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.

Home loan Interest Rates 101

By Veruska De Vita

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions in life and, albeit an exciting one, it is not to be taken lightly especially when it concerns home loans, lending rates and repayments.

Here is a lowdown of everything you need to know about interest rates:

 Personal interest rate

A personal interest rate is as unique as a home and the individual who buys it. It is determined using a number of criteria and is based on the client’s risk profile. Interest rate is one of the key costs to consider when comparing home loans.

Prime lending rate, prime minus and prime plus

The prime lending rate is currently 10% and is effectively the starting point that banks use to calculate interest rates for clients. It covers the bank’s basic profit margin, which is then set higher or lower based on the applicant’s risk profile. A riskier individual would get an above-prime loan, which would be at prime plus, for example, prime plus 1% making it a lending rate of 11%. A low-risk client could get prime or lower, for example prime minus 1%, which means a lending rate of 9%.

What determines interest rates?

The prime lending rate is a marked-up version of the repo rate. The repo rate is the interest rate commercial banks pay to borrow money from the Reserve Bank. At the moment it is sitting at 6,5%.  By raising or lowering the repo rate, the Reserve Bank makes it more or less expensive for commercial banks to borrow money. This in turn affects how affordably they can lend money to consumers and this determines the prime lending rate.

The repo rate changes according to economic climate. Higher interest rates make borrowing money more expensive thus deterring people from making big investments, so there is less money circulating in the economy which slows down inflation. To kick start a sluggish economy, interest rates are lowered to encourage investment.

If the repo rate goes up, prime goes up and the amount you pay on your bond increases. If the repo rate goes down, prime goes down and those savings are passed on to you. For example, if your bond is prime plus 1% and the lending rate climbs from 10% to 10.65% then your monthly instalments on your bond increase, and vice versa if prime decreases.

A lower interest rate means more affordable monthly repayments as well as substantial savings on the total cost of your home over the lifetime of the bond. If there is a hike in interest rate however, it could significantly affect your cash flow as your bond repayments would increase.

 Fixed interest rates

Banks also provide the option of a fixed interest rate home loan structure, usually for a specific length of time of up to five years. This means that the interest rate doesn’t fluctuate during the fixed rate period, allowing you to accurately predict and plan for future payments as you will know exactly what your repayments are.

Gerrit Disbergen, Director of Engel & Völkers Financial Services says that usually, consumers fix their interest rate if they believe that the interest rate cycle is on an upward trajectory. This said, the decision to fix a home loan interest rate depends on individual circumstances and should be a carefully considered option. It is ideal for consumers who own multiple properties as the stable rates would buttress against future rate hikes. The disadvantage of this option is that it could result in the homeowner missing out on savings should the Reserve Bank decide to switch to an interest rate reduction cycle.

“At the end of the day, interest rate must work in your favour and fit in with your financial profile. Do your research and speak to a financial consultant and bond originator before deciding on a home loan option. EV Financial Services is well placed to assist you in obtaining the best interest rate for your home loan” Gerrit concluded.

Home loans – then and now

By Veruska De Vita

If you want to buy property, the good news is that banks are approving more home loans. The current stable-interest-rate lending environment coupled with slower growth in property prices means getting a bond for a home is notably more affordable now compared to 2017.

“The home loan approval rate is also the highest it has been in 10 years. One of the main reasons for this is that there is stronger competition amongst banks. This is beneficial to buyers as it means there is more opportunity to negotiating a home loan structure and lending rate that works in the your favour” says Gerrit Disberg, Director of Engel & Völkers Financial Services.

These days applying for a home loan is easier. Applications can be made through one mortgage originator who will then submit to all the major banks through their online system, no need for an individual to submit to each individual bank. In the past, the process of assessing a buyer in order to prove affordability was a painstaking and lengthy process. The method has changed significantly in the past decade.  People are making use of bond originators – originators provide a free bond application service through all the major banks on behalf of the buyer at no cost.  In essence, they are a broker between client and bank. It is the originator’s job to assist individuals to acquire the lowest possible home loan rate and to guide them through the process.

Bond origination companies are highly instrumental in the way in which the home loan origination process is handled. A good bond originator understands the landscape, they have experience and in-depth knowledge of the banks’ requirements and are familiar with lending criteria and legislation.

