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Kerry Dimmer

Johannesburg, South Africa
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About Kerry
Kerry Dimmer is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Winner of the Diageo Best Infrastructure Feature of the Year 2010, and 2013 SAPOA Property Feature Journalist of the Year. Focuses on current affairs in Africa.
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Finance options for renovating your home

18 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Homeowners are increasingly interested in cost-effective renovation measures due to economic pressures like interest rate hikes and inflation. Post-Covid-19, there's a trend towards adding home offices, gyms, or rental units. Renovations can enhance property value and appeal. Julian Pick from Absa outlines various financing options, including savings, further advances, re-advances, pension fund loans, and FLISP grants. The homeowner's financial standing and risk profile are crucial in securing finance. Proper documentation and municipal approvals are necessary, and potential buyers can apply for renovation finance simultaneously with their home loan application.

Should you rent or buy your first flat or house?

17 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The article discusses the pros and cons of renting versus buying a flat or house, emphasizing the importance of financial security and affordability. Samuel Seeff of Seeff Property Group advises that owning property can be a wise investment if one can sustain mortgage repayments, offering benefits like asset growth, security, and customization. However, owning also comes with additional costs and less liquidity. Renting, while more affordable and flexible, lacks long-term security and investment benefits. The decision ultimately depends on individual financial circumstances.

Property purchasing restrictive Conditions

14 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Prospective home buyers often overlook restrictive conditions attached to properties, which can limit their use, such as prohibiting subdivision or setting height limits for buildings. These conditions are detailed in title deeds, which buyers can obtain from the deeds office or the bank holding the bond. While it is possible to amend these conditions, the process is legally complex and costly. Buyers are advised to check for any restrictive conditions before making a purchase to avoid future complications.

How to pay off your bond sooner

13 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
With strategic planning, homeowners can pay off their bonds faster, saving significant amounts of money. Methods include making higher repayments, frequent payments, lump sum contributions, consolidating debt, and using the bond account as a savings vehicle. Staying informed about financial opportunities, such as the Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) for South African first-time buyers, can also aid in faster repayment.

How to find the right property practitioner

11 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Choosing the right property practitioner is crucial for selling your property efficiently and at the best price. Conduct thorough research, seek recommendations, and evaluate practitioners based on their activity, qualifications, and support structures. Ensure they have the necessary certifications and experience to avoid prolonged sales periods and low offers.

Save to buy your own home

09 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The recent repo rate hike to 10.75 percent has increased financial pressure on South Africans saving to buy a home. Despite this, achieving homeownership is still possible with careful planning. Key steps include determining a savings goal, using tools like bond originators and affordability calculators, setting realistic targets, budgeting to free up disposable income, and maintaining a healthy credit score by paying off debts promptly.

How CSOS can help you deal with ‘nuisance’ neighbours

06 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Living in community housing schemes can be both exciting and challenging due to diverse perceptions and tolerance levels among neighbors. Andrew Schaefer, MD of Trafalgar, highlights the role of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) in resolving disputes related to nuisance behavior. Section 39 of the CSOS Act allows for an adjudicator to manage such behavior by ordering specific actions. Schaefer emphasizes the importance of understanding what constitutes nuisance behavior and the process of applying to CSOS for conciliation or formal adjudication if internal resolution fails.

Keep up your bond repayments

05 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Homeowners are advised to protect their most important asset by keeping up with mortgage repayments, especially during tough financial times. The article suggests involving the whole family in cutting unnecessary expenses and contacting the bank to discuss possible solutions if there is still a shortfall. Extending the term of the bond is one option, though it will result in higher interest payments over time. Proactive communication with family, the bondholder, and financial advisers is emphasized as key to finding solutions.

Understanding Property Valuation: A Comprehensive Guide

05 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
A property valuation, conducted by certified valuers, provides an accurate estimate of a property's market value, influenced by factors such as location, market conditions, and physical attributes. Certified valuers, registered with the South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession (SACPVP), offer professional assessments essential for informed decision-making in real estate. Differentiating between estate agents' market assessments and professional valuations is crucial, with the latter providing a comprehensive analysis. Regular valuations, recommended every three years, help homeowners and investors navigate the property market confidently.

