Turn Your Rural House into a Home

The aim of the blog is to discuss ways that makes a rural home habitable and comfortable- evoking those feelings of belonging, security, family and hope…..Home is not a place but a feeling.

Worldwide there is general trend of people migrating from rural areas to towns in search for a better life. Surely most urban areas offer better services and job opportunities than rural set ups.

Rural Home

© www.revision.co.zw

The discussion will focus on rural Zimbabwe but we hope it will assist you wherever you are

The following generally describes rural homes;

  1. Lack of piped water- water is drawn from wells (sometimes shallow) or even rivers
  2. Lack of electricity- although some now have, many homes do not have
  3. Thatched houses
  4. No or limited ablution facilities-some households do not have toilets
  5. Limited income streams- normally annual

So how can you turn your House into a Home

  1. Food Security

This is the first step and has no substitute. Many have abandoned their Homes in search of food. So how do you ensure you have food-

Maize- Food Crop

a. Plan seriously-

The following questions will assist you in planning;

  • Which rainfall region are we under?
  • What is the rainfall forecast for that given year?
  • Which crop am l planting this year and is suitable for the season?
  • Can I plant one portion earlier than usual?
  • How many are we in the family and how much food do we need in a year and two?
  • Do we plan to sale some?
  • Do we have enough seed and fertilizers?

Please know the following;

  • You can get as high as two tons of maize per acre
  • Here are some tips on maize
  • Plant immediately following the first effective rainfall. Choose a seed variety that suits the expected rainfall you receive in your area. Use short-season varieties in dry areas, and only choose a long-season type if you are in a very high rainfall area or you have access to irrigation
  • Prioritise food crops and not cash crops-many make the mistake of prioritising cash crops like cotton or tobacco thinking they will buy food crops after harvest.
  • Maintain a garden to supply vegetables- you do not need a big garden for this. A small one enough for the family will do that you tend easily. Grow tomatoes, onions, covvo,chillis, and even potatoes for the family.
  • Also rear animals like chickens, goats for proteins. It may be difficult to raise initial money to buy stock but use other methods like barter trade to buy the animals. After your harvests, find a family you can exchange a crop with the chickens or goats.

2. Make sure you have water for the Home

Most rural areas have water problems- either water is collected from an open source or it is far away from Home.

How to do it-

  • Team effort- form a team with neighbours and dig a deep well- remember to cover it to avoid accidents and contamination
  • Buy containers to store water at home
  • Purify the water by using methods like boiling
  • Use water wisely- reserve clean water for drinking and cooking. Use water from ‘not safe’ sources for other uses like the toilet

Remember

Avoid drinking from open water sources
  • Dirty water kills more people than all forms of violence including war.
  • Of the estimated 1.1 billion people who walk to collect their water, 64% are women and 12% are children.
  • 20 litres per person per day from a source within 1 kilometre of the household is deemed sufficient for adequate drinking and personal hygiene.
  • Rural areas lag far behind cities in access to water with more than 653 million people using an unimproved water source or ground water.
  1. Clean the Home

Always keep the house clean from;

  • Crop refuse
  • Animal refuse
  • Clean the blankets

Even when tired from the field, ensure the home is clean.

Position the cattle pens, pig styles away from the home and down the winds direction

Also take time to fumigate the house to get rid of pests.

© undp

  1. Safety

Dangers include;

  • Fire since the roofs are thatched
  • Snakes and spiders
  • Open wells
  • Domestic animals- dogs and bulls
  • Poisoning from chemicals

Prevention

  • Fire guards and putting away from reach fire starters like match sticks
  • Close all doors and windows during the night
  • Take advantage of local vaccination programs and kill errant and violent bulls
  • Renovate the houses occasionally
  • Store all chemicals in a safe , dry and locked storeroom- bury or destroy used containers

5. Practice hygiene methods of disposing human refuse

Please save money to build a blair toilet. if you can not afford, practice old age method of burying the waste-never practice open disposal. Not good for your Home and family

Can you save for one?

 

Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Zimbabwe

Amidst the many economic challenges characterizing the Zimbabwean economy, there lie opportunities in the real estate market. Some of these opportunities are immediate and others medium term to long-term.

