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Thursday Nov 04, 2010

Pros and cons of safe estates

While fear of crime prompts more home buyers to look for properties in gated communities, there is still a market for homes outside security estates.

Jason Rohde, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty, said many home buyers perceived homes in gated communities to be safer.

However, choosing a property in such a community often came with some kind of sacrifice.

He said this included paying more than one would for a similar home which was not in a secure estate and foregoing features such as a large garden and privacy. Other factors included levies for the security services provided.

While there was significant demand for homes in secure estates, especially for those who put security at the top of their list of requirements, there were those who valued the pluses of a freehold stand more.

"The desire for space, privacy and opportunities for expansion for many, particularly growing families, is much stronger than the lure of the promise of better security in a gated estate. It is also important to remember that secure estates are not immune to crime, and that through wise investment in security measures, a home on the outskirts can be made less vulnerable.

"Many people also prefer to be responsible for, and own, their own security," said Rohde.

With the emphasis on security, Rohde said any investment made to improve the security of a property would improve its saleability in the long-term, whether it's in a secure estate or not.

He said buyers should remember that not all secure complexes were the same.

Pretoria News

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