Creating the ideal Children’s Bedroom

By Veruska De Vita

One only needs to look at various Pinterest boards to notice that décor for children’s rooms is as eclectic and diverse as ever. This year, home design and décor are underpinned by an over-arching trend to be more self-expressive when choosing elements to bring into one’s own living space, and the selection of colour, theme and balance in a child’s room is following suit. Wendy Williams, Director of Engel & VÖlkers southern Africa, provides valuable guidelines on what to keep in mind when creating the perfect space for your child.

A child’s bedroom is a space where they sleep, dream and play. It’s their own little world where they can be themselves and feel comfortable and safe. Whether you opt for a jungle theme or parred down neutrals, children’s rooms should allow for both fun and functionality with easy access to toys and other essentials.

This year, consumers are choosing what they like, what they want and what makes them feel happy and incorporating these into their own context as opposed to following a trend meticulously. The toddlers, children and teenagers in our lives have their own personalities and tastes and if we incorporate these into their space, it showcases their unique perspective and self-expression.

While the trend for 2019 revolves around personal style, there are a few things to consider when designing a child’s bedroom:

 Form and Function

The format of a child’s bedroom should be functional for both parent and child. Toys, games, colouring books and crayons ought to be well within reach. Create a place for everything as this will help you be better organized and make tidying up quick and easy. Who wants to spend hours packing away toys? Make a place in cupboards for seasonal clothes and pack away out of season attire for the following year or, if your child has grown out of them, give them away or hand them down.

The room should be welcoming and not visually cluttered and the general rule of thumb where less is more applies to this bedroom also. In this way, every aspect of the space can be fully enjoyed and appreciated. It will also look good.

Age appropriate furniture and décor

Know that the space will grow and change with your child. The toy box in the corner may be replaced with a reading nook and a toddler-sized table and chairs will probably be cast out in favour of a homework desk and bookshelves.

By reflecting the age of your offspring, the room will be all the more inviting and user-friendly. Young children will appreciate low shelves where they can reach toys, whilst storage boxes in a hardy material such as wood or plastic helps keep the room free of clutter. Teenagers will need drawers to store gadgets and bookshelves to keep textbooks.

If you’re about to invest in furniture, a good idea is to visit outlets that specialise in bedroom furniture that grows with your child. Modular pieces provide a cost-effective way of re-inventing the space at each major growth spurt.

In terms of soft furnishings and décor, bring in a young child’s favourite cartoon character through bed linen and decals for the walls. For older kids, well-placed inspirational quotes or their favourite photographs not only add personality but the objects become a talking point.

Creativity and self-expression

Walls are an ideal canvas for artistic expression. Using one wall to showcase your child’s artwork from pre-school all the way up to high school adds a pop of colour to a neutral palette, an area of interest to a themed room and furthermore instils a sense of pride and ownership. Personalising a child’s room will help them explore and cultivate their own style.

If you have the basics right, changing this bedroom as time passes becomes fun and easy. Enjoy the process!

Diversifying your property portfolio

Diversification is a key wealth strategy, but what should consumers invest in? Should they hedge their Rands and invest overseas?  Or it is better to buy a number of properties costing under R1 million?  

Grant Wheeler, Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, says property should always be a part of any balanced investment portfolio. Keeping the active versus passive, cash versus geared debates aside for the purposes of this discussion there should always be a stepped/progressive approach to investing in property. What follows is aimed at the Average Joe who has a steady job or income and has a lump sum available to invest.

Building a balanced investment portfolio made up of shares (listed and unlisted), ETFs, bonds, property stocks, physical property, etc. can essentially start anywhere. Usually at the beginning of any portfolio build liquidity is important. You are bound to make mistakes and will need to be adjusting your capital allocation constantly. A big property purchase for example is difficult to get out of if that lease you are relying on falls through, particularly if that lease underpinned the property value. Understanding the cash required as well as cash generating abilities of each investment type is crucial.

Once you’re ready to invest in property you’d want to step in gradually, test your decisions and make the necessary adjustments as soon as possible. This as with any investment can also mean taking a loss. Key here is to act quickly. If unit prices are tumbling in the project you have a rental unit in and the rentals are dropping as a result of the neighbourhood declining, get out, move on. Property cycles can last years, decades even. Don’t rely on things turning in order for your investment to be saved.

Looking for the right income generating rental unit can be daunting. It’s always a good idea to buy locally to start with. Buy in the neighbourhood you know and understand. Once you’ve cut your teeth on the rental unit around the corner you can think about venturing further afield. Here you might follow your child to the university they are attending and buy a student unit in close proximity to the university. You might then buy the unit you’ve been renting at the coast as you’ve experience just how busy the complex is and have seen the rentals appreciating year on year. Next you could buy the retirement unit to house your ageing parents. In other words whilst expanding, diversifying geographically, diversifying your product type, you are doing this with a well thought through reason. You are addressing a need you know exists.

