these home improvements are extensive and need a large investment in addition to time and effort. However, home improvements that add extra living space are always recovered by the homeowner when selling his home. So you should not hesitate if it costs a lot of money as you will get all your investment back when selling your home.
Get a deck added to your home
A deck is an outdoor living space inside the property that adds significant value to your home. Whether made in the backyard or in the front garden, a deck adds to the appeal of your property and gives you a chance to spend some time in the outdoors without going out of your home. The price of a deck is dependent upon material used, stairs, seating, and the design. You can cut down on frills to keep the cost low.
Addition of a garage
If your home only sports a single garage, it is a definite must to add on an extra garage space. The reason being majority of buyers in Namibia look for double garages, as they buy together with their spouses, partners or even a friend or family members, due to the high rates of property in our country. And in this day and age, the majority of spouses or partners each have their own vehicle…which they need to place inside a garage. Especially at the coast!
Worst Home Improvement Ideas
Adding a swimming pool inside the property
Construction of a swimming pool inside your property can add value to your home but it is a costly project that can set you back by thousands of dollars. It is better to enjoy this luxury at a lodge, hotel or a friend’s house than waste your living space and money on this home improvement project.
Costly and elaborate landscaping
It is a good thing to do something to improve the curb appeal of your property. But it should be limited to trimming the bushes in your garden, planting flowering plants and washing the driveway. You should not spend a whopping amount of money on landscaping as you will not be able to recover this investment when selling your home.. A well kept lawn is enough to impress your potential buyers in the name of landscaping.
Construction of a new roof
Building a new roof is a time consuming and costly exercise. Go for it only if you are planning to live in your home rather than selling it as you will not be able to add this expenditure to the selling price of your house. Similarly, do not take change of septic tank or plumbing as home improvement projects as buyer is not interested in knowing about basic necessities.
In the end, which ever renovations you choose to take on, be sure that you will be able to recuperate the costs when selling the property.
Everyone has had the same problems and issues when they decided to buy their first house. It is no secret, in fact, that buying a house is a big step, and one that you should plan well, before committing to it.
If it is true that you need to have a constant flow of income before buying, it is also true that there are certain characteristics that make a house not a great deal for first time buyers. However, it is easy to overlook these details, as the buyer can be blinded by the excitement and emotions of the moment.
In this article, we are going to spend some time talking about the characteristics that you need to look for in a house in order to disregard it as a buying option. Basically, if the house you are trying to get has any of those things, we advise you to stay away from it and to look for something else as it will literally save you a lot of money down the road.
Weak walls or uneven floors
Let’s start with this. When you are looking for a house, the design it is not everything. In fact, it can happen often that the most beautiful houses do not have a great foundation or structure. Even if they look pretty, the best thing to do is to take a close look at the walls. How do they look? Do they seem strong and solid or are they weak and “empty”? If the answer is the second one, then you should definitely stay away from that particular house. In fact, weak walls will eventually cause some damages at your pocket and, if you are not aware of the costs, we can assure you that we are not talking about a small number. Go for solidity. Small vertical cracks may just need a sealant to fix the problem, while bigger, horizontal cracks indicate more severe structural problems. We would also recommend to rather get a structural engineer in for an expert opinion if you are unsure of the condition of the foundation of the home you are interested in.
An old trusted method to test the evenness of the floor, is to drop a marble on the floor and see how far, and fast, it rolls.
Another important fault to look out for is salt in the walls. This occurs very easily in Swakopmund & Walvis Bay due to our foggy and wet climate, coupled with our salty ground surfaces. Once salt has eaten through the walls it is extremely difficult to contain it, and cosmetic surgery has to be performed on a more regular basis than you would expect.
Flat roof or non-existing drainage system
A flat roof, especially if you are buying a house the best way to go about it, when you are a first-time buyer. In fact, even the menial rain we receive at the coast can cause serious damages and leaks at your roof, if it does not have a very good drainage system. The safest option proves to be a pointing roof. If the house has a flat roof, ensure that it has a good drainage system.
Water damage and mould
Most of the serious problems that home inspectors observe are caused by water damage. All too often, homeowners don’t discover the problems in time or if they do, they ignore them. Unsuspecting buyers can inherit expensive repairs. Some of the worst damage is caused by black mould, which is suspected of causing health problems and which can spread fairly quickly throughout a house. It can cost a couple of thousand Namibian dollars to fix a bad case of black mould. Any sign of water damage or mould should be traced to its source so that potential homebuyers can get a realistic idea of how extensive the repairs will be. Mould should also be tested to determine what type, and how potent, it may be.
