3 min read There are very few people by now who don’t acknowledge that renewable energy is the way of the future, but there is that pesky problem with managing peak demand, and the storage of, for example, solar energy for ‘a rainy day’. Storage is the main constraint for the installation of renewable energy, so it’s not surprising that this is a growing field.
3 min read Living in Mauritius is basically like living in paradise, but there is more to this lovely island than the beaches and luxury resorts. When I go overseas and tell people I am from Mauritius, they’re pretty envious that I get to wake up to white sandy beaches every day. Yet, there is so much more to Mauritius than what you see in the pages of travel brochures.
2 min read Mauritius has successfully eliminated SARS-CoV-2, and is taking careful precautions to avoid importing the virus. So, while tourism is important to the island nation’s economy, they are taking it slowly and only opening the borders for Mauritian nationals, residents and tourists travelling to Mauritius for long stays.
3 min read ‘If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?’ You probably recited that – sing-song squeaky voice and all – as a kid, but I’ll bet you had no idea what it was all about. Well, Peter Piper (or Pierre Poivre) was a real person, and his (non-pickled) ‘peppers’ are now in Mauritius. Or at least their descendants are, and you can amble around in their shade inhaling their delicious scent.
5 min read Port Elizabeth has hit Day Zero – that dreaded spectre that had Capetonians tossing and turning in their unwashed sheets a few years ago. In some parts of the city the taps have – literally – been turned off, and water is trucked in by tanker. All this while Cape Town is revelling in full dams and continuing rainfall, but there is a distinct possibility of a Day Zero in Gauteng too. How did we get here?
4 min read Moving to a retirement estate can be – and should be – a positive, liberating experience. It’s a line in the sand that states that you are no longer planning your life around your children, and that you have time for yourself. It’s a time to decide exactly how you want to live without the albatross of a huge suburban home, lawn, garden and two-car garage full of tools hanging around your neck. It’s time to lighten up. There’s even a word for it: dostadning.
3 min read In a constrained economy like that of South Africa, the possibility of new construction projects is limited. This, along with the rapidly increasing cost of living as a result of the increasing cost of fuel, the inflation rate, and the VAT hike of 2018, has put pressure on consumer spending. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news.
3 min read When we talk of semigration now, we are no longer just talking about the familiar pattern of movement from Gauteng to Cape Town, but about the worldwide counter-urbanisation or de-urbanisation movement, which sees people actively moving away from cities to smaller towns in search of a less stressful, more peaceful country lifestyle, while still retaining their city jobs, if they wish to do so, by working remotely.
2 min read It’s spring – that means that summer can’t be far behind, and summer means Christmas. And Christmas is about more than just gobbling turkey, guzzling mince pies, and glugging down bubbly. Christmas is about giving, sharing, and – mostly – about children. So why not take the opportunity – as a community – to share the love?
4 min read They say truth is stranger than fiction, and we all know that facts have a way of inspiring fiction. But, sometimes, fiction has a way of superseding fact, and nowhere is this more evident than in Mauritius, where you will find monuments to famous people who never actually lived. But, hey, why should we let facts get in the way of a good story?
2 min read If you love beautiful design in the bathroom and kitchen, and recognise the importance of excellent quality that doesn’t compromise on functionality, Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers are the perfect fit for you. While Hansgrohe is known for being a leading bathroom specialist, kitchens have also become an important focus for them in recent years. Their innovative, state-of-the-art mixers are testament to their longstanding commitment to quality.
4 min read Albert Einstein, who was a pretty smart fellow, did not say: ‘If bees disappeared from the face of the earth, humans would have only about four years left to live.’ But, even though he didn’t say it, if anyone had asked him what would happen if bees disappeared, he may well have answered thus. Okay, Einstein didn’t know much about bees, but Mark Collins does, and he estimates that ‘bees pollinate more than every third mouthful of everything we eat. Without their contribution, we would have a serious problem.’
3 min read Most estates that allow pets make it clear that dogs must be within their yards at all times unless out on a walk with their humans. But, what about cats? Shouldn’t there be a rule about cats not roaming the estate, hunting small animals, getting into fights with other cats – and even dogs – and creating trauma for any hapless driver who may squash one on the road? (Granted – the cat would suffer trauma too.)
3 min read While the country slowly starts to open up after an extensive lockdown period, the spread and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic are far from over. As scientists begin to understand the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new methods of potential spread are emerging.
6 min read Joburg residents – and those in other urban centres in South Africa – have been experiencing their streets in a novel and gratifying way during the COVID-19 lockdown. Could it become a way of life?
4 min read The rapid onset of COVID-19 brought with it a new way of thinking about the way that we do almost everything. Even in lower levels of lockdown, where much has returned to business as usual, there remains a need to practise increased hygiene and safety protocols to protect those who are most vulnerable, which include residents of retirement estates.
3 min read Many people beat the summer heat by cranking the air conditioning. However, air conditioners guzzle power and spew out millions of tons of carbon dioxide daily. They’re also not always good for your health – constant exposure to central A/C can increase risks of recirculating germs and causing breathing problems.
3 min read Property owners in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban have been granted rates relief, softening the economic blow of COVID-19. That’s the good news. The better news is that the benefits apply to a range of ratepayers, from residents to businesses.
3 min read The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies has published draft policy and policy directions on the rapid deployment of electronic communications networks and facilities for comment. Submissions are due by 3 September 2020 and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The below is an overview provided without comment.
2 min read It’s seemingly inevitable that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to result in a recession of some form – exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, a huge budget deficit, widespread revenue losses and a sharp drop in national GDP. But what does this mean for investors?
4 min read A new cloud-based system that can detect changes in plant communities could be a valuable diagnostic tool to help developers and estate managers to monitor and optimise biodiversity – particularly on large properties with extensive natural areas.
5 min read You’ve decided to bravely break away from purchasing a few cubic metres of ‘builder’s beige’ when it comes to painting or repainting. But, before you gaily decorate the frail care centre bright yellow because it’s cheerful, the restaurant red, because it increases appetite, and the spa blue, because it is said to be calming, be aware that it’s not that simple.
3 min read Escalating crime, load shedding and a dwindling rand are forcing South Africans, almost en masse, to seek greener pastures in foreign lands. Australia and New Zealand remain the top favourites, purely because they offer similar climates and lifestyle choices, but these are followed closely by the United Kingdom – with its strong pound sterling and first-world benefits.
3 min read In a bid to fuel much-needed movement in the property market, the UK government has raised the stamp duty threshold across the country, effective immediately. Until 31 March 2021, home buyers and investors in England and Northern Ireland only need to pay stamp duty on properties costing more than £500,000, rather than £300,000, saving them as much as £15,000.
3 min read The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in the student housing sector, because the number of international students coming to the UK has fallen dramatically. This has left cities like Cardiff with an oversupply of high-end, purpose-built student accommodation blocks (PBSAs).
2 min read Nearly 12 million people in South Africa do not have adequate housing and the government’s plan to build more than 2 million homes over the next ten years will be significantly hampered by the national lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 min read At the age of 33, I am now a property owner. Words I never thought would come out of my mouth. Ever. I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, for seven years and I rented during that whole time. I moved back to the UK four months ago and have just completed the purchase of my first ever property.
3 min read As second-tier cities become increasingly on trend for South Africans on the move, property developers are responding with home offerings for the lifestyles of tomorrow. No longer is a move out of Cape Town or Johannesburg to these new boom towns considered “trading down”. Rather, it represents a bold and progressive decision to seek a better quality of life, often in more scenic locations where the price tags on homes are less likely to break the bank.
