Investing in property from as little as R20 000

You don’t have to be a listed company to invest in property. You can start with only R20 000.

While most people don’t like the concept, Fractional Property ownership has been in the market since 2005 when it became a new buzz word in the time shared holiday market, but since the introduction of points-based indirect time shares, this segment has lost traction as an investment vehicle.

At The High Option, we make the best use of what the law allows us to do.

Our Fractional Ownership schemes allows from 4 to 100 people to own a fraction of a specific property with two intended purposes. These are:

  1. Capital Growth Investments.

Fractional Ownership in a capital growth plan is ideal to buy a property, and let it lay there until a specific point in time, when it can be sold for a profit. At 1/1oth of the selling price, a property of R5 million can be scooped up by 10 people, each investing R500 000. It can then be used for a specific purpose, or sold at a predetermined price somewhere in the future.

We do however offer the same plan, with lower end properties. For instance, a normal plot in a sought after development is selling for R350 000. If 10 people pull resources and buy it in a company, each only contributes R35 000. Capital growth is around 8% per annum, exceeding most bank’s interest on fixed term investments and notice deposits.

However, we offer a further discount in that you do not have to invest in a new company. All you need to do is buy a specific share in our portfolio to gain the benefit of Capital Growth. An allocation is made from our authorised preference shares and we buy the property once the allocated shares have been taken up.

Each shareholder receives a contract which will highlight the transaction and its benefits as well as the term and exit strategy.

Allocations starts at R12 000.

  1. Rental Income Investments.

Another allocation of our authorised shares goes toward the acquisition of rental income properties. Rent can be derived as a common asset or as a individual asset. In both cases, the rental income well exceeds the prime-linked savings rate, and has the added benefit of capital appreciation over a medium to long term.

An example of a common asset rental income property, would be something like a shopping centre, where every shareholder shares the nett income derived from the leasing of retail space.

An example of an individual asset rental income, is for instance a lodge with 5 chalets. Each shareholder gets to rent out the Chalet for his / her own account, while all the shareholders share in the common areas of the property, like the restaurant, or the picnic area as example.

Rental income is thus determined by the individual owner and would not influence the income of others. Using a platform like Airbnb, the owner has full control over the rental income and the availability, leaving it open to self-use anytime of the year.

None of these plans are based on a points system, but might be subject to the Share Blocks Control Act or the Collective Investment Schemes Act applicable in South Africa.

As all investments are for the purpose of acquiring a specific asset, Capital Gains Tax will be applicable on the company that owns the asset.

The Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, Act No. 45 of 2002 regulates the administration, management and sale of collective investments. The 2002 legislation replaced the Unit Trust Control Act of 1965 and makes provision for various types of collective investments, including hedge funds, open ended investment schemes, exchange traded funds and others.

Understanding Call Options in securing a property

In the general sense of the term, a call option is described as financial contracts that give the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy a stock, bond, commodity or other asset or instrument at a specified price within a specific time period. The stock, bond, or commodity is called the underlying asset. A call buyer profits when the underlying asset increases in price. This is according to Investopedia.

At The High Option, we often use call option agreements to create a pool of buyers who have committed themselves to buying a property within a development, once the development is completed and ready for transfer.

It works this way…

For a small amount, say R5 000 to R10 000, you secure a call option to buy a predetermined property in a development for a predetermined price. When the time comes to call the option, the deposit is paid and the bond application is made through a mortgage originator. If your bond is not approved, your transaction will be terminated without risk to you and your option fee and deposit is refunded in full.

This is a risk free opportunity to invest in a future property at a predetermined value. However, if the transfer is delayed to such an extent that the purchase price has to be increased, you have the option to resile or accept the increased price.

Call Options differs from “delayed transfers” in one respect; the upfront amount you have to put down.

With a delayed transfer, you have to put down between 10 and 15% of the purchase price as a deposit. If you therefore buy a property in a new development for R1 million, you have to put down R100 000 into an interest bearing trust account held by the transferring attorneys. The interest on these accounts are generally linked to the prime lending rate plus a few % points, which is often set-off against bank charges and fees. Leaving you with no or very little “interest” at the transfer date.

