Semigration is the hottest trend in the property market. According to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group migration and moving is part of any property market.
He says while some are moving out of necessity for work, family or retirement, there is now a trend of people moving for better service delivery, security and lifestyle. This move is not always as drastic as to semigrate to the Cape and many simply choose a different area or perhaps a security estate.
While a move to a new city or area can be exciting, it can also be daunting to leave the familiar behind. Seeff says it is important to research the area, especially if it is another town or city. If possible, visit the area to get a first-hand view or get information from trusted friends or relatives.
In addition to investigating aspects such as schools, services and the availability of shops for basic necessities, you should also look at commuting times. Traffic can be a dampener for someone moving to a new area only to find that they are experiencing more travel stress.
Minimise the stress of moving by always including your children in the decision. While it is easier to move with pre-teens, it is much harder with older children who become attached to their schools and friends. Ensure their needs are managed carefully.
Financial security is vital when moving to a new area, town or city. Besides the moving costs, a new home also comes with added financial considerations such as utility and other deposits, new curtains or window coverings, security, and the like.
Get to know the community by joining Facebook groups even before moving to the new area to start integrating. These are also a valuable source of information and advice and can give you further insight into the new neighbourhood and community.
If you are unsure of where to buy, consider renting at first, especially if you are unfamiliar with the town or city. This will give you the opportunity to make the right decision about where to buy once you are based in the area.
In the event that you are unsure about how permanent your move will be, and you have an attachment to your house, you may want to retain it and rent it out for a while before making the final decision. You will, however, need to consider that there may be additional costs involved.
Fortunately, these days the internet is a web of information which enables you to view areas and search online for properties. Online listings also enable you to see much more of the property and you can even use the pin location to view it in the street and neighbourhood.
Moving from a freestanding house to a security complex or estate may also need adjustment because you are now part of a community which comes with rules of conduct such as noise and visitor parking. Be sure to familiarise yourself with these before you make the move.
Lastly, be careful of fake agents and properties. While the internet is a wonderful source of information and property listings, it is also full of fraudsters ready to swindle you. Only deal with credible estate agents regardless of whether you are looking to rent or buy. Get someone locally to verify the agent and property information if necessary and do not hand over any banking details or money unless you have verified the agent and property.