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Buying a home in an established neighbourhood

When it comes to purchasing a property, there are a few aspects for buyers to consider, such as deciding to buy a newer home in a developing neighbourhood or perhaps an older home in a more established area. 

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that while buying a newer home definitely has its advantages like contemporary features, possibly a more energy-efficient design and fewer things that require maintenance, buying a home within an established neighbourhood can give the buyer the assurance that the property is likely to increase in value over time.
 
“In more established areas data can be obtained regarding the area’s appreciation value over the past ten to twenty years, whereas newly developed areas will have less information or statistics on hand. A proven track record will put the buyer more at ease when it comes to making an investment. Another aspect to consider is that newer developments are generally built where there available land, which means that these up-and-coming areas are often far from the more established areas that have sought after amenities. They are also more often than not further away from central business districts than the more established suburbs, making it a long commute for residents who work in these business hubs,” says Goslett.
 
He adds that generally homes that are close to amenities or good schools will have an excellent return on investment over the long term. Homeowners with their heart set on sending their children to a certain school may have little choice but to purchase a property in an established area which the school of their choice is zoned for. 
 
Goslett lists a few other reasons why buying an existing home in an established area could benefit the buyer:
 
More house for your money
While it largely depends on the area in which the home is purchased, existing properties will typically cost less per square metre than newer homes. With space constraints more of a factor in newer developments, older homes generally have larger stands and more square metres under roof, which is an important consideration for buyers with a growing family or that like to spend time in the garden.
 
Know your neighbourhood
When purchasing in an established area the buyer knows exactly what they are getting from the start. The buyer will be able to determine certain aspects about the neighbourhood that would otherwise be impossible to determine in a developing area, such as the demographic of buyers in the area, whether it is family-friendly or loud or quiet. There is also the opportunity to meet and speak to potential neighbours about the area before buying.
 
No waiting period
Purchasing a new or off-plan home could mean waiting for several months for the development to be complete, whereas an existing home provides the convenience to the buyer of being able to move in a shorter time frame.
 
An established landscape
Sometimes the benefit of purchasing an existing property that you love is that someone else loved it first.  Often this means that time and effort has been placed into establishing and maintaining the home and garden. Trees have been planted and the landscape is generally in a mature state.
 
Architectural detailing
While many homeowners are looking for property with more contemporary elements, some may be looking for the architectural design aspects that have not been replicated in modern homes, such as pressed ceilings or parquet flooring.
 
Goslett says that whether buying a new or older home, the golden principles must always apply and buyers should do as much research as possible before making their final decision. “If the buyer is not sure of what home to decide on, the services of a real estate professional from a reputable agency could assist them in weighing up the options available to them and making an informed choice,” he concludes.


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