The modern developer goes to great lengths to offer a specific lifestyle that will appeal to a segment of the market. As a purchaser you would do well to evaluate exactly what these developments offer and how the offering fits with your lifestyle. Choosing well will ensure you derive the maximum benefit for the infrastructure costs that are included in the price you pay.
The foremost concern with property owners these days is that of security. Developments used to offer the very basics in terms of security. But the bar has been raised significantly these days to counter the very creative ways that criminals have to gain access to your property. A high wall just isn’t enough anymore.
Be sure to find out exactly what security is offered. Bear in mind that a development that is manned by security guards usually attracts higher levies than one that is unmanned. In most cases the extra cost is well worth it – but know what you’re getting.
What of the other facilities? In the smaller developments it’s normal to benefit from a certain amount of private open space for the common use of the residents. But many of the newer developments have taken this to the next level.
Lifestyle centres are often part of the package where residents can enjoy the use of swimming pools, tennis courts, and communal braai areas. In some instances there are restaurants or coffee shops residents can frequent, and function rooms where you can host events.
Emphasis is also placed on facilities for young kids – play areas and kids swimming pools. In most new developments the plot sizes are generally smaller than the conventional properties in the suburbs – so communal facilities give you access to facilities you may not otherwise have the space or the budget for.
Some of the new mega-estates have the space and budget to offer you even more lifestyle benefits. Jogging tracks, cycling trails, canoeing, sailing, and open-water swimming appeal to the sporty and those wanting an outdoor lifestyle.
Some lifestyle centres offer a gym, yoga centre and exercise rooms, and meditation spaces. Want to chill with the family? How about secluded picnic spots, forests, and lush landscaped areas for a quiet sundowner?
The more intimate developments are also paying more attention to the quality of their benefits. Access to fibre-optic networks, remote access to your security system, intricate water features, and the use of high quality natural materials all add to the lifestyle experience.
When sourcing property in a development, be sure to investigate all of the lifestyle options. Think “big picture”. Developers are looking at providing a holistic lifestyle that suits you. So choose the development that fits your lifestyle and offers you what you and your family really need.
It’s an exciting time to purchase in a new development. There is more choice and a stronger offering now than even before. Selecting wisely can ensure that you and your family purchase not only the home that you love, but access to the lifestyle you want in a secure environment.
Principal of Harcourts Platinum
Director of Harcourts South Africa