There is no doubt that house renovations are getting increasingly popular these days and homes are getting upgraded for various reasons. Some are integrating smart home applications and devices, others are doing a complete remodel and there are those who simply want to raise the value of their home for selling. For whichever reason, renovations done have to be sensible and wise, ensuring that the homeowner regains a beneficial return on investment when the time comes to sell.
“As much as we’d like to think that the money we pour into renovations will come back at us in full when we sell our home, that’s rarely the case. However certain renovations add value immediately, some small and exterior-focused improvements offer better value than larger challenging renovations” states Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. If you are considering making some home improvements, you will want to understand a concept called ROI. ROI stands for return on investment, which means how much money you stand to get back on any particular renovation whenever you decide to sell your home.
Craig continues by warning that many clients choose to add lavish features, thinking that it would make their property stand out. Sometimes standing out might actually be the wrong thing to do, especially if it changes the price tag. One should always remember that what you like, might not be what the next owner would want in a home, and that would mean that they might not be willing to pay for your customisations. If you custom your home too much, you are narrowing your potential buyers down to a very niche few, and this could result in your home remaining on the market for years.
A good place to start is to check the value of the homes in the area to give you a good feel of your home’s value and how much you should spend on the renovations. The last thing you want to do is over capitalise. If you are hoping to make a significant return when selling your home, make sure that the exterior is on par with the rest of the neighbourhood by making minor improvements to create maximum appeal. It is always a good idea to speak to an estate agent in your area to get a sense of the value that doing such improvements could add, and how best to get your renovation to deliver a significant return in future.
Choose smaller renovations instead of major remodeling projects to see the greatest potential return on investment. “Renovations to kitchen and bathrooms can generate a return on investment of between 60-80%. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on renovations. Replacing countertops and flooring with inexpensive tiles, re-enameling baths and basins and re-grouting existing tiles in a bathroom can all have a major impact on the aesthetics and thus the inherent value of the property. Replacing old taps, light fittings and towel rails and installing mirrors or even re-painting can make the room appear more spacious and clean” advises Ooba. Another area that can add significant value is the garden and the entrance to the house. Neat beds full of healthy plants, manicured lawns and well maintained boundary walls or fences all create a good impression of your home, and can be quite easily achieved.
Renovating? What is the best ROI?
Loft conversion +192%
It’s often the easiest cheaper and less disruptive way to create an extra space in your house. The loft could be used for an extra bedroom, workroom, TV-room, playroom, study, games room, extra storage or a private home office which will immediately add value.
Going green +65%
Going green can seem totally overwhelming but it may be good to revise your home’s energy consumption. Many buyers look at the amount of energy a home saves because of the increase in electricity costs. Install solar heating panels, switch all or a few of your light bulbs to LED/CFLs, fix leaky taps, install water saving shower heads and have a timer installed on your geysers
Braai room +80%
There are two types of people those with braai rooms and those still wanting one. A braai room means being able to entertain, irrespective of the elements outside. A small unusable area can easily be altered into a practical braai area. Folding/sliding doors are also an option, enabling a person to have an area completely open when needed, yet closed when the need arises.
Decking / patio +133%
A deck/patio will provide you with more than a place to entertain outside and soak up the sun. Buyers see a deck as offering a seamless transition from inside to outside. It increases a home’s usable space – but costs only about half of what it would to build a new room. A well-made deck is something that can add real wow-factor as well as functionality.
A low maintenance garden could attract a buyer and can be just as appealing as a high maintenance garden. Making use of plants and shrubs that are indigenous to the area will alleviate unnecessary watering and maintenance. An automatic watering system and a water feature will add value to the garden. Ensure that the existing plants and trees in your garden are pruned regularly.
If you live in a higher-end neighborhood and most of your neighbors have pools then not having a pool might make your home harder to sell. A pool can add value to your quality of life and enhance the enjoyment of your home; you can’t put a price tag on that. If it’s an upmarket area however, having a pool may be an expectation. Only the homeowner can determine the true return on this investment.
New bathroom +75%
Simple bathroom fixes are a great way to redecorate your home and add value, without having to invest a lot of money in renovations. Refresh the paintwork, deep clean, replace the taps, replace that shower curtain with a glass screen, and invest in a heated towel rail rather than a hook on the back of the door. Let plenty of light in – fit more or bigger windows if possible, think about installing skylights.
Redecorating can make a property look brand-new. Add a splash of paint, your paintwork sends a strong message to buyers. Change the light switches, the standard white light switches tend to look yellow over time. Rethink window treatments, is the glass sparkling, check that the latches are working correctly. Revive the flooring, replace old rugs and ensure all of your flooring is clean and well kept.
