The discovery of gold in 1887 was what led to Boksburg being put on the map. Located on the East Rand of Gauteng, Boksburg was laid out to serve the surrounding gold mines and to provide housing for those employed in the mines. Thanks to the Main Reef Road, Boksburg was linked to all the other major mining towns on the Witwatersrand, with the Angelo Hotel being used as a production post.
The modern-day Boksburg forms part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality. Even though it still continues to be a prosperous industrial and mining zone, it has also become a shopper's delight, with at least 16 major shopping centres scattered about, including the East Rand Mall and Sunward Park Lifestyle Centre.
Lovers of historical buildings are advised to explore the numerous heritage structures in Boksburg, such as the Old Post Office (built in 1898) and the St Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church (built between 1911 and 1912).
Property development (commercial, residential, and rental) is another area that has blossomed in Boksburg. Thanks to various housing developments being established, Boksburg is a booming suburban area. Those looking to become homeowners can take their pick from a variety of areas such as Sunward Park, Parkrand, Beyers Park, Bardene and Libradene.
Property statistics in Boksburg
There are approximately between 4,000 and 5,000 properties on the market in the Boksburg area per month. Of all the listed properties in Boksburg, houses are in the majority (about 40,297), followed by apartments (10,051) and then estates (7,185).
Three-bedroom properties make up the majority of listed properties in Boksburg, with about 2,221 listed in January 2019. This is followed by two-bedroom abodes (1,256) and four-bedroom properties (847).
The average asking price for a property in Boksburg is about R2,3 m. Of course the price can vary depending on various factors such as location, size, quality of finishes, and number of bedrooms (a one-bedroom abode comes in about R411,000; a two-bedroom at R878, 000; a three-bedroom at R1.5 m; and a four-bedroom at R2.3 m.).
Should I buy, build or renovate?
Whether it's a house in Boksburg or one in Cape Town, there is no right or wrong answer to the question "Should I buy, build or renovate?". Instead, you should be asking yourself the reason for wanting to do so.
Most people who opt for a renovation are quite happy with their homes, yet require some more space or want to improve their house's value. But bear in mind that a renovation is not always the more economical option if you want more space, as it could easily work out more expensive than building a new house or moving to a bigger property.
To maximise on your home's investment, research and timing is crucial. But the fact remains that the decision to build or buy is not easy. However, it always helps to look at some pros and cons before making that big decision.
✔ The pros of building:
- You have more control over everything that affects you day to day.
- You get to gain knowledge of home construction, plus a sense of ownership as you watch your house begin to take shape.
- You know your growing house is protected by the skills and knowledge of the professional architect, builder, and contractor involved.
- Similarly, if you employ professionals, they take care of the paperwork for building approval regarding local authorities, sub-contractors, and the relevant suppliers.
✘ The cons of building:
- Most home construction projects do present unexpected costs, which is why it's recommended to have some extra legroom in the budget.
- Building a house can take time and can be torture for the impatient.
- It's costly to find alternative accommodation during construction. On the other hand, if you can't move out, you'll have to make peace living on a construction site.
✔ The pros of buying:
- You get to shop around and take your time searching for the perfect home.
- You have the luxury of comparing different houses with different features until you find the perfect design style suited to your taste (and budget).
- If it's a buyer's market, you have the advantage of being able to drive a tough bargain and getting a better deal, especially if the seller is serious.
- With regards to moving in, you can move in straight away and pay occupational rent until the house is registered in your name (if the seller agrees).
✘ The cons of buying:
- If you don't really know what you're looking for, it could take a while finding a home that meets your (un)specific criteria.
- As you were not part and parcel of the house's design, you may never find a house that's 100% perfect or includes all the features you desire.
- There's always the possibility that you'll need to spend additional money on updates and repairs.
- It can be stressful hunting for the right home and trying to beat out other potential buyers.
- If you get stuck in a bidding war, you may need to make an offer higher than the original asking price.
What is the process of hiring an architect?
Every architect has their own style and technique. That is why it's important to "shop around" and see what's available before you settle on the perfect one for your building / renovation project.
- First, decide what your project is. Know what your needs are and what you expect from your new house / revamped kitchen / etc. Also, this is the phase where you need to decide how much of the work you'll be doing and how much you want the architect (or other professionals) to become involved.
- Determine your budget and timeline. Sometimes, architects have minimum budgets and will base their fees on the cost of your project. Also be sure about when you want your project to be completed and be open and honest about this with your architect. They may or may not be able to meet these deadlines.
- Seek out referrals from friends, family and acquaintances. And keep in mind that any person in South Africa providing services of an architectural nature must be registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP).
- Browse your architect's website and ensure their portfolio includes designs similar to yours. Enquire about whether they have a signature style and if they can provide a variety of looks.
- Contact and interview your prospective architects. Draw up a shortlist of at least three candidates and meet with them, preferably at their offices. You want to make sure you click with not only them, but also their employees, and getting an idea of what their offices look like (i.e. calm or chaotic) can be a good indicator of their work ethic.