Calling all builders, property agents - Buying/building for the first time

qwerty123

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Apr 5, 2011
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17
Hey all,

I'm 26 and finally in the position to buy property. After days of reading and research I still have no idea what to do.

I've got around R300k for deposit and able to put a maximum of R13k per month.

In case I'm building, I'm able to get all the building bricks free of charge.

Given the context, here's the questions that keep bugging me:

1.) Savannah Hills, Midrand would be the perfect location for me. The houses start at R2.5m+, way over my budget. They are quite big as well, too big for my requirements. However, the vacant land goes for R600k. Would it be possible to build a home in that location for around R1m (Total cost then R1.6m)? It can be very few but large rooms (so that it meets the minimum dwelling size).

2.) Is it even remotely worth it to build or is it for people with endless pit of cash?

3.) If I don't build, should I try and get the best I can afford or should I cut back and rather buy a low cost apartment and save up?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks :)
 

TJ99

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Apr 30, 2010
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Congrats on inheriting a gold mine/oil company/meth lab and bricks.

As a general rule, building is more expensive than buying a house. Not always, but in most cases.

And yes it's an endless pit of cash if you don't know what you're doing. Especially in an estate/new development kind of situation, the developer can get nice discounts due to volume which you as an owner-builder can't.
 

Beachless

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What is your idea of big? If I could get free bricks I would build a place as thats a large saving but that said its no small task and the building industry has many chancers looking to rip you off so you need to be very careful in who you select as contractors.
 

Pearson6

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Dec 7, 2007
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Well building would be the best, you can then take out a building loan with the bank which is much easier than getting a bond, if you need more info you can PM me.
 

qwerty123

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Apr 5, 2011
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What is your idea of big? If I could get free bricks I would build a place as thats a large saving but that said its no small task and the building industry has many chancers looking to rip you off so you need to be very careful in who you select as contractors.
The estate prefer houses larger than 220 sq.m. So I'm thinking 230 sq.m :D I would have gone smaller if it wan't for the restriction.

Well building would be the best, you can then take out a building loan with the bank which is much easier than getting a bond, if you need more info you can PM me.
Thanks!
 

falcon786

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Ok building is definitely your best option,especially if you can get property for that price.The only important point is is that if you dont have lots of time that you can take of work to oversee things going smoothly then make triple sure you have a very very very reputable contractor who can show you other houses he has built from the ground up with verifiable contacts (normally house owners).The worst thing you can do is have a contractor that needs to be managed by you,they should be able to manage the entire process on their own as per your requirements,that is unless you have time,lots of time........

1.) Savannah Hills, Midrand would be the perfect location for me. The houses start at R2.5m+, way over my budget. They are quite big as well, too big for my requirements. However, the vacant land goes for R600k. Would it be possible to build a home in that location for around R1m (Total cost then R1.6m)? It can be very few but large rooms (so that it meets the minimum dwelling size).
Definitely possible,contractors charge between R2500-R4000 per m2,depending on the finishings and style.

2.) Is it even remotely worth it to build or is it for people with endless pit of cash?
Its not an endless pit of cash unless you yourself get carried away and try to put finishings in that you cant afford,remember the finishings need to fit your budget for now,most can be changed at a later stage when you have the cash.The actual building costs are not very excessive and are standard or within a certain range for every house,the finishings are where you could get carried away.

3.) If I don't build, should I try and get the best I can afford or should I cut back and rather buy a low cost apartment and save up?
Build.The only time you shouldn't build is if you get a house you like at a really good bargain price,but that very rarely happens in the property market.
 

TJ99

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Judging a building by its cost per sqm is like pricing a car by its weight. You have to compare apples with apples. A tonne of Ferrari costs a lot more than a tonne of Tata
 

maumau

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Aug 13, 2009
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If you build make sure the house is north facing.

This is the voice of experience speaking. Don't face the view or away from the neighbours or away from the highway - just face north. I'd keep this in mind when buying property.

Would any developers like to comment? Do you agree?
 

Dolby

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Judging a building by its cost per sqm is like pricing a car by its weight. You have to compare apples with apples. A tonne of Ferrari costs a lot more than a tonne of Tata
... but the average is a Toyota ;)

I thought R8,000 was the Toyota
 

TJ99

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... but the average is a Toyota ;)

I thought R8,000 was the Toyota
Maybe the OP was looking at a second-hand Fiat then... :p

He does get free bricks though (probably from the same place that gives him that kind of money at 26 with that little apparent life experience), that would certainly bring the price down on a house, especially if it's a single floor with little to no concrete.
 

maumau

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Here's a simple basic house that works well (for me) and can easily be modified.