New kitchen +80%
Redecorating your kitchen is one of the best ways to add value to your home. It’s essential to have it looking up-to-date, clean and functional. Replace kitchen cabinet doors/handles and drawer fronts, replace kitchen countertops. Add the wow factor with soft closings and some nifty storage solutions. Create as much space as possible. Use down-lights underneath the cupboards or in bulkheads to light splash-backs and countertops for a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Fit the garage with shelves and cupboard space and replace the garage door. Most homes have double garages – you could build a flat let above the garage. Talk to estate agents to find out what buyers in your area want most – living space, another bedroom, an office. Potential buyers could view this as a way of generating additional income as it could be rented out or even used as office space.
This is possibly one of the most important features for re-sale value. Upgrading your home security will not only be lucrative for you when you decide to sell your property, but will also benefit you currently. Adding features like electric fencing, beams, and perhaps security cameras or merely upgrading your fencing will create a safer environment for you and for the potential buyer.
Engel & Völkers Southern Africa believes that property is more than just the actual houses for sale, it is about the people and the lifestyle. With a love for people and a passion for property, we enjoy a moment on the red couch with some of South Africa’s high profile personalities, to gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level, and by delving into their property insights and preferences.
“This week we are kicking off our Women’s Month and focusing on some of SA’s powerful ladies. We had the privilege to sit down with Jacqueline Grobler, South African Gin Maker (Ginifer) and entrepreneur. Here is what she shared with us…” noted Chantalle Bell, feature writer of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “
A bit of background on Jacqueline:
A woman seldom daunted by the unknown, Jaqueline Grobler took each new challenge to heart, embracing the learnings and the education afforded by the school of life. Building a distillery from scratch, managing contractors, planning layouts with engineers was all in a day’s work and while at times intimidating, she still found it incredibly fun. Not someone who can be contained – this vibrant entrepreneur loved every moment of her journey to launching – believing boredom to be the real killer.
When talking about the tough days, she says that everyday made her realise just how deep she could dig for strength, always finding the resolve she needed to press on and retaining her sense of humour through the small setbacks along the way. Her first delivery of glass bottles came in two containers and she didn’t have a forklift operator to assist her. She laughs when she recalls single handed offloading 30 000 glass bottles with her little 3 ton forklift – a process that took five hours and left her unable to move her shoulders the next day.
A Quick Q&A:
If you were to wake up tomorrow and find that you are a man? What would be the first thing you would do?
I would take full advantage of having a wife; I’ve always said I want my own supportive, loving wife. I would also be unapologetically bossy and enjoy telling people what to do without feeling guilty.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I don’t wear a wedding ring – I haven’t for years – and I was proposed to by a customer who was sampling our cocktails. I think he believed that any woman who can make alcohol must be the perfect woman.
What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?
That no degree or age will ever prepare you for what your own business will throw at you. You should always celebrate the small successes. It was my mother – a very wise woman indeed – who shared this sage advice with me.
Any exciting new future plans on the horizon?
We have a few very exciting new products in the pipeline that are fun and light hearted. To be honest I am enthusiastic about every new product we launch; it’s like I’m growing our family. We have – Luvoa – a Craft Vodka and Venom – an African Moonshine – both of which are launching soon. Without sounding arrogant – these products are master pieces – truly exquisite; from their bottles to their unique taste profiles they are exceptional. We are confident that like our other brands, they will be well received by the market.
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
I would most definitely learn to ride the elephant and go ahead and cause chaos in the Sandton traffic; I’m not so keen on cleaning up after this animal though.
What is the most important room in your home?
The kitchen is the centre of my home; I find creative expression through my love of cooking and baking.
Could you tell us a bit about your own home?
I own a very old farmhouse in the centre of Sandton with thick stone walls fashioned in the shape of a Rondawel with a thatched roof. It’s quirky and odd, but it suits our family perfectly. We are surrounded by large trees; it’s our sanctuary.
Do you have any interior style tips you can share with our readers?
I studied interior design and my favourite type of house is eclectic and individual. Style cannot be bought or imported. It comes from within and it comes from being you.
Hoedspruit – One of SA’s top property rental towns
If you are traveling to Hoedspruit, whether to live or simply for a holiday it is sure to cater for all. The name Limpopo derives from the Limpopo River. It is South Africa’s wildlife province and is a land of beautiful and contrasting landscapes with plenty game and nature reserves including the northern section of the Kruger National Park. It is a favourite destination for and sought-after by tourists for its big 5 game parks, birding, untamed bush landscapes and harbours an ancient African kingdom located at Mapungubwe National Park. The Great Escarpment with beautiful mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls lure visitors to the area. Outdoor enthusiasts love to indulge in the activities on offer like abseiling, fishing, and white water rafting as well as hiking. Although most only visit the area when a break is due from the busy city life, many call it home. The spectacular game parks and natural attractions are just as influential to house hunters exploring the real estate market.
