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ESTATE LIVING
1st Floor Lona House
212 Upper Buitengracht
Bo Kaap, Cape Town, 8001

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Jaime-Lee Gardner
jaime@estate-living.co.za
072 171 1979

CREATIVE, DESIGN & CONTENT
Louise Martin
louise@estate-living.co.za
073 335 4084

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A matter of some gravity

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.

Living in Mauritius

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.

Travelling to Mauritius

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.

Peter Piper

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.

Understanding the Eastern Cape’s Day Zero

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?

Scaling down

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.

Santam – Market Leader in Property Development Insurance in any Economy

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.

Top property trend

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.

Santa Shoe box

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?

Paul and Virginia

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?

Hansgrohe’s electronic mixers

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.

Sweeeet

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.’

Should domestic cats stay indoors?

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.)

Forest bathing

5 min read We all know that planting trees, and – even more critically – refraining from cutting down trees are important strategies in the campaign to slow down global climate change. Trees are good for the earth, but trees are good for people too.

Can air conditioners spread coronavirus?

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.

Could COVID-19 change how cities view their streets?

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?

Retirement villages get a redesign for the times

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.

Roads made from old tyres and building rubble

3 min read Researchers at an Australian university have shown how a blend of old tyres and building rubble could be used as a sustainable road-making material, in a zero-waste solution to boost recycling and support the circular economy.

Revolutionary cooling system

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.

Rates relief welcomed in major cities

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.

Proposed policy and policy direction on rapid deployment of electronic communications networks and facilities

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 rapid@dtps.gov.za. The below is an overview provided without comment.

How has COVID-19 affected the rental market?

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?

Ecosystem monitoring for management

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.

Colour is also a spectrum

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.

Sanitising courses for domestic staff

3 min read We have got used to double-cleaning everything. We wash our hands 15 times a day, and we regularly sanitise every surface in our homes. Is this just a temporary thing, or will it become the norm?

Thinking of immigrating to the UK?

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.

Bridging the connectivity gap

3 min read Many lessons are emerging, and will continue to emerge, from the coronavirus pandemic. These lessons are key in understanding what type of society is needed to withstand future health outbreaks, which scientists warn are inevitable.

Garden grabs

3 min read Lockdown restrictions have undoubtedly made us appreciate our gardens much more. In my mum’s case, her back garden is an actual gold mine – and no, she hasn’t dug it up and found buried treasure.

The stamp duty holiday in the UK

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.

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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).

How far is South Africa from its first 3D home?

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.

Affordable housing in the UK

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.

The rise of second-tier cities in South Africa

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.

Wild at heart

4 min read There is a new foodie trend sweeping across five-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and granite-topped kitchens in leafy suburbs. Actually, maybe ‘new’ is not quite the right word. The trend is foraging, and – let’s be honest – it’s hardly new.

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

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.

Smart management is cleverer than you think

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.

Speciality coffee

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.

Old Mutual survey results are in

6 min read The outcome of a recently published financial survey amongst the members of the Old Mutual Rewards Programme is a significant one for property industry.

A horse, a horse, my garden needs a horse

4 min read If you’ve just moved into an equestrian estate for the scenery, the security and the position, you may be tempted to buy a pair of jodhpurs – and, of course, a horse to go with them. But buying a horse is not really that simple.

Sensible permaculture for residential estates and developments

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.

Ryan Sandes’s hardest run

3 min read In the early hours of the morning of Friday 17 April, Ryan Sandes ran into the front door of his home in Noordhoek, Cape Town, for the 1,463rd time, to complete a 100-mile (160km) run in 26 hours and 27 minutes.

Citizen science

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.

Keeping the lights on

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?

Home loan pre-qualification makes sense

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.

FLISP subsidy buyers can now qualify for a home loan of up to R 870,000.00

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.

Retire with a view

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.

Products and tools developed by Meyer de Waal

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.

Green, green, green

4 min read One of the main advantages of living in a residential estate is that – usually – you are surrounded by significant tracts of open land. And very often that land will be left in a relatively natural state. This is a good thing for a whole lot of reasons.

