The importance of value for money

Regardless of their life stage or how much they can afford, there is one golden thread that joins all property buyers together – the importance of good value for money. 

This is according to Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Coastal, who has offices in Knysna, Sedgefield and Wilderness.

“For the large majority of people purchasing a home it will be the biggest and most important financial decision they will ever make. Most know how vital the decision is to their financial well-being and want to make the best possible choice they can to ensure that they get the most out of their investment,” says Van der Merwe. “Home buyers want to know that they are getting the best deal possible, while still purchasing a property that meets all of their requirements.”

He notes that in Knysna, Sedgefield and Wilderness many of the homebuyers are mature consumers who are purchasing either a retirement property or holiday home. “These areas offer lakes, rivers, estuaries and beaches as well as indigenous forests and mountains for exploration. The beauty and quite lifestyle on offer in these areas attracts many buyers who want a change in pace from the busier metropolitan areas,” says Van der Merwe. “There a mix of permanent residents and holiday homeowners in these areas, with most buyers opting to purchase freehold-title properties over sectional title apartments.”

Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that property is considered to be a strong asset class in which to invest, particularly over the medium to long term. “A well situated property in a leisure destination can prove to be a home to enjoy as well as an investment that generates healthy returns.”

According to Van der Merwe freestanding homes have been the best sellers in these areas and will be remain the best sellers in the future. “Freestanding homes in Residential 1 zoned areas and freestanding homes in Group Residential zoned nodes are particularly in high demand. Generally sectional title apartments and homes in our areas attract high monthly levies due to the higher maintenance cost at the coastline. As the residents get older living in these types of homes they struggle to keep up the high levy payments monthly,” says Van der Merwe.

He notes that buyers in general and in these areas are looking for a house that is structurally sound, has no roof leaks, no damp, with approved building plans and that has quality fittings and fixtures. “The kitchen and the bathrooms are very important aspects to buyers – they want these areas in the home to be well designed and have a practical layout. Homes that are on one level are also becoming more popular among both young and old buyers alike,” says Van der Merwe.

He says that homes in Knysna that are priced between R995 000 and R1.8 million would be considered good value for money, while homes in a similar category in Sedgefield would be priced from R895 000 to R1.3 million. Generally property located in Wilderness is more expensive than Knysna and Sedgefield, in this area the best buy price range would be from around R1.7 million to R2.8 million. “These are the price brackets in these areas that sell and sell quickly. Should one need to re-sell for whatever reason, properties within these price ranges tend to be on the market for only a short time and often the seller will realise a good return on their investment, even over a relatively short period,” says Van der Merwe.

According to Van der Merwe these are the prices for entry-level freestanding homes, as well as cluster homes in secure complexes, which consist of three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double garage. “These are typically older homes with older finishes ranging between eight and 15 years old,” says Van der Merwe. 

He concludes by saying that buyers will be able to enjoy the lifestyle on offer in these beautiful coastal areas without having to over extend themselves financially. Good value-for-money properties can be found in these areas, buyers just have to look.

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