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Social Capital Considerations in Purchasing Property

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An article by my good friend who’s launching his book next month.  It’s a guide to everyone who’s thinking of buying a property.  Happy reading.     

— start — “Man is by nature a social Animal” – Aristotle Source: (image in public domain)

What are the factors most people take into consideration when purchasing property?  Three (3) common but by no means exhaustive factors are location, accessibility and design.  Frequently and habitually, people focus on the physical aspects or in other words, the physical locations, physical accessibility and physical design.  This is understandable and perfectly fine as the physical aspects are more easily measurable, comparable and tangible. However, due considerations should also be given to the social aspects and this article will attempt to shed some light on its importance.

Borrowing a concept from academia, Social Capital Theory delves into the social aspects of our lives.  The great Greek philosopher Aristotle famously proclaimed, “Man is by nature a Social Animal”. Applying Social Capital considerations, the factors presented earlier iterate as social location, social accessibility and social design.  

Physical location is commonly oriented towards the degree of proximity to economically desirable locations such as the city centre, work place, commercial areas, public amenities, recreational and entertainment facilities.  Social location, on the other hand, is oriented towards the degree of proximity to one’s loved ones, family, relatives, friends and acquaintances. Relationships and social networks require regular maintenance through contact and interaction or they will fade over time.  Is the location of the property conducive to maintain and enhance your personal relationships and social network? Is the social location of the property rich or is it at a backwater?

Physical accessibility relates to physical location and commonly refers to the ease of access to the property in terms of public transportation and private vehicles.  Security access and pedestrian convenience also fall in ambit or physical accessibility. Social accessibility refers to a different dimension altogether, it refers the social and cultural accessibility of the community on which the property is located.  Is the community open and accessible to you? Is the community conducive and nurturing to your personality and lifestyle? Do you see yourself easily blending in and becoming a meaningful member of the community?

Physical design concerns the building design, structural layout, material specifications, finishes, fittings, colour scheme and all other physical details of the property.  Social design relates to physical design and delves into the lifestyle usage of the property. How well is the property designed to facilitate social interaction among the occupants?  How well is the property designed to facilitate social interaction with your neighbours and other members of the community? Conscious and purposive social design produces design features such as enhanced family areas, “traditional-style” verandas, fenceless gardens, concrete benches at the gate piers, communal back lanes and other features that promote interaction and socialization.  

As is evident, approaching the commonly cited factors of location, accessibility and design from the lens of Social Capital considerations give a different but equally important perspective.  As “social animals” we derive happiness and contentment in life from social interactions with our loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, and others. In other words, our quality of life is dependent on both physical and social aspects.  Applying Social Capital considerations into our property purchasing decisions makes for a more comprehensive, thorough and holistic evaluation.

For more elaborations on Social Capital Theory and the application of Social Capital considerations in the context of purchasing properties, obtain a copy of Layman’s Guide to Purchasing Property 2.0 Social Capital Considerations by Dr Wong Teik Aun.  Official book launch and autograph session is scheduled on Sunday 13 January 2019 in Penang, Malaysia.  For more information kindly email

About the Author:

Dr Wong Teik Aun has over 10 years of experience in the property and finance industries.  He established his own consultancy firm providing project marketing and management services.  He worked with a public-listed company on an international joint-venture development project. He has experience in retail management, research publication and real estate agency sales.  — end —

Next suggested article:   First timer stress. Buy leasehold?

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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