What to consider about a neighbourhood before you buy

Considering the fact that purchasing a property is a long-term, important investment, it is vital to spend the time doing research and finding out as much as possible about your potential new neighbourhood, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

He adds that there are several factors that make a neighbourhood and community what it is, and having an idea of what these factors are will provide potential buyers with a snapshot of what it will be like to live in that area.

According to Goslett, there are five aspects to consider when determining whether or not a neighbourhood is the right fit:

1.    Is the area an up-and-coming area or still in transition? 

While home prices in a certain area could be relatively low now, there are several factors that could influence that in the future, such as planned upgrades or new amenities. “When looking at the future potential of a neighbourhood, a buyer can start with researching the current home values. Other aspects to consider would include the crime rate in the area, development plans and proposed or new businesses. A real estate professional specialising in the area will be able to provide some of the information, while other information can be obtained from local officials and the deeds office,” says Goslett.

He adds that homes in a neighbourhood which is up-and-coming could prove to be a good investment, provided the buyer gets the required information and has a clear idea of the plans for the area.

2.    What are the schools like in the area?

Goslett says that regardless of whether the buyer is in the life stage of having children or planning to have them in the future, schools largely impact an area’s property price performance.  Neighbourhoods with excellent, high-ranking schools will be sought-after and will tend to maintain higher resale values. School zoning generally only allows children living in proximity to the school to attend, which is why neighbourhoods with good schools experience consistent demand.

3.    What surrounds the area?

A buyer should have an idea of what is important to them and then explore the surrounding of the neighbourhood they are looking to buy in to see whether it matches their criteria. Things to keep in mind are proximity to amenities such as shopping malls, medical facilities, recreational facilities, parks or green spaces and schools. “Aside from the fact that being close to amenities makes life easier and is more practical, these elements also make it easier to meet and interact with people within the community, set up playdates or walk the dog,” says Goslett.

4.    Distance from work

Considering most people commute to and from work on a daily basis, the distance from home to the office is an important aspect to bear in mind. Potential buyers should time the commute by doing a test drive during the time of day they are most likely to go to and from work. “Depending on where the property is situated, it may be a more feasible option for the buyer to explore other means of transport. In addition to offering an alternative to driving, good public transportation near a home can have a positive effect on the property’s value – the introduction of the Gautrain to areas in Pretoria, Sandton and Rosebank is a prime example,” says Goslett.

5.    Is it safe?

Safety and security are a top priority for the majority of South African property buyers. Buyers should consider aspects of the area that make it a safer place to live, such as a neighbourhood watch, well-lit streets, walkways, security systems and little or no signs of vandalism. Goslett says that these are generally signs of a safe neighbourhood.

“When buying a home, its location is a very important factor in the decision. The neighbourhood will largely determine the home’s appreciation value as well as the homeowner’s enjoyment of their time there. Selecting the right neighbourhood is as important for a buyer as is finding a home that fits all of their needs,” Goslett concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Located close to the fast growing Fourways precinct, Dainfern continues to attract local and international interest from buyers seeking a secure lifestyle with affordable entry price of approximately R3 million.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      Property owners in the Durban CBD are addressing the affordability challenge that faces many prospective tenants in their area – and reconfiguring the inner city rental market in the process.
    • 20 Mar 2018
      One of the most misunderstood concepts in the process of selling a property is an exclusive or sole mandate.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      If a landlord opts to use a managing agent for the rental of his or her property, the inspection process can be easier as the agent is not emotionally involved and will certainly have concluded an in-depth inspection report in the interests of all parties.
    • 19 Mar 2018
      We all wish we could have the cheat sheet for selling a property – a simple Ctrl+Shift+C code that will magically secure an offer on your home in an instant. Though it is not possible to provide you with this cheat code (sadly, reality does not come with such perks), it is possible to provide you with a list of the most common blunders some of your neighbours have committed in their efforts to sell their homes
    • 19 Mar 2018
      Although property technology is now widely accepted as an established trend, especially in the international real estate arena, the industry has been cautious to advance and smaller markets like South Africa are still hesitantly dipping their toes in the water.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      Strange as it may seem, there is a stock shortage looming now in the luxury sector of the Johannesburg property market, because astute buyers have for the past few months been hurrying to snap up high-end homes being offered at excellent prices.
    • 16 Mar 2018
      No one likes having to claim but having insurance for your household contents is vital, and at the start of a new financial year, homeowners either applying for new household insurance or revising their existing insurance should take a comprehensive inventory of their possessions and keep track of the total value.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us