9 min read Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.
4 min read Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.
5 min read Interesting how people who will spend hundreds of rands on a carefully selected bottle of wine will happily grab a bag of pre-ground, almost certainly stale, coffee to serve after the meal – probably with an elegant potstill brandy or a cognac. It’s taken us a while to learn about wine, but we’ve only just started the coffee learning curve.
4 min read Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.
4 min read When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.
5 min read How do we continue buying or selling properties in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster? How do we to continue providing value-adding and secure and safe property services?How do we make use of aid that can assist real estate professionals to keep the lights on?
2 min read Buying a property is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. So, to avoid the stress of waiting for loan approval after you have signed for your dream home, get a formal indication of the home loan you can qualify for before you even start looking at houses. There is that a free web-based service that is easily available, paperless and quick.
5 min read Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.
4 min read If you’re thinking of retirement, why not move to an estate with a view? Even if you continue working part-time, which is what many modern retirees do, you’ll probably have a lot more leisure time – all the more reason to have scenic landscapes to immerse yourself in and enjoy. We found seven estates around the country with spectacular views in a range of price brackets. All of them offer healthcare and excellent leisure facilities.
4 min read The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.
3 min read Your new home is almost certainly the most important purchase you will ever make in your life but, like many of the good things in life, it may require some sacrifice and discipline. It’s worth it, though, so plan proactively to improve your affordability by implementing some simple strategies, namely saving on everyday expenses and proactively managing debt.
3 min read Purchasing a home will most likely be the biggest investment decision you make, and one that comes with specific financial obligations – but also enormous advantages. When you appreciate the benefits of home ownership, you will no longer see obligations such as repaying your loan or maintaining your home as a burden, but as a route to investing in your and your family’s future.
3 min read When you apply for a bond, financial institutions consider your affordability to be equally as important as – if not more important than – your credit history. So drawing up an accurate monthly household budget will assist in determining what you can afford, and how you can adjust your budget to improve your affordability.
3 min read There is nothing more exciting – or daunting – than buying your first home. It’s a rite of passage, and also a passport to financial, emotional, social and family security. There are so many advantages to home ownership, but it’s a big step, so it’s worth planning carefully.
8 min read At a press briefing on Thursday 30 April, basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced that – if all goes according to plan – school admin staff would go back to work on 18 May, and Grade 7s and Grade 12s may return to school on 1 June. It sounded nice, but it’s really not that simple, and – as at 18 May – it doesn’t look as if that timeline is going to pan out. But, more importantly, how and when will our children return to schools, and will they be safe when they do?
5 min read Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.
4 min read On 15 March 2020, in terms of Section 3 of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, the Covid-19 pandemic was classified as a national disaster, due to its potential severity and magnitude. Pursuant thereto, on 29 April 2020, the Risk Adjusted Strategy Regulations were published. These Regulations can be made available upon request.
5 min read As the sounds of vuvuzelas and loud, joyful music – part of a now-global display of appreciation for essential workers – died down some time after 19:00 on Easter Monday 2020, I lit the flame under two large pots of curried vegetable and lentil soup. Prepared earlier in the afternoon, each pot of soup was destined to feed the staff at one of the two gatehouses that control entry and egress for Dainfern in the north of Johannesburg.
2 min read COVID-19 has had a massive impact on how we interact with others. This impact is particularly felt by essential services staff, who have to continue working despite unsafe conditions. We examine the dangers of COVID-19 to estate security staff, and what companies are doing to keep both their clients and workers safe during this uncertain time.
3 min read As we change the way we physically interact, all industries have to change the way they do business – and the real estate industry is no exception. Even before the lockdown, estate agents and prospective sellers were reluctant to let people into their houses – and prospective buyers were reluctant to enter houses where the absent owners may or may not be carriers of SARS-CoV-2. So, even once the lockdown is over, it’s clear we will have to make some serious changes in the way we market, buy and sell property.
5 min read There can be few things as rewarding as watching a healthy natural mini biome unfold in your own garden. A close encounter with one of our amazing four-legged reptiles reminds me that biodiversity can be maintained in even the smallest of suburban gardens.
3 min read The COVID-19 lockdown threw the property industry into a state of uncertainty, with numerous new developments having to be mothballed for a while. But things are getting back on track, and Gauteng’s estate developments are going ahead with releases of new unit sales or building packages as planned. We rounded up a few.
2 min read We’ve seen three consecutive drops in the repo rate since the start of the year, the most recent being due to the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Together these have brought the prime lending rate down from 10% at the start of January to 7.75% now. This is a welcome relief for anyone paying off debt, but the opposite is true for those relying on positive interest earned.
2 min read We hope that the increased police and army presence on our streets means that we’re safer from crime as well as the Corona-19 virus during the lockdown. But there will always be those opportunistic thieves that take a chance, so here are some tips from Trellidor to help you stay safe while home during the lockdown.
4 min read When conflict arises, it can result in stress. And, when stress levels increase, so does the likelihood of conflict and confrontation. But, remember, if you’re feeling stressed, chances are that your residents and home owners are feeling much the same. It’s a vicious circle that someone has to stop – and that someone is you. So how can you be the tough guy, and make those hard calls, while still being understanding and kind?
4 min read The crisis we are going through is unprecedented in our lifetime – even in living memory. But it’s not unprecedented in the history of the world and, almost invariably, this kind of crisis leads to immense social, technological and philosophical change. The one thing we can be sure of is that life after COVID-19 will be different, but we can’t be sure of the form that difference will take. So it’s up to us to decide how we want to change, and how we want to live in the future.
3 min read Buying a second property as an investment and/or a holiday home has always been tempting – and even more so over the last few years; the demand has increased, and the marketing and management of short-term rentals have become easier with online portals such as Airbnb, SafariNow and SA-Venues. But is it still viable?
4 min read Johannesburg lays claim to being the largest artificially cultivated urban forest in the world, which is great, even if it’s not entirely true. It’s great because it instils a sense of pride in the trees of the city, encouraging citizens and authorities alike to nurture them, and to plant more. And the Soweto Greening Project is extending that tree-planting spirit with – so far – more than 200,000 trees having been planted in Soweto. Not surprisingly, cities worldwide are becoming more and more creative in their greening efforts, with possibly the most spectacular of these being the innovation of vertical forests. Would this be a good idea here too?
3 min read We all want to know that our homes are secure, and that our families are safe, but we also don’t want to feel that we’re living behind prison bars. So we got together with Peter Rawson from Trellidor to find out about their latest offerings.
4 min read If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.
3 min read As the panic rises in South Africa as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, several people have started panic buying (groceries like sanitisers, tinned food and toilet paper are flying off the shelves) and they are taking measures and precaution to self-isolate.
3 min read Our ancestors were devastated by diseases like smallpox, polio and measles, but we hardly give these ailments a thought. They’re just not a threat, due to an interesting phenomenon called herd immunity – a term that’s being optimistically bandied about in relation to COVID-19.
3 min read Owning a pet offers many health and emotional benefits. Not only can pet ownership reduce stress, but pets also provide companionship and purpose. However, there are several reasons why pet ownership may not be suitable for everyone, so it’s vital to weigh up the pros and cons before committing to owning a pet.