Attorney realtor hub

5 min read The Attorney Realtor Hub (ARH) is a countrywide network of property attorneys who are collaborating to provide professional property services to their clients. They are able to do this more efficiently and at better costs for both sellers and purchasers.

Making the dream a reality

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.

Your credit profile

3 min read The first step on your journey to home ownership is understanding your credit profile, so that you can improve your credit score to get the best possible loan terms for your new home.

Advantages of home ownership

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.

Affordability and budgeting

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.

Buying your first home

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.

Own a piece of a vineyard

4 min read There’s more to offshore investing than money laundering and preserving mega wealth. It’s also about the lifestyle – sitting back with a glass of wine and your little piece of offshore paradise.

Back to school

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?

Are nuclear families really the norm?

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’.

Community Scheme COVID-19 Code Of Conduct/Policy & Workplace Plan (Level 4)

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.

Postcards from the pandemic / Letters from lockdown: Maintaining community during social isolation

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.

What are security companies doing to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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.

COVID-19 and the property market

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.

Geckos, lizards and chameleons

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.

New estates

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.

Effect of repo rate cuts on your cash investments

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.

Agility is the new normal

3 min read At a time when all non-essential services are either in lockdown or reeling from the multiple blows to the economy, a handful of businesses are changing the way they work to stay relevant, and to stay in operation, and to make a difference.

5 Ways to keep safe from crime during the lockdown

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.

Solar energy around the world

4 min read There is a worldwide trend towards the uptake of renewable resources for power generation, but it seems that South Africa is lagging behind. So let’s have a look at what other countries are doing, focusing mainly on solar, and see how we compare.

Stress management and conflict resolution

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?

Let’s Talk Property, Hosted by Derek Watts

2 min read Last week’s webinar saw Derek and our expert panel give their opinions on the merits of investing in property on the North Coast of KZN, and brief insights on the SA property market as a whole.

Never let a good crisis go to waste

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.

Short- term rentals

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?

Should we colonise space?

3 min read If it’s not Day Zero, it’s load shedding, and if it’s not one of those, it’s a three-week lockdown as we all hide away, quiddling in our boots, from a killer virus. Is Earth becoming unliveable, and should we perhaps find a new planet to live on?

Vertical forests

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?

Trellidor: Safe and secure – and good looking 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.

Conservancies

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.

Now is the time to invest in Harbour Bay Village

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.

Herd immunity

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.

Dogs, cats and other cute fluffy creatures

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.

Staying supple

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.

Highland gold

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.

Do you need a car?

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?

Conradie Park’s model for sustainability

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?

The secrets of longevity

3 min read They’re called Blue Zones. In five places across the world, the locals regularly – and happily – live to over 100 years of age. Why? What do they do to enjoy triple-digit longevity, and how can you enjoy the same long and fulfilled life?

Sustainable, impactful CSI

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.

Tackling salary inequity

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.

The grass is greener

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.

Old age

3 min read Age – it’s just a number. So when does ‘old age’ begin? If you asked that question in the middle of the previous century, the answer would have been 60. That’s when you were expected to retire, maybe grow roses or go fishing, and wait to die. Well, things have changed.

E-bikes

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.

Free telephonic consultation for Sectional Title Scheme dwellers

< 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.

Life right ownership at The Somerset

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.

A Property Developer With The Highest Standard Of Ethics & Moral Conduct

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.

The new Care Centre at The Somerset Lifestyle and Retirement Village

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.

Lockdown lowdown

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.

Size counts – at least for kitchen appliances

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.

The Riebeek Valley Olive Festival 2020 – POSTPONED UNTIL FUTHER NOTICE

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.

Water from icebergs

4 min read Something like 70% of the world’s fresh water is frozen up in polar icebergs – and the idea of towing them to dry or drought-stricken areas like California, Saudi Arabia and the Canary Islands has long been a dream – an impossible dream.

Capital gains tax for retirees

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.

COVID-19

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.

Single mothers constitute a growing demographic of home buyers in South Africa

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.

What is mould

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.

How to control mould 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.

A fresh look at farming

3 min read It may surprise you to learn that the ingredients in your salad were probably harvested – not on the rolling fields you imagine – but at a rooftop or urban allotment.

