In property, it’s essential to buy right the first time. File image: James White, Free Images
In property, it’s essential to buy right the first time. File image: James White, Free Images

New versus used: 4 experts weigh in on which is the better deal

By IOL Supplied Time of article published Mar 5, 2020

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What do property, home appliance, car and tyre experts have in common? 

We all know that consumers want maximum bang for their buck – especially in current economic times. 

In view of this, we ask our four industry-specific experts this important question: Is it better to buy new or used? 

Property

In property, it’s essential to buy right the first time. Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, sees purchasing a new home off plan as today’s smartest option – so long as you’ve read the market correctly. 

“The advantage of buying off plan is that your home is brand new, and you can customise it to suit your needs and taste,” explains Seeff. 

A new property will cost less in terms of maintenance because – of course – everything is brand new. Also, a new property comes with lots of peace of mind benefits. 

Typically, fittings come with guarantees while the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) provides major structural warranty cover for up to five years. This assists and protects homeowners who have been exposed to contractors who deliver housing units of substandard design and workmanship or use building materials of poor quality.

“An off-plan home means zero renovation on moving in. Zero transfer duty is also the norm, and then there is also often the added benefit of a developer’s incentive (free appliances, for instance),” Seeff adds. 

Off-plan homes typically have a fixed priced. “A 10 percent deposit is normally needed upfront, and the remainder is due on transfer. This means that, by the time your new home is built, it has often already accumulated value beyond your purchase price,” he reveals.

Home appliances

Yes, used home appliances do come with some advantages – not least of which is the negotiable price-tag. But Allan Hirsch, the CEO and founder of the Hirsch’s Group of companies, concurs with Seeff’s belief that new is best.

One of the most significant advantages of a new appliance is the fact that it generally comes with a warranty. Also, a delivery service is usually available (often for a fee).

Furthermore, Hirsch points out that many appliances are near-permanent features. “This applies with an air-conditioning unit, for instance. Accordingly, it makes sense to begin with a unit in the best possible condition. This is especially the case on the coast, where corrosion is a major factor,” says Hirsch. 

When it comes to the kitchen, Hirsch’s message is similar. “The kitchen is the heart of the home and a key determinant of value,” he continues. “With ovens and hobs being near-permanent fixtures, I would recommend opting for new. 

"The only exception to this rule is perhaps a second-hand washing machine or tumble drier that’s in good condition,” Hirsch advises.

Cars

According to George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader,SA’s leading online motoring marketplace, the merits of buying new versus used is an often-debated topic.

He says that both scenarios have their advantages. “When you buy a new car, it may well come with a . That plan may have expired in the case of a used car,” Mienie points out.

Some motorists favour a new car because of the “peace of mind” factor. “Some people worry that a used car could have been driven hard, or damaged in some way,” Mienie notes.

On the other hand, used cars do offer tremendous value for money. you want to avoid the initial depreciation of a new car, going the used route could provide better value” he points out.

An important factor – specific to cars – is depreciation. “A new car depreciates the second that you drive it off the dealer’s showroom floor. This is not the case with a used car; it has already lost that value,” Mienie notes.

Yet another essential factor is the inclusion of safety, convenience or luxury features. “If your budget is R150 000, you may battle to get a new car that boasts all the features that you require. However, you will probably be able to snap up a feature-rich used car,” he explains.

Like Seeff, who cautions that it’s vital to read the market correctly, Mienie urges motorists to do their homework before buying either a new or used car. “Some new cars offer considerably better value for money than others. The same can be said of used cars. Don’t be tempted by a supposedly glamorous luxury car that has an extremely high mileage, for instance. While it may seem like a steal, that luxury car may prove unreliable or expensive to repair,” he points out.

Tyres

But what about second-hand tyres? Second-hand tyres traditionally have a poor reputation with 61 percent found to be waste tyres sold in South Africa. Government is working hard to enforce proper measures to stop this. 

However, consumers must be cognisant of factors that make a tyre unroadworthy. Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop), shares what to look out for when purchasing a second-hand tyre.

“Second-hand tyres found to have a tread depth below the built-in tyre tread wear indicator across the whole tyre, and when there are exposed pieces of fabric, cuts, lumps or bulges,” says Haffejee. 

“Is what’s referred to as a ‘waste tyre’ and therefore illegal. More importantly, when buying tyres, consider the fact that new tyres last longer giving you better value for money.”

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