3 min read According to various experts, mobility is the key to healthy ageing – but the truth is that holding onto it takes plenty of work. Many will agree that in order to retain mobility as you get older, you simply have to embrace it every chance you get. In other words, keep moving to stay supple, and keep motivated to keep moving.
5 min read The fishing at the Makhangoa Community Camp on the Bokong River in Lesotho is something of a crapshoot, but when you hit it right, well then all your troubles fade away as the reel screams. The Bokong River, which is one of the main feeders of Katse Dam, is a spectacularly remote spot, and troublesome to reach. Where the road ends, and donkey tracks provide the only access to the clear waters of the Bokong, you can – if the gods favour you – find fishing that is out of this world.
3 min read When 97-year-old Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s consort, crashed his Land Rover, injuring two bystanders, the first thing people asked was whether – at that age – he should have been driving at all. In fact, should there be an upper age limit for driving, just as there is a lower one? It’s a provocative question, and one that overshadows a far more sensible one: if you’re living in a retirement estate, does it still make sense to own and drive a car?
4 min read Conradie Park, a new mixed-income, mixed-use housing development in Cape Town, has been launched for sale to the public. Its marketing campaign lauds its ‘affordability, sustainability and security’, but how exactly will it be funded and maintained in the long run?
4 min read Corporate social investment is a great way for companies – and for estates – to give back to the community. But, while any CSI is a good thing, there is a huge difference between merely diverting funds to a good cause and actually getting involved with the community on a person-to-person basis. The former – at best – improves living standards for the target community, while the latter builds real relationships that can grow into an ongoing circle of benefit.
6 min read Under capitalism, the argument goes, it’s every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour.
3 min read As South Africa becomes more water-stressed, many home owners and estate managers are considering replacing lawns with artificial turf. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you need to look carefully at how the two options stack up against each other in terms of eco-friendliness, durability, and convenience.
3 min read E-bikes are like ordinary bicycles, expect they have an electric motor attached. This motor provides assistance relative to the amount of energy you exert while riding it. As more South African cities lay down bike-friendly roads, the sales of e-bikes have surged, which leaves many people wondering if they’re a viable alternative to normal modes of transportation.
< 1 min read Marina Costas of BBM Law is offering free telephonic or Zoom 30 min conversations from Thursday the 2nd of April until the end of lock down from 11 am – 1 pm. All Trustees can join one meeting and ask top of mind questions around the implications and requirements of the lockdown on Sectional Title Schemes.
2 min read A Life Right purchase is a transaction where you and your spouse/partner, as the nominated occupants, attain the right to live in a particular house for the duration of your lifetime, after which your capital is returned with an additional profit share, depending on the options chosen.
2 min read In the world of property development, it is a rare and pleasant thing to find a developer that lives his life and carries out his business dealings based on the highest standard of ethics and moral conduct. It has been my pleasure over the past six years, to serve Okkie Potgieter and the Westacre Development team on The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village project. With Okkie having recently announced his retirement, Dion and Johann Potgieter have stepped up to continue his considerable legacy.
3 min read The Somerset is immensely proud of their beautiful new Care Center and are thrilled to show it off. What you see is the result of collaboration between CPOA & Westacre. Great care has been made in the design of the Care Centre to be residential and not feel like a hospital or institution.
3 min read We are moving into uncharted territory with the countrywide lockdown, with many people not entirely sure what is and is not allowed. And, for people living in residential estates, the additional question arises: ‘Where does my home begin and end?’ We asked Marina Constas, a director of BBM Law, to clarify some widely held concerns and uncertainties.
4 min read When you’re buying in an established estate, you can often get a good deal if the house needs a bit of TLC – and the kitchen is where most people start. The cupboards and counters may still be fine, but built-in hobs do tend to show their age, so they are one of the first things you’re likely to want to replace.
3 min read The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is an invitation into the cellars, hearts and homes of the people of this Swartland Valley. It is an immersive experience, and a celebration of the abundance of the land and all that is produced in the area.
3 min read Although capital gains tax (CGT) applies to anyone selling a property, it is of particular interest to retirees who have owned a property for 30 or more years. Especially when that property has gained significant value due to the popularity and growth of the neighbourhood. A property bought in Camps Bay for R41,000 in 1971 may now be worth around R15 million, attracting a significant portion of CGT.
3 min read Okay, it’s official. COVID-19 is a pandemic – and it’s caused a national and international emergency. This is serious, and – yes – there is a risk of contracting the disease, and even of dying from it. But is this really the biggest risk? As with many things, it is easier to see the problems ‘out there’ and ignore the ones in our heads. So, while I’m not for one moment denying the seriousness of COVID-19, let’s look at the real risks.
3 min read Single moms have become a force to be reckoned with in the property market. Developers who want their estates to appeal to this growing demographic will need to keep in mind factors such as security, open spaces, schools and modern living units.
3 min read Most of us can point to the black stuff growing in our shower and say: ‘That’s mould.’ Fewer people can say what mould actually is. There are thousands of different species of mould that all spread through spores. Some of these moulds can cause significant health concerns, ranging from allergies to asthma attacks, and even fungal infections in immunocompromised people. Understanding what mould is, and how it grows, is the first step towards preventing it from growing and spreading in your home.
2 min read Understanding what mould needs to grow is the first step to controlling mould in your home. By tweaking some conditions in your home, you can almost stop the growth of mould entirely, but we don’t live in a sealed bubble, so it’s also important to know what you should do if you do find mould growing in your home.
4 min read Dr Seuss famously wrote One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but he missed the most important, at least for South Africans: the yellowfish. There are few places in South Africa where you are far from fishing opportunities for yellowfish. There are six different species in various geographically separate watersheds. Whether you plan to fish for them, or perhaps introduce them, understanding the differences can be important.
3 min read Living in an estate is typically a pleasant experience, with a strong sense of community as well as an idyllic lifestyle. Unfortunately, problem pets can easily disrupt this lifestyle. They can be noisy, disruptive, smelly, and can even cause physical harm to other residents. And, in some cases, the owners appear to be oblivious to the problems their beloved pets are causing. These situations often lead to tensions in the complex, especially if the owner is unwilling or unable to resolve the issue.
3 min read After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.
3 min read There’s no better way to start a morning than with a croissant and coffee – and that’s not just because, as Bridget Jones says, ‘started having hazelnut pastry and chocolate croissant every morning, and lost loads of weight. So will have cappuccino and croissant as usual.’
3 min read Every day the average working person receives more than 100 emails. Many are clearly garbage, and get deleted without opening, but you can’t just delete – or even file – mails from colleagues, clients or your boss without reading them. Or can you? You can if you just use your subject lines effectively and creatively.
2 min read More and more South Africans are evaluating the feasibility and advantages of investing in residential communities. Large mixed-use developments are sprouting up all over the country, and buyers are opting to invest in a secure lifestyle estate, where a return on capital is highly probable.
4 min read The FNB Property Barometer reports that the number of new townhouses and apartments nationally accounts for 60% of all new stock on the South African property market. This is a significant increase of almost 50% in just the last three and a half years; previously reported as 29% in 2015, and 13% in 2000.
2 min read The value of a tax-free savings account (TFSA) is seen in the long term. Once the investment is sizeable enough, the tax-free aspect becomes noticeable on the growth. It may not make sense for you to open a tax-free investment for yourself, but starting one for your child could be a fantastic idea.
5 min read Most people who work in an office from, say, nine to five, spend between one and three hours every day commuting. That is time that could be spent at the gym, strolling on the beach, shopping, doing chores, cooking delicious meals, walking the dog, or playing with the kids.
