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The most important piece of paper – your title deed.

The most important piece of paper - your title deed.Surely one of the ways South Africans measure wealth is by being able to say that they own their home. Regardless of whether it is a mansion along the coast in Cape Town or a more humble RDP dwelling in Soweto or Blue downs, ownership means ‘wealth’ however you measure it.

Everyone wants to improve their circumstances in life and the value of any property that is owned is important because it is the collateral a lender needs when advancing short term finance. There are many examples of how parents have used their home ownership as a way to improve the circumstances of their family, of educating their children and of moving to an improved lifestyle by borrowing against the value of their home. They were able to achieve their goal because of the home they possessed.

Your title deed will open doors to all types of possibilities. Seeing your property as more than just a place to live, but as a valuable asset will change your perspective on how you can create wealth for yourself and your loved ones. By wisely managing your property asset you can secure rental income in later years, it can assist with the education of children or it can be a stepping stone to a larger home.

However, not being able to produce that document as proof of ownership is the barrier to progressing beyond your present position. Access to the vast benefits owning a property can bring remain unlocked unless you can demonstrate that the property belongs to you.

Worrying statistics from 2011 by the Urban Land Mark (ULM) indicate that as many as 1.4 million subsidy-beneficiary home owners do not have their title deeds. This means that they are unable to utilize the advantages that owning property should bring to them. The call has gone out by many politicians and the Government Department of Human Settlements that regardless of the historical reasons for it not happening, the situation urgently needs to be rectified.

As soon as the home owners are able to legally sell, rent or borrow against their properties any economical imbalance that presently exists can then begin to be changed and the upliftment desired by so many will be on the right track.

Your title deed might only be a piece of paper, but it is probably one of the most important pieces you’ll ever need to keep safe.

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