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You buy what you see



Buyers are not always experienced and should therefore rely on their estate agent to guide them through the process.

It is however important that the buyer understands that they are buying what they see.

A previously owned house, like a second-hand car, will seldom be perfect and will have a few years of use, wear and tear on its clock.

Buyers must understand that they are buying a second-hand house and not a new one.

New houses come with an expectation that the builder is responsible for the first three months after moving in for minor repairs like loose tiles, cupboard handles and sticking sliding door.

For the first year they are responsible for roof leaks and for five years for major problems such as cracking foundations and badly designed or constructed roof structure.

This is not the case for resale houses.

The seller’s obligation is to tell the buyer about any serious faults that the buyer may not see easily.

They do not have to point out, for instance, that you have to wiggle the toilet handle to make it work, but would have to let you know about dampness on the wall behind the bookshelf or the garage door motor that sticks if it rains.

Other than that, it is up to the buyer to look at the property that he is buying and decide that he is happy to buy it with the minor faults that come with any property that you buy.

If there is something that you think needs to be fixed, that’s fine.

Just add it as a special condition in your offer.

An example might be “subject to the seller replacing the cracked window pane on the lounge window”.

The seller can then decide to accept the offer with this condition or not and if he/she does then they must arrange for the window pane to be replaced, the frame around the pane to be repainted, etc.

This would be done at his cost and not the buyer’s.

You cannot expect the seller to fix problems that appear when you move in.

It is not the seller’s responsibility to fix toilets that are not flushing, taps that are dripping, doors that leak when it rains hard from a particular direction or the like.

Everyone who moves into a property expects to spend the day doing small repairs and washing walls.

So, take time to look carefully at the property you want to make an offer on.

Either put in those items that you want the seller to fix into the contract as a special condition or adjust your price down a bit to allow you to do those repairs yourself.

The seller is not obliged to accept your special conditions and could reject them or adjust the price upwards to cover the cost of these repairs.

The more complicated you make your offer the less likely you are to have your offer accepted or for the seller to accept a competitive offer.

Often it is easier just to arrange to do those odd jobs yourself.

  • 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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