Once you are confident and comfortable with your local rental returns you might want to invest in foreign markets. To be clear the main reason you’d invest off-shore is because you believe [1] the Rand will devalue against your target currency [2] the capital gain is equal to or better than the local market and [3] rental escalations and occupation levels will be better. A key consideration here is to determine the ease of investing, selling, and getting your money back. You will need a good understanding of the market as well as knowledge regarding tax and legal differences etc. Being on a different continent with potential time and language differences can add a level of complexity to the mixture.

Without a doubt whether investing locally or in foreign markets it would be crucial to engage with a property professional to help guide you through the process. Advice from the right professional can be invaluable. Choosing a global property group who are able to connect you with the right opportunities both nationally as well as internationally makes sense. The benefit of having a single point of contact for your property dealings will save you time, money and a lot of inevitable frustrations.

Dainfern residential property enjoys significant growth due to investment and development

Established a little over 25 years ago, Dainfern is an upmarket suburb within a sprawling residential and commercial hub touted as Johannesburg’s ‘New North’. The suburb is home to well-known celebrities, artists, entrepreneurs, business owners, wealthy individuals and expatriates who enjoy the many live, work and leisure benefits that the area and its surrounds offer.

Dainfern is part of the greater Fourways area – the New North, which is one of Gauteng’s most rapidly expanding and developing nodes. Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa explains that the growth shows no sign of slowing down and may soon overtake Sandton as a prominent business district.

“Dainfern property is back in demand, especially with the R2.4 billion expansion of Fourways Mall and significantly, within the next 10 years, the next two stages of the Gautrain development,” says Hutchison.

Fourways is ideally situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, providing convenient access to major highways and arterials. The area is also equipped with an array of excellent private and public schools including Fourways High School, Crawford Fourways, Bryandale Primary School, Chartwell Country College and Cedarwood School. In terms of essential amenities Life Fourways Hospital is highly regarded and Sandton Clinic and Sunninghill Hospital are in close proximity.

World-class shopping and entertainment are also on offer at Monte Casino, Design Quarter and the expanding Fourways Mall. Lanseria International Airport is a few kilometres away and for individuals who enjoy the outdoors it is an easy drive to the Magaliesberg Meandor and to the Norscott Koppies Nature Reserve.

Hutchison explains that Dainfern residents have the opportunity to enjoy all that the area has to offer and more. Dainfern Lifestyle and Golf Estate is at the heart of the neighbourhood, and is flanked by the smaller suburbs of Dainfern Valley and Dainfern Ridge.

A wide range of properties on offer

 For both buyers and investors, the neighbourhood offers a wide range of properties from apartments and townhouses to clusters and sprawling family homes. The area attracts young individuals and families with the majority of buyers in the 36 to 49-year-old age bracket followed by consumers aged between 18 and 35. Many buyers view property in the area as a long-term investment and will rent units out, taking advantage of the buoyant rental market.

Studio apartments sell from R600 000 onwards. Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments range from R960 000 to R1.5 million. Cluster homes in secure complexes or estates start at approximately R1.7 million. Whilst freestanding properties average around R1,6 to R2 million with the top end standing at over R5 million.

“Dainfern’s residential properties have once again become sought after assets and property prices will climb as demand continues. The new Fourways Precinct currently underway makes the suburb a thriving Metropolitan area offering convenience, growth and lifestyle,” says Hutchison.

“We have recently been mandated by International Housing Solutions to sell a current development on their books, The Paddocks Estate” stated Craig. For both buyers and investors, the Paddocks is ideally situated within this thriving neighbourhood. The lifestyle is perfectly suited to young professionals, those starting a family or investors with a keen eye for a quality development,” concludes Hutchison.

The Paddocks is a 3 storey walk-up development catering for everyone with 4 options to choose from ranging from Studio apartments from R610 000, Bachelors from R645 000, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom from R900 000 and 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom from R965 000.

The complex has 24 hour security with access control offering a secure lifestyle with abundant open park spaces, children’s play areas, a tennis and basketball court, clubhouse with pool and onsite laundry facilities.

The Paddocks is conveniently situated with direct access to the trendy Dainfern Square Shopping Centre, which is home to a Virgin Active Gym, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and a selection of restaurants – a world of retail and entertainment on your doorstep.

For more information, click here

Bond and Transfer Fees explained

By Veruska De Vita

Whether looking to get onto the property ladder or buying that sprawling family home you’ve always longed for, purchasing property is one of the biggest undertakings and investments you will make in your lifetime. As such it is crucially important to understand everything in the purchase equation, especially the fees.

