Buying property? The 3 questions you’re probably not asking…but should be

Buying property? The 3 questions you’re probably not asking…but should be

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

At some stage in the journey to property ownership, you’re likely to have Googled a ‘questions to ask’ or ‘things to consider before you buy’ listicle, which typically offers useful (if somewhat run-of-the-mill) advice for would-be owners. The price or general affordability of the property usually tops these lists, with the author sagely advising the reader to ‘Remember your budget!”

But while price is important, it certainly is not everything.

Explains Rahla Schaffer, Investment and Development Manager at Blok: “In a buyers’ market, those interested in purchasing property are spoiled for choice, as owners and developers slash property prices to remain competitive in a saturated playing field.

“Yet there is so much more to consider, and there are a number of factors that will become more and more prevalent, as we hurtle full-tilt into the future.”

Schaffer shares what she believes every would-be buyer is unlikely to think about, but should be seriously considering, before they sign on the dotted line.

Have I considered all of the details?

It is easy to be lured by price - and there’s nothing wrong with hunting for a good deal - but the trick is to ensure that you look at all the underlying details of a property purchase, says Schaffer. “Do not overlook things such as quality of the construction, the period of time since the most recent renovation, and how long it is likely to be until the next one is required.”

Renovations can often be expensive and lead to a longer timeframe to recover the investment, she explains.

“Don’t be dazzled by fancy (and often unnecessary) amenities - a walk-in wardrobe is not going to make your life better if the basic construction of the property is flawed.”

It is sustainable?

Schaffer believes that sometime in the not-too-distant future, we will no longer be talking about a property being ‘green’ - sustainability will simply be inherent in each and every new development that is built.

“The pandemic has spurred a growing interest in the environment, as consumers become more conscious of the long term impact of their short term decisions, as well as the damage caused by industrialisation,” she says.

Water-wise and energy efficient fittings, recycled materials, solar panels, and green spaces that promote biodiversity will become increasingly in demand, as consumers look to minimise their carbon footprint across every facet of their lives.

Are the amenities the property offers suited to me and my lifestyle?

Schaffer says that while amenities can significantly add to the attraction of a property, they need to be viewed through the lens of ‘will this add value to my life?’

"We all have different things that are important to us, and we need to look at whether the property will enhance and support the lifestyle we have or aspire to have.”

Schaffer admits that Blok has seen a significant shift in what consumers want, which, in turn, inspired its latest development, ONE26 ON M. “There’s more emphasis on everything local; we want more connection and we’re looking for new spaces and experiences to broaden our horizons after being isolated for such a long time.

“Ultimately, she says, “you're buying so much more than a house or apartment; you are buying the space and how it has been conceptualised and put together, the lifestyle it enables, as well as the reputation of developer.” Price, while important, is not everything - so choose wisely.

Writer : Sjarn Swart

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