Know more about the property before you buy.
Far too often homes are sold without the buyer having cross referenced the structure against the existing building plans to ensure that it has been approved by the local council.
Home buyers often feel pressured to make hasty decisions in fear that they will lose out on the property, especially in Cape Town where the market is peaking. It is important to remember that a property is a significant, long-term investment, so don’t be too hasty to commit to anything without having completed the necessary checks.
Archicheck, an online platform developed and maintained by architecture firm, Archimedes Design – aims to address an existing void in the real-estate industry by warning prospective home buyers and property agents if a home is non-compliant with national building regulations.
This information is generally hard to come by, but should be deemed as essential information, because buildings that do not fall within the guidelines imposed by the local council may be illegal, explains Sheldon Jennings – architect and founder of the platform.
The platform asks users to enter the physical address, size of the property and the square meterage of the existing building into a user-friendly interface. It then cross references this information against the local building restrictions and provides a report of the zoning, remaining permissible coverage, height restrictions and boundary lines of the site within 48 hours.
Archicheck, is the only property inspection firm in SA that employs only qualified architects
It’s usually only when the new home owner begins the process of renovating, that he or she becomes aware of the fact that they have purchased an unapproved structure, explains Jennings.
“Unfortunately, it is too late to claim against the seller at this stage, as most properties in South Africa are sold ‘voetstoots’, meaning the new home owner will bear the financial brunt of this loss.”
In the worst-case scenario – when the structure does not comply with the building guidelines at all – the city will demolish any part of the building that is not indicated on the approved as-built plans.
Archicheck, is the only property inspection firm in SA that employs only qualified architects, who are registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). This ensures that inspections are highly accurate and of the best quality the industry has to offer.