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

Jaime-Lee Gardner
072 171 1979

Louise Martin
073 335 4084

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Invest or Emigrate to Mauritius – Financial Focus for South Africans

For South Africans looking at investing or emigrating to Mauritius, in this discussion webinar we cover tax consideration and Trusts, Setting up a Mauritian Bank Account, property financing and Off plan property payment structure.


Mauritius North Islands View

North Isands View is a new development launched in the north of Mauritius, an area called Grand Gaube. The development is on one of the few raised landscapes and 1st, 2nd and Penthouses have spectaular views of ocean.


Greenhill Estate in Waterkloof Heights in Pretoria celebrates its off-grid​ status.

Greenhill Estate celebrates their OFF-GRID approval by City of Tshwane, launching the Estates solutions for Power, Water and Sewer and enabling the development to be self sustaining.


Tsebo Group Facilities Management Solutions

Tsebo’s facilities solutions group sales director, Andile Mgudlwa and Louise Martin from Estate Living, discuss Tsebo’s Facilities Management service and the value it offers residential communities.


Introducing a South African Pre and Rapid Deployment Strategy for Fibre Infrastructure

Join Estate Living and Huawei, along with leaders in the SA Fibre Industry; the Digital Council Africa, Openserve and Ellipsis Regulatory Solutions, as we discuss the importance of a pre-deployment strategy for fibre infrastructure.


Your Journey to Mauritius

Join Estate Living Mauritius as we discuss emigrating or investing in Mauritius. Unpacking everything from permits, managing South African assets, moving or starting a business, Tax emigration and exchange control emigration, looking for the right residential or commercial properties and what school options and medical facilities are available.


Trellidor Clear Guard features

These are sophisticated woven steel mesh panels inside a neat frame, so discreet that you hardly notice they’re there. You can see right through the mesh screen and it allows some airflow into your home.


Trellidor Burglar Guard features

All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.


Trellidor Retractable Security features

All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.


Trellidor Polycarbonate Bar features

You may have seen these before, but not quite like this. This is not just Polycarbonate strips nailed to your windows. The Trellidor version is fully framed and attached to the wall inside the window reveal for a neat, strong fit. It is satisfyingly refined and barely there, keeping the monkeys out and protecting you from petty theft through your windows too.


Trellidor Cottage Guard features

These do verge on looking like conventional burglar proofing. But they’re worth a mention because they can be made to match cottage pane windows perfectly. This means that the gap sizes will be the same as your windows, so you can’t see the Cottage Guard at all. They’re immensely strong burglar bars and excellent for high crime risk windows.


Trellidor Rollerstyle Shutter features

Manual and automated rolling shutters that are completely invisible when you don’t need them. Made from aluminium, they have a slim profile and don’t require a bottom track so there is no cutting into your floor.


Trellidor Security Shutter features

All Trellidor security barriers are custom-made to fit the opening and its specific requirements, so there is no standard price. Trellidor security barriers are available through authorised Trellidor franchises countrywide and they will gladly measure the opening and give a quotation.


Crossways Farm Village – South Africa’s first AgriHood

Crossways Farm Village is a ’Town’ with its own municipality, water and electricity management, agricultural land, commercial offerings and residential opportunities. Dr Chris Mulder the visionary behind Thesen Islands and the Eastern Cape Provincial Government collaborated to develop South Africa’s first Rural New Town outside the conventional “Urban Edge”.


BMI Coverland new product launch – A South African First

From humble beginnings BMI Coverland has developed into the largest roofing business in the world. With their confidence in their product and 70 year track record, BMI Coverland introduces a exciting new offer on their concrete range. This industry-disrupting offer enables developers of residential and commercial properties to offer their buyers long-term strategic value that equates into real savings, which makes their properties more desirable to investors. This is a game changer in the construction industry.


BMI Coverland 30 Year Guarantee

BMI Group supports property developments, through scalable and sustainable roofing and waterproofing solutions


Fanie Loubser from Colas SA discusses road maintenance in residential communities

Fanie Loubser from Colas SA and Louise Martin of Estate Living share updates on Colas’s Covid-19 company protocals. We breakdown a road maintance plan and look at how cost saving can be taken into account through road resurfacing products.