Know your yellowfish

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.

Problem Pets

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.

Somerset Nurse’s’ Home to become affordable housing

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.

Something rich and strange

3 min read The book Sea Change relates how regular excursions into the ocean can change your body, open your eyes, free your mind, and nurture your soul.

Coffee and croissants

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.’

Brevity

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.

Do due diligence before investing in an estate

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.

KZN fastest growing wealth market in SA

3 min read The AfrAsia Bank SA Wealth Report for 2019 has named Durban-Umhlanga-Ballito corridor as the fastest growing wealth market in South Africa, with a 25% growth trajectory reported over the last decade.

Balize Private Estate

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. 

Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

< 1 min read Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort

Weirdly wired for wireless

2 min read One of the first things we ask before buying a house, now, is whether it has FTTH, and what the cell phone reception is like. We live and breathe technology, and we believe we have shaped it to our needs.

The benefits of a tax- free investment for your children

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.

In the Zone

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.

Art that’s smart

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.

Retire with like-minded people

3 min read Imagine a retirement community of like-minded people – of artists, academics, birders, mountain bikers, anglers or retired nurses. It’s possible.

Negotiation is key when purchasing a property

2 min read Finding the right property is hard enough but negotiating the right price and related fees can be harder, especially if one party is unwilling. Sometimes you may need to walk away from the deal.

How does Johannesburg measure up as a megacity?

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.

How green is green?

3 min read To take the greening of your estate seriously, you must consider each step from conception to design, through the building process and continuing to operation and management.

Xers mark the spot

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!

Island style

3 min read The Islands is a revelation for those who equate Hartbeespoort and its surrounds with golfing – it’s a slice of European-style marina living.

A global trend

2 min read It should seem unsurprising to most of us that urban space is at a growing premium. It’s been a growing trend across the world since the industrial revolution, but particularly so in the last few decades as people flock to urban areas.

Estate Living Interview with Dirk Uys from Arabella Country Estate

< 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

Estate Living presents Arabella Country Estate

< 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.

Good news for real estate industry as GDP returns to positive growth

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.

Village life

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.

Managing Marina Martinique for its community

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.

Erinvale

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.

Customer complaints & social media

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

If you can’t take the heat …

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.

South peninsula

7 min read Cape Town is South Africa’s most scenic city, and the South Peninsula is arguably the most scenic part of the city, so it’s not surprising that savvy people have – for ages – put up with the long commute in order to live in this little slice of paradise.

Property Development and Section 12J

3 min read The Section 12J tax allowance has introduced an exciting new asset class that has attracted over R6 billion within a very short period of time. Let’s explore how this can benefit developers.

Idyllic Leloko Lifestyle And Eco Estate in Hartbeespoort is for sale!

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.

Future proof

4 min read As AI, big data and smart homes become a lived reality, what are residential estates doing now to make that future happen?

Being reasonable

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.

Do HOA’s have teeth?

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.

Protecting your investment with insurance

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.

Sometimes we need a little help…

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.

Make sure your travel insurance is in order before you get on that plane

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.

Healthy body, healthy mind and healthy finances

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.

How to find the luxury in city living

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.

The lock-up-and-go investment property

4 min read Thinking of investing in Cape Town or further afield? Lock-up-and-go investment properties have become more and more popular as investors realise the benefits of low maintenance, security and easy placing of tenants.

What deteriorating municipal infrastructure means for residential estates

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.

Think Big

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.

Simple, transparent utility metering can be a differentiator for developers

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.

Santam real estate scheme development insurance

4 min read Santam’s seamless insurance product continues to receive enthusiastic support from developers and development financiers alike.

SANBI online: treasure trove for gardeners

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.

People, planet, prosperity, and peace

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.

Monkey business

4 min read Often, it’s the reserve-like setting of a lifestyle estate that makes it a draw card for residents. But what happens when nature starts encroaching on households?

Land reform and private investment can go hand in hand

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. 

Home grown

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.

Going out on a limb

3 min read How do you fancy heading out to sea on what is really not much more than a very big log tied to a smaller log?

Encryption

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.

