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Words matter when seeking a home

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Regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa Adrian Goslett describes some of the most common interior design styles

Have you ever visited a property and immediately disliked it even though it met all your search criteria? Or walked through someone else’s home and wished it was yours?

These apparently unreasonable reactions could stem from your own design style. “Seeking a home is not just about finding a property in your preferred neighbourhood with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, all within your budget, says regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa Adrian Goslett.

“Buyers need to find a property that appeals to them. But, finding the words to describe one’s preferences to a real estate professional is often difficult, especially if one hasn’t really considered what one’s preferences are.” Goslett describes some of the most common interior design styles:

Traditional: This is a preference for properties that contain historical features. There are various traditional architectural styles in South Africa, most obviously the Cape Dutch-style homestead. Goslett says buyers should specify which kind of traditional home they’re after. These properties can only be found in older, established neighbourhoods that date back to your preferred historical period.

Modern: New developments offer the best chance of finding homes in this style, which is defined by clean lines and open-plan spaces. But many properties can be modernised, so don’t restrict your search to new builds only. “Modern builds can appear cold when unfurnished. Buyers should imagine their own furniture in the space.”

Industrial: Industrial spaces are often large, open-plan buildings with an industrial look and feel. Exposed brick, concrete flooring and antique fittings exemplify this style. These properties are mostly found in trendy, young neighbourhoods.

Cottage farmhouse: If this is your fancy, look out for “quaint”, “cosy” and “full of charm” in listing descriptions. “Often found in the more removed parts of town, cottage-style homes usually feature plenty of wood and follow a more neutral and muted colour palette. It is possible to create this style simply by using the correct furniture and decorative touches.” 

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