In a nutshell, over and above the actual cost of the property, a buyer needs to set aside money for bond origination costs, transfer fees and transfer duties. The bond repayment is made to the bank every month for the agreed upon period, transfer duty is a tax based on the value of the property and is paid to SARS, while the transfer fees cover the costs for transferring the property into the buyer’s name (the conveyancing fees) and for registering a bond.

“Once a bond has been granted and the buyer has accepted it, he or she will pay fees to register the bond and to transfer the property. The buyer will always be required to pay these fees, while transfer duty need only be paid if the property costs more than R900 000,” says Grant Wheeler, Director of Strategy and Expansion: Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

How much are the fees?

“As a rule of thumb, the buyer should allow for between 8% and 10% of the amount of the purchase price for all the other costs involved in purchasing the property excluding a potential deposit. In addition to these expenses, buyers should also make provision for additional charges, which can include rates and clearance certificates and prospective taxes amongst others,” says Wheeler.

Bond registration costs

 Conveyancer’s Fee. The conveyancer’s fee for bond registration covers the service of getting the bond registered over the title deeds. The amount varies in relation to the home loan amount. While the fee is based on tariffs recommended by the Law Society, it may differ slightly from one law firm to another.

Examples:

  • On a bond of R 650 000.00 the fee is approximately R 8 400.00 excl. VAT.
  • On a bond of R 2 000 000.00 the fee is approximately R 16 560.00 excl. VAT.

There are also sundries to be paid. The amount is usually fixed and each law firm has its own rates. The average is R650.00 excl. V.A.T. per bond. The charge covers small things like posting documents to other conveyancers, the bank, the estate agent, the Deeds Office, to the buyer etc.

Attorney’s Fees are always subject to VAT being added.

Deeds Office Registry Fee. This fee is charged by the Deeds Office for the legal registration of the mortgage bond.

 As per the Deeds Office schedule of fees for 2018, the amount is fixed according to the amount of the home loan.

Home Loan R
(i) does not exceed R150 000 376,00
(ii) exceeds R150 000 but does not exceed R300 000 486,00
(iii) exceeds R300 000 but does not exceed R600 000 606,00
(iv) exceeds R600 000 but does not exceed R800 000 852,00
(v) exceeds R800 000 but does not exceed R1 000 000 978,00
(vi) exceeds R1000 000 but does not exceed R2 000 000 1 098,00
(vii) exceeds R2 000 000 but does not exceed R4 000 000 1 522,00
(viii) exceeds R4 000 000 but does not exceed R6 000 000 1 846,00
(ix) exceeds R6 000 000 but does not exceed R8 000 000 2 197,00
(x) exceeds R8 000 000 but does not exceed R10 000 000 2 568,00
(xi) exceeds R10 000 000 but does not exceed R15 000 000 3 057,00
(xii) exceeds R15 000 000 but does not exceed R20 000 000 3 671,00
(xiii) exceeds R20 000 000 but does not exceed R30 000 000 4 278,00
(xiv) exceeds R30 000 000 6 113,00

The transfer also needs to be registered with the Deeds office:

Purchase Price/ Value of Property (whichever is greatest) R
(i) does not exceed R100 000 36,00
(ii) exceeds R100 000 but does not exceed R200 000 78,00
(iii) exceeds R200 000 but does not exceed R300 000 486,00
(iv) exceeds R300 000 but does not exceed R600 000 606,00
(v) exceeds R600 000 but does not exceed R800 000 852,00
(vi) exceeds R800 000 but does not exceed R1 000 000 978,00
(vii) exceeds R1000 000 but does not exceed R2 000 000 1 098,00
(viii) exceeds R2 000 000 but does not exceed R4 000 000 1 522,00
(ix) exceeds R4 000 000 but does not exceed R6 000 000 1 846,00
(x) exceeds R6 000 000 but does not exceed R8 000 000 2 197,00
(xi) exceeds R8 000 000 but does not exceed R10 000 000 2 568,00
(xii) exceeds R10 000 000 but does not exceed R15 000 000 3 057,00
(xiii) exceeds R15 000 000 but does not exceed R20 000 000 3 671,00
(xiv) exceeds R20 000 000 4 890,00

Transfer Duty

Transfer duty is a tax that is payable to SARS and is based on the value (not the selling price) of a property.

