How do you keep these priorities in check while still finding your dream home?
Here are 7 tips that will help you find your perfect home (man-cave optional).
1. Get social
You can find out more about the neighbourhood by visiting Facebook to search for community groups or neighbourhood watch pages. It will give you a good sense of what the community is like, what the issues are (if any) and how safe the area is. Don't be afraid to ask for advice, there's no one better suited than someone who stays in the area. If the neighbourhood isn't on Facebook or Twitter, Google will be your next best bet.
2. Go local
Getting firsthand experience of the location is a good idea, get a group of friends together and visit one of the local businesses. It will give you a good sense of the neighbourhood and what amenities (sports, leisure, public transport, schools or shops) are available to locals.
3. Talk to the neighbours
If you're considering making an offer on a property, take a walk around the neighbourhood. Chat to your potential neighbours, they may be able to offer valuable insights.
4. Visit the local police station
Safety's an important consideration when purchasing a home. That is why it's important to visit the local police station to find out more about what's happening in the area before you make an offer. It's also a good idea to chat to Neighbourhood Watch and security companies in the area.
5. Research property prices
There are some great tools available online. It's a good idea to have a look at the municipal valuation of the property. You can usually access it for free online. Property24's Property IQ will give you a host of information ranging from when the property was purchased, how much it was purchased for, and what other properties have recently been sold in an area.
6. Think outside the box
It's important to have a clear idea of what you are looking for in a potential home, once you do, have a look at what you can get outside the areas you initially considered, you may be pleasantly surprised.
7. E-mail alerts
Setting up email alerts is a great way to stay informed about new properties that come onto the market. Signing up for newsletters from various estate agents will also keep you in the loop.
Happy house hunting!
Take a look here for other articles from Santam that will give you further insight on what you need to know about buying a home.