Are you looking to buy a home but not sure whether to buy a full title home or in a sectional title complex?
In this months edition of Let’s talk Real Estate, we’ll be giving the pros and cons of owning both freehold or Sectional title property.

First, let’s start by explaining the difference between Sectional Title Townhouses and Full Title houses.

Sectional Title
As the name suggests, sectional title describes separate ownership of units or sections within a complex or development.
When you buy into a sectional title development, you purchase a section or sections, as well as an undivided share of the common use areas.

Full Title
Full title ownership means the transfer of full ownership rights to the buyer when purchasing the property, including the whole building and the land it is built on. Generally, these types of properties include free-standing houses, cluster homes and smallholdings.

Property remains the best investment a single person will make in their lifetime. When selecting a property to buy, you have to look at the specific need of the purchase you make. Needs change based on the age of the buyer, the size of your family, the ages of the children, current employment structure, use of the property and many more factors. But regardless of these, the best time to purchase is always Now.
So let’s look at these two property types and how they will fit into your lifestyle.

Sectional Title
The Pros:
Increased safety and security.
Property taxes are lower than freehold homes.
A community lifestyle filled with lots of social contacts and the companionship of close neighbours.
No garden, lawn or pool maintenance.
Due to higher demand of Sectional title units by tenants, these makes an excellent investment.
Building insurance, security and complex maintenance are all covered by Levies, so these are not the responsibility of the owner, but the Body Corporate.
Easy to lock up and go when you want to travel.
Ideal for investors since these units usually sell at a more affordable price to the landlord who can then in turn charge a lower rental.

The Cons:
Unreasonably high Body Corporate levies in some complexes.
Restrictive rules and regulations limiting owners from renovating and making changes to the exterior of the property .
A possible lack of privacy due to shared communal areas.
Rude or noisy neighbours.
Restricted living and storage space.
Insufficient secure off-road parking.
Administrative duties can be time-consuming and stressful.
Poor management from Body corporate in some complexes.
Pets are usually not allowed in Sectional title complexes.
Owners or trustees may try to push through unpopular proposals at AGM’s and in some cases, using proxy votes.

Full Title Houses
The Pros:
The owner has got the freedom to alter and extend the exterior of his property (within municipal building regulations).
Owners have the ability to keep pets.
As an owner you’ve got the right to rent out one or more sections of your home.
Freedom to install any additions such as, satellite dish, swimming pool, gardens, carports or borehole.

The Cons:
Neighbours may neglect their property which may deter your future buyers and may bring down the average sales price of the area, in turn affecting your asking price.
Your neighbours are free to make changes to their home which may be aesthetically unappealing.
All costs related to the property are payable by the homeowner including security, upgrades and general maintenance.
All administrative costs of owning a freehold or full title property are payable by the homeowner including insurance.
Now taking into consideration all these factors the choice lies with the buyer to choose in which type of property they would want to invest.

With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable estate agent, buyers can get insight into which areas have better re sale values? Which properties are in higher demand in your specific area? Which properties will yield a greater ROI(Return on investment), Which are safer areas to buy in.

But the most important is to do your homework. Agents know their areas and complexes. Agents also know which complexes are a higher risk when it comes to bad management and poor financial status. So don’t be afraid to the questions.