Breaking through ‘buyer’s block’

Finding the “dream home” that matches your budget is always a challenge and most homebuyers realise that they should put lots of time and effort into the search since this will be one of the most important purchases they will ever make.
But no search should last so long that it leads to “buyer’s block”, says Martin Schultheiss, CEO of the Harcourts Africa property group. “This term refers to the condition suffered by buyers – especially first-timers – who are so overawed by the prospect of buying something they will be paying off for decades that inertia sets in and they simply cannot make up their minds.
“And their state of indecision is generally not helped by any amount of well-meant advice from friends, relatives or colleagues.”
The best remedy for those who find themselves stuck in such a dilemma, he says, is to “go back to basics”, starting with a really good look at their budget again and a firm decision about how much they are willing to pay.
“Then make a list of those home features you regard as absolutely essential, and pinpoint a few areas where you would like to live. And finally, give yourself a time limit in which to conclude your home search.”
Once you’ve done this, Schultheiss says, you should review any homes you have already seen to check if they match up your price, feature and area criteria, and forget about those that don’t.
“And don’t worry if none match. Just start a new search with the help of reputable estate agents in the areas that interest you, and visit only homes that are within your price range and conform to your essential requirements. Then pick the one you think offers the best value for money and go for it.”
He says those new to the market should bear in mind that any home they can afford that is in a good neighbourhood and good condition will be a good investment over time. “Your aim, quite simply, should be to buy your own property and start building wealth as soon as possible, not to keep searching for the ‘bargain of a lifetime’ while you carry on paying a landlord rent.”
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