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Five tips on what to look for when house hunting

House hunting can be a daunting task; buying a house is a significant investment and the last thing any new owner wants is to suffer from buyer’s remorse. So what should people look out for when viewing a property? 
 
Location, location, location
 
“Location remains the most important factor when buying a property”, says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group, “the old adage of rather buying the worst house in the best area, as opposed to the best house in the worst area is really true. A property’s location will in large part determine its value as well as its eventual re-sale value, making it imperative to buy in the right area”.
 
If the house is in the right area it’s time to start looking at the property itself.
 
Bathrooms and kitchens
 
“Main selling points are normally the bathrooms and kitchens which can be quite expensive to renovate. As such well-maintained, properly fitted kitchens and bathrooms are strong selling points”, explains Swain.
 
Swain goes on to mention that’s it’s very important for buyers to take their time in these spaces – open the taps, test the water pressure, switch on the lights, test the gas stove. Buyers are also entitled to ask questions about plumbing and electricity and to find out when last any work was done in these areas.
 
Stains and cracks
 
Water stains, discoloration caused by mould and large cracks in the walls can all be indications of bigger problems. “It’s possible that the owners may have resolved the causes behind the stains and cracks, but buyers would be wise to ask questions and even include proof of corrections in the sales agreement, should they decide to purchase the property”, says Swain.
 
The Garden
 
“While great garden maintenance isn’t essential to a property sale I find that the state of a garden tells buyers a lot about the current owner and how they care for the property. If the garden is neglected a buyer could ask themselves what other maintenance is also being ignored”, explains Swain.
 
Parking
 

Most home owners are also vehicle owners and secure parking is a big advantage for any property. If the home is in a sectional title development it is important to establish how many parking spaces / garages are allocated to the property to avoid disputes later on.
 
At the end of the day it’s up to the buyer to decide which property they want to buy, but taking note of the above will go a long way to ensuring that the property they buy is sound and will offer a good return on investment”, believes Swain.
 


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