The objective is not to cloud you with expert jargon and rhetoric but list them in plain format so that you grab the opportunities.

  1. Renovations and Property Improvements

Some neighborhoods are now old and their look tired and wasted. These neighborhoods were in the early 80s low to middle class locations but now are characterized by old houses that need to be renovated and improved. Their gardens are generally in neglect state.

Examples include

a.Hatfield

b. Waterfalls

c. Parts of Greendale

d. Mabelreign

e. And most old high density suburbs

Opportunities abound for;

  • Renovation or property improvement companies
  • Landscaping companies
  • Hardware and building materials shops
  • Buying a property, repair it and resale it
  1. New housing stock

Zimbabwe still suffers from housing backlog and the backlog is estimated above 1,2 million. There has been an explosion of population in most urban areas. This should be viewed as an opportunity for housing delivery.

Opportunities

  • Low cost housing – a real low cost housing solution is required. Building societies, Banks and City/ Town councils are willing strategic partners.
  • New suburbs– developers have actively developed many new suburbs in and around Zimbabwe. Tynwald, Madokero, Arlington Estates, Fairview, Hopeville are some new projects currently underway. Clients have been buying stands and thus would need assistance to build the houses.
  1. Cluster developments and flats

This is a real opportunity for low income, middle income and high income households countrywide. Actually there is an increase of such developments due to the appeal for;

  • Luxury
  • Security
  • Cost sharing/management.                                                                        Opportunities
  • Buy a house in an old residential suburb on large area and develop into a cluster
  • Partner council for land and develop into cluster houses or flats
  1. Infrastructure development and rehabilitation

Roads, drainage and services like schools and clinics need to be rehabilitated or more new ones built. New residential suburbs are in need of these services in relation to the population of these areas.

  1. Commercial

Opportunities are there for;

a. Renovation of offices and factories– all industrial factories closed for now will need to be renovated and customized for operation. Additionally, proper customization and modernization of offices is needed.

b. Construction– as new businesses enter the market someday, there is need for real estate that match their business models.

The real estate market for Zimbabwe has great opportunities and we are happy to share with you in detail.

Enjoy !!!!

Housing Cooperatives in Zimbabwe

Housing Cooperatives in Zimbabwe especially Harare are common place. Reports indicate that there are over 2600 registered housing cooperatives and 1,200 have been allocated stands.

What are they

  • A Housing Cooperative is a group of individuals who come together and legally form an association whose main mandate is to put together resources to develop houses.
  • Generally they make monthly contributions and these contributions are used to buy land, develop it and then assist each member build a Home. The Homes are normally built in phases due to the limited resources.
  • Housing cooperatives are normally work based (employees of a company coming together and putting their money together to develop) or community based (members of a community organise themselves into a group with the aim of pooling money to develop)

Why where they formed

  • In Zimbabwe, they were formed in the late 1980s as a way to promote decent affordable housing development to assist the low income earners through participatory approach and the mobilization of the beneficiaries’ own resources.

Where they successful?

  • According to a Bulletin by Harare Residents Trust (17 February 2016), ‘One of the first housing co-operatives was the Cotton Printers Housing Cooperative. It was formed in 1984 as a work based housing co-operative in Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe. One of the largest housing co-operatives today, Kugarika Kushinga Housing Cooperative (KKHC) was founded in 1986 with about 2000 members, according to Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Cooperatives (ZINAHCO)’.
  • The housing co-operatives emerged at the turn of the millennium to alleviate the shortage of houses in the wake of failure by local authorities to provide decent accommodation
  • 94 840 houses were built in the country between 2010 and 2015

Current status

Debate is currently undergoing at policy and stakeholder level on whether to continue with the cooperative model (and give more land) or stop it. Media reports have indicated that the Government through Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has suspended the issuing of land to Cooperatives.

  • Corruptionmedia reports indicate a lot of corruption where land barons cheated people of their hard-earned cash through double allocation of land or settling people on illegal land
  • Political interference– housing is a basic need and people go to great lengths to get a Home and thus politicians may manipulate that situation.
  • Fraudulent and unregistered cooperatives- land barons have been reported to double allocate stands and fraudulently misuse funds.

