Wednesday, 31 October 2007
It's relatively new so it has a couple of features that could do with some fixing up, but try it out folks, it's great, and a lovely resource for all.
Congrats guys, it's always nice to know that there are people out there, willing to help clean up the Blogosphere!
Check it out, it's definately worth it http://www.ourcommunitypower.org/blogreader/is.php
Monday, 22 October 2007
VIVA THE BOKKE & FORZA FERRARI! Sorry, I've been screaming that for the last two days so I needed to post my joy online for all to see! What a weekend for sport and nerves, in fact it was so good I've woken up happy and smiling and ready for work on a Monday. Let me tell you, that doesn't happen too often! Anyways, well done John Smit and well done Kimi Raikonnen. Two new world champions crowned in one weekend...
Moving on, I've had quite a few requests from international readers to start writing posts about the suburbs in South Africa and it's surrounding regions. People say that it's the one thing that's lacking on the web and in South African sites. I did some searching on the net and it's true, if you search for suburbs and for real estate investing in South Africa there's nothing. So how are international investors meant to know what the good area's the not so good area's and the up and coming area's in South Africa are...
Think about it, if you're relocating, what questions do you ask.
Things to do while in town!
Things to consider when moving to town!
With 50% - 60% of the market that's currently buying being Internet savvy, it's an area that's missing. So I'm going to try start and trend and hopefully all you real estate and property bloggers in South Africa will help me out!
So it's going to be the start of a new series of BLOGGING articles called "South African Property Neighbourhood Watch". Stay tuned, it's going to be a thriller!
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
Gone should be days of paying 7% commission to agents. It's firstly a rip off and secondly it's costing you a fortune! Well lets show you how to save some cash.
- Negotiating down your agent's cut
- For Sale by Owner - Private property sales
- Going "HANS" Solo
Negotiating down your agents fee's
Most real estate agents take a commission of roughly 2.5% to 3%. Their total cost anywhere between 6% and 8% of which the difference is paid out to the companies and parties involved in the sale. RIP OFF! However as more and more smaller agents and online businesses start coming into the fold real estate agents are becoming more and more susceptible to discount "chat". Taking reductions in their commissions. After all, we know they're earning too much money, lets take some of that cash back.
- To get that commission reduced: Ask a couple of agents in the area for a estimate of what the current property rates are in the area
- Chat to each agent, control the meetings you have with them as they're known for putting you on the spot even though it's your place you're trying to sell. Tell them how much you are expecting to make from the sale of the house and ask if they will lower their commission to the percentage you want. Even if it's 1% commission drop, you're saving alot of money.
For Sale by Owner - Private property sales
With sites such as Private Property and MyRoof and millions of other free list site popping up on this ever expanding WWW :) who needs to pay real estate agent commission fees?
Private Property charge a once off listing fee, and as far as I know HomeSouthAfrica and MyRoof offer free listings.
Going "HANS" Solo
Well what more can we say about going "HANS" solo. You saving R30 000 - R40 000 commissions. Remember though, that you going to need time to sell it, put it on show and remember to clean your house people... This is not always the easiest route to take but if you've got someone whose permanently at home it's easier, if not (Get your unemployed buddy to stand in and buy him a couple of beers)
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
So incredible that it's sounds like it's not real?
So great that it allows you to free up money every month. It drops your monthly installments and you can afford WHOLE lot more house.
Now interest only loans this may be the perfect investment opportunity for those that know how to handle their finances. If you're a good personal financial advisor and you don't buy more mortgage than you can handle, I say go for it.
If you're not, I say contact a mortgage broker that offer normal home loans and don't be silly.
So what's the catch and why the advice, you may ask, well, lower monthly installments, ZERO equity for years and then BAM BAM BAM, monthly instalments to floor mother Russia.
You see interest only loans allow you to pay interest only, for a period of x years depending on the lender. The problem with this is that once those x years have passed by all those monthly payments you missed out, get added to your monthly installments once the interest portion is paid off! YOU SEE! WHOPPER OF A MONTHLY INSTALLMENT THEN KICKS IN!
Here's how it might work for a 5 year interest only loan:
- Your payments would be fixed for the first five years at a certain interest rate - lets say, 10%.
- For the next five years, you still might pay(depending on your options) just interest on the loan, but the rate would be variable and could increase by 1 percentage point every year, up to a rate of 15%.
- In the 11th year, the rate remains variable, but the loan requires you make both principal and interest payments.