Real estate in Limpopo has proven to be as popular with locals as it is with foreigners. This broad area offers property choices from smallholdings to share options, there are also various residential properties, golf estates and security villages on offer. “Hoedspruit is among SA’s top rental towns, achieving highest rentals second to the Western Cape region, this being a remarkable example of rapid expansion in an area with low rental supply. If you are looking to buy an investment property, Hoedspruit will offer you a great return on your investment” states Ryan Forder, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Hoedspruit.
Residents and holiday home owners enjoy the quality of life, a life away from the city with the privilege of being in touch with nature. The towns’ amenities range from a local airport its own medical centre, quality food stores, and fine owner run restaurants with an array of both English and Afrikaans medium schools. Hoedspruit has a close knit community where all residents share a common denominator, the love for the untamed bush.
Hoedspruit is one of the country’s premier eco-tourist destinations for visitors to the local game lodges and private reserves as well as to the Kruger National Park; it is situated at the foot of the world’s third largest canyon the Blyde River Canyon. Hoedspruit has fast become one of South Africa’s tourism and lifestyle focal points. In terms of property the Lowveld has plenty to offer. Hoedspruit lies in close proximity to game lodges and agricultural farmland. Visitors to this area are bush lovers and return 3-4 times per year to this unique biosphere and game viewing paradise. Hoedspruit is easily reached via a scenic drive from Johannesburg which roughly takes approximately 5 hours.
Average property value
Full title properties within the residential wildlife estates are placed on average around the R2 million margin (3 bedroomed) whilst share block properties within the Big 5 areas are on average between R6-8 million (full share). Large private farmland (over 100ha) within the popular Big 5 wildlife reserves such as Klaserie, Timbavati or Thornybush start from R30 million upwards.
Typical property type
Whilst a fair amount of properties are typical thatched bush lodges, construction companies have embraced a new trend of Chroma deck roofing which gives homes a classy farm-style appearance. Luxury homes are also starting to feature in some of the residential estates with ultra-modern designs of steel and glass.
The top selling areas within Hoedspruit are the 2 residential wildlife estates, Raptor’s View Wildlife Estate and Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate. Real Estate in Hoedspruit is unique and each estate offers advantages and a unique lifestyle. If you do not have all the time in the world to explore the various options available to you, you can do a fair amount of research beforehand to single out some of the reserves and wildlife estates which might work for you. Engel & Völkers Hoedspruit can assist you with the individual estates rules and architectural guidelines which need to be considered before heading out to view properties.
Buying a property in and around Hoedspruit
Hoedspruit has seen some phenomenal growth in the property market. The Hoedspruit area saw the first residential wildlife estates being developed which at the time was a revolutionary concept providing for wilderness areas within a residential estate where game could continue to roam freely. Home owners can watch Africa’s iconic species from their patios and live in harmony with the natural environment. Needless to say that the lifestyle draws families and holiday makers alike to this unique area. A good percentage of property owners are foreigners who feature mostly within the second home market but often end up making Hoedspruit their permanent home once retired. For the more exclusive client our portfolio covers a broad spectrum of products that includes game farms, big 5 reserves and selected private and commercial game lodges as well as share block properties. Hoedspruit is also providing excellent investment opportunities for investors seeking to purchase and rent out to the ever-growing, unsaturated rental market.
10 reasons why you should invest in Hoedspruit
growing and strengthening micro-economy
proven history of capital growth in wildlife properties
quality of life
security and safety
local attractions, such as third largest canyon in the world
farming and export hub
subtropical climate, mild winters
convenient access via Eastgate Airport
Best time to visit:
All year round due to the warm winters and increased game viewing opportunities when the bush is less dense.
Hoedspruit Farmers Market (where only local produce is sold), 1st Saturday of each month
K2C Cycle Tour– an annual 95-kilometre mountain bike fundraising tour from the Kruger National Park to the Blyde River Canyon, passing through various private game reserves on the way in July, hosted by Hoedspruit Rotary Club
Did you know?
Most Hoedspruit restaurants source their fresh herbs from Hlokomela, an NGO that does valuable work in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
With Women’s month underway, we take a step back from property and look South Africa in general, as it is after-all our home. And we celebrate the females of the house in celebration of Women’s Month.
