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Buying a housing stand

20 Mar 2022 at 06:28hrs | Views
Around the world, most homeowners make use of mortgages and traditional financing to purchase homes and properties.

However, for many years, this option has not been widely available to most Zimbabweans. This one fact makes it very difficult for many to purchase a home or business property. Sellers are looking for the full purchase price or for very short payment terms. This is not something that most people can achieve.

So if you really want to break into the property market, what else can you do? One of the easiest ways to get started in the property market is to buy a stand. The cost of the stand is much cheaper than the cost of a fully built house.

The new property owner can purchase a stand, and then begin to build and develop the stand at their own pace.

Many Zimbabweans have done this. You start by purchasing a vacant stand, buying building plans, and then begin building as you are financially able.

What are the dangers and pitfalls with making this type of property purchase? First of all, you need to buy a vacant stand from a reputable Real Estate agent or developer.

We have seen many scams where the property is sold by someone who does not actually own the property. The potential buyer ends up losing money, and the stand!

Secondly, people may be sold stands that have already been previously sold. Often this will take time and money to sort out. We see this with unscrupulous developers.

Thirdly, the stand may be designated for a use that is not residential. Finally, we have seen many developments that never come to completion. The purchaser has paid for the stands, but the developer never completes the servicing.

What does it mean to service a stand? It means that the developer has done everything required of them by the local authority.

These requirements are outlined in a document called the "Development Permit". It will outline the type and size of the roads, the storm drains, the water lines, the sewage lines (if any), and any other service. Once the developer has fulfilled all of these requirements and passes inspection, they will be issued a "Compliance Certificate".

This is a very important document, as the stand purchaser will be unable to get Title Deeds, in their name, without it.

In Bulawayo, there are a number of projects that have been in existence for 20 years or more, and still they do not have their "Compliance Certificate". These buyers have bought the stands from the developer, and have proceeded to construct their homes, but have no Title Deeds.

They also may find that there is no council water, no tarred roads, nor the other services that they were promised. These properties become hard to sell, and the value of the property is greatly diminished. We have visited many, many dissatisfied buyers, who have fallen into this situation.

When purchasing a stand it is safer to purchase through a registered Estate Agent. They should know what to look for, and how to protect your interests.

The relevant documents should be available for viewing. Be sure that the first steps you take are safe and sound, or your project may be doomed from the beginning. Registered Real Estate agents are there to guide you safely through this process.

You can go online to the EAC website and search the approved agents list at If you discover that you are dealing with a bogus estate agent you should record their details and report them to the EAC.  The more you know, the safer your investment!

Jonathan Thompson is a Registered Real Estate Agent who works in Bulawayo.  He has nine years of experience in Real Estate in the USA, and another 10 years' experience in Bulawayo.  He is the founder and the Managing Director of Thompson Properties (Pvt) Ltd.

Source - The Sunday News
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