Spot a house that’s for keeps


A family home is a like a life-long partner. And just like humans think carefully about the person they choose to spend the rest of their life with, we take our time deciding on the house we’ll make a home.

But that’s not where the similarities end. You can heed the same precautions for choosing a life partner when hunting for a home. It’ll help you avoid that frog of a home and land you the princely house of your dreams.

Don’t go for the first house you see

It’s only in fairy tales and with the odd exception that people marry the first person they fall in love with. For the majority of us, dating a few people is the norm. It helps you decide what you like and don’t like; it helps you decide what it is that you ultimately want.

Follow this same pattern when house hunting – go view a few houses before making up your mind. House three or four may be perfect for you. Or perhaps you still want to go with the first house you saw, but now at least you’ll be sure that it does in fact offer everything that you want and need from a home.

Be flexible

Most people will tell you that going into the dating world with a long list of ‘must haves’ you’re unwilling to budge on, will only lead to disappointment. You’ll have to compromise on some aspect sooner or later. This is true for a house too, so divide your list of ‘musts’ into wants and needs. For instance, you’ll need a garage for your car, but you want a swimming pool. The house with the garage but without the swimming pool is thus still a viable option.

Be realistic about what you can change

It’s what all the dating guides preach – don’t try to change your partner. Yet some people enter relationships, thinking they’ll change the bits of their partner they don’t like. But just like you can’t change everything about another person, you can only do so much to a so-called fixer-upper.

A house that needs a lot of revamping will require a lot of time, money and effort to become the home you need it to be. Do you have the necessary skills or money to make it happen? If not, rather continue to search for a home that’s a better option.

Don’t fall in love and ignore the faults

This is the flip side of what was just described. Here you fall in love so hard and fast, you don’t notice the things you don’t like. Only when it’s too late, do you realise your mistake. So before signing on the dotted line to make that house yours, take a step back and ask for a second visit to give the entire house a final once-over.

Do a proper inspection

So perhaps you won’t ask a potential partner for their credit record, bank statement or references, but you would spend the first few dates carefully listening to what they say and paying attention to their manners and such things. Practice this same amount of caution when buying a house by contracting the services of a building inspector to examine the structural features of the house, as well as the wiring and water systems.

When deciding on a building inspector, be sure to get one from the area, as they’ll be familiar with the local government’s rules and regulations. So say you’re looking at houses for sale in Pretoria, then get an inspector from Pretoria or Johannesburg.

Hopefully your dream home will come along quickly. At least with this list, you’ll know how to spot the house that’s right for you.


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