Top tips to ensure a sound property buying decision in 2018

While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase. This is according to Debbie Justus-Ferns, divisional manager of Renprop Residential Sales, who goes on to say that setting out proper parameters before beginning the search for a home is just as essential as ever.

The top five areas in which these search parameters need to be set, according to Justus-Ferns are:

1.    Price

While the market may favour buyers in that there are a number of good properties from which to choose, it doesn’t mean that sellers will accept offers that fall too much below their asking price. Therefore, Justus-Ferns says that buyers need to have established how much they can really afford to spend on a home and know how much their financial institution will grant them if they require a homeloan before commencing with a property search. The price, she says, is the biggest determinant of what kind of property a buyer should look at and in which suburbs they are likely to find a home that meets their requirements and budget.

2.    Location

As always, location remains paramount to a purchasing decision. Buyers should narrow down a list of areas that they would be interested in and then thoroughly check out influencing factors such as traffic and the proximity of schools and other amenities they deem to be important to have close by. “Remember that buying a less fancy home in a good neighbourhood that suits a buyer’s needs will be a much better investment than purchasing a mansion in a neighbourhood that may not meet all the criteria of the buyer,” says Justus-Ferns.

3.   Accommodation

Before going out to look at homes in person, buyers should be certain of their accommodation requirements. Justus-Ferns explains that as purchasing a home is a long-term investment and commitment, buyers should try to ensure as far as possible that any potential homes they look at will be able to fit their accommodation requirements for at least five years into the future. “It is also a good idea for buyers to draw up a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘negotiables’ when it comes to their accommodation requirements,” she says.

4.    Special Features

Another area where Justus-Ferns suggests buyers establish a list of ‘must-haves’ and ‘negotiables’ is a home’s special features. “From a swimming pool and air-conditioning to the the type of flooring or kitchen design, buyers should have a good idea of what features they are looking for in a home, and which they would like but can live without. “This way buyers can easily pare down a list of potential properties and only physically look at the ones which they think will fit in with their needs and wants.” Justus-Ferns also advises buyers to take their pets into consideration by ensuring that complexes they may look at buying in are pet friendly.

5.    Cost

Cost is a very different thing to the price of a property. Aside from being sure of how much they can afford to spend on a property, buyers need to be certain they can also keep up with the monthly costs of living in the home. “Water, lights, rates, levies and home maintenance/improvement are all costs that homeowners need to know about to see if they can work them into the budget before signing an offer to purchase,” says Justus-Ferns.

“Once a buyer has established that a property fits within all their parameters and meets their requirements, they can be confident that they are making a purchase that will serve them well now and in the future,” Justus-Ferns concludes.

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