Below are the transfer duty rates applicable on property purchased between 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019:

Value of property Rate
0 – R900 000 0%
R900 001 – R1 250 000 3% of the value above R900 000
R1 250 001 – R1 750 000 R10 500 + 6% of the value above R 1 250 000
R1 750 001 – R2 250 000 R40 500 + 8% of the value above R 1 750 000
R2 250 001 – R10 000 000 R80 500 +11% of the value above R2 250 000
R10 000 001 and above ​R933 000 + 13% of the value above R10 000 000

Bond Initiation Fee

A Home Loan or Bond Initiation Fee is charged by the bank for the processing of the bond application. Some banks work on a base fee plus a percentage of the loan amount, other banks charge a flat rate of approximately R6037.00 (Incl. VAT).

“A reputable real estate company will assist buyers to understand the fees and expenses involved in the purchase of property. Ensure that you deal with a company that is professional and offers comprehensive advice, especially if you are a first time buyer,” concludes Wheeler.

Container Homes

By Veruska De Vita

Far from being shabby and a little grungy, container homes have slipped into mainstream habitation in many parts of the world and in South Africa the trend has started to take shape, albeit slowly. In recent years, much of the development of shipping container homes has focused on tiny homes and ultra-affordability, but the market for luxury container homes is also growing exponentially.

For a number of architectural firms, the challenge and the innate design potential of shipping containers has forged a budding new aesthetic, one that is becoming notably sought-after amongst those who have the means and the flair for provocative and experimental statements.

 But what about the aesthetics of luxury and space?

Wendy Williams, Operations Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa explains that building with shipping containers pushes the envelope on a contemporary aesthetic and provides solutions to a number of building challenges.

“Shipping containers allow for the kind of sculptural architecture that – allow me the irony – is completely out the box. It allows a property owner to build in areas where the transportation of building materials is challenging, such as in a desert or at the top of a mountain. The use of containers opens up many possibilities in terms of location and construction that considers the integrity of the environment.”

Nico van der Meulen architects created a house that makes use of sections of shipping containers. The end result is a sculptural masterpiece that is stylish, sleek and a statement in creativity. The house is situated in Kloof Road, at the foot of a nature reserve, in Bedfordview. The house is an integration of glass, steel, timber and concrete. The steel forms visually blur the borders between floors walls and roofs and seamlessly link exterior to interior.

A Bolthole in the Bush

Edge Design Studio Architects have created a shipping container retreat that is manufactured in a factory and then placed on a flatbed truck and transported to a desired location. The prefabricated house allows for all the creature comforts for a perfect weekend home away from home.

“Container homes defy and challenge tradition. From the perspective of durability, they are structurally sound because, after all, they were made to withstand harsh weather at sea. They are also quicker to build compared to conventional homes because walls, floors and ceilings are already intact, one just needs to insulate and add to the shell,” continues Wendy.

Smooth integration of repurposed and new materials

The Joshua Tree Residence in California has received a lot of attention. The three bedroom, 195 m2 home is located in the California desert and is designed in a distinctive starburst shape with containers extending out in various directions.  Painted bright white, the containers are a conspicuous contrast to the rocky desert terrain. The design takes advantage of the remarkable landscape and maximises views of both earth and sky, while providing privacy to its inhabitants.

Sprawling Family Home

One of the largest shipping container house of its kind in Australia, a three-story residence in Brisbane required 31 containers to achieve 550m2 of floor space. The house was built using ample glass and industrial touches resulting in open spaces, clean lines and plenty of natural light. The quality finishes and bespoke mid-century inspired furniture add to the industrial chic effect.

Sustainability

Sustainability, durability and reusability are all words that have become part of contemporary architecture and design. Issues of sustainability have sparked innovative and creative ways for building homes that are beautiful, environmentally gentle and efficient. As the world turns so does design innovation and container homes fit squarely in this exciting movement.

Investing in rentable property

By Veruska De Vita

Purchasing a rental property is a major investment and can be a lucrative one.  But before making a final decision, take a step back and do some research.

Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa says that it is important to take precautions when deciding to invest in buy-to-let property. “Take your time, look around and seek advice. Do your research and understand the market. Chat to a professional real estate company about what they have on offer that both suits your budget and your long and short term needs,” says Hutchison.

Know your consumer and find your niche

There are a variety of consumer types who seek the benefits of renting property, rather than owning it. Each consumer profile requires a specific type of property in a particular area and within a definitive budget. Students, for example, require property that is walking distance to university for a period of between three to five years. The property needs to be affordable, small and one to two bedroom if students intend on sharing. Fully furnished is also preferable.

Corporate businesses looking to accommodate international consultants will need an entirely different type of property. This property needs to be upmarket, situated in a central business district close to the corporate offices as well as malls and restaurants. This renter prefers properties that are fully furnished and exude luxury. The tenant is usually a client or a consultant who will reside in the property for a number of weeks or months at a time.

Singles are consumers who have started their career and are building towards purchasing their own home. They prefer the lock up and go lifestyle so an apartment in a newly built development where there is access to a clubhouse, laundry and gym, is ideal for this tenant.