Double trouble or twice as nice?

3 min read On Friday 5 July, South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was the first world leader to be in two places at once. Is this the beginning of a bold new era in politics – and more?

Connectivity – the essential building block for smart movements

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.

A footpath named desire

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.

Are small-scale retirement developments a viable option?

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?

Affordability and funding of technology to secure estates

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.

Arabella Country Estate proves their green ways

< 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.

July Savings Month – what did you achieve?

2 min read South Africans are notoriously bad at saving money but the annual National Savings Month is a great opportunity to get your kids involved in some good financial habits which can set them up for life!

The smoking gun

4 min read If you’re attacked in your home on a residential estate, who’s responsible for your protection? The answer – and the legal technicalities around private security and personal firearms – might surprise you.

The dry allure of the xeriscape

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.

Retire comfortably for less than R2M

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.

The best years of your life are ahead of you

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.

Luxury, style in Simon’s Town

3 min read Harbour Bay Village is the pinnacle of exclusive retirement living for the age 50 and older. This exclusive retirement development is located behind the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre and the medical day hospital.

Hartbeespoort havens

4 min read Blue water, a beautiful mountain, a bustling food scene … no, it’s not Cape Town, although it’s easy to see why inland-dwellers consider the
Hartbeespoort area the next best thing to a beach. 

Wearables

3 min read When you read the word ‘wearables’, it conjures up images of wrists with Apple watches or Fitbits, especially for those of us who deal with certain health insurance companies. But wearables are much more than monitoring your heart rate, steps and sleep.

Invest in Europe’s ‘coolest’ capital

4 min read Satisfy your dream of owning property in Europe by investing in one of the region’s most dynamic and affordable cities – the wealthiest city in Portugal and its capital, Lisbon.

S’now is the winter of our discontent

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.

Rat poison – threat to city’s peri-urban wildlife

4 min read Pest control is an essential element in estate management, but it needs to be carefully managed – both to ensure the safety of residents and pets, and also to prevent ‘collateral damage’ to urban and peri-urban wildlife.

Industrial hubs

5 min read If you’re thinking of investing in South Africa, it’s worth looking at some of the rapidly developing industrial hubs that are evolving in strategic locations around the country.

Getting teens away from screens

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.

The internet of things on our daily lives

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.

Bringing the case for prepaid electricity to light

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.

Better bond, better home, better life

2 min read Backed by over 19 years’ experience and expertise, and strong relationships with major banks and estate agents, BetterBond is one of the largest bond originators in South Africa.

Changing needs of healthcare for a 100-year lifespan

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.

Gen-Z really loves property, wants to own before 30

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.

Retirement. How much is enough?

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.

Turn your development into a SMART development

< 1 min read A single network infrastructure offering solutions and services to suit the requirements of individual residents.

FLISP – Making homeownership a reality for lower income households

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.

The transition to retirement

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.

A life less ordinary

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.

A ‘golden’ opportunity to relocate to Portugal

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.

Facial recognition – Not to be taken at face value

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.

Community building requires time and effort

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.

Eastern Cape residential estates: wild and wonderful

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.

Eastern promise – explore south africa’s most underrated province

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.

Rules are rules… or are they?

4 min read How important are estate rules, and can they really be enforced? This question is at the heart of a recent legal wrangle between Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate Management Association II and a resident.

Lawns – lush oases or green deserts?

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?

Om nom nom nom num-nums!

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.

Hope for an effective treatment for memory loss

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.

Liquid gold and low-emission bricks

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.

Hurry up and wait

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”.

Cyclone Idai shows why long-term disaster resilience is so crucial

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.

In consulting on risk, its nose in, fingers out!

5 min read Nose in, fingers out! This is how I was taught to approach risk detection in property development consultancy. In other words, ask lots of questions, look, learn and observe everything, and yes, sniff around. But don’t interfere. 

Ready for takeoff

4 min read An educational initiative is providing the communities living around Cape Town International Airport with access to home-building skills and affordable housing – building communities, and laying the foundation for the city’s long-term growth.

Insurance while you build

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.

Why QLED TV is the Technology to Watch Out for in 2019

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.

JJ Rewards

< 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.