Estate and community branding understand how this effects property values

In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC, Jaime-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss community living spaces in South Africa. In the 3rd episode we look at the estate and community brand. Understanding how public and homeowner sentiment plays role in the value of the collective community and individual properties.


Shoba Govender from Tsebo Cleaning Solutions discusses the advanced approach to Covid-19 Cleaning

Emerging from a single contract in 1999, Tsebo Cleaning Services now has over 500 contracts across South Africa and a staff complement of over 13,000 cleaning professionals.


Understanding new financing tools like FLISP and Rent to Buy

Meyer De Waal of MDW Inc and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss buying into a sectional title development or residential estate understanding the difference and what opportunities each offer.


Property Investment opportunities in Mauritius

Estate Living and Andrew Thompson of Keller Williams One, discuss investment opportunities in Mauritius. If you are looking at off-shore investment or contemplating emigrating, Mauritius offers South Africans many advantages.


Santam Real Estate – Risk Appetite within property sector

Karl Bishop, Head of Santam Real Estate, and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss Santam’s risk appetite within the property sector as it applies to property finance and development guarantees.


Let’s Talk Property: Episode 10 – Mauritius Property: Live, Work, Invest

We look at various Mauritian Developments and how best to approach a Mauritian property investment and/all emigration of family and business.


The Evergreen Business – An Overview

This is a short overview of the Evergreen business, its vision and approach to the future.


Evergreen Noordhoek village walk-through video with Phil Wilson

In this video Phil Wilson takes us on a walking tour of Evergreen Noordhoek village. He is also joined by one of our exceptional Village Managers, Bronwyn Davies.


Estate Living and Atlantic Beach discuss Community Apps

Estate Livings, Louise Martin and Atlantic Beach Estates CEO, Harry White, discuss the importance of effective communication within an estate and how community App’s play a valuable part of this strategy


Let’s Talk Property Episode 7: Which North Coast Developments are set for success

We’d like to invite you to join us for Let’s Talk Property Episode 6. This week more prominent members of the property community discussed which North Coast developments are set for success. Let’s Talk Property is sponsored by eLan Property group and hosted be Derek Watts, Carte Blanche anchor and prominent member of the South African media.


Unpacking the community rules with ARC and Estate Living

In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC and Louise Martin of Estate Living look into community living spaces in South Africa. In the 2nd episode they discuss the importance of rules.


#InsideAzuri with Hans & Varinka!

Since its inception five years ago on a large estate on the north-east coast, Azuri Ocean & Golf Village has metamorphosed into a vibrant and tight-knit community.


Estate Living on #RealEstate Ep 24 Investing in an estate

Jaime-Lee Gardener & Louise Martin of Estate Living provide their expert insights on #RealEstate Ep 24around investing in an estate.


What to do if you feel harassed by the trustees

Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, understanding your rights and obligations, and navigating community relationships.


What are the different services and costs that my levies pay for

Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, and understanding your rights and obligations around these contributions.


What services does the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) provide?

Estate Living and Marina Constas of BBM Law, have collaborated to provide accurate information on what levy contributions mean to the success of a development or estate, and understanding your rights and obligations around these contributions.


Let’s Talk Property Episode 5: Six of SA’s Top Estate Success Stories

We’d like to invite you to join us for Let’s Talk Property Episode 5 where panelists will share six of SA’s Top Estate Success Stories. Learn who’s part of this weeks panel and register now!


Introducing the intricacies of community living with ARC and Estate Living

In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC, Jaime-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin of Estate Living look into community living spaces in South Africa. In the 1st episode they discuss; levies, technology, community harmony and security.


Let’s Talk Property Episode 4: What are SA’s current and future property hotspots

Let’s Talk Property is sponsored by eLan Property group and hosted be Derek Watts. This weeks webinar will be paneled by South African property experts such as Samuel Seeff, Director of Seeff Properties; Louise Martin COO of Estate Living; Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts South Africa and more esteemed property professionals. Learn more about the panelists and register now.


Let’s Talk Property Episode 3: Politics, the Ecomony and Buying a House.

Property finance has always been one-part mystery, one-part theory, one-part luck – to the uninformed. But it is in fact a science based on very set ideals with an unenviable reliance on circumstance. It is this reliance on circumstance that dictates the degree of risk and that determines failure or reward.