Vacation property attracts a different tenant altogether. This type of buy to let usually generates high yields during very specific times of year, the rental period is short and can be days or weeks. It goes without saying that this type of property needs to be well located in areas where people enjoy vacationing, close to public transport, entertainment, beaches and places of interest. These need to be fully furnished and refurbished regularly to keep them attractive, especially where vacation rental property competition is high.

Do a pro forma analysis

Hutchison suggests doing a pro forma analysis on the property you’re looking to buy. “Look at similar properties in the area, research how the rents have changed in the past five years and how they are projected to change in the next ten years. Calculate the estimated maintenance and operational costs and you will have a better understanding on how much nett income the property would generate and what the capital growth would be,” concludes Hutchison.

What’s hot in the world of kitchen design

By Veruska De Vita

From appliances to aesthetics, kitchen trends are looking super cool and sizzling hot going into 2019. As the open plan trend shows no sign of slowing down and the desire for the living area to be a seamless flow between cooking, eating and lounging, the kitchen continues to take centre stage.

And why not? We are spending more time in our kitchens, whether preparing food for the family, entertaining friends or helping children with a school project. Kitchens are multi-functional, the hearth and heart of the house.

There is no singular definitive trend, instead there is something to suit all tastes with a variety of innovative ideas and state of the art appliances to choose from.

“From a property value perspective, investing substantially in your kitchen, whether when building a home from scratch or revamping, means adding more value to a home and making it more sellable in the long-term. Beautiful, quality kitchens often seal the deal,” says Wendy Williams Managing Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

Industrial Chic

Industrial finishes such as concrete are still drawing attention in kitchen showrooms, so too is brushed brass, giving a luxurious finish to handles, small appliances, taps and even plug sockets. Copper piping is also being incorporated to create practical storage solutions such as a place to hang cooking utensils. The latest ranges of stoves and ovens have also been given an industrial edge to complete the look.

Natural materials

Marble, granite and quartz add functional beauty to any kitchen. These materials are durable, they can withstand high temperatures and are easy to clean. Wood and metal are also being included into kitchen design for an elemental look that is contemporary and oozes wow factor.

Bringing the outdoors in, whether through a kitchen garden – a few pots overflowing with herbs, or a planter incorporated into the central island – or opening the area onto a courtyard with wall to floor sliding doors or a glass door is another on-trend design feature.

Due to its myriad colour and look options, manufactured stone, such as Caesarstone, is still a hit. Whether used as a splash back or on countertops, manufactured stone is available in a multitude of colours, adding a unique look and style to any kitchen.

Colour

Dark, moody tones made an entrance a few years ago and continue to make a statement. From blue tones and dark cherry to olive green and matte black that feature on cabinetry and appliances, dark colours are still a key favourite.

While colour in kitchens is being used more courageously, homeowners still take pleasure in a neutral palette. White and off white is classic and remains a popular choice. However, there is a break away from the monochrome scheme with pops of colour in accent walls, accessories and backsplash motifs.

Wine Rooms

Wine rooms are becoming all the rage. Whether an entire room dedicated to your favourite tipple, a wine wall along a corridor or a wine fridge in the kitchen, the display of a carefully curated collection in an area dedicated to that specific purpose will add both value and functionality to a home, not to mention a talking point.

Functionality

While not a trend in itself, kitchen functionality is a must. When it concerns the layout of a kitchen, it needs to make complete sense to the homeowner. “A kitchen needs to be well-planned. There needs to be a place for everything and everything needs to be in its place. For example, if you love to entertain a large central island is a must for preparation and serving purposes. A functional, well-designed kitchen makes life so much easier,” concludes Wendy.

Up and Coming, Clubview offers low-risk and high return

Centrally situated within Centurion, you will find Clubview, an established suburb with tall trees, leafy gardens and community charm. The Hennops River flows through the centre of Clubview, which is a pull for individuals who enjoy the pleasures of country life without having to compromise big city conveniences.

Clubview is a sought-after residential and commercial area because of its ideal location alongside Midrand and between Pretoria and Johannesburg. It falls under the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and is a main stop along the Gautrain route.

Part of burgeoning Centurion

“Centurion has evolved from a sleepy Pretoria suburb with smallholdings and large open spaces into one of South Africa’s fastest growing cities. Property developments have mushroomed, the city limits have expanded and large corporates have set up head offices in the area. It is no wonder that residential property is in high demand,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

From Centurion there is expedient access to highways and main routes and with the Gautrain at its core, commuters have the convenience of comfortable travel to Sandton, Kempton Park, Johannesburg CBD, OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria. The neighbourhood has a wealth of educational and medical facilities, it has a library, police station, post o­ffice and churches and is also a destination for its eateries, co­ffee shops, pubs and clubs.