Final 14 apartments at Waterford Place in Sitari Country Estate now move-in ready for luxury living

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.

Reality Perfected – Samsung Launches 2019 QLED TV Line

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.

Samsung’s QLED TVs and Its New Ambient Mode Transform Living Rooms into a Gallery Space

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.

Your New Security Detail

4 min read You use artificial intelligence (AI) every day, often without knowing it. Shouldn’t your estate’s security team have the same kind of data-driven support?

The Tax Implications of Cashing in your Provident Fund

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?

Six Trees for Small Gardens

4 min read Life’s getting harder, everything’s getting more expensive, the world’s getting madder, and it’s all happening faster by the hour. How on earth is anyone supposed to stay sane?

Common Ground, Common Interests

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.

Global Assets

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.

Slack-Packing

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?

Getting to the Point

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.

Restoration Begins on Joburg CBD’s Most Neglected Buildings

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.

Arabella Country Estate uses water responsibly and sustainably

< 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.

Sustainability in South Africa

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.

South African Design is Going… Well… Everywhere

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.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night…

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.

Take a virtual tour of Sandton Gate Terrace

< 1 min read Step inside one of the luxurious units at Sandton Gate Terrace. Craft homes has created specialised virtual tours for 3 of Sandton Gate Terrace’s stunning units. Take your pick and start your virtual tour

New residential trends unlock new investment opportunities

< 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.

How does prepaid electricity work and how to purchase a voucher?

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.

Feathering your Retirement Nest

4 min read There are many ways to invest for your retirement years and, even though you may contribute to a compulsory company pension or provident fund, you should most definitely not be content with just that.

Choosing a Retirement Village

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.

Beyond Bowls

5 min read There was a time when retirement estates built bowling greens for the ‘more active’ residents, and something as daring as a tennis court or an outdoor pool was considered an unnecessary expense because – well – you know, old people don’t really do exercise.

Building Retirement Communities

3 min read People aren’t retiring like they used to. Instead, many are working longer out of necessity or from a desire to remain vital and engaged.

Lombard’s Property Development Guarantees

3 min read Lombard Insurance has close on 30 years’ experience in delivering guarantees across multiple industries.

Style and Function

5 min read Your mind is sure you are 35, but sometimes your ears, eyes, hands and back tell you different, and a lot of the things you did with ease a few years ago may have become a challenge.

Retire to the Coast. But Which Coast?

4 min read The coast of South Africa is more than 2,500 kilometres long, it’s wild and tamed, rocky and sandy, restless and restful, and probably more varied than any coastline anywhere else in the world.

Early Birds

6 min read A residential estate is a strange thing. First it’s a piece of land, then a plan and marketing concept, then a construction site, then a bunch of empty buildings.

Scaling Down

5 min read As retirement looms, it’s natural to begin reflecting on the past, but it’s not a time for doom and gloom. It’s the time to put the past behind you, and look at the new opportunities these changes bring.

Active Ageing

4 min read Forget the old age homes of the past. Today’s mature lifestyle estates offer residents an active retirement with customised healthcare options.

Evergreen – Life Right Retirement Lifestyle

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.

Zimbali Lakes Resort – Multigenerational Living at its Best

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.

Family Community Living – Closing the Gap

3 min read These days your age is not as relevant as your lifestyle, and the concept of retirement estates is changing to accommodate changing needs.

How Old Can We Grow?

6 min read There’s all this talk of how our population is ageing, and how the baby boomers are not ‘going gentle into that good night’ any time soon. But, really, how long can we live? And how will living longer affect society?

Pecanwood: Moving With the Times

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.

Security by SLA

5 min read Based on a service-level agreement, AMAX offers security, maintenance and communications installation services to estates in Gauteng.

Multi-generational living is back

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.

Insight into Capital Reserve Fund management

3 min read Capital Reserve Fund Management: As trustees and community managers what should we be asking ourselves?

You can now Apply for Home Loan Prequalification Online

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.

Live Large in a Small Town

5 min read Forty years ago, old-age pensioners were perceived as stooped, white-haired and often quite grumpy old people killing time until they died, but times have changed, and the modern retiree has plenty of options.

