As estate agents will attest, location is one of the primary factors to consider when choosing a property. But how do buyers ascertain what is a good area and what is not – and is there such a thing? According to Greg Brown, director at LexisNexis South Africa, there are various ways buyers can gain information regarding a property and its amenities.
Brown, who heads up the LexisNexis Data Services division says, “Getting a comprehensive overview of the area where the property of interest is located is of vital importance. Whether you are choosing a property as a primary dwelling, holiday home – or as an investment, conducting research into the amenities in close proximity to the property is a must.”
While traditionally property buyers have relied on an estate agent to undertake the necessary research and share their findings, more and more people are turning to online platforms to gain a comprehensive picture of a property, before closing the deal.
“The necessary information to make an informed decision is now at the buyer’s fingertips,” says Brown. “Research can be done online, in the comfort of your own home or office to check amenities, property values and movements in the area. Prospective buyers merely visit www.PropIQ.co.za, search for the property they are interested in and following payment, are given access to a comprehensive report that includes an aerial map, property trends as well as places of interest and convenience in the area.”
“There are many features and amenities to consider when buying a property,” says Brown. “The importance of different amenities will also be impacted by the stage-of-life of the buyer,” he says. “While buyers with children – or those planning to have children – will consider amenities like schools and parks to be of great importance, those in their twilight years may be more concerned about the proximity to hospitals, and the upwardly mobile professional may be more interested in the proximity to work, public transport or shopping centres.”
Investors will need to consider what tenants will be looking for – the size of the dwelling will impact who they are targeting – and what amenities may be of interest. A family home would be more appealing if it is in close proximity to schools, whereas a bachelor pad on a public transport route close to the mall would appeal to a singleton or couple without children.
Knowing the amenities in the area – before making a purchase – will help to determine the future saleability of the property.