Ensuring your home’s value

According to research the majority of homebuyers only take a few minutes to make the decision as to whether or not they like a property. Often there are certain factors that influence buyers’ decisions of a home before they have even walked through the front door, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Most experts within the property sector would agree that generally the reason a home would not be viewed favourably is its location. Aspects such as the property’s proximity to amenities like shopping malls, good schools and recreation areas, all have an impact on how the property is perceived to be valued by potential buyers. Ideally the property needs to be within an easily accessible range to these elements,” says Goslett.

He adds that adversely if the property is located within proximity to power lines or unsightly mobile phone masts, this will have a negative effect on the home’s perceived value. “Apart from the fact that they don’t look great, many people don’t want to live near mobile phone masts because they are concerned about the possible negative health implications. As a result, the marketability of homes around mobile phone masts can suffer when it comes time to resale,” advises Goslett. “Basically anything that could be seen by buyers as an annoyance or eyesore will harmfully impact their opinion of a property. Examples of these things could be a noisy highway or airport in the nearby vicinity.”

According to Goslett, there are also a considerable number of buyers who take into account the condition of the neighbourhood in which the property is located. An area with subpar service delivery that is rundown and poorly maintained will push buyers away, even if the property itself is well looked after. If the neighbourhood has deteriorated over time, the home’s value and marketability will also decrease.

Goslett says that regardless of the external factors that could the home’s marketability; it is still vital for homeowners to ensure that their particular home has curb appeal and stands out from the competition.  “If a buyer has the choice between two homes in the same area, that both offer the same or similar features, they are more likely to purchase the one that well-maintained and more aesthetically appealing. If the home’s curb appeal becomes the determining factor, a fresh coat of paint and a mowed, weeded and de-cluttered lawn could make all the difference,” he says.

According to Goslett, another factor that many buyers are considering is the availability of parking. Garages and off-street parking are particularly popular among buyers. In heavily populated metros such as Cape Town CBD, off-street parking or lack thereof can seriously influence the property’s perceived value with buyers. While most properties will have some kind of allocated parking space for residents, some buyers also want additional available parking for visitors.

Although most renovations will increase the marketability of a home, certain unorthodox renovations will negatively impact a property’s value. Renovations that are specific to the current owner’s tastes or interests, such as a gym or greenhouse, may not appeal to buyers viewing the home. Unfinished renovations or poor workmanship can also devalue the property. There is no reasonable explanation for below standard DIY renovations that could be expensive to rectify. It is also important that if any major renovations have been undertaken, all documentation and permission has been granted by the necessary governing bodies.

“If possible homeowners should try at all costs to avoid the pitfalls that could devalue their property. Likewise, buyers should do the necessary research to avoid purchasing a property that could become a financial burden in the future. Knowledge is an essential key for buyers looking to invest in a property that will appreciate in value over the long term,” Goslett concludes.

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