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Most homeowners seek to increase the value of their property by upgrading the exterior and renovating the interior. Although home improvements affect property value, the presence of certain amenities increases its value by an estimated 10 to 15%. Similarly, demand for the property increases by approximately 30%.

This is why the presence of the following amenities should be taken into consideration when purchasing residential property:

  • Curb appeal. The façades of houses, landscaping and the general cleanliness of a neighbourhood contribute to creating the first impression among buyers – favourable or otherwise.
  • Infrastructure and easy access. Wide, clean streets with good drainage make a big difference. Additionally, a neighbourhood should ideally have multiple entry and exit points and be easily accessible through the city’s major thoroughfares. At the same time, it should not be too close to streets that have heavy traffic and congestion on a daily basis.
  • Public transport. Ease in access to and from bus stops and taxi stands is generally viewed favourably. However, public transport stands that are too close to a property can be perceived as a security concern.
  • Neighbourhood parks. Providing recreation for residents, parks with walking/jogging tracks and play areas for children are definitely an added attraction, especially in suburban neighbourhoods where recreational avenues are limited.
  • Schools, healthcare and other amenities. Neighbourhoods that have good schools and medical facilities in the vicinity are more expensive that those that don’t, as most homeowners are willing to pay a premium to live there. Having a commercial area nearby (but not too close) is an added advantage and also impacts property prices favourably.
  • The lifestyle element. The presence of recreational avenues such as cafés, clubs, gyms, malls, restaurants, shopping centres, restaurants, spas and similar services in the vicinity enhance the neighbourhood profile and raise property prices significantly.

– Uzma Nawaz

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on October 21, 2012.

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