Wednesday, 17/4/2024 | 5:11

The Different Types of Property Deals

The biggest mistake that most property investors make is to think of property deals in terms of small, definable boxes. In other words for residential properties we think primarily of houses, townhouses and flats, and for commercial properties we think primarily of offices, industrial factories and retail shops.

Although this approach works in a buoyant, rising property market where everything you touch turns to gold, in a flat market you have to think out the box to make money out of property.

The approach I like to take when looking at a property deal is to not only define the type of property as being residential or commercial, but to look specifically at the different uses that the property could be used for.

I have listed below just some of the many potential uses for residential and commercial properties. The aim of this exercise is to get you to think out of the box in terms of what different properties may be used for. This exercise will hopefully expand your range of options the next time you look at a potential property deal.

The key to making money out of property is knowing how to tailor a property to a potential use that is in demand. If you can match supply and demand then you will always make money out of property regardless of market conditions.

Residential (Primary Use):

  • Separate title houses
  • Separate title townhouses
  • Sectional title townhouses
  • Sectional title flats
  • Separate title houses in security estates
  • Separate title townhouses in security estates
  • Sectional title townhouses in security estates
  • Separate title houses on golf estates
  • Separate title houses on equestrian estates
  • Low cost housing
  • Working farms

Residential (Leisure Use):

  • Holiday houses
  • Holiday apartments
  • Lifestyle farms
  • Fractional ownership
  • Private nature reserves
  • Game farms


  • Office space
  • Industrial factories
  • Retail space
  • Storage
  • Boat yards
  • Theatres
  • Game Farms (also leisure residential)
  • Nurseries
  • Private rehabilitation centres
  • Private hospitals / surgical rooms/ dentist etc
  • Veterinary surgeries/dog kennels/quarantine
  • Private schools
  • Private pre-schools, kinder gardens and crèches
  • Private old age homes
  • Casinos
  • Ice skating/roller skating rinks
  • Theme parks
  • Sports grounds i.e. Rugby, cricket, swimming pools etc
  • Horse racing tracks
  • Motor racing tracks
  • Private airports
  • Private harbours
  • Private universities
  • Student accommodation
  • Informal trading
  • Hotels
  • Self catering units
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Caravan parks / camping sites
  • Graveyards
  • Rubbish dumps/junk yards
  • Parking garages
  • Parking lots
  • Zoos
  • Entertainment, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, fast food outlets
  • Gyms
  • Call centres
  • Petrol stations / car wash
  • Bus / taxi depots

Government Use:

  • Government offices
  • Military bases
  • Police stations
  • Prisons
  • Courts of law
  • Consulates / embassies
  • Government hospitals
  • Government orphanage
  • Harbours
  • Airports
  • Government schools
  • Government universities
  • Government old age homes
  • Museums
  • Tourist attractions

Other Use:

  • Religious use i.e. churches, mosques, synagogues etc