With a call option, the same process would apply, except that you still have, like in the case above, R90 000 which you do not have to put into a low-earning trust account.

Only once the call is made, and the option exercised, do you have to put down the deposit of 10% on the purchase price.

Call Option fees are paid into the trust account of the Appointed Property Practitioner, dealing with the development in question, while Deposits in respect of the ensuing deed of sale, are paid to the appointed Transferring Attorneys.

Another variant of the Call Option, is the Put and Call option agreement, and this is more commonly used in near-transfer developments. The Call option remains the same, but an added option; the Put Option, affords the developer the right to exercise the option from their side. Where the option holder has the right to Call for the property to be sold, the developer has the right to Put the property on the table to buy it.

In a Put and Call agreement, neither the developer or the buyer can simply pull out of the deal, except where the suspensive conditions cannot be met within a specified time. The specified time is the time when the developer has to offer you the property, and you have to take it. It is normally between 6 and 12 months from the date of the Option agreement. It is unlikely that a Call Option will be issued over a longer time, as the risk of selling prices increasing is much greater.

For more information on properties available using the Put and Call Option Agreement, get in touch with us via telephone.

Some common questions people often ask

Why should I buy a Call Option?

If you know that a property of the same extent and area sells in excess of R1 million, and the Call Option gives you the opportunity to buy it 12 months from now, at less than current market value, the Call Option makes good investment sense, particularly if you want to speculate with real estate. In short, it gives you a window of 12 months to sell the property for more than you can buy it. Once you have the Option agreement, you can sell the property for R1,2million to be available in 12 months. By the time the option is called, you take transfer at the same time your buyer will take transfer, giving you an instant R200 000 profit for an investment of R10 000 (As the option fee). Please note that the “flipping” of real estate may incur Capital Gains Tax.

Why would a developer sell a Put Option?

We cannot speak for others, but in managing our share holder risk, we need to have a “take-up indicator” to ensure the development is well worth the investment. Using the Call Option on its own, has no real risk mitigation built in, as the option does not have to be exercised if the buyer change his or her mind. Once the Call Option has expired, the property is released for resale, and an over supply of released properties in a development, would negatively influence the selling price. As the call option only secures your right to buy, but not the obligation to buy, the Call Option is accompanied by the Put Option. In terms of the agreement, but the developer and buyer agrees to act when the option is exercised by either party.

Can you call an option before the closing date?

No, as the suspensive condition has not yet been met and the right to call is not in effect yet.

When does the Call Option expire?

It normally expires 30 days after the suspensive conditions have been met.

What happens if I don’t call the option?

If you do not exercise your option within the allowed 30 days, it will expire and the option fee is retained by the developer as compensation for loss of a deed of sale. However, the developer also has same right (the put option) and chances are slim that it won’t exercise this right. In most cases, both parties have a mutual interest in the transaction and it is yet to happen that neither fail to exercise their rights.

Is there any circumstance under which I can lose money?

No; not if you deal with a reputable developer who has a reputable team to manage the transactions. In our case, we do not handle any funds during the prelude to the transfer. The only time we receive or will ask to receive moneys is when the development is completed and the property is ready for transfer into the new owner’s name.

Anyone can invest in real estate

When we talk about property investments, the first thing we think of is large amounts of money. But that is not the case. Anyone can invest in real estate. It all depends on how much you want to invest and for how long.

At The High Option, we make it possible for you to invest as little as R10 000 in our portfolio. Becoming a shareholder in one or more of our projects does not require you to be a millionaire.

But what are the risks?

There are two main risks you need to be aware of.

The transaction might be cancelled.

When you secure a share, your funds will be kept in trust by our attorneys until such time as the total number of shares have been taken up. This is normally time-barred. Should the closing date be reached with insufficient take-up, you will be refunded together with interest on your invested capital.

The development might be aborted.

It is unlikely, but reasonably possible that the development plan on the property is aborted for some reason. In this case, the property would be retained for 5 years and sold at a higher price. This may however not materialise and the property could be disposed of at a loss. However, the decision to dispose of a property is made by the majority shareholders.