Keep it Clean

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.

Fire Risk Management for Estates

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.

Natural Unspoiled Harmony

2 min read When Simbithi Eco Estate was conceptualised 15 years ago, it was all about ‘home’, and today, the 430-hectare estate has a thriving community of residents, each of whom believe ‘home’ is not a location – ‘home’ is a feeling.

Invest in a Healthier Ocean

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.

Slow down in Slow Town

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.

Best Practices – Managing Financial Reserves

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.

The Garden Pergola: Ancient and African

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.

A Cooling System that Works Without Electricity

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.

Colour in Nature

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.

Fire!

4 min read It warms, it cooks, it illuminates. Fire is central to our lives, and it’s not too far a stretch to say that it is our use, mastery and – dare I say it – worship of fire (and the high-tech advances on the same theme) that define us as human.

Le Sube

3 min read Hunter S Thompson once said: ‘Love is the feeling you get when you love something as much as your motorcycle.’ One sunny morning, while on the French Riviera, I found that out for real.

Living the Country Life – Close to the City

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.

The river life awaits at Heron Banks

3 min read Waking up to an adventure every day. This is what you can expect from the Heron Banks Golf and River Estate situated on the tranquil banks of the Vaal River.

The facts of home based care and keeping loved ones comfortable for longer

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.

The Next Chapter

< 1 min read ARC (Association for Residential Community), proactively supports Homeowners Associations and Bodies Corporate, their management teams and trustees, to establish, maintain and enhance the value of residential communities and mixed-use developments.

The Long-Term Value of ETFs

4 min read Remember the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare? The one where the arrogant hare thought that he could so easily outrun the tortoise that he decided to have a nap? The slow and steady tortoise just kept going and ultimately won the race.

Planning Ahead

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.

Things a First Time Home Buyer Should do Before House Hunting

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.

First-time buyers: Here’s how to actually DO what your bank expects

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.

Sandton Gate

Green spaces large enough to explore and safe enough to enjoy

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.

1.7 million students are now in higher education in Britain

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.

Here’s how the National Property Buyers’ Database looks after home buyers’ interests

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.

Empowering people & communities through fitness

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

Avoid Paying 30% More for Your Home

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.

Evergreen Sitari

4 min read A recently concluded joint venture between Evergreen Retirement Holdings and the Uvest Property Group will see the development of Evergreen Sitari, a premier retirement village, set within the Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West.

Bamboo

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.

Getting Fit App’ily

4 min read Gone are the days of bouncing around your living room dressed like a bumblebee in legwarmers with Jane Fonda instructing you from your cassette player. But is the modern age of fitness apps more effective?

Retirement developer expands into KZN region

3 min read The KwaZulu-Natal province is set to see the development of a number of new retirement villages, designed as vibrant communities to accommodate active, healthy and happy retirees.

‘Not for profit’ not so different from ‘for profit’: How investing in non-profits has taken on a familiar face

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.

Don’t drop your guard

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.

Understanding #BlackFriday and South African consumer behaviour

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.

Effective directors and trustees

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.

Breaking Ground with Cape Town student accommodation at the right price

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.

Investing in retirement property

4 min read Young at heart, or just young and restless for a good financial opportunity, it turns out it’s never too early to add retirement properties to your investment portfolio.

Dubai – attracting foreigners from around the world

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.

Community living lite

5 min read The structures appear mirage-like on the horizon. First a single tent, seemingly burnt pale by years of neglect in the desert sun. Then a few miles down the road a camper van decorated with two skeletons perched on the roof, holding the American flag.

Bean there, bean here – the journey of coffee

5 min read We seldom stop to think about all the processes necessary to ensure that we get to wake up with a delicious and reviving cup of coffee every morning. But it’s quite a trip.

Artificially yours

4 min read Artificial intelligence – real stupidity, really creepy. Or really clever, really great? Depends on how you look at it. And how you use it.

Building well for living well

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.

All at sea

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.

Back to the future

5 min read While we celebrate the increasing emphasis developers are placing on mixed-use precincts, and acknowledge that this is the way of the future, it’s nothing new. Cities evolved as mixed-use precincts.