For Clubview residents, malls in the immediate vicinity include the Clubview Shopping Centre, Clubview Corner shopping centre as well as the Eldoraigne Village Centre. World-class shopping and entertainment is on the suburb’s doorstep with the super-regional Centurion Mall and the newly opened dining, gaming and entertainment complex Time Square in Menlyn Maine. Additionally, there are various sports facilities, including golf courses, gyms, the Alpha Centurion sports club and the Supersport Park cricket grounds. In terms of healthcare there are hospitals, clinics and dental care facilities. Schools in the area include Hennopspark Primary, Reformia, Regio and Zwartkop High. Nursery schools include Montessori and Sunshine Corner.

“For consumers who want the best of both worlds – country feel plus the live, play and work lifestyle of the burgeoning Centurion area – Clubview is the quintessential choice,” says Hutchison. “Furthermore, Centurion is fast becoming the new higher education node with Centurion Academy, Tshwane South TVET College, Technicol SA College, Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences, Prue Leith Chefs Academy and SA Chefs Training and Innovation Academy. This adds another attractive dimension to Clubview.”

Clubview properties offer low-risk high return investment

Although Clubview offers a mix of residential properties such as houses, townhouses apartments, clusters and new developments, it is still very undeveloped compared to any of its neighbouring suburbs. The Agricultural Holdings have become very popular for developers as it gives them the land required to build their developments at reasonable prices in order to make it affordable for the affordable income bracket. Currently freestanding homes ranges from R1,2 million to upwards of R4,5 million and the price of sectional title apartments from R750 000, however this is expected to rapidly change over the next few years as the area becomes more popular, and land becomes less obtainable.

“Clubview offers investors and buyers the opportunity for an early take-up into the real estate market as the area is experiencing an upward trajectory of growth and development.  A 5% to 10% ROI is projected, which is a good return on relatively low-risk investments” Craig noted.

New on the Horizon

Oak Tree Village is a brand new sectional title building which will hit the market on 1 November 2018. A 4 storey walk up, comprising a mix of either 2 bed, 1 bath or 2 bed, 2 bathroom units. Phase 1 of Oak Tree Village is coming to the market at a starting price of R829 000 – making it ideal for both investors as well as first-time homeowners.

This project is the latest addition to the International Housing Solutions (IHS) portfolio. IHS is a property investment management company who joins forces with institutional investors, authorities, development partners and other industry partners to deliver affordable housing in South Africa and other African countries. IHS identified the greater Centurion area as a growth node several years ago already and has delivered other projects in the area too.

“Our Focus at IHS is to facilitate and fund the development of affordable housing in high growth urban nodes, in order to make a positive impact on the housing shortage in South Africa, while delivering risk adjusted returns to the investors” says Henk Snyman, Senior Asset Manager at IHS. Willem Odendaal, Technical Specialist at IHS says that affordability was considered not only in the end product, but also in in the years to come. “We obtained Green Edge Certification for this development with aspects such as window to wall ratio, roof insulations, the ventilation and water heating system to name but a few – ensuring the end user optimal savings on monthly utilities” Willem explained.

IHS decided to partner with Kale Developers in conjunction with Tri-Star Construction to bring Oak Tree Village to life.

“We truly believe that we have a unique product that we are bringing to the market” says Derek Wheals, Managing Director of Kale Developers. He explains that the synergy between their vision and that of IHS was the perfect match, as IHS secured an affordable product, Kale focused on the lifestyle aspects of the new owners.

“Not only did we keep an eye on today’s tech-driven world and included Fiber to the Estate, we also wanted to add something extra and that was to include natural surroundings and outdoor living to the mix. Residents will be able to experience an away-from-home feel the moment they exit the door. We have incorporated plenty of green space with 2 braai areas, a children’s play area and stunning park area which will be surrounded by a clear vu wall, giving residents walkways and grass areas to enjoy the sunny days, which we in South Africa are so fortunate to experience” Derek concluded.

Whether a home to live in or to rent out, Clubview offers excellent quality for price.

For more information about Oak Tree Village, visit their website at www.oaktreevillage.co.za or contact the sales team on 012 030 0134.

 

In the Spotlight: Jurgen Schreck takes the saying ‘it’s all in a day’s work’ literally

Jurgen Schreck is one of many top performing agents from Engel & Völkers Potcheftsroom, who certainly takes the quote “the more work you put in, the greater the rewards” to another level. “I had to meet Jurgen myself after we heard about his 3 sales in 24 hours” stated Chantalle Bell, Feature Writer for Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

We managed to get a behind the scenes look into who he really is, and gain some insightful knowledge on how he managed to pull off this achievement.