3 min read Why choose between buying something beautiful and buying something useful when you can do both at the same time? Designer and artist William Morris once wrote: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ Functional art combines both these directives, giving you the best of both worlds.
3 min read Joburg is fast becoming a megacity, but how does it compare with existing African megacities for return on investment? Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos all carry the status of megacity – cities with a population of at least 10 million inhabitants. Fast on their heels are Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Johannesburg, which are predicted to attain the status of megacity by 2030, according to the United Nations.
2 min read As Gen X hits 50, existing and planned estates need to re-evaluate their position on retirement, and on multi-generational living. As the oldest of the Gen Xers are turning 50, and watching their baby boomer parents ‘raging against the [dimming] of the light’, they are starting to ponder their own mortality, potential morbidity and – shock, horror, gasp – old age!
< 1 min read Watch: Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, and Dirk Uys of the magnificent Arabella Country Estate discuss three of the challenges estates and their management team face today with Dirk Uys
< 1 min read Watch: What do you look for in a top-class, well-aged red wine? Style, certainly; body and taste, definitely; but also the subtle, understated excellence that comes to great wines only when they begin to mature; an excellence that reflects an impeccable track record.
2 min read Positive news to emerge from Statistics SA today is that South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3,1% in the second quarter of 2019 (to end-June), compared to a decline of 3,1% in the first quarter.
4 min read Gowrie Village in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is the quintessential country community, integrated into the greater village of Nottingham Road. Established in 2002, Gowrie’s sense of relaxed rural spaces and neighbourliness are key to the success of this mixed-use estate.
4 min read Which processes, procedures, and best practices keep a successful older estate at the top of its game? Marina Martinique – a unique Cape-Caribbean-style estate consisting of 384 residential stands and 475 units in group housing developments – is built around a lake and seven kilometres of constructed canals that lie three metres above sea level, and whose water is pumped in from, and flows back into, the ocean.
4 min read On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the prestigious Erinvale Country Estate and Golf Club, which will be celebrating 25 successful years in 2020, was one of the first residential golf estates in South Africa. To find out what the ingredients are for this success, we chat to Kerstin Dinklage, Erinvale HOA trustee responsible for marketing and communication.
3 min read Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers
6 min read The world is facing a climate crisis. A young Swedish schoolgirl is now leading a global campaign of defiance driven by school children. The world has just experienced the hottest July ever recorded, even while a vocal segment of the chattering masses in leading economies like the USA believes that the science underpinning global warming is a massive hoax perpetuated by scientists who are – somehow – conspiring to make money.
3 min read Projectprop, which owns Leloko Lifestyle and Eco Estate in Hartbeespoort, is seeking a solid new buyer, or buyers, for this idyllic estate following a resolution by the shareholders to disinvest in the company through the sale of all of their shares.
8 min read Most community associations seek to enforce their rules while still maintaining a harmonious community that the residents view as a desirable place to live. At times, though, these goals seem to be contradictory, and strictly enforcing the rules can result in controversy.
5 min read Policies, procedures, our governing documents and our rules and regulations are binding on members who choose to buy into a homeowners association or sectional title scheme. But, of course, the directors, trustees, management, and the members themselves have to ensure that these are lawful, consistent and fair, and that they protect the common interest of the community at large.
3 min read Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.
6 min read There comes a time in everyone’s life when simple day-to-day tasks become overwhelming and difficult to deal with; when confidence levels start to wane, and cooking becomes a frightful chore. Thankfully, most retirement estates offer a wide variety of assisted-living options – just what you need when that helping hand is required.
4 min read Travel – whether for business or leisure or both (bleisure?) – can be extremely exciting. But it comes with its own set of risks. According to short-term insurer, Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC), a division of Santam, it is wise to prepare for the unexpected by getting travel insurance before your trip and understanding exactly what you are protected against so that you have enough cover for any eventuality. Some of the other most claimed for travel events are pre-existing medical expenses, cancellation of journey, luggage loss and travel delays.
2 min read We hear every day that 70 is the new 60 and that with advances in medical science people are living longer. Looking at this realistically if I work to age 60 but live to 90 I will have approximately 40 years to save up for a 30 year retirement.
2 min read Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.
5 min read Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.
5 min read The secret to successful property development is spotting opportunities before others do, seeing potential in a place where others don’t. It’s about taking the gap, thinking out of the box, and a whole lot of other clichés. And that’s just what Dennis Hope did more than three decades ago.
3 min read In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.
4 min read The South African National Biodiversity Institute’s awesome online resources make finding information about the living world around us a genuine pleasure. And if you’re a gardener, developer, or estate manager with a special interest in indigenous plants, it’s a treasure trove almost as rich as biodiversity itself.
3 min read On 24 and 25 September 2019, heads of state and government will gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event is the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 agenda in September 2015. So it’s probably a good time to review them and – along with the rest of the world – assess the progress (or lack thereof) that we have made towards achieving the 17 goals.
3 min read Combining a successful land claim, community development, hard-nosed economic opportunity, responsible conservation ethics, and a fabulous tourist destination, Mdluli Safari Lodge is a win-win-win-winner.
4 min read By some estimates, South Africa has a housing backlog of about 2.3 million, and that number grows by about 178,000 houses a year. Despite the country’s sophisticated banking system, busy property market, generous impact investment projects and advanced construction industry, neither the public nor private sector has been able to catch up that backlog.
4 min read One of the most enticing features of WhatsApp is its offer of end-to-end encryption. This has ensured that our most personal conversations, and our treasured photographs of children and grandchildren, would be safely sent to family members and friends in a closed and safe communication loop.
3 min read The future of ‘Smart’ everything – leveraging digital technology to do just about anything more efficiently – is inextricably linked to our ability to ‘connect’ via the internet. ‘Smart’ anything and ‘Smart’ everything will depend on a frenzied exchange of data with, within and between people, entities, things and machines. The actual connection required for this exchange – in terms of speed and accessibility – will be as critical as available and adequate bandwidth is, or we risk losing out on the next wave of the internet. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is what the gurus the world over are calling this next wave.
4 min read Developers, HOAs, municipalities and the management of all manner of complexes, schools and campuses are learning that there are some things you just can’t fight. Put up as many ‘Keep off the grass’ signs as you like, people will take the shortest (or most convenient) path to get to where they’re going. So, the smart ones are giving in.
4 min read Retirement is the new buzzword in the residential development market, but building a retirement village is an enormous undertaking with huge implications – it’s a much bigger deal than building a golf or eco estate. So, is there room for small investors to cash in on this profitable sector?
2 min read What are the key drivers for the buyers in residential estates and how can a security service provider support estate managers? The impact of security risk at residential homes in the form of violent crime and burglaries, has fuelled the growth and development of residential estates to meet the upward demand.
< 1 min read Arabella Country Estate, home to Fynbos and fine living, located on the shores of the Bot River Lagoon surrounding the magnificent World Heritage Nature Reserve, has recently been re-certified with their full ISO 14001 compliance certificate.
4 min read Gardening in the driest or windiest parts of the country? Xeriscaping may be the system you’ve been looking for. We’ve all heard about water-wise gardening – the practice of choosing, grouping, and placing plants according to their watering needs in order to maximise the efficiency of the little water you have.
4 min read Seeking secure retirement community living but for under R2 million? There are surprisingly many options. Today’s retirees are quite a young lot, living active, lock-up-and-go lifestyles that often set a fine example to the generations after them, but not all of them have R3 million or more to invest in a contemporary home on a lifestyle estate.
