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Creative home ownership: letting your property work for you

Liezl Hesketh in Landlords & owners 

Creative homeownership


25 years ago Roxette topped the charts and this new thing called “the internet” was just surfacing. Cell phones had not yet arrived on our shores and Facebook, an SMS or Whatsapp were dreams of a distant future.

A lot has changed these past years, from the music we enjoy and how we consume it, to our dependence on smartphones and tablets to get through everyday life. One thing that hasn’t changed much is our outlook on homeownership. We still see owning a home as a long-term project, with monthly mortgage bond repayments being a grudge purchase rather than a valuable asset.

According to Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister Andries Nel, “South Africa is urbanising rapidly. The United Nations estimates that 71.3% of South Africa’s population will live in urban areas by 2030. Nearly 80% by 2050. South Africa’s urban population is growing larger and younger. Two-thirds of South African youth live in urban areas.”

Reconsidering homeownership

Home ownership in South Africa is quite high compared to world statistics (roughly 62%, which is close to the 65% of the US), and the new emerging middle class is the biggest buyers of suburban homes.  However, rising food prices, e-toll costs and other expenses are constantly adding more pressure on homeowners’ cash-strapped pockets.  In order to break out of the downward spiral, we need to reconsider what we have and how it can work for us.  By thinking creatively about things and how we use them exciting new systems such as the sharing economy have emerged, and they are disrupting old models on a daily basis. Your home can be more than just a long-term investment or a roof over your head. It can be the key to financial stability and success.

See also: Property Investment – what the first time investor should know

Creative options for homeowners

Consider this: what if you could own your property, but only live in it during the weekend? You could rent out some of the rooms and make use of short-term, affordable accommodation during the week that is close to your workplace. The time saved on commuting can be spent catching up on the latest news or simply appreciating a good cup of coffee. What’s more, you could end up with extra cash in your pocket at the end of each month.

Many homeowners are comfortable with the idea of converting a garage or outbuilding into a granny flat, but they are hesitant when it comes to renting out rooms in their home. However, guesthouses rent out rooms to strangers on a daily basis, with no more than just their credit card details and a contact number. There are numerous ways and means that you as a homeowner and landlord can protect your property and still let your investment work for you.

If you’re ready to change your thinking and living arrangements, register your property on TheRoomLink and let us help you find detailed profiles of renters who want to start a trend with you.