16 January 2018: Many first time buyers who are excited about owning property often underestimate the importance of a good location, until area or neighbourhood challenges pressurise them to relocate.
Calvin Ndlovu, Head of Operations at FNB Home Loans, says before signing on the dotted line, take time to research the neighbourhood and make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.
He advises potential buyers on what to lookout for when researching a neighbourhood:
- Engage home owners – speak to various home owners in the area and find out what they love most about their neighbourhood and challenges being faced.
- Houses for sale – check the rate at which houses are being sold as well as the reasons, if possible.
More often, if many people are eager to sell, there could be a cause for concern. Similarly, if only few properties are sold, there’s a likelihood it’s a good neighbourhood.
- Property prices – ask for area reports from your agent and check how prices have grown over the past five to ten years.
If prices are not growing as expected, try and establish the rationale, while also taking economic factors into account.
- Crime – although no area is a 100% crime free, some areas are of more concern than others. Area crime statistics can give you a good indication of what to expect.
- Schools and Day Care – many first time property owners relocate to get closer to schools and day care for their kids.
- Amenities – early morning traffic and travelling far to get to amenities can catch up with people in the long run. If you planning to buy outside towns think carefully about your decision.
- Use technology – innovative tools like nav>>> Home which can be accessed via the FNB Banking App and Online, allow customers to access reports and get information on an area, price trends, points of interest, number of houses sold as well as area lifestyle characteristics.
“Taking time to plan ahead and research a neighbourhood when buying property will not only save you time and money, but will also give you and your family peace of mind,” concludes Ndlovu.