Aside from the more common New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight, getting fit and gaining better control of your finances, you should also make a few property resolutions, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.
Seeff gives a few ideas:
Purchase your own home. Firstly, if you do not yet own your own home, then this is the year to invest in a property of your own, or at least make progress towards purchasing your first property. Owning the roof over your head provides security and the foundation for a lifestyle.
Reduce your home loan. Owning the roof over your head outright should be the goal of all homeowners. You should therefore always aim to actively work towards reducing your home loan. Do this by investing any spare cash into your bond to ultimately pay it off faster.
Home maintenance fund. Putting aside a monthly saving allocation towards the maintenance of your property is vital to ensure you are able to keep it well maintained. This applies especially to rental investment properties.
Paint and repair. The new year is a good time to make all necessary repairs to your property and to give it a good paint. Check for leaks and update the waterproofing. Ensure all gutters and the roof is cleaned.
Upgrade, but do not overcapitalise. Keeping your property updated and well maintained is important to not only retain its value, but to increase its value. There is no doubt that poor maintenance and a rundown condition will affect the value of your property.
Improve your outdoor areas. The wonderful climate means that there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Build or improve your patio and add a bar and braai area if you enjoy these activities. Great outdoor areas tend to add value to your property, but do not overdo it.
Revitalise your garden. Planting indigenous is not only good for the environment, but will save water. Since indigenous plants are suited to the local soil and weather conditions, they will also generally grow better and make for a more attractive garden.
Go green and become self-sustainable. There is a huge drive towards a greener lifestyle, so why not make 2023 the year to switch to a greener lifestyle. Make your home as green as possible, reduce plastic and other wastage and invest in energy-saving appliances and lighting.
Get solar and a water tank. Become more self-sustaining by installing solar for part, or all of your energy requirements (if that is feasible in your area). A water tank is always a good idea as you can harvest rainwater for non-potable use such as the garden.
Make a difference in your community. Contribute to community activities and become an active citizen who cares about their neighbourhood and environment. Great neighbourhoods add to the demand for properties and prices that people will pay to live there.
Upgrade to another home. People’s financial abilities improve, and lifestyles change. The start of a new year is a good time to think about upgrading to a bigger home or a better neighbourhood or lifestyle estate. There may very well be good stock on the market to choose from right now.
Downscale to gain more lifestyle. The New Year is a good time to scale down. As people’s lifestyles evolve and they need more space, it also happens that they need less space or want to enjoy more lifestyle rather than spending it on maintaining a big property.
Buy a second property. If you already own your primary residence and are financially secure, you may want to consider investing in a second property, perhaps for the rental market. There is always opportunity, but do your homework in terms of checking demand and financial feasibility.
Get an updated valuation of your property. An evaluation from a local area agent can assist in gaining knowledge about what your property is worth, but also provide advice in terms of aspects which may need to be repaired, replaced or upgraded should you decide to sell.