Can Children Acquire Real Estate Knowledge at Home?

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The business of real estate, according to Wikipedia is that of buying, selling, or renting of land, buildings or housing. The basic facts which, according to early learning experts, are considered well within the grasp of the average young person, as knowledge gained while living at home.

Research has proved the value of children’s daily observations, from practical and financial experiences within the home, in particular the culture of savings and fiscal discipline. Since early exposure to the topic of personal finance has been known to impact positively in adulthood, why then not also include the real estate conversation?

The psychological and emotional stability derived from early learning within a home environment, have been likened to that of solid building foundations, where stability is at the core of long lasting building structures. The limitless capacity of children of all ages to learn, irrespective of parental preferences for formal or informal schooling, motivates both hands-on and self teaching methods at home. And since modern technology allows unlimited self teaching, as well as shared and accompanied learning, parents are able to facilitate a broader spectrum of knowledge.

Early exposure to the workings of economic cycles would make sense of how ups and downs, both locally and globally create unpredictability. It would shed light on why and how financial insecurity would impact on individual household budgets, in relation to the property market. Shared experiences can simplify administrative processes around new housing, such as different types of contracts and agreements, from rentals to purchases, cohabitation or single living. Different cost structures, from taxes, levies, maintenance, to incidentals, each present with a different set of knowledge.

Also relevant, since the average home leaving age of children is currently around 25, are the pros and cons of ownership versus renting, and the role of financial institutions that extends beyond personal finance, to mortgage lending. Exposure to different entry levels of property ownership, from the smallest shareholding in a listed property fund without the burden of title deeds, to more onerous rental leases, are all in preparation to finally honour the demands of either joint or full title deeds.

The understanding of the state’s role in property, from the title deed register where land allocation and restitution is recorded, to municipal planning and infrastructural development might aid greater socio economic and historical perspective. Imagine when young, to have the ability to piece together the stages and sequences of events that enable property development, like observing that retail and educational facilities in and around suburban areas are supported by public transport facilities.

What are the benefits of property knowledge from a young age?

Savings culture - facilitates greater prospects for financial independence, cost effective management of a home, small or large, be it shared, rented, or owned.

Resilience – learnt from observing exposure to risk and unexpected costs.

Career prospects - across different sectors of the real estate industry and related fields of architecture, development, construction, engineering, quantity surveying, legal and financial industries.

Family Estates - invaluable knowledge in the event of divorce and death.

Lifestyle options – the selection of appropriate property solutions for rural, suburban or inner city living.

Loss of a home – dealing with the legal and financial consequences, as well as future protection.

The intrinsic value of early learning from any home - be it rented or owned, large or small, is synonymous with dividends earned from assets appreciating in value, over long periods.

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