Use a house-hunting shopping list
BUYING a home is a complex process, even more so when you are searching for your perfect family home.
“But,” says Adrian Goslett, chief executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, “just because you may feel restricted by what you can afford, you still need to be picky when buying a family home as you will have specific wants and needs that should be accommodated in your selection process.”
He advises buyers looking for their perfect family homes to draw up “shopping lists” of what features they would ideally like the home to have.
Price will most certainly be the biggest determining factor in buying a home, but a list of wants and needs will help to narrow down the choice of properties and give buyers a solid idea of their search parameters.
Certain elements are universal considerations when buying property, such as location, access to amenities and security. But, Goslett says, when buying a home that will suit the needs of a family, there are a few additional aspects to take into consideration.
The size of the stand is a good place to start. Children need a fair amount of space to run around and play. Whether freestanding or part of a secure estate, a home with adequate garden space would be best for a family as opposed to an apartment complex.
When it comes to the house itself, aside from enough bedrooms, buyers should also ensure that other aspects such as living areas, storage space and bathroom facilities will meet their needs.
Another aspect to consider when buying a family home is how the potential property caters to your lifestyle. Does it have an ideal outdoor entertainment area? Does the design of the kitchen or the presence of a dining room encourage eating together at meal times?
Is there a large enough indoor play area for your children where their toys can be stored?
Is there a separate lounge area where adult members of the family can relax?
“The house-hunting process may take a little longer if you are specific about your requirements, but considering that buying a home is the biggest investment of your lifetime, it is worth making sure you buy a home that closely matches your wants and needs,” Goslett says. RELATIVELY small sums spent on improvements over a period of years can add significantly to the value of a property – and if it is an investment property can be used to leverage increasingly higher rentals as leases expire, says Mike Greeff, chief executive of Greeff Properties.
He says a few thousand rand spent every two years on extras like stoves, hobs, extractor fans, carports, garden landscaping, automatic irrigation, replastering and painting, air conditioning, freestanding c e r a mi c f i r e p l a c e s , t i l i n g , external patios or courtyards, braai facilities and good security measures will add to the value of the property.
“We usually try to persuade property owners to go for these upgrades to maximise rental returns. An investment property, in my view, should be seen as an income-generator for your retirement years, not when you are still active in a job,” says Greeff.