Use a house-hunt­ing shop­ping list

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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