3 min read Have you planned sufficiently for your retirement? It’s about a lot more than finances – you also need to decide where to live. Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Slowing down and putting one’s feet up is no longer the “default setting” in later life.
4 min read Wherever in South Africa you live, it’s probably freezing, so you’ll be thinking of escaping to somewhere warm – possibly with turquoise water, waving palm trees and snow-white sand. But then, come summer, you may head north to go skiing. It just shows how out of touch we can be with the seasons. But we don’t have to be.
5 min read Trudging around the golf course and playing tennis are ‘like so yesterday …’ your teenagers say, rolling their eyes skyward. Followed by a ‘there’s nothing to do here’ as their fingers tap the keys and the mayhem of one of a dozen blood-and-gore-filled computer games continues. This lament can be heard from tweens, teens and young adults the world over – gone are the days that residential estates could get away with the bare essentials of outdoor activities like (indoor or outdoor) gym, jogging and MTB trails, and a pool. The youth of today are way more demanding, and as parents and estate developers we need to take heed.
3 min read The Internet of things (IoT) has become a hot topic of conversation with technical, social and economic implications. It is a concept that not only has the potential to influence how we live, but also how we work and play. Projections for the impact of IoT are notable, with some anticipating as many as 100 billion connected IoT devices, and a global economic consequence of more than US$11 trillion by 2025.
3 min read Hardly a day goes by without the future of South Africa’s power grid making front-page news. Keeping the lights on, and sustainably, is a favourite topic around the dinner table, whether you live in Port Elizabeth or Pearl Valley.
3 min read We’re all getting older – it’s just part of the cycle of life. And with no fountain of youth or magic chocolate bar to cure us of our ailments, we’ll just have to make do with ageing and the added health issues that arise.
3 min read It’s Youth Month, when SA focuses on the 38% of the population aged between 18 and 35. But there are two distinct generations of consumers represented within that cohort, and they have very different ideas about real estate. Generation-Z, born between 1995 and about 2010, are the world’s “digital natives” who have been exposed to the internet, social networks and streaming media their whole lives, and they are proving to be very different from the Millennials born between 1980 and 1994 – especially when it comes to their views on real estate.
4 min read Planning for retirement can be both exciting and scary. Exciting in the sense that you’re planning for a life event that is spoken about so often throughout your life that it’s really a milestone and period to look forward to. Scary though, as you never know whether you’ll have enough since it’s impossible to predict the future. So much could go wrong in our economy and even if you’ve invested offshore, nothing is certain.
3 min read Empowering first-time homeowners with a one-off government-funded subsidy . The Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) offers an amazing opportunity for qualifying individuals to own their first property. It’s unfortunate that the details and implications of FLISP are not commonly known, and that there are some misconceptions about its process and value. The benefits, however, are huge, and estate agents and those involved in financing have a crucial role to play in educating prospective buyers and assisting in the process.
2 min read Thirty years ago I attended a lecture in Minneapolis USA by a Dr William Bridges on change and transition. Change he said is what happens in the real world but transition happens in the mind. When planned change fails its usually because people have not made the mental transition to accept the change. He offered a simple way to understand transition by breaking it into three stages. Stage 1 is all about making endings and letting go. Real change he said must begin with an ending, counter intuitive isn’t it.
2 min read You can have it all – live in the country with wide-open spaces. Perfectly balancing freedom and space with top-of-the-range, AAA-rated security, Monaghan Farm offers safe, secure country living – a place to breathe, relax and wind down. A place to bring up a family in a nurturing environment without the hustle and bustle of city life.
4 min read If an endless supply of pasteis de nata isn’t enough to entice you to relocate to Portugal, perhaps the favourable quality of life, cost of living and friendly investment and residence programmes will do the trick. Portugal has become one of the most sought-after destinations for South Africans seeking to relocate, largely because its investment opportunities and Golden Visa regime make it one of the easiest European Union countries to secure residency and citizenship – simply by purchasing property to the value of €500,000, provided certain conditions are met.
4 min read Facial recognition – whether it’s a passing fad, or the next big thing, one thing is sure: everyone has an opinion – good, bad, delighted or furious.
9 min read Community. What a nice concept. So simple. So appealing. And so elusive for residents of so many common-interest ownership developments that are communities in name only. A collection of residents who share ownership but nothing more may form an association, but they do not create a community by any definition of that term. True communities – living, breathing, vibrant communities – are not born, they are built, and the community association board is the primary architect in that construction process.
5 min read The Eastern Cape is a friendly and endlessly fascinating province – especially if you’re a fan of wild places – and its residential estates reflect its amazing diversity. There’s literally something here for everyone.
5 min read The Eastern Cape is a region of extreme diversity. Pristine beaches rub shoulders with forest-clad dunes, aloes punctuate the sere brown Karoo plains, and the history of Settlers, San and Xhosa communities tells stories of the region’s past. It’s South Africa’s premier malaria-free Big Five safari destination and it’s an adventure junkie’s playground – the highest bungy jump in the world, some of the world’s best surf, great diving, mountain biking and hiking – and it boasts South Africa’s only ski resort.
But it’s not all nature and adrenaline.
6 min read “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” Walt Whitman. The ubiquitous urban lawn. Where did it come from? Do you really need one? And what do you choose if you do? In the bad old days they used to say you should never interfere with a South African’s lawn – or their braai. And while that’s probably still true for the braai, is it really still true for the lawn?
3 min read Quick! Which ridiculously handsome South African is wind-resistant, drought-tolerant, security-ready, eminently prunable, easy to grow, farmable, culturally significant, and downright delicious? Answer: the plant with the tastiest name of them all – the num-num.
2 min read A promising new treatment for memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s, ageing and depression was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington DC on 14 February this year. An auspicious date. If it works, no doubt everyone will love it.
4 min read The manufacture and transport of bricks contributes quite a lot to the carbon footprint of a building, which is why some of the finest minds all over the world are looking at alternatives – be it beer bottles, sandbags, straw bales, bag-stuffed plastic bottles, or bricks made from ash, toxic sludge, compressed solid waste, and even cannabis. So it’s pretty exciting that local researchers have come up with a novel, energy-efficient way of manufacturing bricks from a waste substance that usually takes lots of water and other resources to process – and that we don’t usually like to talk about.
5 min read The affordable housing market has high demand, low supply, and the promise of long-term investment returns. So what’s the catch? Investing is a long-term game. Gregg Sneddon, the financial adviser who blogs and tweets at thefinancialcoach.co.za, often emphasises this point to his clients: ‘Investing takes time,’ he says. ‘Three years is not “time”.
4 min read The almost complete inundation of the city of Beira was in the news for a while, but then it fell away in the midst of newer, more important, or just more entertaining news – Ethiopian Airlines crash, Christchurch mosque shooting, South African elections, a 37-year-old woman successfully giving birth, and David Beckham’s conviction for talking on the phone while driving.
2 min read Building a new home, or having your existing one renovated, can be one of the most rewarding experiences. But, for most people, the thought of investing in a fixer-upper or a new build is more than a little overwhelming. The good news is that, with a little help and a lot of planning, it’s definitely possible to create the house of your dreams.
4 min read Samsung has been a pioneer in TV design for 50 years. Over that time, Samsung has researched what people love most about TV – the way it brings friends and families together and the many details that amplifies the viewing experience. This knowledge has led to innovation that has transformed how people watch TV and is one of the reasons it has been global number 1 for the 13 years. The 2019 QLED line-up builds on this legacy in a big way.