Can You Still Buy a Property from a Cooperative?

The cooperative model has provided affordable stands to prospective house owners. This is due to the affordable initial deposit, monthly contributions and model of development they mostly take. Many of them are allowed parallel development. Parallel development is when a certain level of land development is allowed and the members are allowed to start building whilst the rest of land development is completed.

This attraction of affordable housing has on the other hand led others to be duped of their hard earned savings and thus calls for precaution when buying properties from cooperatives.

Precautions before buying a property from a Housing Cooperative

  1. Registration

The law requires that a cooperative should be registered. Check with Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development. They are currently located at  6th Floor Linquenda House Corner Nelson Mandela/First Street, Harare and telephone numbers +263 4 731006, +263 4 2525629,+ 263 4 250714, +263 4 253492 and +263 4 731002-8

  1. Documentation

Ask for legal documentation for the cooperative. Law requires them to;

a.Have a constitution

b.Carry out meetings

c. Prepare and audit their financials- yes your contributions should be managed well and kept in bank account

3. Property Developer

This is a company that has been hired to develop or service the land on which houses will be built. They are responsible for constructing roads, water pipes, and sewage. This stage is critical.

So please check for documentation that supports the appointment.

  1. Grounded!!!

Be sure to visit the actual location of the cooperative. Fraudsters normally trick people by forging documents for non-existing cooperatives. Visit and talk to members already settled and here their comments. If there are no settlers, check for the site office and assess the state of development.

  1. Land Allocation

Where did the cooperative get land from? Private purchase (-bought the land from a private seller-the better and ask for agreement of sale, title deeds or cession) or City Council (ask still for documentation). Avoid cooperatives associated with doubt like political settlements. Many politicians have allocated themselves land and gave themselves positions of management and thus influence the management of funds management.

Policy Debate on Cooperatives

Reports indicate that some representatives of Government Ministries and Local Councils are of the view that the cooperative model failed to achieve its objectives.

This means no more land will be allocated for cooperatives and existing cooperatives will be left to complete their existing projects.

Should we drop the model?

Those who support cite these

  1. “Housing cooperatives are establishing poor structures everywhere. When getting into Harare, you are greeted by shacks and haphazard suburbs put up under this model. We are having glorified squatter camps”- Harare Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni
  2. After land allocation , most of the cooperatives have proceeded to encourage their members to build and settle without having serviced the land
  3. Corruption has been encouraged. Double land allocation and abuse of contributions was common

But we should not drop?!

Is it the model itself that has a problem or it’s the implementation? Or it is a matter relooking at the current model and perfect implementation of the model?

“The co-operatives sector consists of 83% of all registered societies today because low-income earners saw housing co-operatives as the only viable option open for them to own houses as opposed to be on the local authority’s waiting list in perpetuity,” Sthembiso Nyoni, Min of SMEs and Cooperative Development (said in the National Assembly ).

Cooperative Societies Act 24:05 assists in the financial management of Housing Cooperatives.

  1. Abuse of funds– some cooperatives are synonymous with abuse of contributions and frauds. How can this be stopped?                  a. Contribution and safe keeping of funds– Contributions of members should be safe and the best place is a strong financial institution. A development bank? Can the responsible Ministry work with stakeholders to choose say 3 banks that will be appointed to open accounts for Housing Coops as detailed in b. below.                                                                   b. Trust Accounts and Escrow Arrangements-this means the Bank, Cooperative authorised signatories and developer or supplier are involved in authorisation of funds. At no given time that the Cooperative’s authorised signatories are allowed to withdraw funds without the permission of the Bank and developer /supplier.                                         c. No cash payments of contributions- all contributions should be paid directly into the Cooperative’s bank account and no other way would be allowed.                                                                                                  d. Audited accounts- Each cooperative should be prepare accounts and have them audited. The Auditor General should then audit all accounts as a requirement and the Ministry of SMEs and Cooperative Development should be co-opted.
  2. Land Allocation                                                                                  a. Unauthorised parceling of land- Some Housing Coops have allocated themselves land- in actual fact they illegally settled on land. This is a delicate issue which authorities can handle in any normal community guided by laws which include urban planning laws.                             b. Double Allocation of stands to desperate prospective owners- Depository or Central Registry has helped in this regard. The deeds Office has assisted by being a central depository for property ownership. For properties under Cession, Town/City councils have also acted as central points to check ownership. This has assisted minimise double ownership as prospective buyers first have to check with the Deeds Office or Council before purchase- Deeds Search.

