Would your house suit an expat who is looking to buy or rent in Zimbabwe?

A recent survey of expats living in Zimbabwe - or thinking of moving here - revealed some interesting pointers as to their motivations and concerns.

Top of the list of  attractions was space and sunshine. Zimbabwe is blessed with copious amounts of these and are the biggest pair of attractions for expats who invariably hale countries where the norm is compact homes, postage stamp gardens and perennially grey skies

High on the list of concerns was the issue of services - water, electricity and connectivity. In first world countries these are taken for granted but in Zimbabwe they are a tad more problematical.   A property with a good borehole - well plumbed in, an inverter system or generator and solar geysers would be a big plusses.  If your home is in an area served by fibre optics then this would be seen as a big positive and commercial advantage

Expat wives talk about security.  Here the requirement is for perimeter security, alarm systems, guard patrols and even safe rooms.

Proximity to an International school is important to those with children. Most expats are happiest when sending their offspring to the international school in Mount Pleasant, making this suburb particularly popular.

Funding is never far from expat thinking. Compared to prices in the UK, USA, RSA and China, Zimbabwean property prices and rental rates are generally quite high even though they have eased by some 30% over the past year.

Property ownership laws make it is perfectly legal for foreigners to own a house in Zimbabwe providing the funds are brought in from an external account to pay for it. On disposal, it is easy to get approval to externalise the proceeds of a sale. The situation is more complicated where a property is owned by a company so this is an investment option to be avoided.

Child care and health services feature prominently in lists of concerns. However,  private health care, the Avenues Clinic and competent local nannies easily allay most fears.

Expats question the modernity of available housing. The vast majority of homes in Zimbabwe are rather old fashioned by international standards and most appliances leave much to be desired. Prospects of a sale or a rewarding lease are greatly enhanced if your home is tastefully refurbished and fitted with the latest electrical gadgets.