The Momentum Proteas Women’s Cricket Team are rising to their strengths internationally and in South Africa. They are rising as role models, national heroes and inspirational sporting champions. They are rising with the launch of the very first television commercial for the Momentum Proteas, which celebrates the sport, the team and every young girl who keeps rising to the challenge.
The commercial follows the story of young girls who all share a love for cricket. We witness their grit and determination to play well and always be better. Their hard work, passion and joy is inspired by, and paralleled to, the Proteas’ training and matchplay. The juxtaposition between the girls and the Proteas team displays the talent, commitment and love for the sport, despite age or gender. It shows both the girls and the Proteas as exceptional talents, who love the game (despite some people saying it’s not for them) and who are always willing to get better, summed up in the #alwaysrising hashtag.
The underlying message of the commercial rings clear – South Africa’s girls can do anything and be anything. The Momentum Proteas are testament to that. The team is proud to represent our country, they are professionals who have the talent, the grit and the determination to win at an international level. They are proud because they are #alwaysrising.
The team is made up of women from all corners of South Africa and from all walks of life – from a grade 11 learner, to a mother of a small child. From a young age each of them was relentless in taking their innate talent for cricket and fostering this potential. Daily discipline and practice honed this skill until it shone through for the country, and now the world, to see.
From a young age, each team member was #alwaysrising. Always rising to meet the challenge and always rising to go beyond it. Always rising to take their talent and their skill beyond the threshold. As the Momentum Proteas, they are #alwaysrising.
Team captain, Dané van Niekerk says, “We know what we’re made of. We have worked really hard to prepare for the World Cup in England and we’re incredibly proud to represent our country and our badge. We want to be able to inspire women and girls of all ages through our work and the manner in which we go about it. As a team, we just want to keep getting better and to make sure that the women’s game in South Africa is always rising.”
The Momentum Proteas Women’s National Cricket team are:
Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), Trisha Chetty (wicketkeeper, Gauteng), Moseline Daniels (Boland), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Masabata Klaas (Free State), Lizelle Lee (North West), Suné Luus (Northerns), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Chloe Tryon (vice-captain, KwaZulu-Natal), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province)
When it comes to selling your property, there is more to it than just putting the property on the market and making an effort to spruce it up. Unfortunately, aesthetics aren’t all you have to worry about. If you are selling your home you are going to most certainly need a number of compliance certificates required by law before the sale can go through and be registered. “It is advisable for the seller to ensure that they have all the certificates of compliance in place before putting the property on the market. You can do this after the offer has been signed, however if there is an issue with obtaining any specific certificate, it could potentially delay the sale. The onus falls on the seller to ensure that their house is legally fit for sale”, states Craig Hutchison CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
According to Property 24 some of these compliance certificates are required under national regulations (e.g. your electrical certificate and your electrical fence certificate) while others are required in terms of municipal by-laws (e.g. Cape Town’s water certificate requirement or a beetle certificate for coastal properties), and some required by institutions such as banks before providing finance, have become standard practice. Without these certificates in place, you run the risk of putting the sale at risk.
Home owners are often caught unaware of the certificates of compliance that are required when selling a house, and are consequently shocked by the associated costs which they did not budget for. Each certificate will cost approximately R450.00 ex VAT, provided that there is nothing wrong. However without these certificates you’ll be held financially responsible for any incidents that occur once the new owners have taken moved in. The new regulations might have made the sale of a property a bit more complicated but it enables the buyers, the assurance that the property is in good condition and has no hidden defects or costs when it comes to plumbing, electrical, gas or even beetle infestation.
The most common certificates are:
This certificate must be issued by a qualified and registered electrician and includes a report as well as confirmation that all electrical installations on the property comply with the prescribed standards of safety.
Certification that the water installation on the property is in line with municipal and
building guidelines. This certificate must be issued by a registered and qualified plumber.
A gas certificate will ensures that any gas installation on the property complies with the Occupational Health & Safety Act. This is of course, only required if any gas is installed on the property.
The beetle certificate will confirm that the wood structures on the property are free from certain beetles that eat and destroy wood. This certificate is not provided because of any legislation, but it is a practise that has developed over the years and has become firmly embedded in property transactions. Certain areas, particular those in circulation in the coastal provinces (Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) continue to require a beetle certificate before transfer, given that these are the regions in which these beetles are most prevalent.
An electric fence certificate will declare that the electric fence installation complies with the Occupational Health & Safety Act. The seller and purchaser can agree to waive the requirement to supply this certificate on full title properties. A new certificate only needs to be obtained if a change was made to the electric fence installation after the original certificate was issued.