Why you should consider using Bond Originators

The services of a bond originator are beneficial as consumers no longer need to apply to each and every bank themselves in order to compare costs. Using an originator is the easiest, least expensive and most productive way of applying for a home loan. Only one set of forms is to be completed. Originators work electronically and banks are usually quick to process and respond to their applications.

“Primarily, an originator ensures that the buyer receives the lowest possible home loan rate, thus saving thousands of Rands over the bond repayment period. The client incurs no costs for the services, the bond originator then receives a fee from the bank once the loan application has been approved and processed” Disbergen concluded.

How to determine your return on an investment home

By Versuka de Vita

Owning properties can provide investors with steady rental income or capital appreciation when the property is sold for a profit. However, it is important to measure the return on investment (ROI) to determine the level of profitability of the property.

Before investing in a rental property, there are a number of key factors to take into account explains Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “Location and the future of the location is the first and foremost aspect to consider when purchasing an investment property that will result in capital appreciation. The next features to take stock of are fixtures and fittings. Are they durable and will you have high maintenance costs?”

“Thirdly,” says Hutchison, “establish if there is a demand for a particular property. Do your homework on the area and the types of properties that are in demand. It makes more strategic sense to invest in a two-bedroom unit instead of a three-bedroom house, if the demand for the former is greater.”

Lastly, Hutchison recommends that buyers look at a five-year view to invest as a minimum time frame. Ten years is preferable as this will generate a more valuable return on investment, as this should give the best capital appreciation on a well located and maintained property.

Below is an outline of how to calculate ROI

 Cash Purchase

  • If an individual purchases a property outright with no bond, the profitability or ROI is calculated as follows:
  • If a property costs R1 million and the transfer costs (conveyancing fees, transfer duty, deeds office fee and V.A.T.) are R30 000, the total investment is R1,03 million
  • Rent collection every month is R10 000.

In 12 months’ time as an example:

  • R120 000 in rental income is earned
  • However, there are expenses including maintenance, property taxes, levies and insurance which could total R24 000 per year or R2 000 every month.
  • The annual return is R96 000 (R120 000 – R24 000) for the year
  • The capital appreciation of the property after selling costs has increased by 3% equaling R30 900 (R1 060 900 – R1 030 000)

To calculate the property’s ROI:

  • Divide the annual return (R96 000 + R30 900 = R126 900) by the amount of the total investment (R1, 03 million)
  • ROI = R126 900 ÷ R1,03 million = 0.123 or 12.3%
  • ROI is 12.3%

If the property is bonded, the profitability is worked out as follows:

  • On the same property for R1 million there will be added costs, including conveyancing fees, bond initiation costs, deeds office fee and V.A.T.
  • In addition to these costs, buyers should also make provision for additional charges, which can include rates and clearance certificates and prospective taxes amongst others. These costs amount to R30 000 resulting in the total cost being R1,03 million
  • A down payment of R230 000 is made and the remaining R800 000 is bonded on a 20-year loan with a fixed interest rate of 10%
  • The monthly principal and interest payment would be R7 17
  • Add R2 000 per month to cover maintenance, property taxes, levies and insurance, which equals R9 17 in expenses every month
  • With a rental income of R10 000 the owner would make R279.83 each month (rent minus bond repayment)

One year later:

  • The investor earns R120 000 in total rental income for the year at R10 000 per month.
  • The annual return is R3,357.96 (R279.83 x 12 months)
  • The capital appreciation of the property after selling costs has increased by 3%  R30 900 (1 060 900 – 1 030 000)

 To calculate the property’s ROI:

  • Divide the annual return by the original out-of-pocket expenses (the down payment of R230 000) to determine the ROI.
  • ROI: (R3,357.96 + R30 900) ÷ R230 000 = 0.15
  • The ROI is 15%

 Things to Consider

As demonstrated in the examples above, the ROI for a rental property is different depending on whether the property is financed via a home loan or paid for in cash. It is also important to bear in mind certain variables such as if the property is vacant and there is no rental income for a number of months or maintenance costs are higher than anticipated.

Selling your home to overseas buyers

By Veruska De Vita

When it comes to selling property to overseas buyers, the world is quite literally your shiny oyster. South Africa is a sought after destination for various reasons. It has natural beauty that includes stretches of pristine beaches along the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, the semi desert of the Karoo, the savanna of the Highveld and the Mediterranean climate of the western Cape. Yes, the Rand is volatile because the country is classified as an emerging market, but this also means that foreigners get excellent value for their Pounds, Euros and Dollars.

