Contrary to popular belief, while price is a strong determining factor in whether you are able to afford a home, the property value has little impact on whether you’d be satisfied with your new home. How you experience your new home will depend heavily on a variety of other factors. Once you have a clearly defined budget, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on a property to purchase:
Question 1: Is it time to move?
Sometimes a bigger cheque can lure you into thinking that it’s time for a home upgrade. And although a larger salary may help you afford a nicer home, it may not necessarily upgrade your experience. The simplest advice here is to buy property only when you want to or need to and not just because it acts as a status symbol.
Question 2: Is it in the right location?
Depending on what your home and family situation looks like, location plays an extremely important role in determining whether you will be happy in a new home. An expensive home in an area with a lower mean property value might mean that you are compromising on security, while a smaller home in an area with greater mean property value could mean greater safety while you compromise on your living space. The same applies to deciding between a traditional residential home or a sectional title. There are security and amenity benefits to sectional title living, although accessibility is greater with a traditional home, with more personal freedom.
Question 3: Which amenities are nearby?
What happens around your property has just as much (if not more) of an impact on your satisfaction with a new property as the property itself. Think about the things that you want to prioritise in your life and consider moving into an area that best matches these priorities. For instance, if you have a young family, a nearby school will be important; if you consider yourself more of a metropolitan, you might want to stay close to a shopping mall; if you love the outdoors you might want to stay close to a park; if you want to spend less time commuting, you might want to move closer to your workplace. This is to say that the local features that enhance your daily living experience should play a determinative role in where you choose to buy property.
Question 4: Do you care about personalisation and maintenance?
Another factor that may play a role in buying a new property is what you personally want out of it. If you are someone who likes tinkering and fixing things, you may be perfectly content buying a fixer-upper, but if not, it might frustrate you endlessly. And while a brand-new home in a sectional development may mean fewer hassles and maintenance costs, it may not lend itself to personalisation, but could be perfect for someone who works long hours.
The bottom line
Once you have considered all of these aspects, you also need to keep in mind that the perfect home may not be available or may be out of your budget and that there may be one or two aspects you may need to compromise on. Compromise is an inescapable reality that home-buyers have been affected by since time immemorial.
And while price and affordability are not the determining factors in whether a new house will serve your needs and wants, they will likely determine your final decision. This is why you need to start with a clearly-defined budget and rank what you’re looking for in your new home by order of priority, which will make the final decision a lot easier.
There is a home out there for you that fits your character, it just takes a little bit of sale-searching.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)