When buying a home it is the journey that counts
In an article I wrote in October last year about the purchase of residential property, I said that "the journey to buying a home is more important than the destination".
Since then, the Corona Virus crisis has rocked South Africa and the rest of the world, and thrown global markets into uncertainty and turmoil.
As a result, would-be South African home buyers may well be inclined to apply the handbrake on their dreams and plans - at least for the foreseeable future.
My advice to them would be to use this time of panic and confusion to do thorough research on what, exactly, is on offer in the residential property market right now.
They need to "zig" now, while others are still "zagging". The outcome of their curiosity may well be a surprise that causes them to adjust their journey, as well as its timing and destination.
The ultimate decision
What the world is going through right now, and the lifestyle changes that people are expected to make, could affect the ultimate decision on which homes, and in what locality, buyers choose to purchase.
For instance, a buyer might decide that 10, rather than 30, minutes in traffic is now much higher up on his, or her, list of priorities, and therefore adjust the areas in which they are searching.
Furthermore, they may have the view that, given the new trend of online buying - and thus less need to move around - there will be no great benefit in being close to a popular mall.
There are so many health considerations - not least the prevailing Corona Virus - that are now front of mind. They tend to sharpen the focus on the type of home a buyer eventually chooses.
A change in priorities
In the past, it wasn't that important to reside off a busy road; in a quieter (and fresher) area; high on a hill; with plenty of sun; and close to nature.
These factors will suddenly move higher up the list of priorities as we begin to emerge from the health-threatening ordeal the world now faces.
Meanwhile, it is important to use this opportunity - this time of confusion - to not only gain a deeper, and more comprehensive, understanding of the South African residential property market but also to remain curious, and to persistently continue researching it.
Author: Ronald Ennik