It is vital that before entering the property market an individual considers what requirements they may have as well as what they will be able to afford.

It may seem self-explanatory that depending on the stage of a person’s life their needs with regards to their living space will change accordingly, but it is helpful to consider such things before making a concrete decision.

Students, for instance should consider the fact that their ideal accommodation would be lock-up-and-go, low maintenance housing that is close in proximity to their educational institution. For parents, however, it may be an excellent long-term investment opportunity to buy an apartment or home that can be rented out to other students and then utilized by their own children when they are studying.

Young, single executives are ideally positioned to buy their first property. With regards to their requirements, however, young executives are on par with students, in the sense that they should ideally look to buy property in a complex, estate or apartment block to maintain the lock-up-and-go ease with the low maintenance costs of smaller homes. Since buying a property is undoubtedly one of the most significant commitments and investments a young person can make it is vital that the investment is made rationally and well within the buyer’s means.

The next step in many young people’s lives will be when they move in with someone or get married. While a young couple’s lifestyle and requirements may be similar to those of the young, single executive, many may consider purchasing a home that may also serve as the future home for their expanding family. It is obviously wise to consider the future when planning to invest in property as it is a long-term commitment. The subsequent phase in a person’s life will be when they already have a family and are looking to purchase a home that meets the needs of their family and fits in with the many commitments and responsibilities they already have. Factors like the number of bedrooms, garden size or availability of a swimming pool may affect the decision-making process of a person at this stage in their life. Many families will also need to consider the proximity of the home to medical facilities, good schools and shopping conveniences.

Once a person has entered the golden years of their life, their property needs will once again change. More often than not, it will be necessary for a retired individual to downsize as a large family home will no longer be practical.

A smaller property requires less maintenance and is generally more affordable for a retired person, and allows them to leave the property unattended for longer periods of time should they need to travel or stay elsewhere. The newer retirement village developments generally offer 24-hour access to on-site health or care facilities, which should be a consideration when choosing a location or property for one’s retirement. It is important to consider what type of rights one will need when purchasing within a retirement estate, village or complex – some offer sectional title schemes while other developments may offer Life or Occupational Rights on the property.

And, finally, no matter the buyer’s stage in life, it is important to consider the financial implications and do all the necessary research before buying a home. When committing to a long-term investment like property, buyers must make sure to buy a house in the right location and that will meet their requirements in the future as well as provide a good return on their investment should they decide to sell.

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