So the interest only loan is really for the investor who's looking for a quick in quick out option and is looking to sell his place before the 11th year or before the interest + loan payment option kicks in. Just remember though, that by choosing your interest only option, you're giving up the chance to fix yourself in with a good low interest rate and you could be kicking yourself in the teeth if you're not careful.
Monday, 15 October 2007
It makes you realise that not only are you sharing this problem with a person, but you're sharing it with millions and millions of others...
So take a look at the Debt Consolidation Forum who specialise in Credit Card Debt Consolidation and sign up! It's a great community and well trusted amongst the Internets Debt circles.
Let me know what you think of them...
Integer Bond Originators
After a long time away from South Africa, one of the founders on mortgage origination, the first man to bring securitisation into the home loans market and the ex CEO of SA Homeloans Simon Stockley has come back with a new product on the S.A. market - INTEGER.
What is this product and is there something new that Simon Stockley is bringing into the South African mortgage market, check out the interview on MoneyWeb with Integer's CEO, Simon Stockley.
Is it the end of SA Home Loans?
Has anybody used Integer bond originators?
Friday, 12 October 2007
"THE BOKS ARE GOING TO KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS ON SUNDAY!"
Unfortunately that's not the reason for my article. It's with some regret that the home loan interest rate has increased again. We now have a home loan interest rate of 14%.
This is due to the reserve bank increasing the repo rate by 50 points but it really saddens me and I'll tell you why. Food prices are going up, petrol prices are going up and the reserve bank has the cheek to say that the reason they're increasing interest rates is because they want to curb consumer spending. Well you know what, why don't they worry about curbing our damn food prices instead worrying about how much people are spending on luxury items and every day goods...
Sort out the actual problem and let our interest rates be for a while.
DO you know that the interest rate increase has jumped from 10.5% in 2005 to 14% in 2007. That's big man, and it's making it very very difficult for entry level investors and buyers to get into the property market.
On the flip side though, for those of you using your home loan access facilities as your bank account, it now means you're earning an extra 0.5% interest on your money.
Come S.A. lets tackle the actually problems at hand first before making people pay more for MAJOR EXPENSES!
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Welcome The Misty Collection is a group of luxurious accommodation establishments including a Guest House and Hotel in Hermanus Western Cape, South Africa. The impressive lodgings are situated in the best land-based whale watching destination in the world - Hermanus.
Accommodation at our hotel and guest houses offers you absolute luxury, comfort and tranquility; and five star service." BOY WERE WE EXCITED
Monday, 8 October 2007
Anyway, I have a great little debt management tip article to post today courtesy of Absa Home Loans Department.
6 Ways to Better Manage your Household Debt
- Draw up a monthly budget of all income and all expenses and stick to it.
- Speak to your creditors about alternative repayment arrangements. Most will be happy to help you.
- Always pay your essential expenses first, like electrical and water bills etc.
- Try to settle high-interest accounts first
- Don't make emotional, impulsive purchases - especially not on credit.
- Shop around for bargains and cheaper prices
Monday, 1 October 2007
A special thanks to the Debt Doctor who's provided us with some great expert debt saving tips and techniques.
With the amount of credit cards on offer right now, it's tough trying to choose the right one. It really pays to investigate and check which credit cards offer the benefits and rewards that suit your needs.
Don't be fooled by the colour of the credit card. It's called marketing and it's a great way to sell an expensive and costly item. Think about it, GOLD associated with wealth, so lets get a gold card why don't we... Don't be fooled. All they do, is show that you don't have enough cash in your account to spend. Stop living on credit.
Get the card with the lowest annual card fee, or why not get one with no fee at all. Bank charges need to be checked and we need to watch the interest rates charged. This is the most important cost other than the annual card fee. Try get the lowest rate possible. Argue with the banks. Fight for your rate. If you get a good rate on your mortgage and overdraft facility why should you not get the same discounted rate for your credit card.
Pay the balance owing at the end of the month. Avoid getting caught in the minimum monthly payments option. This will start to climb and before you know it, you'll be stuck with massive debts.
Another thing to watch out for is the loyalty and rewards programs. Valuable, MY ASS! They're a marketing and sales gimmick and although you may get something in return, it's not going to get you out of debt when you're in the DWANG!
So keep your eye out, and watch you credit spending.
After all, all we want is a DEBT FREE SOUTH AFRICA for ALL!