Was this model true for individual stand owners in housing coops especially where there were no title deeds? Each Coop should be registered and total stands registered with either Deeds Office or council the Coop falls under. When a member decides to buy, ownership changes should be between the buyer and seller, council / deeds Office. Records should be verified there and documents deposited there too.

  1. Glorifying squatter camps issue!!! Surely standards in most cooperatives where low and thus safe to agree with comments that Councils were glorifying squatter camps through Housing Coops.
  2. Urban Planning- as part of the approval process, civil works and plans should be approved according to modern planning outlines. In line with the motive of providing affordable housing, the civil plans should also be affordable even in terms of methods. No-Plans No-settlement!!!
  3. Housing Plans – The responsible ministries should set standards in terms of the housing structures to be built. Low cost does not mean Low quality. Every housing plan should be approved and Council approves or monitors each stage of development. Normally for these types of settlements, plans are normally prearranged through the cooperative.

However, care should be taken on the cost side-al this should not take away the need for affordable housing since this is the basis for the formation of Housing Coops.

The reason of this post is to discuss the methods put at policy level so that affordable housing is available to many. Many people are on the housing list, some are living in poor facilities and others have been duped of their savings.

Policy is not static but adaptable. Authorities should engage with the ultimate goal of assisting many get a House that they will turn into a Home.

Discuss

Let us discuss it further!! So engage us over email or through Twitter on our handle @getyohome.

Homeless…….

Protection of the walls I yearn…

Nights are eternal. I count seconds to Dawn.

The  light of the sun is a Protection-Darkness is engulfing.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Before 8 am strikes, rushing footprints crush and dirties my bed-thanks my bed is made of concrete.

I need a roof over my head.  How things change in a flash? The night was Cold and now its Freezing.

How extreme….some nights are Warm and others burning Hot.

A farmer wishes for a night of rain to drench the dry, thirsty ground…..i feel less energy because l prefer dryness. Conflicted I feel more….the farmer needs the rain to fill my stomach.

Forests would be stone silent if birds that sing beautifully only sang-for me it’s the lonely call of the owl.  She calls to me as l feel the caressing tongues of the flickering fire.

One- paper- piece -at –a-time the night wears away.

Thanks to the chains of sleep. And thanks to my alarm of the crushing foot- steps.

I wake up cold to the bone like a stone,

                                                       All I Ever Wish is a Home…….a Home is a Protection

Property Renovations- Turning Your House Into A Home

                                                                         A Home is Not A Place but a Feeling

This means at first you Get- A- House and turn it into your Home.

There are many activities you need to do to achieve this.

One way is by renovating or maintaining your property.

A House becomes a Home not primarily because of its;

  • Size
  • Purchase Price
  • Location

It is not about Loving More but Loving the Less you Have. A Home is when you Love the House that you have. It is the feeling of the place….so whether in low density, medium or high or cooperative settlement, or a big or small house….the issue is make that house comfortable for you and the family.

Tips to get your house and turn it into a Home

Tips on Home Improvement

  1. Identify Priority Areas

Walls, Floor, Rooms, roof, Doors, Lawn and Flowers, Gate, the Garden all need your attention and in most cases at once. So;

  • List all areas that need attention. Reality of life is you do not have all the money, power and time to do all this at one go and so;
  1. Prioritize

“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything… at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything”- Dan Millman

  • Rank your list according to importance. Here are the issues you can use to prioritize;

Security- a Home should be secure from intruders (neighbor’s pets, thieves). Check and repair durawall (perimeter fence or wall), gate, outside doors and locks, windows, install an alarm or even have guard dogs…I love dogs!!!

Health- we can set priorities when we are healthy…you live first and after that GetYoHome, so know your priorities in life.