NE corner - lounge, from here running NE study, bedrooms 1 & 2, main bedroom NW corner. SW corner en suite/dressing room. Running SE from here the rooms will be dark and cold so 2nd bathroom, maybe widen the building South to incorporate a living room and finally SE corner kitchen/scullery. Kitchen more E than S.

Unless you're on a slope your back garden will be shady and not great for entertaining so you'd need to plan your outdoor living somewhere sunny.

Your SO will thank me one day :D
 

falcon786

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I was told around R8,000sqm?
It depends on the plan and finishings, but still R8000 sounds a bit high for normal decent quality like vw or Toyota. Bare in mind that a slab changes the price also.

I know a few developers with projects in the midrand area let me give them a call later and see what's the rate.
 

falcon786

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If you build make sure the house is north facing.

This is the voice of experience speaking. Don't face the view or away from the neighbours or away from the highway - just face north. I'd keep this in mind when buying property.

Would any developers like to comment? Do you agree?
Yes good advice whether buying or building north facing works best here, makes the rooms take the weather mildly. No excessive winter wind and no excessive afternoon summer sun.
 

qwerty123

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Apr 5, 2011
Messages
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Thanks for all the advice. Will make sure it's facing North, did't know about it- makes sense.

I'm starting to think that it's worth exploring the building option further. Guess the next logical step would be to contact a couple of building contractors and get quotes/estimations.

Maybe the OP was looking at a second-hand Fiat then... :p

He does get free bricks though (probably from the same place that gives him that kind of money at 26 with that little apparent life experience), that would certainly bring the price down on a house, especially if it's a single floor with little to no concrete.
Why the wild assumptions? When putting away an average of R3000 pm for 5 years + significant other's savings it's not that difficult to raise R300k.. To think about it, it's possible to save up a lot more than that.

As for the free bricks.. I'm exchanging my services for the bricks.. Probably difficult for you to accept that a 26 year old can provide something of high value.
 

TJ99

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Thanks for all the advice. Will make sure it's facing North, did't know about it- makes sense.

I'm starting to think that it's worth exploring the building option further. Guess the next logical step would be to contact a couple of building contractors and get quotes/estimations.



Why the wild assumptions? When putting away an average of R3000 pm for 5 years + significant other's savings it's not that difficult to raise R300k.. To think about it, it's possible to save up a lot more than that.

As for the free bricks.. I'm exchanging my services for the bricks.. Probably difficult for you to accept that a 26 year old can provide something of high value.
Nope, of course they can. It's just VERY rare. Very, few people (talking about qualified here, not even the vast majority) can afford to put away 3000 per month. Most people with degrees start off earning not much more than that for the first year or 2. People who end up making the big bucks are usually still studying or just finished at 26, that's all.
 

Beachless

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This is what my guesstimate would be:

If you get a builder to manage everything you are looking at around R6-8000sq/m so R1.38mil to 1.84mil to build a 230sq/m place with average finishes.
If you owner manage things you can get away with R3500-R4500 R805K-R1.035mil for average finishes.

You can obviously subtract the brick cost from both.
 

falcon786

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Guess the next logical step would be to contact a couple of building contractors and get quotes/estimations.
This is a critical point, the cheapest builder is not the best building contractor/developer,in fact neither is the most expensive the best.The ideal with choosing a builder is verbal testimonies from independent people who have worked with him.

The worst thing you can have is a building contractor who wants cash upfront only to not complete etc....if its a reliable verifiable person then you can rest easy knowing you can trust them and they know how to manage their own money instead of delving into your project money for their personal issues.

Spoke to a developer friend now,developing in Midrand is a bit more costly apparently R6k-R7k per m2 up to R10k depending on layout,finishings and slab etc But even the basic R6K figure would be with proper SABS materials no short cuts or cheap fittings.

He says he doesn't develop much there since he's based mainly in the South and going to Midrand with traffic isn't worth his time.
 
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falcon786

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This is what my guesstimate would be:

If you get a builder to manage everything you are looking at around R6-8000sq/m so R1.38mil to 1.84mil to build a 230sq/m place with average finishes.
If you owner manage things you can get away with R3500-R4500 R805K-R1.035mil for average finishes.

You can obviously subtract the brick cost from both.
That sounds about right to me for Midrand.I know in the Vaal its cheaper,developers charge what owner managed would cost up there!
 

kdub

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Apr 30, 2010
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I have just finished building a 308m2 house in Midstream Estate. Cost me R7000 a square with the entire project managed for me with pretty decent finishes.
 
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