A big garden can be a dream, but it can be easily transformed into a nightmare, if you are a first-time buyer. In fact, going for a house with a big garden, means that you will need to spend a lot of time taking care of it. How are you going to find all the resources and the time necessary to keeping the garden nice and neat? If you are not able to answer this question quickly, then it is a sign that you should stay away from a big garden. You can always go with a smaller one, which will give you the satisfaction of owning a green space, while avoiding any sort of problems.
Sometimes the problem isn’t the house; it’s the neighbourhood. No matter how much money you spend on upgrading the house, there might be factors that will still bring the value down of your home, such as a highway, nearby airport, unruly neighbours, etc. You won’t be shelling out for repairs, since the issues typically can’t be fixed. The real cost is the reduction of your home’s value and how difficult your home may be to sell in the future.
The “Money Guzzling Fix-Me-Upper”
Renovating a cheap deal into a palace is s dream a lot of us has had in the past. But the reality is that sometimes you bite off more than you can chew. Make sure that the cheap deal does not require an entire overhaul where you may end up in the financial deep end, as you are spending more money than worth.
The Big Mansion
Big house = big maintenance expenses. Think of your electricity bill, water usage for cleaning and gardening, the volume of materials for maintenance, etc. etc.
If you will follow these guidelines, we are sure you are going to get a lot from your first investment. Good luck!
Airbnb vs Renting
Since the creation of Airbnb, lots and lots of property owners (maybe even yourself) have had the doubt of what they should do with their properties….continue with traditional renting or convert to being an Airbnb host. In fact, if it is true that this new system is becoming more and more popular, it is not clear if it represents a real advantage over standard renting.
Finding and article that talks about this topic in a unbiased way is very difficult, since most of the time they are written by people that are either renting or doing Airbnb. For this reason, we decided to create this piece of content, to give you the best look over this topic, while being the less biased as possible. Everything you will read in this article is true and we assure you about the validity of the information contained. Get yourself a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, sit down, and enjoy.
If you are an entrepreneur, you already know that it is very important to have a constant cashflow, in order to know exactly what you are making and to be able to leverage on that money. Furthermore, if you have a sure constant cashflow, you can allow yourself to invest, make predictions and plans for the future etc. From this perspective, classical renting comes right on the top. In fact, Airbnb does not assure you to have permanent guests or frequent visitors enough, in order to define it a constant cashflow. On the contrary, classical renting allow you to sign up families and couples for months, which means that you will be sure to have a huge part of the year covered by the cashflow. As we said, from this perspective, classical renting is the best way to go about it.
Another important criteria is, obviously, the profitability. From this point of view, Airbnb comes out on top. In fact, people that are using this service are, most of the times, looking for a vacation and are, therefore, inclined to spend more money. Keep in mind that their alternative is staying in hotels, so, as long as you offer a lower price than those, you will be good to go. On the other hand, people who are looking for a rent, are not at all interested in spending like they are on a vacation. In fact, as we stated previously, they are most likely coming to your home to stay there for a while, so they expect not to pay as in a hotel. For this reason, Airbnb is the best way to make money on the short term, but without having a constant cashflow.
Finally, we need to consider this aspect. Classical renting has been around now for many for years. This means that the paper work behind it has been done tons of times and people know how to set it up in a legal way. On the contrary, Airbnb is new in Namibia. The Namibian Tourism Board has recently created regulations to specifically address this type of service. As an Airbnb host you are now required to register as a member with the Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) in order to be a legal Airbnb host. This regulation has been implemented in order for the tourism board to be assured that the property you offer to tourists to rent, is up to standard. Keep in mind that you will be required to register for a name reservation with the Ministry of Trade, as well as a municipal business certificate before you register with NTB. For more information you can contact the Namibian Tourism Board at Tel: +264 61 2906000 or email@example.com, or alternatively visit their website http://www.namibiatourism.com.na
Which ever option you choose, make sure that it is the right option for you.
As a landlord, you have several responsibilities dealing with the property you are leasing to an individual. And with these responsibilities comes along common problems that you may face during the time period you are renting out your property.
Some landlords try solving these problems by reducing rental rates to sustain good tenants, but low rents affect the can affect your profitability, time and long term expenses in case the property is damaged.
There are certain measures which you can take to avoid such problems.
Problem no. 1: Delay in payment of rent
This is the most common problem faced by landlords in Namibia – the inability by tenants to pay rent on time. There are various reasons for this delay for example, they forgot or simply do not have the funds available, but whatever the case is, it causes issues for the landlord.
There are some effective ways to prevent this issue. It is rational to send the official invoices to the tenants 10 to 15 days before the rent is due. You can also send the email which is a good reminder and is an effective way as the tenant will be able to read it even if he is out of town. It is also a good option to charge a fee for a tenant when he / she blows the deadline.