Photo Credit-123RF

Therefore remove all threats to your family and your life;

  1. Fill in all open trenches around your house
  2. Cover or protect all open wells- this has been a hazard for most Zimbabwe households especially in High Density areas
  3. Fix all overhanging electricity cable and beams.
  4. Insulate (cover) exposed or uncovered electricity cables
  5. Remove all sharp objects in the yard
  6. Do not leave small and curious objects lying around especially when you have kids and pets around…these guys taste anything and experiment a lot!!!!

Water availability takes priority. YoHome should have clean water to prevent the spread of diseases.

Tips for most homes especially in Zimbabwe;

  • Drill a borehole
  • If you have the finances, order Home delivery
  • Install a water tank
  • If you can’t afford the above, please buy as many water containers as possible to store the water. NB– get water from protected sources
  • Treat the water with treatment solutions before drinking
Tank for a Home
  • Repair all taps, sinks and tubs
  1. Budget

Now is the time to see if you have the money to carry out the plans.

a. Against each item on the priority list write down the cost

Tip

Shop around and consider even second hand materials.  Quality second hand materials may be way cheaper and affordable.

b. Check if you have the funds. If you do not have enough funds to cover everything on the list, you can either defer some activities depending on importance

c. Keep a journal or notebook of the costs of repair. This will assist you later for future budgets

4. Action

It is time to put your energies in action now.

But this does not mean that you need to hire and pay someone to do all these renovations jobs for you.

Some renovations and maintenance jobs are not that technical. So do some on of these jobs that are not technical on your own and include your family.

Share The Good Times #Feelings

You need to;

  1. Create time– life is busy and each second has a task waiting. Set time for maintenance.
  2. Love it and Enjoy it– when you enjoy work, you never work for a day!!! Think of the results you will get after the work…ok imagine telling your visitors that we painted this house on our own…

Have fun doing the work so;

  • If married, please involve the spouse and kids
  • Make it funny and enjoyable
  • For example get the partner or kids chose the color
  • They can research the meanings or themes behind each color and explain…but tone it by realizing color affects future decisions like renting and selling of a property
  • Teach your kids vital lessons about life like money saving—you are saving money by doing it yourselves
  • Reward each member- buy them something from the savings
  1. RECORDS

You need records and keep them. This will assist you with future renovations.

The record should show;

Date repairs were done, cost of repairs, detail of what was done and were materials were taken.

Enjoy the renovations and feel the warmth of your Home.

Remember to follow us on twitter

Verifying If Property Is Genuine

Bogus property sellers have increased and thus how can you verify if the property being sold is genuine.

Fake stands and bogus property sellers have been common headlines in local media for a long time.

So how then can one buy a property and avoid being duped- sold a fake property by a bogus seller.

Here are steps that will assist you;

  1. Fish Don’t Get It!!!!!- A bait is too good to be true!!!!! Why does a fish bait move so slow and be easy to eat? That is the same with properties with tempting offers- if the price is ridiculously low, please know that it’s too good to be true most of the times. Many bogus sellers use this technique to sale a dummy to you.
  2. Why are they selling -The answer to this question should be firm and convincing. Reasons why the owners are selling will assist you get more information. For example the answer can be;
  • Owner(s) died- so if they died, you need the following documents as evidence and these include;Letter of Administration-is a letter or documentation issued by the High Court appointing a person to manage or deal with assets and liabilities of the deceased person. Person is appointed as Executor

The High Court is a public office and thus ask to go with person representing the seller to the High Court to check if the Letter of Administration is genuine.

  1. Owner- Ask about the owner of the property and politely ask to meet the actual owner. It takes organized schemers to tie all the loose ends. When you meet the owner, ask all sort of questions you have- after all you not buying sweets!!
  • If outside the country, please ask for their contact details so that you call or talk over WhatsApp or e-mail.
  • Get documentation that proves that the one representing the seller as mentioned in 2 above or a Power Of Attorney-

A Power Of Attorney is a document that shows a person appointed by someone to act on their behalf. So a seller may appoint someone to act on their behalf maybe because that they are not around- in same town or country. A lawyer will greatly assist you identify a genuine Power Of Attorney.

