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On the Rise: Women Property Owners in South Africa

It’s hard to believe it wasn’t too long ago that the idea of women having the right to own property or inherit land in South Africa was seen as absurd by the patriarchal society and oppressive Government. Not only is it now a very different story – thankfully -but women property owners in South Africa are on the rise, and single women are now the biggest group of property owners in the country. Forget the sexist “homemakers” label; women are quickly becoming homeowners!

Yes, sisters are doing it for themselves! Women property owners in South Africa

According to a report by research group Lightstone, 72 000 single women bought residential properties in 2018- more than single men and couple and married couples. And, as Gerhard Kotzé, Managing Director of the RealNet estate agency group, points out in a feature for IOL’s Personal Finance, “there is high and growing demand now and in the foreseeable future for rental properties, which makes this a good time for women to become property investors and start acquiring rental homes that will provide them with capital growth along with an independent income stream”.

This is so inspiring…what should I look out for if I want to buy my first property?

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Potential women property owners must acquaint themselves with the hidden costs of buying a house in South Africa.  “Unfortunately, most first-time buyers aren’t aware of the fact that the price listed on the actual property ad doesn’t reflect the full amount that needs to be paid to legally own the property,” mentions Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal, Managing Director at LAW FOR ALL. Some administrative costs to be aware of include the deposit, transfer duty tax, transfer attorney costs, bond attorney costs and bond administration fees.

A Deposit

This is an initial down payment for your home that you should save up. Deposits can influence whether or not a financial lending institution will grant you a better payback rate on your bond. (Note – a deposit isn’t technically a “hidden cost”, but it is best to be aware of it.)

Transfer Duty

This is a Government-imposed tax to cover the transfer of the property from the seller to the new buyer. This amount is calculated using a table created by The South African Revenue Services. There is no transfer duty on properties under R900 000.

Transfer Attorney Costs

These fees pay the conveyancers who legally transfer ownership of the new property to you.  Additional costs also include fees for the Deeds Office registration, postage and disbursements charged by the conveyancers.

Bond Attorney Costs

This fee is paid to the attorneys who register your bond.

Bond Initiation & Administration Fees

The institution or bank will charge specific amounts for the initiation and future administration of the bond.

 

All together these fees (excluding the deposit) can add an additional 10% to the amount on the property ad.

Ok, I’ve made some notes. What else should I keep in mind?

In addition to the admin side of things, you should look into any physical, structural issues the property might have. Sellers are legally obligated to submit a thorough report on any leak, mould, moisture damage, cracks, etc., but it’s best to conduct your own inspection with the help of a professional. It’s also best to get an attorney involved to oversee and sign off on you and the seller agreeing on the structural issues on paper.

Side note: if you are not quite ready to buy a home just yet, here’s a basic guide to renting property in South Africa.

How #LAWFORALL can help!

Smiling law student

As a LAW FOR ALL policyholder, you will receive a significant discount on the transfer fees mentioned above! The amount you will save depends on the policy you take out with us, but it ranges from 35% to 60% off the transfer fee. As always, we are your caring legal friends in the law! This will undoubtedly help future women property owners in South Africa.

We’ve Got Your Back!

LAW FOR ALL policies are pocket-friendly and provide comprehensive cover for whatever legal challenge life throws your way. For more information on how LAW FOR ALL can become your friend in times of need and help you navigate life have a look at our policies here.

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The Hidden Costs of Buying a House in South Africa

The hidden costs of buying a house in South Africa can take many potential homeowners by surprise, and often thwart the entire purchase. So, it goes without saying that doing additional research and knowledge is vital before putting in an offer to purchase property in South Africa.  

Property experts estimate that the hidden costs of buying a house can result in an additional 10% onto the stipulated purchase price. What’s more, many people usually don’t know that seeking the help of a lawyer could be very beneficial and result in the saving of some hard-earned cash (more on that later). Essentially, it is all about being clued up and acquiring a sense of buyer confidence that will serve you well in the long run.  

Research all of the “hidden” administrative costs

First-time home buyers might not know that the price mentioned on the property advertisement isn’t the full amount required to own property legally. There are a variety of administrative fees that need to be considered. These are usually: the deposit, transfer duty tax, transfer attorney costs, bond attorney costs and bond administration fees.  

Let’s take a closer look:  

 A deposit – is an amount you should’ve saved up for as an initial payment for your home. It’s doubtful that a financial lending institution or bank will grant a 100% bond, so it is best to start saving ASAP. Do note: the deposit isn’t considered as part of the 10% of hidden costs, but it is worth taking into account.   

The transfer duty tax – is a government tax levied to transfer property from the seller to the buyer’s name.  This amount is calculated using a table created by The South African Revenue Services. There is no transfer duty on properties under R900000.  

Transfer attorney costs – are the legal fees due to the conveyancers who transfer the ownership of the property into your name. These will also include fees for the Deeds Office registration, postage and disbursements charged by the conveyancers.  

Bond attorney costs – due to the attorneys who handle the registration of your bond and includes postage and disbursements incurred.  

Bond initiation and administration fees – these are costs charged by the lending institution for the initiation and ongoing administration of the bond.  

Conduct a detailed check for any structural issues

While sellers are obligated to submit a report on all the structural problems the property might have, it is best to conduct your own inspection by enlisting the help of a construction expert. To avoid any legal and financial headaches regarding leaks, cracks, mould etc., make sure the report is in writing and signed. It might be worth getting an attorney to sign it as well.   

Purchasing an apartment in a complex

If you are buying a flat in a building complex, be sure to contact the body corporate and get as much information as possible. Specifically, request a copy of the building’s latest financial report to see what the body corporate spends money on and ask for an update on any special levies because, unless otherwise specified, construction alterations will have to come out of your pocket.  

Get LAW FOR ALL on your side

LAW FOR ALL offers discounted transfer fees, ranging from 35% to 60% depending on which policy you take out. To get in touch, feel free to contact us telephonically or pop into any of our nationwide offices. 

 
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