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When you buy a home you are also buying into the neighbourhood. You’ve heard the saying “…location, location, location.”

From crime rates to area amenities, property trends and public transport accessibility, there are many things that need to be considered.

For future re-sale purposes it’s always better to buy a reasonable home in a good area than a cheaper home in a bad area. Therefore any prospective home buyer should take a careful look around before deciding to live in any area.

Get an area report. Get the facts and figures, not hear-say.


Your Home

Once you have a list of preferred neighbourhoods for your search, it’s time to decide the type of homes that you wish to view.

First, look at the features of a home you want and then the type of home you want.

Features are aspects of a home you can’t live without, such as the bedroom count, security, off street parking and outdoor areas.

Consider your needs now and your needs in 7 to 10 years time. If your requirements might change in that time span, you should make sure your home will still be able to accommodate your needs.


Next, the property type.

Freehold: The owner of a freehold property has full ownership of the property and full responsibility for it. This means that the owner can rent, sell, paint and alter as they see fit (within certain constraints by the municipality). Types of properties that fall under freehold are free standing homes and homes in security villages.

Sectional title: When you buy property in a sectional title complex you are buying a unit or section of a common property. This common property is shared by other unit owners. Types of properties that fall under sectional title are flats, units in complexes and cluster homes. Changes to your property in a sectional title scheme have to fit within the guidelines and standards set up by the body corporate.

99 year lease: A person who enters into a 99 year lease is not purchasing the property but securing the property for a long period of time. Usually the government owns this type of land, and this land is usually found in historic or protected areas.

Shared block: A shared block property is owned and registered by a company and applies mainly to apartments or small blocks of flats. Buyers of shared block property, purchase shares in the company as a form of property ownership.


The Search

Searching online for your home offers convenience with access to property listings and information in your own time and from anywhere.

Searching online also helps you to save time by allowing you to clearly define your criteria, helping you only to view homes that meet your requirements.

Once you have found a home you wish to view, you can contact the Agent directly to set up a viewing appointment.



Don’t focus on a home’s décor items such as curtains and carpets. These are aesthetic items and can be changed if need be.

Look at all defects and determine an estimated cost of fixing them, then find out if your budget allows for renovations.

Take photos: Don’t get yourself into a situation where you have just viewed a house and can’t remember the kitchen.

Revisit and review: Once you have narrowed down your selection to a few homes, ask your Estate Agent if you can view them again to take a closer look. Bring along your partner, family member, or friend for a second opinion, and ask any additional questions that you may have.

Meet the neighbours: Introduce yourself to the neighbours and ask them about the area, future plans for the neighbourhood, developments and safety.

Practice patience: Buying property is a long-term commitment, so don’t rush into buying the first home you see.

Take your time when viewing a home, and most importantly, follow your instincts. Also take your time with getting an idea of what properties are worth by viewing a number of them for comparison so that you don’t get caught in the trap of buying an overvalued property.


Property Value

So, you have found your perfect home. However, while all your requirements may been met, you should research further to ensure you are making a good investment before signing an Offer to Purchase.

A Property Valuation Report can help you make an informed decision.

Get a valuation report on the house you have settled on. Get the facts and figures, not hear-say.

Once you understand the market related valuation of the property, you are informed and empowered to negotiate an offer.

Later in the process, the Bank will also appoint a valuator to determine the “reasonable market value” of the property. This is important to note, because the bank will only offer you a bond on the market value. If you offer to “over-pay” for the property and apply for the inflated amount, the bank will decline your finance.

So getting a valuation report now and understanding the market value of the property, so you can make a fair offer, will prevent you application from being declined later.