4. Documents– ask for documents that show proof like; Personal IDs– get IDs of all involved- the seller(s), representatives and all. Remember Registrar of Births and Death is a public office. You may go an extra step and go to verify.Title Deeds– ask for the original just to see it. Is it your first time seeing a Title Deed? Read here. A lawyer will definitely assist you. Please get in touch with us for assistance.

  • To verify Title Deeds-visit the Deeds Office to verify the Deeds. The Seller will give you a copy to take to the Deeds Office to carry out what is called a Deeds Search- a simple process to check the genuineness of title deeds- owner, property description and all. You only pay a Dollar!!!!Cession– is the ceding (giving) of property by written agreement with the purchaser getting immediate rights to the property. Deeds will come out later.
  • To verify a cession, you can go to the Council Offices and check if the Cession is valid. As part of the process, Seller and Buyer are required together with their spouses at Council Offices to change ownership.
  1. Visit the property– Go in person and see the property. If neighbors are there, talk to them. You can go there on the second time alone and ask the neighbors about the owner and all.

Caution- do not throw around information-the seller has some rights to privacy!!!

6. Estate Agent– avoid dealing with a seller’s representative that is not registered to carry out Estate transactions. Deal with reputable;

a. Estate Agent- Check with Estate Agency Council of Zimbabwe. They are located at Newlands Shopping Center

Avoid briefcase transactions or ‘boot transactions’. Visit the offices of the Estate Agent and talk to the receptionist, check for registration documents displayed on the wall, ask for other workmates and management.

b. Lawyers- verify the law firm through the Law Society Of Zimbabwe. This body registers and governs the operations of law firms.

7. Google- many people these days are leaving their trails on social media. Google the name of the seller, representative and see what comes out. You never know where that leads you to.

8. Payment- Do not rush to pay a deposit or the full fee before the property is transferred to you. This means only pay when Deeds or Cession is now in your name. The deposit or full some can be deposited with a Reputable Lawyer through their Trust Account.

  • Get a receipt that you have paid
  • Check where the Trust Account. If the Bank is shaky (you heard negative stories) highlight your concerns to the Seller and the lawyers
  • You are encouraged not to use the account of the Estate Agent

Thank you for the read.

Do all it takes to safeguard your interests. You not buying sweets!!! Please verify.

For assistance and more information please get in touch with us and follow us on Twitter on @getyohome

Getting Your Title Deeds

GetYoTitle Deeds

Many people who own houses in Zimbabwe especially High Density suburbs do now have Title Deeds of their properties. This situation is common in old high density suburbs in most Zimbabwe cities and towns like Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare, Gweru, Karoi, Kariba and many more.

So many people would have fully paid for the houses but do not have title deeds. With most cases these properties would have been bought from city or Town Councils.

To assist and share information, we will share with you information posted by City of Bulawayo. It will assist you even if you own a property in a town not Bulawayo

Bulawayo CBD Courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

CITY OF BULAWAYO Procedure for Obtaining Title Deeds.

Here is the procedure to get freehold title and subsequently title deeds. Most of the houses in the high-density areas are on leasehold.

All such applications should start at the local housing office and not at the City Hall or Tower block;

  1. If you are holding property on leasehold you have to apply to your housing officer to covert it to a freehold property.
  2. The housing officer will process your application and forward it to the Director of Housing and Community Services.
  3. At the Head Office they will check whether you own any other house.
  4. The Housing Department will then liaise with the Valuation Section in the Chamber Secretary’s Department for the determination of the stand price.
  5. The Conveyancing Section in the Chamber Secretary’s Department will liaise with the City Treasurer to check on any amounts outstanding i.e. rentals, supplementary charges etc.
  6. The loan balance and all the outstanding amounts have to be paid in full before lawyers are instructed to transfer property.
  7. The stand will be title surveyed and the survey records have to be approved by the Surveyor General first.
  8. Thereafter, the Conveyancing Section instructs the relevant lawyers to transfer the house to the applicant.
  9. Upon payment of legal charges, transfer fees and survey fees the lawyer then lodges the deed document for registration with the Deeds Office.
  10. Once registered at the Deeds Office, Gogo becomes the proud owner of the house, with her Title Deeds safely kept (not under the mattress please, as that is a very important document – you can ask your lawyer or bank to keep it for you. Because the procedure is long, particularly where title survey has not been done, it is advisable to start the process now, rather than when Title Deeds are required for say, collateral.

