Location matters when buying a home
Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX for Southern Africa, said one of the most important aspects to consider when looking at property is the location.
“Everyone knows that location is important, but not everyone knows what elements make an area a good location or not, or how this influences buying decisions. A major factor in determining whether a location is preferable is its proximity to amenities such as shopping malls and medical facilities. One of the most important aspects that has a major impact on buying decisions is proximity to good schools, because of its influence on both housing prices and children’s education,” revealed Goslett.
Buy near a good school
Whether or not you have children, the quality of the schools in the area should be a consideration, because they can have an impact on the homes in the area. Homes that are considered to be in a good school district will generally sell for more, according to Goslett.
“Generally areas that are close to good schools have higher numbers of people looking at the same homes, which pushes up demand having an impact on the home’s pricing. Demand has a direct influence on the appreciation potential of a property or area. As a result, the resale value of homes in these areas often fare better, even in a stunted market,” explained Goslett.
Schools play such an import factor when choosing a home, because while parents can enrol their child at any public school, schools usually have feeder zones, and will accept children from the surrounding area before accepting children that fall under a different school’s feeding zone.
“The child’s home address will determine which schools the child is zoned for,” revealed Goslett.
“According to the Department of Education, first preference is given to children whose parents reside within the feeder zone. This also includes parents who live at their place of employment, such as in the case of a domestic worker. Second preference will be to those children whose parents work in the feeder area and third will be the remainder of the applicants, which are processed subject to availability on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once all spaces have been filled, the rest of the children will be placed on a waiting list,” explained RE/MAX.
While your child is entitled to an education, there is no guarantee that they will get into your preferred school of choice.
Another factor to consider when choosing where to buy is the distance to the highway or main road, the train station and the bus routes. Goslett highlighted that the nearness or distance of these transportation routes would depend on the buyer and what they are looking for.
Do you require easy access to public transport? If the answer is yes, then buying near a bus route or train station could possibly be a good idea.
“As for highways and main roads, we can’t all afford to stay in the heart of the suburbs, so while living nearer to these roads may be noisier, there is also a higher likelihood of finding a larger home bordering a highway for a similar price to a smaller home away from the highway,” revealed Goslett.
Other things to consider
“City living is becoming more popular as the public consider the pains of time and costs associated to extensive home-to-job travel. I believe this (purchasing property in or near the city centre) would be a sound investment for primary use or a rental income option,” said Goslett.
According to Goslett, he would not purchase a property near a pub, night club or similar establishment. However, he pointed out that his preferences may be an age factor. “When I stayed in London many years ago, being close to those types of amenities were an attraction but then, I was in my early 20’s.”
It is also advisable to see what local facilities and services are available in the neighbourhood you are looking at. Visiting the shops or restaurants in the area will give you an idea of what it has to offer.
What are the popular areas?
Security estates are popular in Johannesburg. Areas that are popular also tend to have averse traffic routes according to Goslett. In Johannesburg, these areas include Fourways, Sandton and Rivonia where there are business and residential properties.
In Cape Town the Southern Suburbs and the Atlantic Seaboard are popular areas. However, Goslett noted that it “really depends on the buyer lifestyle” where they would prefer to settle.
Meanwhile, the Northern Suburbs are the most sought after areas in Durban.
Goslett noted: “Buying a property is a huge decision that should be carefully considered. Having the necessary information at hand will ensure that buyers make the best decision when choosing a home.”
For more helpful tips when house hunting, click here.
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