Property Buying Tip #8 – Know what you are looking for

by | Mar 9, 2018 | Property Buying Tips | 0 comments

Finding the right property and doing all the necessary research to ease your mind as you go into this huge transaction, can be an enormous task.  In this article, we will cover some of the topics to consider when looking for a property.  By taking these topics into consideration and answering these questions, you will hopefully make it easier for yourself to find the perfect property match!

Old vs. New

One of the first items to consider, whether you are buying for the first time or you are a seasoned property buyer, is whether you want a new property or an ‘old’ (previously lived in) property.  A lot of people would think it doesn’t really matter, but there a few points to consider:

Transfer Costs

When buying a property, there are transfer costs involved (will be discussed in more detail in a future article) when registering the property onto your name.  These costs can be significant depending on the purchase price of the property.


Property Purchase Price:  R1 000 000

Natural Person who isn’t VAT registered

Property Transfer Costs:  R19 608

Transfer Duty: R3 000

Post, Peties, Fica & Other Fees:  R1 485

Total:  R24 093


Property Purchase Price:  R1 500 000

Natural Person who isn’t VAT registered

Property Transfer Costs:  R23 598

Transfer Duty: R25 000

Post, Peties, Fica & Other Fees:  R1 485

Total:  R50 583


Here you can see there significant costs to consider when purchasing a property, over and above the initial purchase price.  However, when buying a property brand new from a Developer, most of the time there will be no transfer duties because the Developer will be VAT registered.  In these cases, Developers can also include the actual transfer fees and other costs with the sale of their properties.

Also, note a property under the value of R900 000 is exempted from transfer duties, but transfer costs will still apply.

So why buy an ‘old’ house if you are paying transfer duties?  Well, it depends on the property you want!  See the next section…

 Size & Type of Property

 Before you start your hunt for a property, it is a good idea to sit down and think about what you are looking for in that property.  Are you looking for a free standing house with a large garden, or a secure lock-up & go unit in a complex.  There are plenty of different types of properties in the market, and it is a good idea to highlight what you are looking for and eliminate the types that aren’t an option.

It will also be helpful to know the size you are looking for.  It can be very hard to have a clear idea of square meters and how that translates into usable or comparable space, so rather list down items such as the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, number of garages or parking spaces, etc.

Once you know your own criteria, you will quickly realise whether you will have to be looking at ‘older’ properties rather than a new apartment development, i.e. if you are looking for a large family home with a garden, you might not find that directly from a developer.

 Sectional Title vs. Full Title

 Important terminology to understand when looking for a property is Sectional Title vs. Full Title.  This can sometimes confuse people, especially Sectional Title, so we will try and give a brief explanation if you don’t fully understand the difference.

Full Title is a property or stand where you are the owner of the total property, including all buildings and the land.  You are the only person responsible for maintenance, upkeep and security.  You will commonly find this with a free standing house with its own stand/yard.

Advantages:                Own property.  You get to make all the decisions.

Disadvantages:            You are solely responsible for all maintenance, repairs and security on the property.

Sectional Title will more commonly occur in complexes and multi-story developments, especially in cases where buildings are attached to each other or built on top of one another.  Sectional Title means that you own a part or a section of the property, for which you are responsible, while the rest will belong to a Body Corporate who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance thereof.  The section you own will in most cases be limited to the inside of your property, where the land, common property and outside of the building will belong to the Body Corporate.  In these cases, you will pay a levy that will contribute to upkeep, maintenance and security.

Advantages:                Maintenance of the outside of the building is covered by the body corporate.  Shared security and maintenance services.  Building insurance and geyser cover.

Disadvantages:            You are governed by Body Corporate rules and will need approval for changes to the façade of the building.

Understanding the difference between these property types will be important as they could potentially influence your decision.  Neither is better than the other, both carry pros and cons.

 Price Class & Budget

 If you have been following our Property Buying Tips series, you will recall from our first tip (Property Buying Tip #10 – Know what you can afford) that price, budget and affordability are all very closely linked.  You need to have a budget to determine what type of bond or property you can afford, and also understand what type of bond size you can qualify for.  This will give a price class to shop in and greatly help narrow down the search.

 Area & Amenities

 When looking for a property, there are a few obvious, and sometimes not so obvious things to look for or consider.  Here are a few of our suggestions when choosing an area:

  • Distance from your workplace and routes to take
  • Distance from the kids’ school or good schools in the area if you are thinking long-term
  • Hospitals and medical care in the area
  • Shopping centres or convenience centres for daily groceries
  • Other attraction or recreational activities
  • Future development in the area (roads planned, upgrades or new buildings)
  • Also, plan around your lifestyle. If you have children, look for more quiet neighborhoods.  If you are a young single professional, look for a lock & go close to city hubs and public transport.

 Tools to use

In our modern era, there are plenty of free online tools you can use to find the perfect property.  Many online property portals offer filters to set the search to your criteria, as well as give you feedback and information on certain areas.

Other helpful methods also include looking at places like Google Maps to identify areas or suburbs you might not even have known about, and seeing how the area fits together.

Do internet searches on areas and schools, and use social media to get a general feedback from people living there.

And then there is always the old school method of getting in your car and driving around on a Sunday afternoon.  You will find plenty of ‘For Sale’ signs and properties on show.  For example, Foce Properties and Umthunzi Valley will be on show every weekend from 12:00 – 17:00.  We hope to see you there!


*Although every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of our calculations, Foce Property Investments and its subsidiaries accept no liability in respect
 to any errors contained herein.  Under no circumstances will Foce Property Investments be liable for any loss or damage arising from these examples

Pin It on Pinterest