Some background:  

Jurgen is a humble and competitive 33 year old who has been living in Potchefstroom for 12 years now. He is passionate about his family and is a husband and proud father of two boys, 3 and 6 years old. When asked if he has any hobbies and what he does in his spare time to relax, he says that his job has become his new favourite hobby. “This career is exciting as it is always changing, and it keeps you both entertained and mentally stimulated” Jurgen added. However we all do need a break from daily activities, and in such times, Jurgen enjoys all outdoor activities which include golfing, fishing or simply just enjoying a glass of good wine to unwind. His love for the outdoors is understandable as his very first job was as an adventure activities instructor and corporate team building.

Being driven by success, he is currently working very hard towards living his dream, which is to be financially independent. Jurgen’s personal goal is to live life to its fullest with his family while providing a good future for his children. He mentions that his motto in life is ‘you should not be afraid to make mistakes; as doing what you are afraid of is the only way to conquer your fears’.

His journey with E&V started a year and a half ago when he was down and out and needed to sell his own property to avoid further financial distress, which many of us can relate to. Suretha Engelbrecht an agent from E&V Potch came to list his home and she asked the familiar question of why he was selling. After he explained his situation to her, Suretha immediately arranged a meeting between him with her team leader, Beatrice Joubert, and 30 minutes later he found himself sitting in an interview with the Licence Partner himself, Carl Venter. Needless to say he started his new career at E&V that next Monday and has never looked back.

As agents are always running around, we opted for a Q&A to gain some more insight into Jurgen’s life:

What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?

Best advice was from my father in-law who said ‘being truly happy in what you are doing is 90% of success’.

What is your outlook on investing in property?

Property can be an excellent investment, if you have gathered all of the information to make an informed decision.

Do you remember the first property you bought? Please tell us about it.

Yes, I don’t think that anyone will ever forget their first home. My first was a small 2 bedroom townhouse bought directly from the developer.

Where would your dream home be located?

As we have already established, I love the outdoors and nature, so anywhere with wide open spaces and majestic views.

Which room in your home is most important and why?

Though difficult as being outdoors is my passion, but inside it will have to be the kitchen, it is the heart of any home.

Tell us a bit about the market you specialize in?

I am a residential property specialist that primarily focuses in the top 60% of the Potchefstroom market.

What are your top three secrets to success?

  1. Dedication
  2. Discipline
  3. A healthy support structure at the office as well as at home

Can you remember how many properties you have sold?

I have sold 63 properties to date since I joined the industry almost 2 years ago.

We know that you recently sold 3 properties within 24 hours, please tell us about the sales

I have to start by saying it was a very busy day, and the mix between stress and excitement was unexplainable. It started with the first, which was a seller to whom I sold a unit at de Land Estate stand (one of our exclusive new developments), and they invited me to take a look at their home and provide them with a CMA. Upon arrival at the home, my immediate thought was that this home was perfectly suited to the needs of a couple that I met at a birthday party that my 6 year old son attended over the weekend.  One of my colleagues was also working with these specific buyers and immediately gave them a call to arrange a viewing. They loved the property – so much so, that they completed an offer to purchase the very next day, and after some negotiations the sale was completed that evening.

The second sale was much the same as the first, apart from the buyers being on our database, I could match them to the property immediately after my initial visit with the sellers to list the property. The very next day I took two clients to the home and after viewing the property one of them completed an OTP at full asking price.

The third was a student apartment close to the North West University. After a long discussion about the buyer’s needs, we identified certain student accommodation buildings that would suite them perfectly. At that very moment one of my colleagues was on her way to do a listing at one of the complexes we had identified, and since the buyers are from out of town and were only in Potchefstroom for the day, we went along on the listing at the spur of the moment. The buyers loved the apartment and our quick and effective service, and 30 minutes later we had signed the offer.

I have to say that I could not have done this alone. This could not have been possible without my colleagues and my office support as without good relations and communication between us was the key. This is also where I truly realised the importance of our office and brand infrastructure, as having the national brand network and exposure, together with our unique and advanced platforms ensured that I could cater to my client’s needs in real time.

Do you remember the first property you sold? Please tell us about it.

I’ll never forget any property I have ever sold as each and every one is truly unique. But my very first will probably stand out forever. I was still very new to the property industry and relied a lot on my more experienced colleagues’ assistance to make the sale happen. At the end I had to pay referral commission to 4 other parties, but I made my first sale and it was amazing. This gave me the confidence and determination to see that the sky is the limit and a few months later, 29 more had followed.

What is the one thing you wish someone had taught you or told you when you first started out in property?