Nice!!!!! You can see the procedure was put by the Council to assist the marginalised groups- the Gogos!! Thank you City of Bulawayo for such.

Until next time- Cheers and Enjoy.

Any issues you need clarification please let us know and remember to follow us on Twitter at @getyohome

What is a Title Deed

What is a Title Deed

Title Deed(s)!!!

You have heard of this word more than once and maybe wondered what it is.

Wonder no more- read on!!!

What is it?

deed is document evidencing a person’s legal right or title to property, especially real property.

So a Deed is a document that shows you are the owner of your home, stand or piece of land. To avoid confusion on who owns what property (home, stand or land), the Deeds Office keeps a record of all properties in Zimbabwe- this means another copy of your Deed is kept there if you already own one.

To assist you-a Title Deed is not the following;

  1. Cession
  2. Agreement of Sale or
  3. A lease

We will explain these terms in later posts.

Title Deeds refer to a document that shows or represents the registration of a real right in a property at the Deeds Office.

Why get your Title Deeds?

In Zimbabwe, many people fall in the following general categories with regards to having title deeds;

  1. Have Not– It has been observed that many home owners or land owners have fully paid for land or for the house but DO NOT HAVE the Title Deeds- that is have the document.

The main causes are;

a. They did not receive education about title deeds- so they do not know about this document- this bundle of rights!!!!!

b. They know about Title Deeds but DO NOT KNOW how to get the Title Deeds- the process……..next post will assist on this.

c. They know the process BUT DO NOT AFFORD the cost……one day we need to discuss plans on how people can be assisted. Please email your thoughts on possible solution.

2. Where are they?– these ones have the Title Deeds but do not remember where they are and this is caused by;

a. Deeds with a Building Society or a Bank- they bought the home or land through a mortgage and after paying off the loan, they did not take the Deeds.

b. Bought the property from a developer and after paying off, they never looked for the Deeds.

So why GetYoDeeds? Why do you need them;

  1. Real right to a property. Title Deeds remove any doubts of who owns the property. It will assist you avoid getting into unnecessary wrangles over property which legitimately belongs to you.
  2. A property with Deeds cannot be easily sold fraudulently. As the owner you need to give go ahead in writing that the property be changed into the ‘buyer’. You give the go ahead through what is called a Power Of Attorney.
  3. Access to loans. Title Deeds are described as first class security- that is, lenders especially Banks prefer them as security for a loan you may desire from them.

Hold On –Home is not a Place, it is a feeling and thus before you put your Home as security, please Plan!!!!

  1. Property with Deeds is easy to sale. The person interested in buying feels secure buying a property with Deeds than say a property on a Cession.
  2. Real Record to pass throughout generations. It is a better and secure form of documents to keep and pass on generation after generation. You can hire the services of Banks or any companies involved in Safe Custody. They keep valuable documents for you at a fee.

Thank you. Remember to follow us on @getyohome

Next post is on step-by-step process of applying for Deeds for first time applicants.

 

Estate Agents In Zimbabwe

Estate Agents In Zimbabwe

 

 

 

The list above is not conclusive and our role here is the dissemination of information and thus we not liable for the action of the agencies.

Tips on choosing an Estate Agent

  1. Search for estate agents that are active in locations you are searching the property. Some of them are not active in certain locations. For example, in Harare Zimbabwe, most agents have small boards inserted at corners of most streets. Get their contacts.
  2. Reputation and knowledge-An estate agent’s knowledge of the home buying process and the local market is key. You will get an idea of the agent’s competencies by asking a few key questions like; the length of time they have been in the industry and questions around the law pertaining to property transactions.
  3. Proof of credentials. Ask to see proof of the agent’s registration certificates. For Zimbabwe, they need to be registered with Zimbabwe Estate Agents Council.
  4. Trust your intuition. Your agent should speak from the heart.
  5. Marketing and Networking. This is a people business. Some homes sell because agents have contacted other agents. Do they have a website? Do they carry out extensive marketing?
  6. The estate agent’s fees. The agent will charge a fee to sell a property and they will also charge you for identifying a property for you. In most cases for Zimbabwean agents, they normally charge the seller a commission and you the buyer they charge a facilitation fee. Fees are usually a percentage of the selling price. A good agent will explain all this in detail and there should be no hidden costs.

