How to plan for 2017 prop­erty needs

Lesotho Times - - Property -

NO mat­ter where you are in life, or what curve-balls may be thrown at you, it’s never too late to start plan­ning for your fu­ture prop­erty needs.”

For most of us, the first home we rent or buy won’t be our last, but we sel­dom think more than a step or two down life’s path when trawl­ing the prop­erty mar­ket. It may be counter-in­tu­itive to think about re­tire­ment when buy­ing your first apart­ment or fam­ily home, but ac­cord­ing to those in the know, plan­ning ahead can be a very smart move.

“Prop­erty is a long-term com­mit­ment, but it’s not nec­es­sar­ily a life­long com­mit­ment, and by un­der­stand­ing the likely pro­gres­sion of your prop­erty re­quire­ments, you can plan for your chang­ing needs and wants as you grow up and grow older,” says Bill Raw­son, Chair­man of the Raw­son Prop­erty Group.

“This not only makes the process of change less stress­ful, but can also al­low you to build a strate­gic - and prof­itable - prop­erty port­fo­lio.”

Raw­son says there are four main phases that play a role in the aver­age per­son’s prop­erty needs, namely: start­ing out as a young adult, hav­ing a fam­ily, scal­ing down, and re­tire­ment.

Of course, he says not ev­ery­one fol­lows the same path, and there are of­ten sur­prises along the way, but keep­ing these stages in mind can help you make bet­ter choices both now, and in your fu­ture.

Raw­son pro­vides a guide:

1. Start­ing out “The big­gest thing most first-time buy­ers look for is af­ford­abil­ity, which is per­fectly un­der­stand­able, but far from the only fac­tor to con­sider when buy­ing your first prop­erty,” says Raw­son.

Typ­i­cal first-time homes in­clude apart­ments and small houses, ei­ther free­hold or in com­plexes, and tend to have lower main­te­nance re­quire­ments, which make them per­fect for lock-up and go life­styles. Starter sub­urbs are of­ten cen­tral, or close to ma­jor trans­port ar­ter­ies for con­ve­nient ac­cess to shops, en­ter­tain­ment and work, and are typ­i­cally a lit­tle more densely pop­u­lated with apart­ment blocks and smaller er­ven.

“The great thing about these types of prop­er­ties is that they of­ten have ex­cel­lent rental po­ten­tial, which means they could be­come your first in­come-gen­er­at­ing in­vest­ment prop­erty when you move on to big­ger and bet­ter things,” says Raw­son.

2. Start­ing a fam­ily “When kids join the pic­ture, space sud­denly be­comes a lot more im­por­tant, as does safety and se­cu­rity, and ac­cess to good schools,” says Raw­son.

“A lot of peo­ple choose to move a lit­tle fur­ther out from main cen­tres when they start a fam­ily, tak­ing ad­van­tage of the qui­eter lifestyle and larger er­ven of the sub­urbs, and gar­dens and pools be­come a bonus in­stead of a time-con­sum­ing li­a­bil­ity.”

Most ex­perts ad­vise buy­ing a fam­ily home based on lifestyle, rather than in­vest­ment po­ten­tial.

It’s the prop­erty you’ll live in long­est, and your hap­pi­ness and com­fort is of the ut­most im­por­tance.

Raw­son says the best way to main­tain your prop­erty’s value and en­sure you sell well when you do de­cide to move on is to be metic­u­lous in your main­te­nance, and keep up to date with gen­eral im­prove­ments and trends.

“As a gen­eral rule, spend­ing five to 10% of your prop­erty’s value each year on main­te­nance and im­prove­ments is a good idea. If you in­vested wisely in your first home, and are rent­ing it out, that in­come will help cover these ex­penses,” he says.

3. Scal­ing down Sell­ing a fam­ily home can be heart-break­ing, with many mem­o­ries in those fa­mil­iar walls, but hold­ing on to a home that you can’t man­age any­more can be a costly mis­take.

“We see a lot of older prop­erty own­ers liv­ing in huge, fam­ily homes long af­ter they stop ac­tu­ally ben­e­fit­ing from the lifestyle, and be­cause of this, these homes start to de­te­ri­o­rate and lose their re­sale value,” says Raw­son.

While the de­ci­sion is a dif­fi­cult one, Raw­son says most peo­ple in this sit­u­a­tion are much hap­pier when they make the move to a smaller, more man­age­able home.

“Hav­ing the flex­i­bil­ity and free­dom to en­joy your time, rather than be­ing tied to a high­main­te­nance prop­erty that’s too big for your needs, is very lib­er­at­ing and it also al­lows you to put the money from the sale of your fam­ily home to­wards a re­tire­ment prop­erty that will cater to your needs fur­ther down the line,” says Raw­son.

4. Re­tire­ment “When it comes to re­tire­ment, plan­ning early is es­sen­tial as there are waiting lists of up to 10 years for al­most all the most pop­u­lar vil­lages. Pay at­ten­tion to the kinds of fa­cil­i­ties on of­fer, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to scale down within the com­mu­nity if nec­es­sary,” says Raw­son.

“A ser­viced cot­tage may be ideal at 75, but you might need more ac­tive care a decade later. Be­ing able to have that with­out leav­ing your com­mu­nity is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered ideal.” Re­mem­ber… “No mat­ter where you are in life, or what curve-balls may be thrown at you, it’s never too late to start plan­ning for your fu­ture prop­erty needs,” says. — Prop­erty24

THERE are four main phases that play a role in the aver­age per­son’s prop­erty needs, namely start­ing out as a young adult, hav­ing a fam­ily, scal­ing down, and re­tire­ment.

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