What to consider before moving to another city or area

04 Jun 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Semigration is a growing trend in the property market, driven by factors such as better service delivery, security, and lifestyle. Samuel Seeff of Seeff Property Group advises thorough research and community integration before moving. Key considerations include financial security, commuting times, and the needs of children. Renting before buying and being cautious of fraudulent agents are also recommended.

How to handle a disclosure form when selling your property

22 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019 mandates that property sellers complete and sign disclosure forms before selling a property, detailing any known defects or issues. This ensures buyers are aware of potential risks. The National Building Regulations and Buildings Standards Act requires a compliance certificate for any post-1985 alterations. Additionally, properties managed by homeowners’ associations must include an HOA disclosure form. These measures protect buyers from future legal and financial problems, emphasizing the importance of thorough disclosure and professional advice.

The Voetstoots clause and its implications

21 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The voetstoots clause in property sale agreements specifies that buyers accept the property 'as is,' placing the burden on buyers for any undisclosed defects discovered later. Grant Gunston of Gunston Strandvik Mlambo Attorneys explains that proving sellers knew of latent defects and failed to disclose them is challenging. The Property Practitioners Act mandates that sellers complete disclosure forms listing known defects, providing some protection for buyers. Buyers are still responsible for thoroughly inspecting properties. Gunston advises that resolving minor repair issues amicably is often more practical than litigation.

Property rentals are booming, but rates under pressure again

21 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The demand for rental properties in Cape Town is surging, driven by semigration, tourism, and a return to office work. High-end rentals are particularly in demand, with some properties renting for over R100,000 per month. The Southern Suburbs and areas like Woodstock are experiencing stock shortages, especially in the R10,000 to R35,000 per month range. Gauteng and Durban are also seeing increased rental demand, though rental rates in Gauteng are under pressure due to higher stock levels and affordability issues. New developments like The Hub in Woodstock and Alphen Glen in Constantia offer attractive rental yields for investors.

What happens if your landlord sells the property?

19 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
When a landlord decides to sell a rental property, the tenant's rights are protected under the legal principle of 'huur gaat voor koop,' meaning the lease remains valid until its expiry. The tenant can cancel the lease with 21 days' notice and a cancellation penalty as per the Consumer Protection Act. The lease agreement should include provisions for property viewings and inspections. If no new lease is signed with the new owner, the tenant must vacate the property, and the rental deposit should be refunded after an outgoing inspection.

6 top security estates in the Eastern Cape

02 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Security estates in the Eastern Cape are becoming increasingly popular due to their exclusivity, amenities, and investment value. The region's economy is growing, with agriculture, renewable energy, and the automotive sector driving job creation. This growth has led to an influx of residents and the development of new estates. Six notable estates include Baywest Village on Walker, Bengal Heights, The Reeds Private Estate, Homestead Views Security Estate, Mkantsi River Lifestyle Estate, and Cypraea Sands Estate, each offering a range of prices, amenities, and lifestyle options.

What You Need to Know About Making an Offer to Purchase

01 May 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Making an offer to purchase a property is a significant step that involves creating a legally binding written agreement between buyer and seller once signed by both parties. The Offer to Purchase includes details such as the names and ID numbers of the parties, the offered price, property description, terms and conditions, deposit arrangements, payment methods, transfer fees, inclusions, known defects, occupational rental agreements, and a validity date. Conditions of the contract must be met to avoid invalidation, and buyers and sellers have specific obligations to fulfil. Buyers should conduct a final property check, assess their financial readiness, and verify personal details before signing, while sellers must ensure compliance certificates are in order.

Avoid The Sin Bin When Selling Your Home

Rent to buy

Tenant Credit Scores

Buyers’ or sellers’ market?

Loan benefits for community housing schemes

Residential property market remains resilient

20 Apr 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The South African residential property market has shown resilience despite the Monetary Policy Committee's disappointing 75bps repo rate increase, which affects aspiring and current homeowners amidst economic challenges like load shedding, high fuel, and rising food costs. Dr Andrew Golding of Pam Golding Property group notes that the repo rate is still below pre-Covid levels, and the Reserve Bank is addressing inflation and infrastructure bottlenecks rather than borrowing costs. The bank aims for a 'neutral' interest rate to avoid dampening economic activity. Inflation has slightly eased, and the bank's focus is on containing inflation expectations. The housing market has remained active, with the Western Cape seeing increased sales, and banks continue to show a strong appetite for lending, with improved loan pricing and higher approval rates, suggesting a nearing end to the repo rate upward cycle.

