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Things to look for when buying a property


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A good thing to get is a "Pre Approved" bond. This means that you fill in the bond application forms at your bank, they check it as if it is a normal application and then give you a letter stating the maximum amount they are willing to lend you. A "Pre Approved" bond gives you much more bargaining power and in some cases even enables you to buy on an auction. A seller will also feel better about you as buyer if he knows your bond had already been approved. In business there is no place for sentiment. So, do not only apply at the Bank you are banking with for the past 60 years because they give you good service. Every % you get discount will mean more money in your pocket at the end of each month (on R400000, 1% discount = R302.00/month saving). So either apply for a loan at more than one bank, or contact a loan broker so that they can apply at more than one bank for you. By applying at more than one bank you can bargain for a better interest rate.

If you look at the property in general, keep in mind that the general artesian currently charge anything from R100.00 per hour for their labour. 

The cheapest tiles will cost you, with all costs taken into account, at least R80 per sqr meter to do. This includes labour and material. This amount is the bare minimum. 

The outside of the house.

Look at the structure of the building. Look for cracks in the wall, especially cracks on the corners of the house.

Look for paint on the outside of the wall which is pealing. Pealing paint at the bottom of the wall in a horizontal line above the ground sometimes indicate a damping problem. This means that the wall sucks moist from the soil around it.

Pealing paint in the facility of piping normally indicates a leaking pipe inside the wall. 

Does the  outside wall need repainting and repair?

What is the condition of the roof? Is it a steel or tile roof. Repainting a roof is a very expensive exercise, so be sure the roof is not rusted or pealing. A tiled roof of which most of the paint is absent and the concrete color of the tile can be observed, also need to be repainted. Also have a look at the ceiling inside the house. Stains on the ceiling or a sagged ceiling normally will indicate a leaking roof.

What is the condition of the gutters?

What is the condition of the driveway?

What is the condition of the garden. If you move from a apartment to a house, remember that watering a garden might cost you more than you think. A borehole is a major advantage.

What does the pool look like. Is it a concrete or fiber glass pool? If concrete, look for cracks in the pool. Refurbishing a cracked pool might cost you in the region of R18000 or more. Is the pool pump working?

Are the window frames rusted or do they need to be painted. Does the sliding doors work. How many windows are broken? 
Are the garage doors and gate motor (if applicable) working properly. A normal rolling garage door might cost in the region of R1200.00 and a new sliding gate motor R2800.00

The inside of the house

How many doors are broken? Do they open and close properly? Key to doors and closets? (cheap inside doors, fitted, go for about R250.00 minimum each)

In what condition is the carpets and tiles? The cheapest tiles will cost you with all costs taken into account, at least R80 per sqr meter to do. This includes labour and material. This amount is the bare minimum. 

How old is the heating and/or cooling system. Older under floor heating (installed approx 1970-1980) consume a huge amount of electricity. These old under floor heating systems were casted in the concrete of the floor. Thus it have to first heat up all the concrete before radiating heat to the room itself. Modern "under carpet" or "under tile" heaters are much more sufficient and uses a lot less electricity.

How old is the stove? Is it still in a working order?

Bathroom: Look for loose tiles on both the wall and floor. If you knock on the tiles on the wall and it sounds hollow, it is most likely lose. Is the bath's inside surface still smooth and clean. Are there any water leaks? 

Have the owner obtained a electrical certificate yet?

Are there enough electric plugs in each room for your use?

Does the house come with a security system, what is the monthly installment?. 

Are there burglar bars on windows and safety doors on the doors?

Look for pealing or flaking paint. Pealing or flaking paint can be an indication of a water leak on the internal piping system or other water problems. To repair an internal water pipe is an expensive exercise since the wall have to be opened in order to repair the pipe.


Things to think of before you decide!


Will the seller be prepared to repair problems pointed out to him. If not, will your budget allow to fix it yourself?

Will your furniture fit in the new rooms?

Is there sufficient space to extend the house if necessary?

In the case of a sectional title (normally apartments, duplex or simplex) What is the monthly levy and what is included in the levy?






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