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Home Improvements    
  Home Improvements can increase the value of your property. What is stopping you from building that braai room or swimming pool you've always dreamed of. The loan is paid directly to you and not contractors, this will therefore give you more bargaining power as a cash builder.

2nd Dwellings and other additions

It has become increasingly popular for homeowners with large stands to add a”granny flat” on their house or to build a separate cottage in the garden for guests, grown children, retired parents or even paying tenants.

And the existence of such a suite or cottage, particularly if it has its own kitchen and bathroom, can add considerable value to a house when the time comes to sell.

Some important checks before you start making alterations:
  • Make sure that local authority regulations allow a ?second dwelling? on you stand, and that you plans would not infringe building line or servitude restrictions.
  • Check with a reputable local agent whether your proposed addition would be cost effective. You might not be able to recoup the cost of a large cottage attached to a small two-bedroom home in a modest area.
  • Consider the design and size. A cottage that cramps the garden or encroaches on the outdoor entertainment area may even reduce the attractiveness and saleability of the original home.
  • Check the access. Is there room for a separate entrance, and what about parking for an additional vehicle?
  • If you intend to rent the cottage, you should ckeck that it would generate sufficient income to cover any additional repayment on your home loan ? remembering that rental income is taxable.

Property Equity – def: The difference between what you owe on your property and its current market value. i.e. the amount of money you would be left with if you sold your house and settled the home loan.

How best can I build equity into my property investment?

Having invested a considerable sum in the purchase of a home, many don't maximise its investment potential. Homeowners should focus on increasing their equity when they sell their property; and while normal bond repayments do add to the equity, mart owners save and make money on property investments.

Renovation and improvements are one of the ways to build equity in a home by increasing the market value of the property. Not only do these changes add to the value of the house, but if researched carefully and done professionally, they can increase the aesthetic appeal and comfort of the home. These attributes being those which potential buyers will be sensitive to when viewing a property to buy.

Look at the area in which you live and see if your proposed renovations compare with the houses in the area. Are they in keeping with the style of the neighbourhood and has the architect drawn up plans that would attract future buyers?

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