Honestly, I was made fully aware of what it will take to make it at E&V, no surprises in that regard, the only thing which I did not foresee or could not comprehend, and which no one would ever be able to teach you, is the thrill one would experience with each sale. It is adrenaline mixed with accomplishment and excitement – as I say, you cannot explain it, you need to experience it.

Which part of your job and or the property industry do you enjoy most?

The freedom and the unpredictability of one’s day. Think back to when you were small and looking forward to going on holiday – now imagine having that feeling every day. You wake up energised and excited to go to work – it is almost surreal.

What is the most vital business tool that all estate agents should have at their disposal in today’s market and why?

The most vital tool that I use every day is definitely our in-house online database system, Revolution. Once I started utilising it correctly, it freed up so much of my day which allows me to get a lot more done in less time. And then of course my team, although not a tool, it truly is a lifeline in our business.

What do you find to be the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of the property Industry?

The most enjoyable part would definitely be the atmosphere in a room once you’ve matched the perfect home to first time buyers, especially if they didn’t think it was possible for them to own a home of their own. Most challenging is when you have to be brutally honest with sellers who are in a desperate financial situation needing to sell their homes, which often means they have unrealistic pricing expectations, and having been here myself I know how difficult it is to hear the facts.

What is your personal goal to achieve in turnover for the financial year?

My main goal for this year is not so much turnover driven but rather units sold; the turnover will follow. I found that when I have a turnover goal, I start neglecting the smaller opportunities that comes from my monthly activities and one sometimes also lose sight of the joy in the work. As I have said a few times, my client’s happiness and service is very important to me and I never want to lose focus on this. I think all successful agents want to be acknowledged at the annual rewards function, and it is always in the back of their minds, rather than making it a goal from the start, which is why I have made it one of my top priorities and a daily reminder not to move my eye of the target. I want to be successful and enjoy getting there.

What advice would you give to new kids on the block about making a success in their career in property?

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. E&V has all the systems and support you will ever need, learn to make use of them, ensure client service is always guaranteed, and of course list, list, list.

On the lighter side:

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I spoke to a gentleman on the office phone and the phone kept breaking up, so I told the gentleman that I will call him right back to try and get a clearer line for us to talk on.  After the third attempt the man tells me that he has a stutter and to please not hang up on him again. I was so embarrassed, luckily he laughed about it.

“We are exceptionally proud to have Jurgen as part of our wonderful team; his personal commitment to quality is obvious in everything he does. His ability to recognize and react to opportunity results in personal and mutual success and he makes our brand proud” notes Carl Venter, Licence Partner Engel & Völkers Potchefstroom.

Powers of attorney…can this expedite the transfer process?

By Sarikha Singh

Powers of Attorney are often used in property transactions where one of the parties for example, lives overseas or is out of the country for a short period of time. Using a Power of Attorney can expedite transfer, but bear in mind that certain documents such as affidavits would still have to be signed in person, and authenticated at for example, an overseas embassy.

“Powers of attorney is normally drafted by a person who wants to make provision for someone else to manage their property and affairs. Often the intention is to cater for when they are no longer able, capable or available of doing so for themselves. They then give such authority to a family member, friend, attorney or financial adviser to do so on their behalf” says Karien Hunter, Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers Dolphin Coast.

In certain circumstances the banks would allow for the signature of loan agreements and bank documents under Power of Attorney. Powers of Attorney however lapses in the event of death or mental incapacity.

In simple terms a power of attorney is defined as:

A written document in which one person appoints another person to act as an agent on his or her behalf, thereby conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on his or her behalf.

  • The person granting power to the agent does so in writing and in the presence of 2 witnesses.
  • Powers of attorney executed outside the Republic must follow the correct authentication processes.
  • In terms of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937, a power of attorney to transfer a property, must be registered in the Deeds office.
  • The Conveyancer attending to the transfer will add the Power of attorney to his/her lodgement set.
  • The person granting the Power can do so only if he/she is over 18 years of age and have mental capacity. The agent receiving the authority to act, must also be over the age of 18.
  • Powers of attorney can only be granted in respect of actions that the grantor already have the right and capacity to carry out, and no more.

There are two kinds of powers of attorney:

  1. General Powers of Attorney

Under this Power of Attorney, the agent is given authority to act generally on behalf of someone else. A general power of attorney is wide and all-encompassing.

If a person wants the agent to sign documents or enter transactions or agreements on his or her behalf, then you a general power of attorney would be advisable. This allows the third party to authorise the transactions, agreements, or conduct various activities on behalf of the grantor and is generally used where there is a physical disability.

  1. Special Power of Attorney

Under a special power of attorney, the agent is given authority to act in specific transaction and the power to act would come to an end once such action has been performed.

Termination of the Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is generally terminated when the grantor dies or becomes incapacitated. The grantor can revoke the power of attorney at any time.