Namibians know little about property investment

MANY Namibians are not well educated on property investing, preferring to simply have a house to live in.

That’s the view of Anna Henock, an estate agent at Yellow Square Properties in Windhoek, who says it’s hard to convince some people to buy a house cheaply, regardless of location, in order to renovate and then resell it at a profit before buying in a better location.

“Most people don’t understand the depth of real estate investing. They just believe in buying a house to raise a family,” she said.

Henock holds an honors bachelor’s degree in real estate studies from Namibia University of Science and Technology, and is pursuing honors studies in business management.

“I started appraising properties for four years, but it didn’t interest me, until a friend introduced me to the real estate agency,” she says.

The affable Henock says that if she had the power to change things in the sector, she would introduce real estate investment education at high school level so that Namibians could better appreciate the subject.

One of the challenges estate agents face in the industry is dealing with clients who want homes they can’t afford, and refuse advice to seek cheaper alternatives elsewhere.

“Clients buy houses without checking their budget with their bank. This is a bank pre-approval plan, indicating which mortgage a customer is eligible for. The bank calculates this amount after taking into account other expenses, such as car loans and the needs of children, as well as family maintenance.

Mortgages are generally repaid over a period of 20 years.

Henock says the shortage of homes in urban areas, particularly in Windhoek, has driven prices up due to high demand.

“Realtors can sell property in all parts of the country as long as they have valid licenses. Either they solicit homes for sale or clients approach them to sell their homes on their behalf,” she said. declared, adding that the only time the municipality gets involved is when the owner places a “for sale” banner in front of his property.

“For this, the owner pays 4,000 Namibian dollars to the municipality,” she reveals.

Henock thinks it is not advisable to build an expensive house in rural areas if the intention is to make an investment because the prices of other properties nearby determine the selling price of that property.

“If it’s for sentimental value, the owner has to accept that they would end up with a house that they can’t sell or would have to sell at a loss,” she says.

Although the sector has a council that regulates and monitors certain activities of estate agents in the public interest, she believes that this council should also control the prices of houses, which would make them more affordable for more people. , and would also eliminate fraud and underhanded dealings in the industry.

“It would also protect clients from unscrupulous estate agents through the loyalty fund they pay into each year.”

The Estate Agents Council of Namibia regulates the profession by ensuring that all persons carrying on the business of an estate agent as a service to the public are registered with the council.

Henock says the highlight of her career in the two and a half years she has been a realtor is meeting new people.

She advises those aspiring to be in the industry to be passionate about the job and do lots of market research.

“Be flexible to learn something new every day.”

She also advises aspirants to get licensed and join a brokerage that will provide protection in case of litigation, as well as mentors who can provide advice.

Henock welcomes recent awards given to real estate agents who have recognized the work they do in a challenging industry.

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