There are laws made for the tenants in Namibia which they have to follow. If they follow it correctly, you as the landlord can reduce the issues you may have to face. According to the law, the tenant is obliged to:
- Pay rent to the landlord on the proper time as stipulated by the rental agreement.
- To take care of the property and do not use it for any inappropriate activity.
- On the time of the termination of the lease, make sure to restore the property in the same condition.
Problem no. 2: Repair and maintanence issues
The leaky taps, broken tiles, and stained walls bring headache for landlord as well as the tenants. While you may spend a significant amount of money fixing the problems, it can cost you more in the long run if maintenance is not effectively managed. If you go about the “doing it yourself” strategy, it has its own dangers like legal liability claims resulting from the injury or loss. It is better to attend to repairs and maintenance immediately by making use of a professional to perform the task on hand. Also ensure that the rental agreement clearly stipulates which repairs are the responsibility of the lessor and the lessee, to avoid any confusion.
Problem no. 3: Screening process of tenants
While you are giving your property to the tenant on rent, screening and verification of its employment and rental history, credit check etc, are very important to consider for all the perspective tenants. It is good to take the Namibian identification number, current address and full name and surname of the prospective lessee, for you to perform an accurate screening process. In case you, as the landlord, decide to ignore the screening part, the risk is great that you will have to suffer serious consequences in case the tenants indulge in any illegal activity in, or on. your property. It is also better to get references directly from the tenant’s previous landlords to know more about the tenant.
Problem no. 4 Violation of rules and undisciplined behaviour
Some tenants adopt a very non-serious approach without caring how badly it is impacting the surrounding. Excessive noise, loud parties etc, can disturb the other tenants while it also decreases the value of the property. Others, on the other hand, ignore the basic rules like for example having guests park in front of other tenants’ apartments. These are all problems that can be avoided if you stipulate all property rules in the rental agreement, and issue written warnings on offences.
Ensure that all rules, rental policies, important information as well as verbal agreements are clearly indicated in the rental contract between you, the lessor, and the party renting from you, the lessee. If a lessee breaks any of the rules or clauses in the contract be sure to issue a written warning to show you are serious about the points agreed on in the rental agreement.
For the born entertainer, having a home to bring together family and friends for a great time as well as making memories, is of utmost importance.
But having a braai every weekend has become predictable, so why not encorporate some unique ideas to turn your entertainment home from just “lekker” to “uniquely entertaining”…as well as the topic of conversation on everyones lips.
Here we have gathered some great ideas to turn your home into an entertainer’s dream!
1. Indoor movie theatre
Create your own movie theatre room. This can be done quick and easy with pallets and sponge mattresses.
Add some added flair to your movie room by creating aq snack bar, complete with a popcorn maker, sweets bowls or baskets and a mini fridge to store the cold drinks.
2. Board game table
Create a board game table with chalk board paint to keep scores, and store all board games.
3. Movie & games library
If you are a movie or game buff (or both!) why not display your fun side for everyone to see by creating a dispaly cabinet for your collection.
4. Fire pit
Just think how many nights get wasted at the coast because of the regular bout of wind we experience. Why not build an outdoor conversation pit where you are sheltered from the wind and kept warm by the fire. Imagine all the good conversations originating from that fire pit!
5. Outdoor movie screen
Just think how cool an outdoor movie theatre will be for those beautiful east weather evenings? This is a great entertainment idea for both young and old, and will sure be a hit with everyone.
Here is a link on how to build your own outdoor luxury movie screen. http://thehorticult.com/show-thyme-how-to-build-an-outdoor-theater-in-your-garden/.
If you do not want a premanent structure, you can find a large number of easy to make, temporary DIY movie screen ideas on the internet.
6. Outdoor games
On those great weather days, why not keep your guests or kids entertained with some outdoor games like ring toss or even a mini-golf course?
7. Adult & kids playhouse
Why not create a playhouse like this one to entertain both kids and adults? On the top deck the adults can sit down and relax while the kids are playing downstairs. Great fun for everyone!
8. Beer cooler table
Not in the mood to run inside everytime you want a cold beer while the meat is on the braai? Why not make your table the topic of conversation by creating a beer / wine cooler in the middle of the table to keep everyones drinks nice and cold while the conversation is flowing.
DIY Beer / wine cooler: http://www.homedepot.com/c/how_to_build_a_picnic_table_with_built_in_cooler_HT_PG_LC
If you have some great ideas to add to this list please do not hesitate to share your idea in our comment section.
Meticulously planning the layout of your newly build homes is of utmost importance to most of us as it will determine how comfortable we will find the place we will call home. For others…not so much.
We have compiled a group of 20 very confusing real estate photo images courtesy of “Terrible Real Estate Photos. Visit their website www.terriblerealestateagentphotos.com for more images that will make you scratch your head and think “Why?!”.