Nar­row down the suit­abil­ity hunt

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

TRENDS re­veal most po­ten­tial home buy­ers be­gin their search on­line, but with ex­po­sure to high vol­umes of list­ings, they can eas­ily be­come over­whelmed.

For this rea­son, Adrian Goslett, re­gional di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Re/Max of South­ern Africa, pro­vides some tips to help on­line searchers nar­row down their search cri­te­ria and stream­line re­sults.

Price: Be­fore look­ing at any homes on­line or else­where, know what you can af­ford.

Buy­ers should as­sess their fi­nances and get pre-ap­proval on home loan fi­nance.

“It is al­ways best to leave a bit of cush­ion­ing in the bud­get. When en­ter­ing search cri­te­ria on­line be sure to choose a price range that fits com­fort­ably within the bud­get’s lim­its.

“This pro­vides the flex­i­bil­ity to be com­pet­i­tive in the mar­ket and sub­mit a counter of­fer if nec­es­sary.”

Check the map: Do not get caught up with the images of the prop­erty and for­get to look at its lo­ca­tion.

A home might be newly ren­o­vated and picture per­fect, but its lo­ca­tion will de­ter­mine its po­ten­tial for ap­pre­ci­a­tion in value over time.

“Be­fore con­tact­ing the list­ing agent, con­sider the prop­erty’s prox­im­ity to work, good schools and ameni­ties,” says Goslett.

Nar­row down your top neigh­bour­hoods: Each neigh­bour­hood will have a dif­fer­ent sub-cul­ture and feel, even though they may be part of the same city.

“Search­ing for spe­cific neigh­bour­hoods will greatly nar­row down the prop­erty search.”

Photos and videos only fo­cus on cer­tain as­pects: Even though tech­nol­ogy means you can take a vir­tual tour of a home, Goslett says view­ing a prop­erty in this way is still rel­a­tively re­stric­tive.

“An on­line search is an ideal way of nar­row­ing down a prop­erty search, but see­ing a home in per­son will give you a much bet­ter feel for it and clear up any un­cer­tain­ties you may have.”

Es­tate agents should note most buy­ers be­gin their prop­erty search on­line.

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