There’s more to consider when buying a house than the house itself. The neighborhood can be equally, if not more, important. You might already have must-haves in mind for the type of property you will buy – at least two bathrooms to stay realistic, for example. Now you need to focus on finding the best neighborhood that fits your budget. Read on for some tips, techniques, and practices to help you find affordable neighborhoods, whether you’re looking at homes in Kampala, Wakiso or Mukono, or anywhere else across the country.
The most important factor when looking for an affordable home is price. No surprise there. But the listing price doesn’t tell you the full story. The seller could have simply picked a number because that’s what they would like to get, a price that might have nothing to do with reality.
It is imperative to look at price of the land in the area for example; how much is 11.5 decimals cost. The sales price per decimal, a real eye-opener…! If using a price-per-decimal-comparison, the homebuyer must be sure to compare similar-sized properties by consulting surveyors to establish the exact price per decimal. For example 10 Kilometer radius in Kampala may costs approximately 12-15 million Uganda shillings per decimal. You can see exactly how much location affects a home’s price.
- Explore other neighborhoods
If you already have a neighborhood in mind, take some time to look at the bordering neighborhoods as well. You might find more affordable options that have the same benefits. “As home prices increase within desirable areas, generally speaking, locations close to the Kampala city on the outside become in demand,” suggests Richard Malinga, a Homes in Uganda marketing Analyst
- Pick your neighborhood of interest and note the listings and sales prices. Then pick a bordering neighborhood that costs less to buy into. Compare amenities; the restaurants, grocery stores, nightclubs, cafes, stores, arts and entertainment areas, spas, and active-life spaces are located.
- Don’t rule out up-and-coming neighborhoods. Yes, you’re taking a risk here. “Up-and-coming,” as a description, might turn out to be negative if the neighborhood is really going nowhere. Areas with low sales volumes, and poor access to amenities
- If you spot major problems, such as rust, water damage, or cracks in the foundation, pass on the property as these are obvious signs of neglect are indications of deterioration of the property.
Factor in the cost of your commute
When it comes to figuring out commute time. Once you determine yours, figure your expenses. Although the house might be cheaper farther out, the cost in fuel and car maintenance and or taxi fares will be higher. Living an hour from work could potentially cost you as much in fuel and car maintenance costs – no wonder commute times are a top factor for those looking to move.
Determine if the lower-cost home purchase in the suburbs offsets the time spent commuting and the commuting costs involved outweigh the higher-priced properties more proximate to employment centers and urban areas, advises Richard. If you rely on public transportation to get to work, it is important to factor all these.
- Consider a house that’s not a house
When is a house not a house? When it’s a condominium. If you just cannot afford a single-family house in the neighborhood of your choice, look at other options. Condos and townhouses are often less expensive than single-family homes. But wait, there’s more. The advantage of a condo or townhouse is the reduction in exterior maintenance, which is typically taken care of by the property management.