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Q: We are looking at buying a home that is being built in a sectional title development.

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The development is great and offers all the modern amenities and facilities we want, but the actual area/suburb is not great. We really want a new home but obviously do not want to lose money down the line when selling. Would you recommend we rather buy an established property in a better area or take our chances with this great new development in a not-so-great area?

A1: Location is the most important factor in property acquisition, so rather size down and purchase in a great location. It will always be the better choice. – Andre van der Merwe, principal of the Chas Everitt franchise on the East Rand

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A2: Location is always the most important factor. – Charl and Adel Louw, Chas Everitt Cape Town Northern Suburbs, City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard franchises

A3: Weigh up the convenience and reliability offered by a new home versus the possible hassle of renovations required to upgrade the existing, older home. One factor to bear in mind is that the new development will likely attract other developers to similar projects in the surrounding area, thereby elevating the entire precinct – which will result in dramatic price increases. While this may take a little longer, most folks are looking longer term when purchasing a new home, so this aspect could offer the answer. – Paul Upton, head of developments for Dogon

A4: If the area is up and coming, then I would encourage potential buyers to invest. However, if the area shows no signs of future improvement, and is lacking in infrastructure, safety and security, then it’s advisable to scale down and look in an established or up-and-coming area to ensure future returns. – Gus van der Spek, chief executive of Aview Properties

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