I like saying it a lot but it does not make it any less true-buying a house is a lot different than buying a loaf of bread. For starters, it goes without saying that houses are a lot more expensive than a loaf of bread. Secondly, most people only ever get to buy a house once. There are many other differences but these two reasons alone are why you should always be diligent and considerate when you make the decision to buy. While you can be cavalier when you buy a loaf of bread, the consequences of your buying the “wrong” house or apartment can scar you for a lifetime.
One big decision you have to grapple with when buying a house is location. The location of a house heavily influences the value of your house among other things. Instead of turning this into a treatise on how to choose the best neighbourhoods to buy a property in, we are going to make this easy. I have done the hard work for you and I am going to list my top five locations in Harare where you should consider buying a house and some of the reasons for me making that choice.
1) Madokero Estate
The name says it all. It is an estate that is located to the west of Harare. Madokero is not exactly a new suburb but it's not one of those old classic Harare Suburbs either. That means it has the best of both worlds. The houses there are not as overpriced as those in areas like Greendale or Mbare but most of them do come with title deeds instead of cessation. This means that you get more security with your purchase and there is less chance of you waking up to be told that you were the victim of a land baron. The houses are compact but adequately sized. Most properties in this area also have compact yards which is not necessarily a bad thing in this economy who has time to water the lawn? For the price of a stand in Borrowdale you can get a family home or even two.
2) Aspindale Park
Like Madokero, Aspindale Park is located to the West of Harare. This area is not exactly prime which is an odd thing for me to say while recommending something. The thing is that a slightly negative label is just informed by nothing more than perception and is not rooted in fact. Aspindale is a stellar suburb that is close to town and has awesome freshly built houses that are selling at very attractive prices. The houses also come with title deeds. Most houses are complete which means no construction noises or eyesores to look at. There is ZESA mains electricity although you would be wise to invest in solar given the state of our power generation. Aspindale is not only very close to town but it is a gated community which makes crime a rare thing here. Do not believe me? Just Google Aspindale and robbery and see for yourself.
So living kujecha is not your thing? Do you prefer the large lush neighbourhoods North of Samora? Then you really need to consider Vainona. Like the two suburbs above, Vainona is quite close to town but not too close. Unlike the other two above, most properties in Vainona come with large spacious yards, gentle slopes, well-manicured lawns and large houses with lots of bedrooms and multiple lounges. Unlike Borrowdale, the properties in Vainona are reasonably priced without being eye-gouging. Most of the properties in Vainona are also relatively new which means that your house will probably not need much if any renovations before you move in.
The houses in Borrowdale are super expensive but there is a reason why everyone and their aunt wants to live there. It’s like the Mercedes Benz of locations. Even when you shouldn't, you want to buy and drive one. Borrowdale is just as chic and flawed but it has its draws. Thanks to the efforts of the residents it is like a separate country far removed from the woes and troubles of Zimbabwe, the roads are well maintained and the neighbourhood watch actively works to thwart would-be criminals. Want a little hill all to yourself? Borrowdale can give you that. It is the Sandton or Beverly Hills of Zimbabwe. You could get better bang for your buck in say Greystone Park but that’s like saying you can buy an Audi instead of a Benz. It’s just not the same.
5) Mabvazuva Estate
Having just talked about Madokero I feel compelled to mention Mabvazuva too. Mabvazuva is naturally in the East and technically not even in the city of Harare but it's still the same province. Where Madokero is much closer to town, Mabvazuva is not and that is not necessarily a bad thing if you yearn for cleaner, more natural air. The stands are also slightly larger than those in Madokero which gives you a little bit more room for self-expression without being overwhelming. You can get your micro-garden up and running in your backyard. The neighbourhood is very new which again means lower prices for houses.
There you go. You are free to feel different but I believe those neighbourhoods are awesome and offer properties of value.