Lets talk Property Episode 2: Mauritius

Hosted by Derek Watts, Episode 2 of the “Lets Talk Property” webinar features insights from various experts in property and across relevant fields. The focus for each episode is different, for this week’s focus will be on property investment in Mauritius.


Lets Talk Property hosted by Derek Watts Episode 1, sponsored by eLANS Property Group

In these unprecedented times we are all looking for some degree of financial security. One of the go-to pillars in this field is property, as this investment historically holds its value.


Estate Living multimedia platform

Estate Living provides insight into community environments. As the leading multi-disciplinary and multi-channel platform, our goal is to assist our audience to make informed decisions, inspire investment and professionalism. By sharing knowledge, Estate Living is a catalyst for economic opportunity.


Evergreen Lifestyle Villages

Established in 2008, Evergreen is South Africa’s premier retirement lifestyle brand with a reputation for developing and operating exceptional retirement villages.


BMI Group Roofing and Waterproofing Solutions

BMI Group supports property developments, through scalable and sustainable roofing and waterproofing solutions


Estate Living talking levies with Marina Constas BBM Law

Understand your right and obligations when it comes to levy payment. The community living levies series with Marina Constas aims to assist owners and tenant with sectional title developments and homeowner associations.


Estate Living talking levies with Marina Constas BBM Law Pt2

Understand your right and obligations when it comes to levy payment. The community living levies series with Marina Constas aims to assist owners and tenant with sectional title developments and homeowner associations.


Estate Living Developer Event JHB 2019

With this years property developer focused morning coming up on the 19th of March 2020, take a look back on our wildly successful Durban event held last year


Estate Living Developer Event Durban 2019

With this years property developer focused morning coming up on the 19th of March 2020, take a look back on our wildly successful Durban event held last year


Colas SA Community offering

Estate Living and Colas introduce a new solution for road surfaces repairs and maintenance. Watch the implementation on Blair Atholl Estate.


Walkthrough Video of Brettenwood’s Palm Swift Development

Brettenwood’s latest development has been enhanced and is now offering single-storey homes! Brettenwood Coastal Estate’s latest sectional title development has launched 2 and 3 bedroom free-standing, single-storey homes priced from R 2.5 million!


Malcolm Samuel, Simbithi Eco Estate, on the value of community social investment

Estate Living chats to GM of Simbithi Eco estate, Malcolm Samuels about the value of community.


Association of Residential Community Annual 2019 Conference

The 2019 Annual ARC Conference hosted at the stunning San Lameer Estate in KZN, brought together 150 residential community leaders to learn and grow as an industry.


Association of Residential Communities ( ARC ) and Estate Living partnership

Onsite at the pristine Steenberg Estate, we chat with Jeff Gilmour around what a chapter meeting is and how Estate Living and ARC bring communities alive.


Zimbali Lakes Resort – Development Site available for development

Estate Living discusses opportunities for development at the gorgeous Zimbali Lakes Resort


Servest Landscaping – What makes a great community landscaping partner

Sebelo Khoza from Servest Landscaping chats to Estate Living about what makes a great community landscaping partner.


Arthur Case of Evergreen discusses Evergreen offering

Estate Living sits down with Arthur Case of Evergreen and discusses the support Evergreen offers residents with selling their home and moving into an Evergreen village


Estate Living chats to Joan, a resident at Evergreen

Estate Living and Joan Misplon, discuss the Evergreen lifestyle


ProjectProp Leloko Eco and Lifestyle Estate

ProjectProp presents Leloko Eco and Lifestyle Estate, development sale opportunity.


Greenhill Estate – Launch Event

Greenhill Estate in Waterkloof Heights is Pretoria’s new premier off-grid​ estate. Conceptualised and developed by the Green Housing Company, the estate features insulative advanced tech buildings , ensuring that the contemporary-styled homes will require minimal (if any) heating and cooling, and more.


The Rive Droite Show villa will soon be ready

Things are moving in Azuri Ocean & Golf Village in Mauritius on the new neighborhood of Rive Droite, with an exquisite villa that will soon be revealed.