< 1 min read J AND J REWARDS PTY LTD entered the market in 2014 as an innovative wholesale distribution company. Founded by a young Belgian and American, we pride ourselves on sourcing quality products at a great price. We visit up to 4 international trade shows a year to make sure we never fall behind when it comes to tech focused products worldwide. With an office based in Shenzhen, China, J AND J REWARDS has the ability to source, test, and brand products at the highest levels possible. Our head office and warehouse in Cape Town distributes seamlessly to every end of Southern Africa.
2 min read Sitari Country Estate situated just outside Somerset West has been a remarkable success story, with unprecedented buyer interest and 926 properties sold to the value of just over R1.2 billion within the past 56 months.
4 min read On April 23 2019 Samsung announced that its 2019 TV line, including new QLED 4K and 8K models, are available at select retailers nationwide from May. Powered by Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Processor, the 2019 QLED TV line-up features more screen size options, stunning picture quality enhancements, dazzling colours from every angle, exciting new design elements and intuitive smart TV upgrades.
2 min read Samsung announced today that its 2019 QLED TV line-up will offer a brand new Ambient Mode that is designed to display various content including world-renowned works of art, even when the TV screen is turned off. Through the Ambient Mode, a variety of content like daily news headlines, weather updates, photos and music can be accessed from the TV screen.
4 min read It’s not uncommon to change jobs every few years and at the same time decide to cash out your provident fund. It seems like a great way to access some quick cash, but is it really worth it?
4 min read Most lifestyle estates strive to create a sense of community, yet few succeed. So, how has Kyalami Estates managed to get it right? Wander through any of the events that Kyalami Estates host annually and you’ll notice that almost every resident stops on their way to greet their neighbours. It’s the kind of collegial atmosphere that most residential estates try to emulate but, although they might achieve friendliness, cohesiveness often remains just out of reach. Yet it appears to be an integral part of the Kyalami Estates character; indeed, it’s one of Estate’s defining qualities.
7 min read If you’re considering an offshore investment property, it’s best to partner with a company who understands the intricacies South Africans will face, the pros and cons of the markets you’re investing in, the local conditions that might affect your decisions, and the international laws and considerations you should be aware of. Take a look at how IP Global can help you to expand your investment portfolio across borders.
5 min read So you want to go on holiday without neglecting your exercise habit, and maybe get out into nature for a good cardio workout. An unspoilt location, good food and wine, a decent bed and a shower at night are essentials. Pretty flowers, wildlife and interesting cultural attractions are a bonus. And you’d prefer for someone else to take care of logistics. Is that too much to ask?
4 min read Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a reluctant renter or a wannabe holiday home owner by the sea, buying property requires some thoughtful planning – and with so many factors to consider, not least the political and economic climate of the country, it’s hard to know where to start, but we are confident that Pinnacle Point Estate will amaze and impress you beyond your wildest dreams.
4 min read Johannesburg City Council is driving an initiative to restore 84 buildings in the CBD to provide efficient, contemporary accommodation for city dwellers, and tenders have been awarded to various developers who’ve now started this visionary transformation of some of Jozi’s oldest residential hubs.
< 1 min read Arabella Country Estate, one of SA’s leading lifestyle and golfing residential estates situated along the Bot River Lagoon in Kleinmond, is reaping the rewards of their long established water and environmental management plans despite the current drought conditions plaguing the country and the Western Cape in particular.
4 min read An important consideration when investing is the state of affairs in the region you are considering investing in – and this goes beyond the obvious financial and political considerations. Ask questions about the sustainability of the region’s energy and water sources, its waste management policies as well as its biodiversity conservation. With all considered, South Africa still ticks most of the boxes for being a desirable region to invest in.
4 min read South African design is going places. Porky Hefer’s installations and furniture designs, Andile Dyalvane’s ceramics, Rich Mnisi’s fashion and furniture designs, and Dokter and Misses’ furniture and product designs are just some local pieces increasingly rocking art fairs and exhibition halls around the globe.
4 min read Museums are not about old crockery, vintage clothes, beautiful furniture, historical photos and rusty farm implements. They’re about stories, but sometimes you have to look hard to find them. And sometimes those stories illustrate an important principle or moral.
< 1 min read The growing move away from suburban residential living to urban living has the potential to unlock a passive revenue stream for investors in a rapidly expanding urban node.
2 min read Needing some guidelines in managing and loading/cancelling your prepaid meters? Watch the videos below to get some helpful support and insight. Pro admin is one of the founding members of the electricity re-sellers association and is still actively involved in the industry.
4 min read Retirement villages – or lifestyle estates, as they are now being called – are popping up like (Barberton) daisies throughout South Africa, all with promises of enjoying the best years of your life in surroundings brimming with all the bells and whistles.
5 min read Drawing on its existing position as industry leader in the life right retirement community landscape, and leveraging the new financial muscle it developed in its transaction with PSG, Evergreen is rapidly expanding its retirement village footprint and setting new benchmarks for every aspect of retirement living.
3 min read Internationally there is a trend towards multigenerational living, where sometimes three generations reside under the same roof – either for convenience or out of necessity due to the rising cost of living and unaffordable property prices.
4 min read With over 800 luxury homes, a world-class golf course, a small-craft harbour, a country club including tennis courts and swimming pools, and three restaurant areas, Pecanwood Estate has already established itself as one of South Africa’s premier residential estates.
3 min read Sixty years ago it was not uncommon for kids to ride their bikes to their grandparents’ house. Children played outside, on the street and in parks. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were present for every milestone, weekly family dinners and nearly everything in between.
3 min read The real estate industry has been operating in the shadow of technology, compared to other industries. However, as consumers become more aware of the apps and platforms available to them online, they will become more comfortable with beginning and concluding their real estate purchases online, over time.
3 min read Probably one of the most difficult issues facing estate managers is waste management. It’s a truly Sisyphean endeavour – just when you think you’ve cleared the pile, it grows back. But creative waste management is essential, not only to maintain the beauty and integrity of our estates, but of – yes – the whole world.
3 min read Every time we hear stories of veld fires, we are alerted to the very real danger to our homes of a runaway fire. The devastating Knysna fires of 2017 are a vivid reminder of just how quickly a fire can rage out of control and cause millions of rands of damages. Coupled with domestic risks such as faulty wiring or appliances, it’s essential that bodies corporate and trustees review their estate’s insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered against fire risk.
2 min read Everybody knows that good business has to be sustainable,and that – really – we do not have to choose between a profitable economy on the onehand, and clean air and oceans on the other. So, cleverly, the Republic of Seychelles has put the two together and launched the world’s first sovereign blue bond — a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects. And, of course, to preserve the clean oceans and clear air of these beautiful islands.
3 min read Some small towns are naturally slow – stuck away in the middle of nowhere – but some have to work at it. The tiny town of Sedgefield, South Africa’s first certified Cittaslow town, is not in the middle of nowhere. It’s on the ever-popular, and only historically sleepy, Garden Route, so it’s had to work hard at slowing down.
3 min read Careful planning for future repairs and replacements is in the best physical and fiscal interests of the community association. Maintaining a reserve fund not only meets legal, fiduciary and professional requirements, it also minimises the need for special levies, and enhances resale values. How does an association properly determine and compile adequate reserves to fund necessary repair and replacement costs? By conducting reserve studies.
