* This article first appeared in our digital magazine Property360
The idea of moving into a brand new home and being the first person to live there is exciting.
It represents a blank canvas on which to build memories and a clean slate to decorate as you wish.
Everything in the property is brand new including the light fixtures, fixtures and all electrical connections.
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to buy a new property? And given the choice between such a house and an existing house, why would anyone really choose the latter?
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In fact, experts say, there are buyers who would, although many prefer the idea of the brand new.
“The right home for you is the one that’s best for you,” says Gus van der Spek, Managing Director of Avview Properties.
“It depends on your stage of life and what you are looking for.”
New vs old: advantages vs disadvantages
If you go for a new build, you’ll be rewarded with modern features, more amenities, higher resale value, and flexible financing, he notes.
Plus, you won’t need a deposit, says Andre van der Merwe, director of the Chas Everitt franchise on the East Rand. In most cases, there is also no deposit or transfer fee required.
“The main reason for choosing a new build is that the property is brand new and requires little maintenance.”
David Sedgwick, Managing Director of Horizon Capital Residential, explains that the home’s new perks include the ability to customize it with your own finishes.
“There is also the feeling of being ‘new’ and of being the first person to live there. New properties include a five-year liability for latent defects, and because new buildings are more energy efficient, monthly operating costs are generally lower. “
Paul Upton, Head of Developments at Dogon, points out that developers will often be open to allowing you to select their own internal color scheme and choice of finishes, provided you commit to them prior to installation.
But there are also downsides. New homes take a long time to build and you should expect delays, Sedgwick says. There may also be a difference in your expectations and the reality of the final product. And new construction is sold at a higher price compared to existing properties.
“The advantage of older buildings is that they are generally one square meter taller than newer developments. You can also physically see what you are buying. “
Van der Merwe agrees: “Often a new house has a premium in terms of price and smaller size. But existing homes still have to pay transfer taxes and can often require a deposit. “
Additionally, existing homes may have hidden maintenance issues that aren’t resolved until later, Sedgewick says. Older buildings are not as energy efficient as newer ones, these properties may also need to be renovated or refurbished, and there will be a transfer fee cost.
Older homes may have issued a design flow, and when repairing or expanding it’s often difficult to stay on budget, say Charl and Adel Louw, who run the Chas Everitt Cape Town Northern Suburbs, City franchises. Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard.
However, by purchasing new build Upton says you save on the dreaded “ hassle factor ” and “ unknown end price ” of witnessing alterations / renovations when customizing an existing property.
New vs new: how to choose
When choosing between new builds, Van der Merwe says it’s important to trust and know the developer and be wary of new builds in places that border areas that could escalate in the future.
“You should also take a look at the developer’s previous developments to verify that you are happy with the quality of the finishes,” says Sedgwick.
He says other questions to consider are:
• If the apartment is small, is there a common area that residents can enjoy in the development?
• Is there secure parking?
• Is short term rental allowed?
• Does the building accept animals?
• Is it in a good location where you will get good capital growth?
• How many apartments are there in the building? Are there too many? If so, be aware that it creates a very competitive market if you plan to lease it.
• Is the development intended only for investors or are there also owner-occupiers? It’s good to have a balance.
What to consider when buying new construction
Van der Spek says you need to do your homework on the developer.
“Look for a company with a reputable track record and good references. Also, be sure to check for any snags and put everything in writing. “
An important factor in choosing a new build is the team employed to meet the expectations, Upton adds.
Van der Merwe says you also need to make sure you understand the agreement you signed and know when occupancy will be available, and what the business rent will be if you move in before the property is registered in your name.
“Know what the estimated levies and rates will be if this is a section property, and factor those amounts into your affordability.”
Upton says another important aspect of buying into a new development is understanding the product being offered, the orientation of the home, privacy concerns and specification of finishes down to the smallest detail.
For buyers of new homes in Cape Town, Charl Louw says good roof designs are vital due to weather conditions.
“Certain types of roofs are prone to leaks. You can’t see moisture in a new building, so buyers should make sure the walls and foundation are properly sealed. “
Adel Louw adds: “Make sure you have some warranty for at least the first year to deal with unforeseen maintenance issues.”
If you’ve decided to buy a new property, you should also think about adding additions like a pool, fireplace, or air conditioners at this point, Upton says.
“Additions like these are much easier to organize before construction, as service planning is simpler and more cost effective compared to ‘retro-adjusted’ additions.”