How to choose an area to buy property in
How does one pick the right neighbourhood if your budget doesn't immediately catapult you to the top of property ladder?
Fred Makelberge of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty recommends that one looks for those signs which indicate that an area is up-and-coming and avoid making a rash or emotionally driven investment based on marketing hype.
"You need to look at the historical values and general condition of the area. A lot of people don't think to look at the small things such as the pavements, are they clean and in good condition?"
Good quality infrastructure is also important when choosing an area to live in. Does the neighbourhood have a public transport system and what is the proximity to schools and shops? These are important considerations for many buyers so even if you drive to work and aren't thinking about children, access to that kind of infrastructure is likely to impact on resale value. "It is vital to note the turnover of people in the neighbourhood. You want an area where people tend to stay for longer than 2 years at a time," explains Makelberge. "A high turnover of people is a sign that something is wrong or does not work in the neighbourhood."
You can check how long people stay put in an area by going to websites that offer property valuation reports, such as www.lightsone.co.za, www.mydeedsearch.co.za and www.experien.co.za. Sites like these typically offer reports which can be used to track how many times a property has been sold and at what price. Sites likes these typically also sell trend reports and summaries on streets and suburbs.
Even if you find a gem of a property be aware that houses or complexes in an area that are not maintained means lower property values all round, no matter how well looked after your property is. So it stands to reason that picking an area where the home owners and complexes make an effort bodes well for future capital growth.
"By taking the time to be a little analytical in picking the right neighbourhood you are far less likely to suffer buyer's remorse," says Makelberge.
Lew Geffen Sotheyby's International Realty Press Release