5 min read ‘Pergola’ might be the one word more than any other in the language of gardening that gets us thinking of hot, quiet, lazy Mediterranean afternoons heavy with the scent of newly cut grass; afternoons filled with family and Chianti, fresh basil, and rich, ripe tomatoes anointed with the thickest, finest olive oil.
4 min read As we slither our sweltering way to the end of the hottest summer most of us can remember, we find hope in an awesomely innovative technology developed by scientists at Stanford University in the USA. Stanford scientists cooled water without electricity by sending excess heat where it won’t be noticed – space. The specialised optical surfaces they developed are a major step toward applying this technology to air conditioning and refrigeration.
4 min read Blur the lines between the great outdoors and your interior spaces by replicating nature’s colours on your walls. Here’s how. Marie Kondo’s Netflix fans can stop uncluttering for an instant. There’s a new way to ‘spark joy’ in your home. It’s called: ‘Bring the outside in.’ The idea is to replicate nature in our interior spaces by using paint colours that inspire a calming effect, or act as a mood-booster.
4 min read While many people choose to live in lifestyle estates for the serene surroundings and country feel, they still need to be close to the city – to work, shop, access professional services, or frequently travel to and from the airport. This is particularly true for young working professionals and parents of schoolgoing kids who have to add a soccer-mom-taxi element to an already hectic commute schedule.
3 min read Caring for the frail and elderly is an arduous task and a responsibility that family members assume without hesitation; coming from a place of love and compassion. But it also means they will inevitably give up a portion of their own plans and lifestyle to do this.
5 min read If you have schoolgoing children, you’re probably already thinking about where they will go to university, and how you will pay for it. And you don’t have to limit your choices to within our borders – there are some great investments in student developments in, for example, the UK.
3 min read Buying your own home can be a daunting prospect. Many of us have spent our lives renting, so when we decide to take the step up to owning property we often aren’t quite as prepared as we should be. With this in mind we sat down with Meyer de Waal, owner of My Bond Fitness and a conveyancing lawyer for over 28 years, to figure out exactly what a first time home buyer should know before signing on the dotted line.
4 min read As a prospective first-time home buyer you have seen many articles telling you that at the rate things are going now, you’ll be practically ready to retire by the time you are able to buy your first, entry-level home. Bond approval of first-time applicants has increased, but more than 60% of first-time applicants are still being rejected.
2 min read Precinct living is a relatively new concept within the South African property realm, but Sandton Gate is proof that being part of a secure, mixed-use environment is the smarter choice for homebuyers.
3 min read However, there was just 602,000 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) properties available in the 2017/18 academic year. This means that over one million students cannot access high-quality PBSA, the type of student accommodation demanded most in the UK.
3 min read In South Africa, the residential real estate industry is geared towards sellers: estate agents represent the interests of sellers, while no one looks after the interests of buyers. That is, until now. A new National Property Buyers’ Database was recently launched by the same brainchild of Rent2buy and the Attorney Realtor Hub, attorney Meyer de Waal.
2 min read “We believe that health and fitness is a necessity – and not the luxury. Green Outdoor Gyms is the leading brand in outdoor health and fitness products, services and lifestyle experiences, empowering all people of South Africa.” – Tim Hogins, CEO, GOG
7 min read You may be well aware of the strict lending criteria applied by the banks since the introduction of the National Credit Act and the potentially intimidating process that you have to go through for home loan approval. As such, you may be only too pleased when the bank finally grants you a home loan – and in fact so thankful for the ”approval” from the bank that you do not challenge the interest rate “proposed” by the bank.
5 min read Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest natural building materials. In Asia and South America, where it occurs naturally, it’s been the building material of choice for centuries for everything from homes to bridges and scaffolding. This wonder plant of the past offers a multitude of options for the contemporary homemaker.
4 min read One of the offshoots of the financial crisis of 2007 was that it forced a collision of two very different worlds. According to classic economic theory, wealth and innovation in a society are generated by for-profit businesses, while social change is brought about by not-for-profit, mission-driven organisations.
4 min read As we approach the end of the year, things slow down and, if we’re not careful, we tend to drop our guard – and criminals know that. They do not take time out over the festive season – it’s their peak business period. So knowing that your community is protected by a state-of-the-art security system is an integral part of ensuring a happy and peaceful festive season, and a safe and prosperous New Year.
10 min read PwC Strategy&’s behavioural economists explain seven behavioural traps that consumers should be wary of: framing, scarcity and loss aversion, herding, the halo effect, confirmation bias, initial pain, and the sunk cost fallacy.
3 min read Most companies and HOAs strive to appoint a board of directors that will be competent and effective in providing leadership and good governance but, in my opinion, vested interests and limited stakeholder perspectives often reduce the long-term effectiveness of their efforts.
3 min read ‘Our upcoming studio units in Obs are ideal for first-time investors’ – Rawson Developers’s Brad Morgan. Smaller units geared to students and short-term renters, sold at competitive price points to first-time buyers or investors, is Rawson Developers’s winning formula that is leading the property market in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
4 min read In the last two decades, Dubai has evolved from a trading centre to an international hub for individuals, companies and entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of the many benefits this vibrant city offers. While the presence of Indian and other West Asian citizens and companies can be explained by geographical proximity and a common culture, the relatively strong presence of westerners is a testimony to the openness and attractiveness of Dubai.
4 min read In an urban world where we are increasingly paying attention to our physical and mental health needs, the buildings that we occupy can be designed and managed in ways that help us improve our health and wellbeing. The WELL Building Standard provides indicators that can be used by the designers, owners and managers of buildings to create a healthier built environment.
4 min read Do you know the etymology of the word ‘travel’? It comes from the old French word travailler – the same root as the word ‘travail’, which means to strive, struggle and work. And, quite honestly – what with carting your luggage around, packing, unpacking, running for buses or trains, fighting for taxis or negotiating unfamiliar roads, on the wrong side in unfamiliar rental cars – travel can still be very hard work.
5 min read Over 620,000 over 65s have considered downsizing, but cannot find suitable alternative accommodation. As the baby boomer generation enjoyed a period of unprecedented wealth they were able to afford sizeable houses. Now, as that generation enters retirement, an increasing number are finding it difficult to maintain their house and are therefore considering downsizing.
3 min read In investing, as in life, we regularly face the choice of whether to do the right thing, or the popular thing. We must trade off between wants and needs, and balance our desire for short-term gratification against long-term benefits.
3 min read Sixty years ago, it was not uncommon for kids to ride their bikes to their grandparents’ house. Children played outside, on the street and in parks. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were present for every milestone, weekly family dinners and nearly everything in between. Families stayed close to each other and multiple generations grew up together.
3 min read Presenting breathtaking views of Table Mountain, Robben Island and the greater Cape Town from the gentle slopes of the Tygerberg Hills, Arun Lifestyle has launched De Plattekloof Lifestyle Estate for the over-50s in the upmarket suburb of Plattekloof.
3 min read More and more attention is being directed towards exploring the benefits of art in urban and suburban spaces. Does public art influence the value of property? If so, do South Africans pay enough attention to the need for art in urban and suburban neighbourhoods?
6 min read Property partnerships between homeowners associations (HOA’s) and estate agencies came under legal scrutiny when the Cape High Court was approached recently by such a partnership hoping for a court order to restrain the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) from instituting disciplinary action against the parties. The Atlantic Beach HOA and Pam Golding Blouberg estate agency lost the application with costs.