Helping your elderly parents to downsize

18 Apr 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The article discusses the process of helping aging parents downsize to a more manageable living situation. It emphasizes the importance of understanding their feelings, involving them in decision-making, and respecting their autonomy. The article suggests asking open-ended questions, actively listening, and being kind and patient. It also covers practical aspects such as decluttering, donating, selling, and throwing away items, and considering services like Meals on Wheels and transportation options. The emotional impact of moving and the importance of embracing these feelings are also highlighted.

Transform society through Living Streets

12 Apr 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
South Africa is experiencing a shift towards 'Living Streets,' a concept that emphasizes pedestrian-focused urban design to create dynamic public spaces and improve quality of life. Tanya Busschau of dhk Architects and Jonny Friedman of Urban Lime discuss the importance of walkability, safety, and sustainable transportation in urban areas. Despite challenges such as crime and the need for local government investment, Living Streets can address economic inequality and attract young people back to cities. Urban Lime has been instrumental in revitalizing areas in Cape Town and Durban, demonstrating the economic and social benefits of this approach.

Buying Property to Live and Work In

11 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
The trend of working from home has led to an increase in home-based businesses, with property buyers seeking residences suitable for both living and working. The feasibility of operating a business from home depends on local municipal zoning and land use regulations, which vary based on the type of business. Residential properties are generally expected to be used primarily for living, with limitations on the number of employees. Local councils are adapting regulations to support small business growth, with Cape Town allowing certain business activities in residential zones. Homeowners are advised to consider properties that accommodate business needs and to check local regulations, especially regarding signage and neighbor interference.

How to prep your budget for the approaching holiday season part one

09 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
Consumers facing tight budgets may find the upcoming festive season challenging. Planning for holiday expenses and personal budgets is essential to start the new year without regret. Absa's Zain Khan and Kefilwe Zelda Sekhonyana advise against defaulting on home loans, offering solutions for financially distressed customers, such as reduced instalments and restructuring options. They emphasize the importance of saving for a home deposit in 2023, budgeting, and being disciplined with credit. Absa provides various financial products to assist customers in saving and managing their finances.

The impact of solar farms on nearby property values

09 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
Solar farms in South Africa, particularly in the Northern Cape, have not been found to increase nearby property values, with a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory indicating a 1.5 percent decrease in resale prices for homes within a kilometer of such farms. The study refutes misconceptions about solar farms' environmental impact. De Aar, home to the largest solar farm in the sub-Saharan region, has seen increased job opportunities and economic activity, though not directly from the solar farm's operation. Global activists advocate for using alternative spaces like roofs for solar panels before developing solar farms, which could potentially increase property values. South African estate agents note that homes with solar can sell for more, and there are tax incentives for solar panel installation, though the impact on property values due to proximity to solar farms remains unclear.

How to adjust to a new home

07 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, offers advice for adjusting to a new home, emphasizing the emotional aspect of real estate purchases. He suggests exploring the neighborhood, maintaining routines for children, adjusting to new expenses, and redecorating to personalize the space. Goslett also reminds buyers that real estate is a long-term investment and encourages staying in touch with real estate professionals for market trends.

Overcoming bad credit: Tips for renting a home successfully

06 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
The article provides guidance on how to rent a home with bad credit, emphasizing the importance of a good credit score for approval. It explains the role of credit reports and scores in rental applications, reasons applications may be declined, and offers an action plan to improve credit. This includes checking for inaccuracies, paying down debt, avoiding multiple small-limit credit cards, and seeking financial advice. It also warns against the negative impact of going under debt review. The article suggests checking one's credit score through credit bureaus in South Africa to understand and improve one's credit position.

Convenient and Effective Solution for Utilities

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
Prepaid meters for utilities like water, electricity, and gas are gaining popularity in South Africa for their convenience and effectiveness. They allow users to pay for utilities in advance, which helps landlords, trustees, and managing agents reduce the risk of non-payment. Various types of prepaid meters are available, and they help tenants manage their utility spending better, avoiding high unexpected bills.

