Being prepared for an emergency.

Mar 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Do you know what vital information to have on hand in the event of a natural disaster or
family emergency?


Read more

Topics: Property Management, Advice, Insurance

Eight ways to make your rented house a home

Feb 25, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

No matter if you are an owner occupier or renting, we all have an instinctive desire to create an individual space we can call “home”.


Read more

Topics: Renting, Advice, Home Tips

Budget speech delivers on expectations

Feb 21, 2019 7:41:03 PM Share this:

South Africa's Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered his maiden budget yesterday. It was expected to be a tough budget by many pundits and it certainly delivered on that sentiment. We know that in order for South Africa to achieve positive economic growth Government is going to have to be tougher on state-owned enterprises. This was a central theme for the Minster and he was very clear about the effect these SOE's have on our economy.

What was reassuring was the Minister's clear focus on rebuilding a stagnating economy.  "It is all of our duty to tend the seed and see that it grows strong, tall and fruitful. It is a budget for the future,” he explained.

The past few months consumers have experienced serious financial pressures as costs continue to rise and bleak economic trends affect the activity in most major sectors. Property was one of those markets that certainly felt the knock-on effects.

The budget, although far more balanced and focused on renewal and growth, it was disappointing that no pressures were relieved on consumers in the property market. The property market is incredibly susceptible to the message and plans in the Budget and how they are instituted.

As predicted VAT remained unchanged at 15% and there was no an increase in personal and corporate income tax. However, the Minister revealed that there would be an increase in fuel levies. Petrol: 29c per litre and Diesel: 30c per litre. In addition, it is expected that real GDP growth in 2019 will rise to 1.5% and then strengthen to 2.1% in 2021.

If we can see the Minster and the Department stand strong on its desire to clamp down on SOE lending as well as aim to reduce pressure on the consumer, the economy will undoubtedly start to gain ground and we will be able to restore both consumer and investor confidence which in turn translates into increased economic activity.


Read more

Topics: Harcourts South Africa, Budget speech, Harcourts Real Estate

WESTERN CAPE: BUY HERE: Our insider’s guide to Brackenfell

Feb 20, 2019 7:49:39 PM Share this:

Offering many property options, this large suburb close to the Winelands has a nature reserve on its doorstep

If you’re looking for value, consider the northern suburbs. Brackenfell is a short drive to the city on the N1, offers a range of property types, has good schools
close by and a number of attractions on its doorstep.

“We’ve seen steady growth in the sale price of properties in the area,” says Denis Dunn, principal at Harcourts Dunn.

“The advantage of Brackenfell is that it is a very large region with an array of property options. The average price for an apartment starts at R900000, and a townhouse ranges from R1.1 million to R1.8m. Full-title homes are priced on average from R1.7m to R2.8m, and a larger home can cost anywhere from R4.5m and higher. The rental market is booming. For any investor who wants a high-demand property, Brackenfell is a great place to start.

“The other obvious allure of the ever-growing Brackenfell region is the developments. At Harcourts Dunn we have a specialist developments team that assists clients with all their requirements. “Brackenfell has a selection of nice developments, catering for professionals, young families and investors.


Read more

Topics: Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Tips for buying, Harcourts Dunn

Eight steps to prepare your house for sale

Feb 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

When thinking about selling, many of us fantasise of an unlimited renovation budget that will make our home irresistible.


Read more

Topics: buying and selling, Tips on selling your home, Investment Tips

How to keep moving up the property ladder

Feb 11, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

There’s a lot of focus on first home buyers, with Government incentives designed to help save a deposit and get a foot onto the property ladder.Ladder.jpeg

Second-steppers – those who already own a home and are looking to upsize or upgrade – are sometimes overlooked. If you’re one of the second-steppers trying to move up the property ladder, here are a few ways to do that.


Read more

Topics: Property Investment, Marketing Tips, Investment Tips

Smart Tips for Buying Success

Feb 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

Whether you’re looking for your first home or thinking about an investment property or holiday home, the following steps will help you achieve a successful result.

Arrange your finance
Take a good look at how much you will be able to save as a deposit, or how much equity there is in your existing property/ies if you have one. This will give you a good place to start when it comes to deciding what you can afford. A good idea is to then work with a reputable mortgage broker to help you find the best home loan, and interest rate for your circumstances.

Mortgage brokers aren’t aligned with any particular financial institution so they’re really about finding you the best deal. They also don’t eat into your budget, as their commission is paid for by the financial institution you eventually choose. Harcourts can even help you find a mortgage broker in your area through our partners at Mortgage Express.

Select a reputable sales consultant
Looking for a property on your own is fine as a starting point, but when it comes time to dig deeper and really get to know your local area, it pays to work with a knowledgeable local expert and that’s where a great sales consultant comes in.

