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Home Buyers' Remorse

?(By Kathy East)

There are only a few things in life as exciting as being handed the keys to your new home. That moment is usually the culmination of years of saving and months of searching for the right property.  But that feeling of elation can sometimes devolve into feelings of regret.

With a decision as big as buying a home, it's no surprise that regrets are common. But the good news is that you don't have to end up among that group. This is according to a recent article in the Washington Post.  Most buyers' remorse stems from one of the following issues, so keep these in mind as you view properties. This is according to a recent article by  Marshall Park, a real estate broker at Redfin, which appeared in the Washington Post.
 
Neighbourhood/Estate

Home buyers are often swayed by the appeal of the home itself and fail to do enough research and investigation about the neighbourhood or the general management of the estate. If you're considering a home, make sure you visit it both during the day and at night. Get out of your car, walk around the neighbourhood and talk to some neighbours if you can.
 
Also be sure to check what the local security situation is by reading the media or asking locals. Some areas are definitely more susceptible to crime than others, and you need to know that you will have a good quality of life.
 
If you desire to live in a trendy neighbourhood, consider the noise level and your threshold for dealing with late-night revelers. Being close to the action is fun, but some buyers learn quickly that it's possible to be too close.
 
Research the nearby amenities. Where is the closest shopping centre or mall, supermarket, pharmacy, entertainment such as restaurants, coffee shops, theatres or sports clubs, all of these depending on your activities?  For your school-going children you would need to consider current as well as future schools as they progress in their grades.
 
If you have animals, ensure there are public spaces such as parks to walk them in and that the environment is pet-friendly. 
 
Parking and transport issues 

One should also bear in mind the distance to your place of work, or to take kids to and from school and after-school activities. The allure of a charming home may convince you that a longer commute isn't so bad. Whether you drive, bike or take public transport, try out the commute during rush hour both ways to get an accurate sense of your new daily routine.
 
Consider the parking facilities for yourself at your new home, and also when your friends and family come to visit. With our South African security situation, people are reluctant to park down a dark unfamiliar road. Many sectional title complexes have limited parking bays for guests and only allocate one or two bays for owners, so this must be properly investigated.
 
Renovation ambitions

Buyers often have grand plans: knock down a wall, build an extension, gut the kitchen, and add a patio. There is nothing wrong with having a long-term vision of how you'd like to improve your home, but if you don't have a clear idea of the cost, expertise and time needed to achieve that vision, you may be on a pathway to regret.
 
Buyers can get swept up in the dream and the planning and become too ambitious about what renovations and repairs they can take on themselves. If you are planning to make serious alterations to a home, it's wise to get one or more contractors out to the property to give you a ballpark estimate before you buy it –before making an offer.  Most contractors offer free estimates and can help you make sure you aren't commencing a project that you can't afford.
 
Price

As noted by Wendy Williams, a Director of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, “It cannot be emphasised enough to use a national reputable real estate company to assist you in purchasing a property.  Our well trained and qualified sales advisors will ensure the negotiations are handled professionally.  They are there to assist you in each step of the buying process.  The price of the home will be determined from a formal valuation report produced from software linked to the Deeds Office, together with extensive research of similar sales in the local property market taking into account the specific finishes and features of the property.  This determines a fair and comparable price to provide both the buyer and seller reassurance of the true value of the property.”
 
If you talk about and discuss your needs and expectations with our property sales advisors you won't feel like you've made a mistake down the road.  You probably will never be content with your home purchase if you settle on a place which does not excite you. Be patient, do research and wait for the right opportunity.
 
Home ownership can be stressful and no home is perfect.  Carefully considering all the factors inside and outside the four walls of your home before making an offer will give you greater peace of mind now and in the future. 
 
Think through these issues ahead of time and avoid regrets down the road.


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