Understanding the new Housing Consumer Protection Bill

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
The Housing Consumer Protection Bill aims to enhance consumer protection, ensure housing build quality, and transform the regulatory environment. It extends the scope of legislation to include owner-builders and mandates registration with the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). The Bill introduces a Home Warranty Fund covering structural defects up to five years post-construction. The NHBRC's role will expand to include maintaining a database of homebuilders and homes, providing training, and ensuring technical standards. Property practitioners will be required to verify NHBRC enrolment and Home Warranty Fund coverage before home sales.

Property practitioner due diligence

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
When selecting a letting property practitioner, it is crucial to verify their credentials, including the possession of a fidelity fund certificate (FFC) from the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA). Property practitioners should manage and maintain the property, ensuring the landlord's investment is safe. Landlords can choose between introduction and management mandates for rental property practitioners, with clear terms to avoid future conflicts. Deposits should be held in interest-bearing accounts, with property practitioners required to keep separate trust accounts, subject to annual audits. Clear and regular communication between the property practitioner, landlord, and tenants is essential for effective property management.

What is a mortgage?

04 Apr 2024  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
A mortgage, also known as a home loan or bond, is a legal arrangement between an individual or business and a finance house, typically a bank, where the lender can take the property if the borrower fails to repay the loan and interest. In South Africa, mortgages are a common means to home ownership but come with long-term financial commitments and risks, such as the potential loss of property during financial difficulties. They also offer advantages like cost-effective borrowing, potential tax breaks, and the ability to increase net worth over time. The article advises consulting a financial consultant and shopping around for the best loan terms.

Online property scams on the increase

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
Online property scams have been on the rise, with sophisticated syndicates targeting buyers, sellers, and property practitioners. The technology enabling communication and transactions also opens doors to scams, which include digital communications from con artists and interception of property transaction funds. In 2021, the Attorneys Indemnity Insurance Fund stopped covering attorneys victimized by cybercrime. Real estate transactions are particularly vulnerable due to the significant funds transferred online. Scams involve posing as property practitioners, intercepting electronic communications, and targeting online property sales and rentals. Victims can avoid scams by verifying property practitioners through the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority, checking email addresses, and involving multiple parties in fund transfers. Vigilance and verification are key to preventing victimization.

How to find affordable homes in South Africa

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
The demand for affordable housing in South Africa is high, and what is considered affordable varies by individual. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, advises potential buyers to identify their desired location and property needs, and to work with a qualified estate agent to conduct a comparative market analysis. The RE/MAX National Housing Report for Q1 2023 indicates that the Free State has the lowest median asking price, while sectional title homes are generally cheaper than freehold properties. Goslett emphasizes the importance of buying at the right price for future profit, suggesting that the real profit is made at the time of purchase, not sale.

Rental Housing Tribunal’s Role in Rental Disputes

04 Apr 2024  |  privateproperty.co.za
The Rental Housing Act in South Africa ensures fair treatment of both landlords and tenants, with the Rental Housing Tribunals (RHTs) established to resolve disputes. These tribunals are independent statutory bodies that offer services at no cost, including education, advice, and mediation. They can summon parties, enforce the Act, impose fines, and their rulings carry the same weight as a Magistrate's court judgment. Complaints can be filed with the RHT, which will conduct preliminary investigations and may resolve disputes through mediation or a hearing. If parties are dissatisfied, they can take the matter to the High Court.

New Airbnb Rooms service launched

01 Oct 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Airbnb has launched a new service called Airbnb Rooms, offering more affordable ways for guests to stay with locals. The company, based in San Francisco, has introduced 50 new features and upgrades to its platform. Airbnb Rooms includes a dedicated search category, Host Passport, and additional privacy features. The service has gained significant traction in South Africa, with many property owners and rental agents adapting to its presence. Despite its popularity, Airbnb faces criticism for contributing to rising home rents and lack of regulation in tourism hotspots.

Great expectations: how to manage the buyer’s offer

01 Oct 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Managing buyer and seller expectations in the property market is crucial for property practitioners. Experts from Tyson Properties, RealNet Polokwane, and Leadhome provide insights on how to handle offers, avoid bidding wars, and guide clients through emotional decisions. Key strategies include advising buyers to make their best offer upfront, understanding market conditions, and adjusting prices based on market response. The importance of pricing correctly from the start to avoid stagnation and ensuring a smooth transaction is emphasized.

