Buyers advice: Think ahead when viewing homes for sale

There’s much more to a home than its physical attributes, and property buyers should not let these factors – the number and size of rooms, layout of the garden, amenities such as pool and braai area and the soundness of the structure – blind them to other issues which will also affect their lifestyle.

Many of these will only become apparent as time goes by, but a property buyer who is forewarned and takes the longer-term issues into consideration is far more likely to be totally satisfied with the purchase.

Initially the distance to work, the type and quality of education available in the vicinity and the convenience of shopping and recreational facilities will probably be the most important “outside” factors influencing the new homeowner’s quality of life.

But as one becomes older, accessibility to medical centres and public transport assumes increasing importance, as does personal security and, perhaps, the proximity to a police station or emergency services. And while a nearby playground can be a big plus factor to a buyer with young children it can be noisy nuisance to an older couple.

Indeed in every area it pays to think ahead whenever you are buying a new home, and that also includes checking out the local zonings and consulting an experienced estate agent knowledgeable about the area. You don’t want to wake up to find that the attractive open area in front of your new home will shortly become a 24-hour filling station.

Meanwhile, even buyers who are planning to move into established townhouse or gated complexes will have some “homework” to do – especially when it comes to checking into the financial management and security of the sectional title complexes body corporate or if a cluster home, the homeowners’ association.

South African property buyers can obviously not foresee every eventuality, but the more thought they give to their investment in a new home the greater the chance that they will thoroughly enjoy living there for many years.

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