Tips for peaceful cohabitation during lockdown

Tips for peaceful cohabitation during lockdown

Private Property South Africa

Lockdown restrictions have forced South Africans to spend more time in our homes working, remote-learning, and co-existing with the rest of the family indoors over weekends. This new normal has caused many to relocate to homes better suited to their new lifestyles. If relocation is not an option, then homeowners will need to find creative solutions to ensure peaceful cohabitation between family members.

According to Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, there are several important ways a home could be creating unnecessary tension in household relationships: limited space and financial pressure being two of the most common issues.

“Buyers who are looking to purchase a new home have the chance to avoid this by being careful about their purchasing decisions. Financial pressure is among the most popular causes for tension in relationships. If homeowners are unable to afford the monthly expenses the property incurs (such as the home instalments, rates, taxes, levies, and other applicable expenses), then it would be advisable to consider downscaling to something more affordable,” Goslett advises.

The second most common issue is a lack of space. With many companies switching to remote working, couples are facing the challenge of having to share a workspace or to make do with a temporary set up at the kitchen table.

According to Goslett, homes with their own enclosed study are in such high demand that many developers have even switched their plans mid-way through construction to change third bedrooms into at-home office spaces.

It is unlikely that the situation is going to change any time soon. Homeowners who do have the budget should consider renovating or building onto their home to create an office space if they do not already have one. Not only will this help alleviate some of the tension and frustration in the short term, but it should also add great value to the home as a medium to long-term investment,

Those who do not have the space or the money to build a separate study could consider investing in some multi-functional furniture. Homeowners could easily convert a bedroom into a study by purchasing a Murphey bed that can tuck away against the wall when not in use. While cohabitating in a cramped home with limited space is not ideal, there are improvements homeowners can make to create a more comfortable living situation. For households on the verge of breaking point, it could be useful to set up an appointment with a RE/MAX agent just to find out if their living situation might possibly be improved.

“Sometimes homeowners do not realise how much their property has grown in value and may be surprised to learn how much they stand to make by selling. Similarly, homeowners might not be aware of new housing developments that are in their price range or might not have considered suburbs that offer great value for money. Speaking to a real estate professional can help homeowners become aware of all their options which might allow them to improve upon their current living situation – even if they thought they could not afford to do so,” Goslett concludes.

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