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What makes a home sellable?



Every home is sellable. What changes is the price.

Take two identical houses right next to each other on the same street.

Why would one get a higher price?

Assuming that they were built at the same time by the same builder, they would have been the same when they were originally completed.

So what changed?

Use your imagination.

The owner of one unit is a young professional couple without children who have super modern furniture and are particularly neat and tidy in the way that they live.

The other home was bought by an elderly couple who have heavy dark old-fashioned furniture.

They are not particularly house proud and have two long-haired dogs that shed a lot of hair.

Both husband and wife smoke heavily.

Which one would you want to buy?

The garden of the one house is well maintained – lovely flower beds tastefully laid out, with lots of flowering plants.

The trees are trimmed and all the beds are neat and turned over.

Wild trees are removed and all the leaves, grass cuttings and dead branches are taken away on a monthly basis.

The property has full sprinklers back and front and are regularly fertilised.

The lawn is cut weekly and well weeded.

The other home has owners who are more interested in TV games and having people over to visit than looking after the garden.

The lawn is cut weekly but not always trimmed on the edges.

Not being that interested in gardening the flower beds have quite a few weeds and wild trees growing but do get looked at from time to time.

This owner does not go to buy flowering plants so what is there is there.

They put in perennial plants that need little to no attention.

Which home do you think you would want to buy?

One house has a proud owner that makes sure that everything is well looked after and in its place.

The other one has had a series of tenants over many years.

The owner is trying to maximise his income and not spend money on repairs that can be done some other time.

Which home are you likely to buy?

That is why some houses sell quicker and for more money than others.

If you are thinking of selling then you need to think like a buyer.

Look at your own home and see what you can do to make it more attractive to a buyer.

Buyers will buy any home no matter how dirty or untidy it is provided it is being sold at the right price.

The more dirty, old fashioned, dark and unkempt it is, the lower the buying price will be.

Just spending a couple of thousand rand on improving a house’s garden can increase the price that a buyer will pay by tens of thousands of rand.

Ask your selling agent to walk around your house and tell you what he or she would like to see done to make your home more sellable.

Just having a simple spring clean and cupboard clear-out can add to your home’s saleability and make your home sell quicker.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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Gas it out, give Eskom the boot



ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION . . . Gas can be used for heating water, ovens and stoves in general

Electricity has simply become unaffordable. And, as if that’s not enough, it’s not always available.

In recent months, the power utility has been churning out media statements explaining the loss of generation at various power stations and pleading with consumers to use electricity sparingly.

While the updates are important, consumers naturally expect electricity to be available whenever they turn on the switch.

The recent tariff hike of over seven percent in Mangaung Metro has proved quite steep to most households and it might not be far-fetched to expect another round of hikes in the coming months.

I strongly believe it’s now time to seriously consider other practical solutions to end this double inconvenience of high prices and inavailabilty of electricity.

Alternatives like solar and gas could ease the problem quite significantly but it comes at a cost.

In fact, the installation costs might be quite discouraging, but once the systems are in place, there are no major expenses to be incurred – this including solar electricity, solar water heaters and gas.

Electrical geysers chew electricity while solar heaters are effective and efficient.

Natural gas is also a realistic alternative.

The system is cheaper to install by far and gas cylinders normally last for months.

Gas can be used for heating water, ovens and stoves in general.

Larger systems can also have central heating.

Gas is readily available and suppliers have delivery services for 10kg cylinders and above.

And unlike electricity, gas geysers only heat water on demand, which means that you don’t sit around with pre-heated water in your geyser.

It only heats on demand.

And when cooking, pans heat up quickly and, importantly, cool down when the gas is switched off.

It is a different type of heat and is great for making oven bread.

Worth a try!

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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Langenhoven Park chain store robbed



SHOP ROBBERY . . . The Walk Centre in Langenhoven Park

Bainsvlei police in Bloemfontein have launched a manhunt for suspects involved in business robbery at a chain store at The Walk Centre in Langenhoven Park on Wednesday.

The complainant, who is the manager of the shop, told the police that two men walked into the shop pretending to be customers before robbing the shop.

“Suddenly they pulled out firearms and accosted the four cashiers and instructed them to walk back into the complainant’s office,” police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said in a statement.

“The suspects robbed the shop of different brands of cellular telephones as well as an undisclosed amount of money, and fled the scene in a white Renault Clio with registration number HRT 558 FS,” he added.

Police were called to the scene and they are now investigating a case of business robbery.

Covane said anyone who might have information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects may contact Captain Thapelo Motseki on 082 466 8405 or call the SAPS Crime Stop number: 08600 10111. Alternatively, information can be sent via MySAPS App. – Staff Reporter

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Duets are sectional title too



A duet unit is by definition a two-unit sectional title scheme. Or at least is supposed to be.

However, I have seen these mini schemes with up to five units. Not sure how they get away with it.

Either way they are still mini sectional title schemes and have to be treated like their big brothers – but they aren’t.

Usually, each owner has their own rates account, own water and electricity account and just does their own thing. But that is where the complications come in.

Some owners have a bond and thus insurance. Some bought cash and forgot.

A body corporate is supposed to have a body corporate policy on all the buildings.

Let’s say that there is a fire in an insured unit but it also results in the building down of an uninsured unit.

And because this is a body corporate and all parties are trustees that are expected to have a body corporate policy, they will be equally negligent.

That means that the owner will have to pay 50 percent — or whatever the Participation Quota (PQ) ratio is — of the uninsured unit owner’s loss.

Would you like to be in that position? I don’t think so.

The same applies to maintenance.

So, if your neighbour thinks that his roof needs to be replaced, you will be liable for that same PQ part of the replacement cost.

The trouble is that nothing will happen while everyone is happy and things are running smoothly, but when there is a major problem, people look for solutions to their financial crisis.

It’s not worth it.

Run your mini scheme properly and contact Community Schemes Ombud Service if your neighbour won’t.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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