 

Independent Home or a Flat

Sometimes you have to make a choice between buying an independent house or a flat. You may be buying to use it as your primary residence (family home) or as an investment –you get rent or store value.

In today’s discussion, flat also loosely refer;

  • An apartment
  • Garden flats
  • Gated community

And Independent house refers to your normal house that stands alone whether in high density, medium density or low density. The main difference with flats is that an independent house will largely stand on its own or if attached its only to one house. Our definition of flat here refers to units in one gated community or in a high rise building.

Words may fail me put will the pics below fail me? No they will not!!!!!

An Independent Home

Whether it is a flat or an independent house, the following are the broad influences on your choice;

  1. Stage in life- is your family a new and small family? Retired? Large family?
  2. Do you want to be close to work?
  3. First job? New to a town?

Flats/Apartment complexes/Gated Community

One location in Harare that has the highest number of flats per square meter is Avondale. Avondale has flats I tell you!!!!And also the Avenues area!! Both Avondale and The Avenues are closer to the CBD and this is strategic to those who want to walk to town or take less time to be in town.

Advantages

  • One big advantage of living in a flat or apartment is the availability of several layers of added security, especially in a gated complex. There is usually a guard at the gate, a code to get into the building, CCTV cameras around the entrance.
  • The cost of maintaining or running the flats is shared and thus cost is reduced compared to a house that is independent. The difference is mainly due to the reduced area the flat sits on and also that the cost of security, refuse collection and care taker is shred through the residence association.
  • Assist you enjoy luxuries like swimming pools, gym and tennis courts-these services you may not afford on your own on an independent house.

Disadvantages

  • Limited or no room to make modifications to the exteriors of your home or future plans like subdivisions, extension or constructing a cottage.
  • Limited space to develop interests such gardening, rearing smaller farm animals or pets like dogs- the Association may object.
  • Contagion effect- the value of a property is affected by the neighbour and with flats or apartments, the neighbours are too close. This another big issue with this set up. Bad practices by one flat owner will have a negative effect on the rest. See the issue with flats in Mbare- plumbing challenges on one flat affects the whole block, clothes hanging from windows, or even artists who paint those big imposing artworks –another menace is the dumping of refuse.
  • Arguments and huddles if the residence association constitution is not dynamic and clear. Some issues may not be clear and broadly covered such that misunderstandings are the order of the day.
  • Privacy at risk as you share compound

 

Gated communities or garden flats were developed to combine the advantages of flats and houses.

Independent Home

Zimbabweans by nature desire a place of their own-yes home is not a place but a feeling. This partly explains the advent of many housing locations where in some instances neighborhood planning is not very organised.

GetYoHome-Yes You Can

Advantages

  • Freedom to do a garden (loads of lawn, flowers, trees and birds), keep pets and other small animals.
  • Huge playground and garden to sit in for relaxation
  • Room to extend the house, subdivide or construct a cottage as per latest trends and thus earn additional income .
  • More privacy .
  • You can earn additional income from that small garden whether veggies or flowers. Be careful to observe by-laws on animal rearing especially chicken rearing.
  • You have your own constitution!!! It’s your planning that will determine your cleanliness (refuse collection)

Disadvantages

  • No sharing of costs and thus high -Security and maintenance costs. Security is thus a concern and the bigger the stand, the high the budget for maintaining the garden.
  • Swimming pool, gym and other facilities costs will be yours alone and thus no one to share with.
  • Security arrangements required when you travel.

So when you make a choice remember whether it’s a flat or an independent home, Home is not a Place , It is a Feeling.

Thanks for your time.

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If you need more information or assistance, be sure we will assist you –getyohome@gmail.com

Next time will assist you chose an Estate Agent- who in Zimbabwe? How do you choose?