'Buy the house you love' and plan long term

GIVEN that property should be viewed as a long-term investment, it is essential for potential buyers to choose the right home that works for them and their lifestyle, as they may be there for some time, says property expert Adrian Goslett.

"While it is important for buyers to look at the property they purchase as an investment and consider factors that could affect the long-term appreciation of the property's value, it is just as important that they simply love the house and that it fits their lifestyle," says Goslett, CEO of Re/max of Southern Africa.

"Often buyers may look at the checklist of features that the home has on offer, but don't necessarily consider the experience of living in the home and how living there may impact on their daily lives. Unless they are property investors purchasing the property as part of their portfolio, buying a property purely for its possible resale value can be a mistake.

"Essentially, if home buyers bought a house that they loved and wanted to live in, chances are the property will have a good resale value and other people would want to live there too."

He notes that when buyers look at a property they should consider how they intend to use and live in the space. This will give them an indication as to whether it is the right home for them and if it will suit them for the period they intend to stay in it.

"Even a small home can work well if the space fits the buyer and is utilised in the right way. The buyer needs to ask questions such as what they like doing on weekends or during the evenings. Where do they like to eat, or is entertaining an important element of their lifestyle? These considerations will help evaluate whether or not the home or area is right for them and steer them towards the home that fits best.

"It's about learning to read the house and knowing what you are looking for," says Goslett. "

He advises that it is important that buyers try to think long term and see how their future plans could change their lifestyle requirements over time.

Although it is impossible to predict the future, it is still important to plan for likely scenarios.