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How to get into the real estate game despite having a small budget

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If you are looking to get onto the property ladder in Cape Town with a small budget, what should you be looking for and where?

For singles and young couples

The best way for a singleton or young couple to secure a property is to buy an apartment or small starter home in a value area such as Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Capri, Diep River or Wynberg, says Dawn Bloch, area specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Lakeside, Zandvlei, Kirstenhof, and Zwaanswyk in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.

They can then either stay in the property for two to five years before selling and upgrading, share the costs of the bond with a flatmate, or let the apartment to help pay the bond while staying at home.

“Later they can The next step (after selling) would be to secure a free-standing, older home that requires renovation. This can be done over time and by going the do it yourself route where it is possible to do so.”

Lyonelle Venter, property consultant at Jawitz Atlantic Seaboard, says opportunities are coming up in the Sea Point area, but many of the apartments have dated finishes that would need to be freshened. The freshening, she says, can also be done over time.

Professionals may look at the Claremont, Kenilworth, and Wynberg markets, says Sean Biden, sales manager at Jawitz in the southern suburbs. 

There is also another sectional title area stretching essentially from Wynberg to Plumstead and Diep River. 

For families:

For families with children who cannot afford to buy near a school, Bloch says a solution is to buy a flat, starter home, or older renovation home in a value area they can afford and let that property. 

This rent could then augment their rent for property near their children’s school.

“They could alternatively live in that house and commute but Cape Town roads are increasingly busy. Petrol costs are constantly rising and other transport is unreliable. Also, the starter home they can afford would possibly not have sufficient accommodation for the family.”

Small families also tend to look for homes with two or three bedrooms, often in sectional title units at what would be termed entry-level pricing, Biden says.

Parents tend to focus on areas where they wish to send their children to school, and will often rent there with the intention of buying later when their children are settled.

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