A question of balance

4 min read One of the few freehold developments in the Sibaya Precinct, Gold Coast Estate offers a rare balance between elegant design, convenient location and extensive vistas on KZN’s beautiful North Coast.

Balance and harmony

4 min read Life is a dance – it’s about balance and harmony – and sustainability is about learning to dance with the earth’s natural rhythms.

Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

< 1 min read Andrew Donkin and Builders Warehouse show you how to build your own DIY kitchen Stand.

Builders DIY: How to build a Kitchen

< 1 min read Creating a kitchen with off-the-shelf units not only makes building your kitchen a breeze, but is really affordable too.

Does Britain have a downsizing crisis?

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.

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be popular?

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.

Extended families are great but you don’t need to live under the same roof

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.

De Plattekloof Lifestyle Estate an exclusive new retirement option

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.

Community healthcare and luxury living

6 min read New retirees entering the property market are increasingly looking for options that support both their desire to continue living independently, and their potential future needs for healthcare.

Bringing care home

4 min read Until recently, a frail care facility was considered one of the most important aspects of a retirement estate.

Apartment living for retirees on the move

5 min read Apartment developments are a huge trend in South Africa’s major centres, as they offer a safe, lock-up-and-go lifestyle, usually within walking distance of every kind of amenity.

A garden by any other name

4 min read When we think of gardens, we tend to think of ornamental gardens, not – for example – vegetable gardens or herb gardens. And the ornamental garden is, if you think about it, a very strange thing.

Can art increase the value of your property?

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?

Court denies relief to homeowner associations and estate agency

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.

Hey, Desk-chained mortgage slaves – this is for us!

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. 

Community Organisations – Making a world of difference to property value

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.

The Docklands affect

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.

Possible legal issues facing estates in 2018

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:

Common real estate formulas you should know

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.

Curvy, mobile and green – the seating trends of 2018 – Rounder, softer

3 min read Look around the contemporary furniture showrooms, and you’ll see an interesting trend: seating design has become curvier.

Moving on up

4 min read Unlike a new build that offers a blank canvas, a renovation or makeover project involves serious problem-solving and space-maximising skills, and a good understanding of the transformative power of finishes, colour and accessories.

Horsing around

4 min read The world looks different from the back of a horse – it’s a familiar perspective; a deep-seated knowledge that harks back to the dawn of the Bronze Age.

Demand for affordable country estate living is soaring

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.

Bringing Florida to the East Coast of South Africa

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.

Enigma Private Estate in KZN sets new records

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.

Cruising around on the first Meijs Motorman to land on South African shores – A personal experience

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.

Estate and Facilities Cost Reduction

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.

Push for sub-R2m homes

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.

Gin & things

4 min read South Africa has never been a big gin-drinking nation. As an industry, gin is still very much in its infancy, but that is slowly changing, thanks partly to one woman and her determination to put South African gins on the map.

Soothing tempestuous souls

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.

A Digital Life

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?

African Living on the Savanna Plains

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.

Estates of Play

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.

Dazzle your guests

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. 

Day Zero

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?”

Go with the flow

4 min read If you were to stand on the top of the Drakensberg, you could see the Indian Ocean on a clear day, but on a rainy day you could see something much more interesting.

La Pinta Lifestyle Village

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.

A little taste of Venice in San Diego

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.

Brandy – our nation’s pride

4 min read As South Africans we are often proud of our achievements, but sometimes we seem to have a blind spot. And in one of those spots is our truly world-class brandy industry. Yes, really. Don’t feel bad because you didn’t know about it. You’re not alone.

Hasn’t this happened to all of us?

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.

Nooitgedacht village commercial square offers business owners exciting opportunities

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.

Open Kitchen: The Love and Lure of Spice

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.

Corporate Governance

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.

Amidst the Rocky Mountains – Yellowstone Club

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.

Digitally educated

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.

Battle of the appliance brands

3 min read Today’s executive and luxury properties have one thing in common – they come equipped with fitted, state-of-the-art appliances. The oven is already installed, and often a fridge and washing machine too.

Fantastic plastic – good reason to recycle

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.