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Summertime Home Buying Hints

Category General

Summer is officially here, and it feels as if the air that we breathe is somehow different. It could simply be that in our part of the world, Summer brings with it a time of Giving, Joy and Optimism and for many it is a time to relax, recharge and plan changes in their lives.

This state of mind makes for a perfect time to buy a new home. It is ideal to make such a big decision when one is not burdened by business stress and daily tasks. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when buying a new family home.

The area. When deciding on a specific suburb, it is vital to drive through the area and have a thorough look what is happening there as well as the surrounding areas. Look out for signs of disintegration, new construction sites, security concerns and general upkeep. Be sure to take the drive-through during the day, during peak traffic times and at night.

Amenities. Determine your need for schools, shopping centres, hospitals, sports facilities, etc.

Accessibility. Proximity to freeways might be important to you. Buying in an estate might bring with all the positive aspects the fact that it adds to your travel time because you stay in the very far corner of the development. Living in a one-way street also often causes frustration. For those who favour using public transport facilities such as buses, trains and taxis, access to these will be important.

Connectivity. Switch on your cell phone and check that there is a signal in the house. Use an App like 'SpeedTest' to check the download speed. No one wants to live in a 'black hole', even if the house itself is perfect. Fibre-to-Home is now widely available. If the property is not yet connected check if the area is earmarked to be connected in the near future.

When going house hunting its best to use the services of a professional estate agent. You will know you have found the right agent when they are available to serve you this time of the year. Such an agent will answer his calls promptly, be enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Listen carefully how he presents the area, the home and the seller. Ask many questions and request a statistical analysis of homes recently sold in the area. Comparing similar homes on the market is essential to give you an indication of competitive property prices.

Although the agent will give you a leaflet on the properties he has shown you, take your own photos and notes of the houses on your shortlist; it will help you remember what you liked or disliked of the particular house.

Develop a rapport with your Agent. He has valuable knowledge about the area and buying process. Ask lots of questions. What he doesn't know he may be able to find out for you. Why are the sellers moving (how motivated they are)? How long has their property been on the market? How many offers have been made? What's the lowest price they would accept? You'll be surprised how readily an agent will respond, provided you've put in enough spadework.

This Summer you may head to a coastal town and the bug might just bite to buy a holiday home. Depending on your needs and ultimate goal for this property, a different view is taken than from buying a permanent residence.

It will no doubt add to the value of the property to have a great view and to be within walking distance of the beach and restaurants. One should also consider the weather and in which direction the home should face.

If the home will remain vacant for lengthy periods, it will be better to buy a house or apartment more suitable as a lock-up-and-go. However, your needs might change, and you could later prefer to list the property for holiday letting or with "airb&b", so it is important to establish if that is allowed in terms of the Management Rules.

So here's to Summer and the joys that it brings, and to you, and the new home of your dreams!

Author: Adrie Barnard

Submitted 11 Dec 18 / Views 465