3 min read Humans are strange creatures. Emotionally and mentally we are social beings, so we thrive in villages, towns and cities, but physically we have evolved to move – to run, jump, play, hunt, dig, throw and carry.
3 min read A residential community can boast state-of-the-art security, stunning green vistas, and great amenities, but the most desirable communities are those blessed with a tight-knit and organised group of individuals who are committed to maintaining high standards in their neighbourhood.
5 min read Canary Wharf is a 40-hectare estate with 140 000sqm of office, retail and leisure space, and a working population of around 120 000 people. There are 37 office buildings and five malls with in excess of 300 shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Canary Wharf markets itself as one of the safest places to live and work in Europe, with the whole area monitored by a dedicated security team working from a centralised control room.
3 min read As anyone involved in managing an estate or residing or working in one knows, estates can present a challenging legal environment. Here are just some of the legal issues that estates may find themselves having to deal with in 2018 many of which are not new but may require a fresh approach in dealing with them in 2018 as our law evolves and estates continue to grow in popularity and size:
3 min read Property still seems to be the best long-term investment one can make into one’s retirement. We all struggle to save. Property, specifically a property you can rent out, is a forced retirement plan. Buying a property is a significant commitment that you are required to commit to and maintain.
3 min read Look around the contemporary furniture showrooms, and you’ll see an interesting trend: seating design has become curvier.
5 min read The property market in South Africa’s urban areas may be taking strain, but the market for country estates remains robust, and indeed demand is growing apace for some of these secure, nature-embracing residential spaces.
4 min read South Africa, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a burgeoning growth within the retirement sector. Research shows that people are living much longer now than they did a decade ago, with most people surviving 25 years longer than their parents.
2 min read Having launched 9 months ago, Enigma Private Estate in KwaZulu-Natal has had a positive response, so positive that this new development is in the lead as the fastest selling estate in the greater Umhlanga area. More interestingly, the beginning of this year has been one of the most successful sales phases to date. The recent announcement confirming that construction is set to commence at the end of April 2018 has stimulated a strong response from the market, with the sales team achieving R30 million in sales in just one week.
2 min read With a passion for planet earth and witnessing the destruction by daily burning of fossil fuels, Dutch designer Ronald Meijs knew there must be a greener mode of transport for people to get around. This thinking developed into the Motorman, a clean comfortable stylish way of getting around with zero emissions. He had the approach that less is more when crafting this beauty ensuring no clutter no fancy gadgets just good raw industrial design.
3 min read Market conditions have pushed cost control to the top of most meeting agendas. How do we survive in tough economic times without reducing the level of service or quality? The best way to do this is by reducing the costs associated with delivering the facilities or services related thereto.
5 min read Millennials entering the market drive developer demand. The clamour for homes in the R 1.5 million to R 2 million price bracket is growing. More property developers are expected to target this market in 2018 to take advantage of the trend, predominantly driven by first-time buyers under the age of 35.
4 min read Soothing to even the most tempestuous souls, Arabella Country Estate is by far one of South Africa’s most luxurious golf estates. Strategically positioned, less than 30 kilometres from Hermanus and seven kilometres from Kleinmond, the estate sits proudly in a magnificent country setting, at the foot of the Bot River Lagoon. The location is within a transitional zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and boasts panoramic views of the Palmiet Mountain Range in the Overberg.
3 min read Living in an estate provides one with a real sense of community. You know your neighbours, your kids can ride around the neighbourhood on their bikes, and you can even go for a leisurely sunset stroll to unwind. However, given how connected we have become, the lines between real communities and digital ones are blurring. But is this a good thing and how do we protect ourselves and our privacy?
2 min read Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate is, located on the vast Ol Pejeta Conservancy, allowing residents to be immersed in Kenya’s tradition of abundant wildlife, right on their doorstep. The estate also offers a viable investment opportunity for a wildlife enthusiast looking for a settled lifestyle in the African bush.
5 min read Since the advent of the first golf estate in South Africa, Selborne Parkin KwaZulu-Natal, which opened for play in 1987, the golf estate phenomenon has been characterised by often unforeseen change. The developments at Selborne were unusual, as they moved the estate away from its original function as a working dairy farm into Denis Barker’s dream of a residential golf estate.
3 min read Guest bathrooms are a chance to impress your visitors in private. Many estate homes have a guest bathroom adjoining the living room area. It can be small and underwhelming, or you can take the initiative and make it impressive. After all, the guest loo is where your visitors have time to survey the space at their leisure, undisturbed.
16 min read In September 2017, when it became clear the City of Cape Town had few viable solutions for a drought of potentially precedent-setting proportions, members of a non-profit organisation, Water Shortage South Africa, took matters into their own hands. CEO and water expert Benoit le Roy began planning for a proactive campaign to lobby the United Nations for aid and expertise. “This (drought) is bigger than South Africa can handle,” Le Roy said “How does a country handle four million refugees?”
4 min read Situated in the coastal town of Langebaan is a new and exciting lifestyle estate. Officially launched at the beginning of this year, La Pinta Lifestyle Village presents a picturesque lifestyle that is an idyllic combination of convenient, coastal and luxury living.
3 min read Coronado is known throughout the United States for its luxurious beaches, great weather and the historic Hotel Del Coronado. Named the number one beach in the United States in 2012 by ‘Dr Beach’, Coronado also boasts one of the best-kept secrets of the San Diego bay area – the Coronado Cays development.
5 min read In the world of FTTH (Fibre To The Home) technology, from trenching to downloading, we seem to be falling into the same old techno-speak trap. Fortunately there is an organisation out there that is trying to protect the benefits that FTTH represents and to ensure that all sides of the market remain fair, comply with the rules and offer best practice.
3 min read Developments at Nooitgedacht Village, Stellenbosch – a premier Winelands residential and commercial node – are proceeding swiftly. A vibrant commercial centre that includes ample office and retail space, a dedicated rugby museum and planned German-style beer house/restaurant, are all set to launch next year.
4 min read Spices – an indispensable part of world history, and in their time the biggest, most tightly guarded industry that generated immense wealth. Spices established and destroyed empires, led to the discovery of new continents, served as the major trading currency, healed the sick, refreshed the air and even inspired literature.
4 min read Corporate governance is a set of relationships between a company, its management, the board, the shareholders and its stakeholders, and it provides the structure through which the objectives of a company are set and attained and its performance measured. The directors of a company, HOA or sectional title scheme are managers of other people’s money.
5 min read Amidst the grandeur of the American Rocky Mountains, Gallatin River and Yellowstone National Park, and set under a canopy of seemingly endless blue skies and star-filled nights, is Montana. Known locally as the Last Best Place, the region is untamed, wild and natural and is home to Yellowstone Club, the world’s only private ski and golf community. The club was recently awarded the most exclusive estate worldwide award for 2015 by New World Wealth thanks to its superior amenities, effortless charm and untouched natural beauty, which present an incomparable venue for luxurious family living and year-round recreational facilities.
3 min read The most recently available statistics show that there are more than 26 000 schools and over 12 million learners in South Africa. And with the ratio of learners to teachers in public schools sitting at around 32 to one, there is a need to be more effective in educating our children.
4 min read We all know that recycling is good, and that not recycling is second only to torturing kittens in the list of unforgivable sins. But why? Well, it’s actually a no-brainer. Everything we use, especially packaging, has to be made from something – and that something requires energy, water and resources to manufacture and to transport.