A sales consultant will be able to support and guide you through the buying process, letting you know the ins and outs associated with purchasing a new home. A local sales consultant should also be an expert on your area, and be able to let you know all about planned infrastructure upgrades, the best local schools, restaurants and where the closest public transport hub is.

But that’s not all, a trained sales consultant can help you with lots of other services that become handy after the buying process, like moving services and utility connection. So its handy to have one guiding you through the process.

Decide on what you want
Your list should include the most important aspects to you right through to the least important. This will also be a valuable guide for your sales consultant. An easy way to break it down is using a ‘must have’ and ‘like to have’ list, so you know what you are willing to compromise on.

Make the most of inspections
Don’t hurry through a property visit. Take your checklist and note down questions while you are there. After viewing a range of properties, you can easily become confused about which house had which feature, so don’t be afraid to take notes!

Manage your offer
Don’t get caught up in the emotion of finding the property you like. Carefully consider issues like fixtures, possession day, price, and consider a builder’s and pest inspection so you know exactly what you are purchasing.

Contact your solicitor
Your solicitor will make sure any unforeseen complications are highlighted through checking official records and information before the deal goes through.

Settlement and moving
Try not to move in on the same day the previous owners are moving out. You may not get access until late afternoon, which can hold up a professional moving company if you are using one and also cause more stress than you need.

Enjoy your property!
It’s been an exciting time looking for the right place, and a well-organised moving day will help everything go smoothly to start you off on the right note.


Read more

Topics: Finance, Real Estate Agents, Buying a home, Harcourts Real Estate

Renovation Trends this Summer

Jan 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

With summer back in full force, some of us are feeling the urge to get back into renovating our properties.


Read more

Topics: DIY, Tips on selling your home, Home Renovations

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:19:21 PM Share this:

Whether it is a buyers or seller's market accurate valuation and pricing of your home is imperative if you aim to have a successful transaction. Realistic pricing is relevant to accurate market value and often buyers will compare your home to the properties in the area so they can gauge an insight into the true market value.

Market fluctuations and economic pressures undoubtedly influence the price of property and we've seen some homeowners having to drop expected prices due to the external economic factors affecting the market from a holistic perspective.

Therefore, If your property is over-valuated it not only wastes valuable marketing time but it can very often gain a stigma that negatively affects the perception of the home going forward. In the end, you may end up getting far less for your property than could have been initially obtained. No matter how well your property is marketed, if the price isn't right, it won't sell.

When a property is accurately valuated and the agent commences marketing of the listing this creates immediate demand. The first 6 to 12 weeks are the most important when marketing a property.

The first step is to contact an agent with an extensive target market presence. Browse digital property platforms, forums, portals as well as published newspapers and magazines to best see which agents have a true understanding and footprint in the region you wish to sell. Then, similarly, use that research time to assess where your property's value is located in the market and try and scale it correctly. Not just comparing the size and location but added features also.

Agents use many accurate tools that take an array of factors into account when valuating your home. Pair this data with expert insights into the current climate of the market and trends of buyers and sellers and an agent is able to present your property to a diverse network exposing it to the right buyers.


Read more

Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Property Valuation, Harcourts Real Estate

Expect more property developments in 2019

Jan 23, 2019 6:52:46 PM Share this:

During 2018 the South African property market was under immense pressure. We saw many agents having to reinvent their strategies in an attempt to to grow their businesses. Some were also forced to evolve as the man on the street consumes information differently. However, there were certain areas that performed well, developments being one. Across the major metros developments took center stage as a lot of investment and high demand seemed to defy the downward trend of the property landscape. And without a doubt, this will continue throughout 2019.

The large scale investment injections into city living is certainly very exciting and much needed. We've seen how incredible the major commercial and residential property developments in places like the inner city of Cape Town and Johannesburg are transforming the CBDs. There is a real effort to make properties available and a effort to revitalize certain areas as well as boost already booming regions.

On the other side of the spectrum we are seeing well sought-after communities growing even more. According to reports property developers' goals are to meet the demand for housing in  areas like Sandton and surrounds. Many of these properties appeal to first-time buyers,  business executives working in the greater Sandton area as well as investors seeking an asset that will show positive appreciation and rental returns.

We expect the push to develop certain areas to continue. Especially due to the appeal of these properties. Many people view them as safer because of stringent security strategies. Also, there is often a community aspect to lifestyle estates and developments - children playing in the park and getting to know your neighbours. We've seen how the inclusion of a management body and property guidelines assist properties to have a long-term investment life.

The often overlooked aspect that certain developments bring to a community is the increased economic activity. In areas like Somerset West in Cape Town, there are developments almost the size of suburbs. This attracts commercial interest to the region, increasing employment and business growth opportunities and ensuring the local economy has a chance to grow.


Read more

Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Harcourts Real Estate, Property Development