When sellers try to list it themselves on the internet, more often than not it is a hit and miss. Buyers and sellers must also be aware of scams. The best approach in terms of putting your property on the international market is to list it with a reputable, trusted multi-national real estate company such as Engel & Völkers. “E&V has a firm presence in 33 countries, over four continents, which gives a seller the ability to be in a potential buyer’s back yard, so to speak. The listing is in their language, they are viewing the property through a trusted real estate company and person” says Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

In terms of buying trends the market has cooled down dramatically. With the political upheaval, the volatility of the Rand compared to other currencies and general political uncertainty has resulted in people being more cautious, especially where it concerns the Western Cape and other regions that may be affected by land expropriation.

“Foreign investors are taking a wait and see approach, especially if it’s their first foray into the country. Those who have already invested in property in South Africa are less concerned as they have visited the country, they’ve experienced the process and realised the worth of property ownership in this market,” explains Gerrit Disbergen, Director Engel & Völkers Financial Services.

Foreign investors who are buying their second property are a lot more accustomed to what is happening on the ground as opposed to relying on a variety of news sources, which currently tend to paint South Africa in a negative light.

The investment trend is directly related to the instability of the Rand. When it goes through a period of significant volatility, buyers may be more reluctant as they want to see which way it is going to go.

However, if foreign investors are willing to take a long-term view of the situation, politically and in terms of currency fluctuations, the benefits are enormous. “If you have a long-term view you get bang for your Dollar, especially if you will utilise the property and live in South Africa on a semi-permanent or permanent basis. That’s still a definite,” concludes Disbergen.

A first for South Africa – bathroom taps that combine style with water-saving technology

By Veruska de Vita

Building a brand new home or looking to do a bathroom makeover? Then carefully consider the types of taps and faucets to install. There are myriad selections to choose from and it helps to narrow it down so that your final purchase consists of fixtures that not only look fabulous, but are of exceptional quality and do much more than just ensure that your hot and cold water balance is just right.

Wendy Williams, Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa explains that a common thread that has been evident in bathroom design trends for 2018 is that homeowners are relying on tech, tiles and bold accents to make their bath time more engaging for the senses.

“Consumers are looking for fixtures that are not only stylish, but also functional. For faucets, this means advanced and enhanced functionality, innovative spray patterns that reduce water wastage, unique designs, self-cleaning and touch or hands-free activation. Consumers are looking to streamline without compromising quality, looks or longevity,” says Williams.

“Many buyers and investors look for homes that are already water wise or can be converted into a water-saving property with minimal additions and alterations, especially in areas such as the Western Cape. Technologically advanced, water-wise bathrooms can be a dealmaker in these instances,” continues Williams.

Water-saving functionality

Considering our country’s limited water resources, multi-national kitchen and bathroom brand Kohler has designed several solutions to avoid water wastage. A first in South Africa, their anti-drip technology reduces water wastage in showerheads. A self-levelling ball joint reduces water dripping by up to 80% when closed and the increased number of nozzles also means an enhanced showering experience.

Coupled to this is another design improvement featuring air-induction technology that infuses 2 litres of air per minute into the water droplets making them larger and warmer for a more luxurious experience. Kohler’s latest range also includes RaceTrack technology showerheads that provide an even and more consistent spray for optimal coverage, thereby reducing overspray and unnecessary wastage.

Another water saving feature, called Kohler’s Detent Technology, is an intermediate stop built into tap levers for an up to 50% water saving. This design trait means that you can use taps in intermediate and full-flow modes.

Bathroom Design

“Home owners need to think smart when it comes to bathroom design and fixtures. Bathrooms are a space for renewal, an escape from the humdrum and these non-tactile elements need to be considered. Water saving is also a reality and this needs to be incorporated so that we can still enjoy its effects,” says Heather Darby of Bathroom by Design.

“Incorporating technology to offer improved convenience to the user is one of the most prominent trends in faucet design right now. And looking into the future of bathroom design, water saving technology will become an integrated feature,” continues Darby.

Smart bathrooms are also fast emerging as a trend and Kohler will be launching a range of new products in the coming months, allowing home owners to control a number of aspects of their bathroom, with a simple command from their mobile phone.

From faucets that can deliver a specified volume of water on demand to touchless faucets in residential bathrooms, the presence of technology will only continue to grow in the coming years. This is particularly good news if the future also means water restrictions and a deliberate shift towards water conservation.

