Oudtshoorn Courant

To buy an establishe­d property or a new-build home - which is better?


With low interest rates, preferenti­al lending from banks and more negotiable property prices making this an ideal time to buy, buyers will be asking themselves: What type of property would make a better investment? Should I buy an older home and fix it up or buy new?

According to Hugo la Grange, principal at Jawitz Properties, buyers need to determine where they are going to get the best value for their money and what their priorities are. “There are pros and cons to buying both an older home in a more establishe­d neighbourh­ood and a new-build in a more up-and-coming area, but the most important thing is that buyers are clear about their motivation for buying and how that property would suit their lifestyle.

“For those who want to realise good value on their investment, take into account the advantages of each option,” says La Grange.

Benefits of buying a new-build home

New-build properties appeal to many buyers for several reasons. Firstly, there is no transfer duty to pay, which is a huge saving on the overall cost of purchasing a home. Buyers often have input on the final look and feel of their home by choosing finishes that they prefer, allowing them to put their personal stamp on it.

New-build properties are also more practical in design, with a focus on space and energy efficienci­es, reducing consumptio­n costs. Being new, it will also require little maintenanc­e. New developmen­ts incorporat­e more desirable modern designs and finishes, and most purchasers prefer the latest interior trends such as vinyl floors, larger tiles, open-plan kitchens, gas stoves, wall-hung toilets and frameless walk-in glass showers.

Benefits of buying an older property

Older properties are generally located in establishe­d areas, which gives buyers an opportunit­y to reside in popular built-up areas in a central location.

Such areas are sought after because of their access to schools, shops and natural drawcards such as beaches and mountain reserves.

Erf sizes are usually much bigger, affording buyers the opportunit­y to add additional value through improvemen­ts. “A larger plot size gives the buyer the chance to improve on the property by, for example, adding another bedroom or granny flat, installing a pool, fixing up the garden, or building additional garaging. Compared to new-builds, where your house takes over the stand and there isn’t much room to play with, a large plot gives you the freedom to add value in a variety of ways,” explains la Grange.

“There are still good buys out there for people who want to purchase older homes to flip and resell, but you really need to buy right to make your money over the short term in the current market. Both sides of the coin, new or old, have their advantages and will realise value, but buyers need to make a decision on what is right for them based on their lifestyle, budget and desire to do maintenanc­e and repairs.”

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