Choose those home con­trac­tors with care

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

COSTLY A change is as good as a hol­i­day, they say, and this is the think­ing be­hind many home own­ers’ de­ci­sions to make al­ter­ations to their prop­er­ties. But there is big money at stake if the work is not done prop­erly. “A strong driver for home im­prove­ments is the dif­fi­culty in ob­tain­ing bond fi­nance,” says Har­courts Africa CEO Richard Gray. “Many peo­ple who might other­wise have moved to a big­ger or more lux­u­ri­ous prop­erty don’t want to go through the has­sle and anx­i­ety of ap­ply­ing for a new bond, so they are staying put and up­grad­ing their homes. They are fur­ther per­suaded by the high costs of re­lo­ca­tion, in­clud­ing trans­fer duty, bond reg­is­tra­tion costs and legal fees, which on a R1m prop­erty, for ex­am­ple, are now about R45 000, ex­clud­ing the agent’s com­mis­sion. You can make quite a lot of im­prove­ments for that.” The trend is re­flected in the lat­est FNB prop­erty barom­e­ter, which shows big in­creases in the num­ber of home own­ers main­tain­ing their homes fully (35,5%, up from 28% in 2009) and those main­tain­ing and mak­ing im­prove­ments (36,3%, up from 31,5% in 2009), and also shows that al­most 70% of those spend­ing money on their prop­er­ties are do­ing so for their own con­ve­nience.

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