Live, work and play lifestyle in Johannesburg South

The southern suburbs of Johannesburg have undergone significant growth over the past two decades with retail and residential development, and older suburbs experiencing a resurgence. Johannesburg South is rich in history and culture and is surrounded by the natural beauty of hills and wildlife reserves. The scenic landscape is part of what makes the area so attractive, together with its proximity to Sandton and Soweto. “The South” as it is commonly known, is divided into two main parts – the older part on the north side of the N12, and the newer part on the south of the highway. Johannesburg’s southern suburbs offer a variety of property from freehold houses to sectional title apartments and townhouses. The area boasts the recently developed Meyersdal Eco Estate and Eye of Africa Golf Estate as well as residential developments aimed at the R1.5 million and below price range.

The neighbourhood has an array of malls, schools and social amenities. Furthermore, a variety of recreational activities such as cycling, golf, bird-watching and hiking are within easy reach. So too is Gold Reef City and the Johannesburg CBD, which has become a hotspot for dining out and entertainment. “Recent years have brought extensive property development to Johannesburg’s southern suburbs due to property buyers ‘rediscovering’ the neighbourhood. The area offers affordability and value for money and continues to attract young executives and families,” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.

 Focus on Oakdene

Lying in the South of Johannesburg, Oakdene is nestled amongst the neighbouring suburbs of Linmeyer, Rosettenville, Glenanda and Bassonia. The area is picturesque with hills and nature reserves making up part of the unique landscape. Oakdene is close to the Johannesburg CBD, an area which has been reinvigorated and is now a popular dining and entertainment hotspot, with hip restaurants, cinemas, rooftop markets and more on offer.

The leafy, well-established suburb is a mere five kilometers from Gold Reef City and a 20 minutes’ commute to OR Tambo International Airport. Part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Oakdene is a reasonably valued, family oriented, middle-class suburb ideal for new or growing families and those in corporate positions. The market in Oakdene has definitely seen a shift in the past few years. Entry level apartments start from around R720 000 and can go upto R1,5 for more luxurious options. Whilst your freestanding properties average around R1,6 to R2 million with the top end standing at over R5 million.

 Ideal for Young Couples and Singles

Selling and buying trends show that the 18 to 35-year-old age group as well as the 36 to 49 age group are the predominant buyers and owners of residential property in Oakdene, giving the area a very particular, youth-orientated and vibrant culture. Craig explains that residents of the area have been drawn to it because of various factors that include the practical proximity to important amenities and activities, as well as affordability and developmental opportunities in the area. “People are also attracted by more abstract, but no less tangible, factors such as vibe, scenery and ambience. These elements are equally important to a sound investment, as they offer a lifestyle opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded individuals,” Hutchison adds.

 Stanley Park Estate

Engel & Völkers is selling Stanley Park Estate, which is situated in Oakdene. The estate is positioned in a prime location with easy access to major highways and roads, namely the N12 and consequently the M1 as well as Sandton and Rivonia via the N1 Southern Bypass. Stanley Park attracts young couples as well single people entering the middle-class sectional title market and the rental market, as the estate offers excellent long-term investment prospects. The Estate includes 24-hour security, gas hobs which are extremely cost-effective and energy-saving, a clubhouse, swimming pool, braai facilities, and communal gym for the fitness fanatics and easy access to public transport. With regard to architecture, Stanley Park offers ultra-modern, stylish and first class living with breath-taking views. One, two and three bedroom apartments are on offer and each unit is equipped with a gas hobs and electrical oven, the kitchen has been especially designed to allow space for three appliances and prepaid electricity and water units have been installed. Each unit also includes DStv points, is internet fiber ready and has covered parking and ample visitor’s parking for guests.

 Affordability and lock up and go Lifestyle

With affordability considerations making sectional title properties the preferred entry point for first-time buyers and investors, demand for such properties is set to remain brisk for the imminent future. Sectional title properties offer sound capital growth and in line with this, price growth in this housing segment is still outstripping growth in freehold prices. “The demand for convenient, hassle-free sectional title units accessible to the workplace and all amenities continues and Stanley Park Estate in Oakdene fits squarely within this rising trend. It offers modern design, convenience and access to a plethora of entertainment options all ideally suited to a hip, contemporary, lock up and go lifestyle,” Hutchison concludes.

For more information, go to www.stanleypark.co.za