Advice and Opinion

Consider the neighbourhood before buying a home

Waterkloof Heights, Seeff
Waterkloof Heights: if you prefer the tranquillity of the suburbs, then Waterkloof Heights in Pretoria East is an ideal choice, especially for family buyers looking for an ideal area to raise children according to Seeff agent, Corli van Heerden. Prices range from around R2.49m for a spacious family house with a stunning garden and swimming pool to around R10m to R15m for a top end luxury property.

These days it is all about lifestyle and convenience and where your home is located is now as important as the house itself when it comes to buying. If you are going to have a happy home, then you need to choose a neighbourhood that meets your lifestyle needs. Seeff’s agents give some advice on what to look out for:

At the top of the list, is convenience according to Steve van Wyk, managing director of Seeff Centurion. “With traffic and travelling time on the rise in almost every metro and town, you will want to choose a neighbourhood that offers relatively convenient access to your place of work. A good transport network is also important, especially if you are reliant on public transport”, he says.

“Think ahead, especially if you may want to start a family”, says Lynne de Vos, licensee of Seeff Pretoria North. “While you may just be starting out in life, thank about future needs such as childcare facilities and access to good schools especially since there is competition for space and first option goes to local residents”.

Van Wyk adds that shops and basic amenities are also important because you do not want to spend your weekends travelling either. “Be sure to also check for other basic needs such as places of worship, a gymnasium or sport clubs”.

Seeff Pretoria East managing director, Gerhard van der Linde, says that since you are making a substantial financial investment, you will want to check how property performs in the area. “Does the area have a history of good capital value growth? You want to invest in an area where your asset will not just retain its value, but grow”, he says.

“Be sure to also check out the neighbours”, adds Ms de Vos. “Take a good look around before putting pen to paper. If you are buying in a security complex, check the rules as well. You would not want to find out that you have no say about rowdy parties after you have already moved in”.

The choice between urban and suburban is another consideration. Are you ready for the noise and stress of an urban area, or would you prefer the tranquility of the suburbs. The latter is often preferred by families as the houses tend to have more yard space and the neighbourhoods sometimes come with green belt areas or parks for walks and the odd picnic. Van der Linde says that the desire for a secure, suburban lifestyle is the reason for the popularity of lifestyle estates.

“If you are not settling on a lifestyle estate, then you may want to check whether there are green belts and parks that are child and pet friendly”.

Lastly, check out the safety record of the neighbourhood and whether there are community initiatives such as a Neighbourhood Watch that you can join and become part of the taking care of the community.

“The greater Pretoria and Centurion areas offer an excellent lifestyle with a good mix of city and suburban living on offer with something to suit every budget and lifestyle need”, says van Wyk. “Prices too are still very affordable for such a world-class city – from compact starter apartments to luxury suburban homes, golf and lifestyle estates, you are sure to find just the right neighbourhood here. And, he concludes, it will be very easy on the budget”.