Category Archives: Real Estate

Choose The Right Estate Agent to Sell Your Property With These 5 Tests

Choose Your Agent
5 Tests to help choose the right real estate agent

Most sellers will end up choosing an estate agent that charges the lowest fee or one that offers the highest valuation. However, as some of you may know, neither of these criteria should ever be used to select an estate agent.

“You need to use a little truth serum to get prospective real estate agents to come clean.”
Becki Saltzman

Aside from the obvious requirements, like a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC), without which an agent may not legally operate, there are a several essential traits to look for in an real estate agent.

Before you put your home on the market, or sign a mandate and agree to a marketing plan, here are 5 tests you can apply to your shortlist of candidates to help you sort the wheat from the chaff:
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Top 5 Tips for Selling Your Property Faster

Sold
Maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price, with these Top 5 Tips.

Selling your home is not like selling anything else you own. Suddenly, your private domain will be open to public scrutiny. Strangers will be tramping through your home, evaluating your decor and assessing your housekeeping skills.

The faster you can get your home sold, the quicker this unpleasant process will be over with.

Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much; you won’t get your money back.

Before putting your property up for sale, it’s important to be objective and see your property through a potential buyer’s eyes.

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, sellers need to get some basics right, the first time around — or prepare for a long and frustrating time on the market.

Here are 5 things you can do maximise your prospects of selling fast, at the best possible price:
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Top 7 Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Top 7 Tips for Buying Your First Home
With the right preparation, your first home buying experience can be both pleasant and rewarding.

Is ‘now’ the right time for you to take the plunge and purchase your first home?

The process can be intimidating, particularly if you’re not prepared. With some basic groundwork you can improve the odds that your first purchase will be a pleasant and rewarding experience.

Here are some important issues to consider before jumping in.

7. Have a budget and know how to use it
New buyers often underestimate the hidden costs involved with owning a home. Home ownership comes with a number of new expenses, so good money-management skills are an essential must-have.
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Your Home Insurance Policy: What You Need to Know

House on fire
What would happen if your home burned to the ground tomorrow? – Image: Todd Klassy on Flickr

What would happen if your home burned to the ground tomorrow?

If you have the right homeowners insurance policy, your insurance company would pay for your costs of living for at least one year while your home was rebuilt from scratch, all for just the cost of your deductible.

But if you don’t have the right kind of policy, you may not be covered for the total cost of replacing your home.
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Architects Design Transparent House in Tokyo – Could You Live In This?

This revolutionary design was commissioned by a Tokyo couple and was conceived by Japanese architects Sou Fujimoto

The footprint is just 914 sq ft (85 sq meters). The architects have managed to elegantly combine 21 floor plates positioned at various levels and connected by a system of stairs and ladders that create an easily accessible, light-filled space.

The house is surrounded by homes of a more conventional design in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo. At night curtains provide some privacy as you’ll see in the short (3:27) video above (5 photographs).
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14-Year-Old Real Estate Investor Buys Bank Repossessed Home

Volunteer Work
14-year-old Willow Tufano is co-owner of this $100,000 value Florida home – Image: Chana Joffe-Walt/NPR — click to enlarge

This heart-warming story caught my attention. Good news is scarce in real estate, today.

With the US sub-prime crisis in 2005 an unprecedented real estate tsunami signalled the start of a worldwide recession. It was a phenomena known as the United States Housing Bubble.

Real estate markets everywhere went into free fall, a decline that may only now be bottoming out. Bank repossessed properties, or foreclosures, went through the roof and may still be on the increase.

Whenever clouds are about, sometimes, we’ll find one with a silver lining. 14-Year-old Willow Tufano from Florida was in the right place at the right time when a $100,000 value, 2-bedroom, home became available on an auction for just $12,000. Her mother, a Florida real estate agent, went into the deal with her on a half-share basis.
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7 Types of Home Owner’s Insurance You Need to Know About

Home Insurance
Home insurance can save your investment one day

If you own a home or are thinking of buying one, home owner’s insurance is a necessary evil and can even save your investment one day. But there are many different types of policies out there that can be confusing to the average home owner.

Below, we have gathered seven different kinds of home owner’s insurance to help you make sense of it all.

1. Basic
The liability coverage of the home owning insurance world is the basic. This type of policy covers only the basics but includes items such as fire, wind-storms, theft, and even volcanic eruption.
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7 Reasons Why Buying Is Better Than Renting A Home In This Market

Buying or Renting? Which is better
Buying or renting? Which is better in this market?

The question on every potential purchasers lips when considering a real estate investment is how best to time the market. Values are still declining in a down market, and the question is — how low can they go and how long should one wait?

Interest rates are bottoming out. In fact they are near an all-time low. They are unlikely to drop any further and if you wait too long you may not be able to afford to buy a home at any price.

At the other end of the scale the rental market is characterised by steadily rising rentals, driven by rising demand.

This guide is for anyone who might be considering taking the plunge into the housing market. You may be a home-owner who needs to sell first before you can buy. Or you might be renting and looking to be a first time home buyer. Whatever the case may be, here are seven reasons why buying your home now may be better than renting:
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7 Reasons Why Private Sellers Should Not Be Selling Their Homes

Private Sellers
Private Sellers are sometimes misinformed about what agents can do for them

At first glance, selling your home privately can seem like an attractive proposition. You’ll save the agents commission, right?

In fact many private sellers are home owners in financial trouble, and are hoping to avoid paying the agents fee in order to clear an outstanding mortgage loan without “paying in”.

The reality is that many of these homes end up as “distressed sales” and are auctioned by the bank at greatly reduced prices.

Sadly, in many of these cases the result can mean even greater financial hardship for the unlucky owners. In some cases the shortfall translates into a long-standing debt that will represent a financial burden for many years to come.
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Top 10 Tips for Buying A Bank Repossessed Property

Property Bank Repossessed
Property repossessed by the Bank is an attractive buy!

One of the advantages for buyers of property in the current economic climate in South Africa is the increased availability of Bank Repossessed homes on the market.

When borrowers default on the payment terms of the mortgage loan, eventually this will lead to legal action by attorneys instructed by the mortgage holder.

A judgement is obtained in the High Court and the property is then attached and sold by the Sheriff of the High Court at a sale in execution. If the auction fails to achieve the bank’s reserve price, then the property will be bought by the Bank and placed on the market again. This is called a Property in Possession (PIP).
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