When you buy a property – especially your first home – it’s comforting to know that you have total control over the space. You can paint the walls without asking permission from your landlord. And you can garden to your heart’s content.

But there is something important to keep in mind when buying residential property. While you can always freshen up a tired living room – or redo a dated kitchen – there are elements that you can’t change. And it’s these things that will affect the value of your property when you want to sell.

The Property Partnership have been in the business of property valuation for years. We know first-hand that there are a few factors that will trip up your sales process – and devalue your house. Before you buy a property, consider these points.

The single most important factor is location. We don’t just mean the proximity to the beach – or if it’s a “good area”. No, when we talk about location we are referring to a number of elements.

For example, what does the neighbourhood look like. Take a drive around the surrounding blocks and note the state of the houses, the gardens – and the security features. Mature trees and beautiful gardens are check boxes for every buyer. Are these houses well maintained? Are the gardens tidy?

Local amenities are also important when looking at location. Parks, good schools, and shopping malls are a great draw card when selling residential property. And homes with easy access to these will attract a higher price. However, be aware of the dark underbelly of these amenities. A park in the wrong area may attract vagrants and hooligans after dark – increasing the crime rate for those surrounding properties.

Speaking of crime, it’s a good idea to look for evidence of an area with high crime statistics. Are there high walls and recently installed razor wire? A lot of vocal guard dogs and electric fences may mean you that you need to ask a few questions.

If the residential property that you are interested in borders an open space, we definitely recommend that you find out what this land is zoned for. It may be conservancy – which is wonderful for wildlife, clean air, and peace. But it may also be zoned for business, a school, or a housing project. Your view of the valley may be shut off in a few years by a primary school’s wall.

Take note of the traffic: Some roads are impossible to enter during rush hour. Others are choked up twice a day during the school run. Some properties are subject to highway noise – and being uphill from a national highway with the trucks running twenty-four hours a day, may prove a nuisance.

Some buyers won’t buy a house below the road. Others think that a panhandle is a security risk.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider. The value of your property is based on many things that are outside of your control. So we urge you to look closely at these location factors before putting pen to paper.

The Property Partnership understand the issues that residential property owners face. We are here to help. Call us today and see how a professional valuation of your asset can benefit you. You can contact us on 0860 999 440 or visit www.property-partnership.co.za.