The ‘Gentrification’ wheel

01 Oct 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
South Africa is experiencing increased semigration, particularly to coastal areas and smaller towns, with the Western Cape seeing the highest influx. This trend is driving gentrification, which brings both economic benefits and social challenges. While gentrification can improve housing and local economies, it often displaces lower-income residents, exacerbating social inequalities. The article emphasizes the need for city councils and investors to collaborate on providing affordable housing to ensure that long-term residents benefit from increased investment. Without such measures, gentrification risks perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

Asbestos installations in South Africa

01 Oct 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The Asbestos Abatement Regulations 2020, enforced by South Africa's Department of Employment and Labour, mandate that building owners conduct asbestos assessments and maintain an inventory of asbestos conditions. Geoffrey Jäck, managing director of Indawo, highlights the risks associated with installing modern structures like satellite dishes and solar panels on asbestos roofs, which can exacerbate the release of harmful asbestos fibers. The regulations aim to prevent such damage and ensure the safe removal of asbestos. The Department is committed to the total removal of asbestos for public safety, and Jäck advises building owners to conduct regular assessments and consider financial options for safe installations and roof replacements.

Latest rate hike will add to the bite

01 Oct 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The Reserve Bank's recent 25bps repo rate hike to 7.25% was anticipated by the property market, though some argue a pause could have benefited the economy amid the Eskom energy crisis. Inflation appears to be stabilizing, and the property market remains stable despite higher interest rates. Mortgage lending remains favorable, but buyers should account for increased costs. Asking prices may come under pressure, and sellers should heed local agents' advice to capitalize on market demand.

RE/MAX National Housing Report Q1 2023

12 Apr 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The South African property market has cooled, with a 14% decrease in bond registrations and a 9% drop in property transfers year-over-year for Q1 2023, according to Lightstone Property data. Freehold properties and sectional title unit sales also declined. RE/MAX reports a decrease in units sold and buyer enquiries, despite an increase in listings. House price inflation has slowed, with sectional titles seeing a price increase and freehold homes a slight decrease. The Western Cape remains the most searched and expensive province. Market conditions are expected to tighten further due to the Pretoria Deeds Office shutdown and recent interest rate hikes, potentially leading to more homes on the market and fewer qualified buyers.

Free State becomes the first choice for first-time buyers

01 Apr 2023  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
Inland provinces like the Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo are becoming increasingly popular among first-time home buyers due to their affordability and value for money. The Free State, in particular, led the way in first-time home buyer applications in the first quarter of 2023. Bloemfontein, the region's capital, has seen a significant increase in home sales, especially among young adults aged 18 to 35. The Free State offers varied employment opportunities, a strong agricultural industry, and significant contributions to mining and manufacturing. Attractions like the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and San rock art further enhance its appeal.

Affordable rental market White Paper

31 Dec 2022  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) 2050 Phase Two, gazetted by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, aims to achieve inclusive growth in South Africa by focusing on housing, roads, health, and education. The plan encourages public-private partnerships and urban densification. TUHF21, through its uMaStandi subsidiary, supports the plan, emphasizing the need for government cooperation with private sector partners to provide affordable housing in townships. Key challenges include town planning procedures and support for micro-developers. The successful implementation of the plan hinges on collaboration across government levels and sectors.

Cash rental compliance with money laundering rules

14 Oct 2022  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The widespread use of cash in South Africa poses significant risks for money laundering and terrorist financing, prompting the Financial Action Task Force to call for legislative changes. In response, the South African government revised the cash reporting threshold in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Control Regulations, requiring estate agents to report cash transactions exceeding R50,000 to the Financial Intelligence Centre. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties. Jan Davel, CEO of PayProp South Africa, emphasizes the importance of compliance for estate agents, highlighting PayProp's role in assisting agencies with identifying and reporting cash deposits.

Residential building activity by province

30 Sep 2022  |  www.privateproperty.co.za
The Western Cape's residential building activity in 2022 is set to surpass Gauteng's for the first time, driven by a strong regional economy and significant semigration of skilled labor. Despite a national decline in new planning activity, the Western Cape has shown robust growth in building plans passed, indicating economic outperformance. Gauteng remains the largest provincial economy, but the Western Cape's ability to attract and retain skilled labor is contributing to its rapid growth in residential, retail, and office property planning.

From profiling CEO's and countries and covering a wide spectrum of industry in Africa, this article provides only an idea of style of writing. Website www.kerrydimmer.com offers a broad spectrum of published articles.

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