Does a Neighbourhood Watch have any effect on your property’s value? A definite yes is the answer from Jaco Faurie, co-owner of the RealNet franchise in Klerksdorp, who is also secretary of the Klerksdorp Neighbourhood Watch Forum and vice-chairman of the Doringkruin Neighbourhood Watch.
“Through the Forum, which supports all the local neighbourhood watch organisations, we have been able to see clearly that wherever a neighbourhood watch is started, crime immediately drops significantly and the area becomes not only safer, but more attractive to home buyers. Properties in that suburb thus become more valuable over time”.
“In Doringkruin, for example, Deeds Office statistics show that the average house price has gone up by R50 000 in the past 12 months – and that there have already been 11 house transfers registered this year.”
In Klerksdorp the Neighbourhood Watch Forum and the SAPS are working together like a strong team and the effects can definitely be seen, he says, in those areas which have a strong local neighbourhood watch. “For example, in Meiringspark burglaries have decreased by 90%, while in Stilfontein there has been a significant drop in house break-ins.”
However, says RealNet Klerksdorp co-franchisee Pierre Ludick, the change is not only reflected in the crime statistics, but also in the way residents interact and are able to live. In Doringkruin, where he is also an active member of the neighbourhood watch, there is a much stronger community spirit, he says. “People now know each other better, they help each other and it is safe to walk in the streets. The children are safe riding their bikes and playing outside”.
“Prospective home buyers see this, as well as neighbours in this area having street braais, working together to clean up the neighbourhood, and fixing street lamps and replacing missing signs, and they want to come and live here. This protects and increases home values in the area and all because of a strong working relationship between Neighbourhood Watch, SAPS and the City Council traffic and cleaning departments.”
“The statistics also show that house prices in Stilfontein have remained stable over the past year, despite an increase in the number of properties on the market, while the average house price in Meiringspark has jumped from R617 000 to R680 000.”
“In addition,” says André Pretorius, chairman of Doringkruin Neighbourhood Watch and a proud RealNet customer, “this co-operation creates networking opportunities for local business owners and potential clients. We have become like family with all our friends in the community, and everyone prefers to do business with people they know and trust. I have seen this in my own business too.”
Ludick believes all estate agencies country-wide should get their agents to join the local neighbourhood watch groups.
“Agents travel and work in their suburbs daily, and that can add thousands of extra eyes to assist SAPS and Neighbourhood Watch to combat crime and build stronger communities.”