PROPERTY NEWS - With tough economic conditions still evident throughout South Africa, a fairly large number of developers, entrepreneurs and home builders have been forced to stop work on buildings, sometimes leaving them incomplete.
Such buildings, says Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, can then come on the market at a fraction of the sum of money that was spent on them before work was stopped - and potential entrepreneurs are always approaching the Rawson Property Group to ask them whether it would be a good idea for them to take over, complete and then sell such buildings.
"It has to admitted that we have seen many successful ventures of this type," says Rawson, "but nevertheless, we must stress that no one should go this route unless they have checked the existing building very thoroughly indeed. In my experience it's essential to bring in a qualified engineer, architect or building inspector to do this job, for the amateur will never pick up all the faults in an existing building."
All too often, says Rawson, numerous hidden faults will be revealed by a trained person who knows what they're looking for: foundations can be cracked or subsiding, waterproofing can be inadequate, structures can be out of line and plumbing and electrical wiring can be so inefficient that it has to be replaced.
"This sort of problem," said Rawson, "can be very expensive and very difficult to rectify. What is more, such problems tend to be especially prevalent when the developer or builder was short of cash and took short cuts to get the job over and done with."
"The message is, yes, such incomplete buildings can be a goldmine to the enterprising purchaser - but they can also be booby traps, the problems of which can swallow up vast quantities of investors' cash. While we recommend this type of investment, therefore, our advice is: tread carefully and call on the best possible advice before taking the plunge."