Estate Living interview with Santam

Louise Martin, COO of Estate Living, interviews Santams Head of specialist real estate, Karl Bishop, on Santam’s development guarantees.


Estate Living and Openserve interview

Estate Living interviews the team from Openserve at Kyalami Estate. Discussing Openserves experience within residential communities


GreenHill Estate in Waterkloof Pretoria

Fabulously positioned at the top of Waterkloof Heights, Greenhill Estate offers 360-degree views and energy-efficient, sustainable living in an exclusive, secure lifestyle estate.


Estate Living Interview with Dirk Uys from Arabella Country Estate

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

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.


Builders DIY: How to Make a DIY Chalkboard Serving Tray

In this video we show you how to make a DIY chalkboard serving tray that’s cute and easy to make.


Arc Conference 2018

The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) helds its 2018 Annual Conference, Expo and Golf Day at the beautiful Serengeti Estates. The Association of Residential Communities (ARC) has been in existence for over 10 years, with 11 founder members, 10 chapters around the country and over 300 member estates, home to over 200,000 residents and representing 58% of the market in respect of number of homes.


Builders DIY: Geometric feature wall

Transform a bland white space into a stunning feature wall in a snap with this short and sweet DIY video!


Builders DIY: Paint your ceiling with Fired Earth Ceiling Paint

It applies pink and dries white – so you’ll never miss a spot again.


Builders DIY: DIY Kitchen Stand

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


Builders DIY: How to build a Kitchen

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


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?

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

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?

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.

The rumblings of discontent

Residents of some previously seemingly harmonious estates are finding it hard to come to terms with remote working – especially when coupled with remote learning.

Virtual AGMs – the good, the bad and the crazy

Even though lockdown restrictions seem to be easing, the real risk of COVID-19 still hovers over us like an evil spectre, so estate managers, HOAs and boards need to be creative when it comes to holding the AGM – especially when it comes to ensuring you have a quorum.

IFA Fair-Zim Hotel & Resort Proprietary Limited Enters Business Rescue

As the Covid-19 crisis continues to disrupt local and global travel and tourism markets, IFA Fair Zim Hotel & Resort Proprietary Limited announced today that the company entered business rescue on Wednesday 16 September 2020 to safeguard the interests of all its stakeholders.

Could COVID-19 change how cities view their streets?

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

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.

Working from home is becoming the norm

SARS-CoV-2 has changed so many things – the way we socialise, the way we work, and – yes – even the way we think. But will it irrevocably change the landscape in which we live? Cities evolved to accommodate the way people worked, so will they now evolve to embrace a new work-life balance? And how will this affect our bottom line as developers? Do we need to think outside of yet another box that we thought was watertight?

Will Mauritius ever recover from the oil spill?

The grounding of the Panama-flagged bulk liner owned by Nagashiki Shipping on the eastern shore of Mauritius has resulted in an oil spill of a magnitude not yet experienced in that country. Media reports tend to portray it as an environmental disaster, but it is best understood in the context of ecological processes playing out at planetary scale.

The real estate market has gone virtual

Virtual property viewings in South Africa were few and far between pre-COVID-19, but they have been rapidly gaining traction, especially during the national lockdown. As we now begin to adapt to a new, post-pandemic, socially distanced normal, they could become part and parcel of buying and selling a home. So, what exactly does a virtual viewing entail, what are the positives and possible pitfalls, and is the South African property market ready for it?

The future of 12J

It sounds like a win-win deal: you invest in a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SMME), helping it to grow by increasing its access to equity finance, and in return SARS gives you a handsome tax deduction. From a property investment point of view, many of these 12J enterprises were in the hospitality space, with investors buying into properties that catered to South Africa’s booming tourism industry. Then, in early 2020, COVID-19 struck. Boom turned to bust, leaving investors wondering if there’s any future for 12J.

Roads made from old tyres and building rubble

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

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.

Rental Guarantees

Buying a property for rental is a big investment that is not without risk. So, can rental guarantees sweeten the deal? Rental income is key for investors, so developers offer rental guarantees as a way to entice investors to sign on the dotted line. A rental guarantee is usually a net return that a developer promises to pay an investor purchasing a buy-to-let property.

Rates relief welcomed in major cities

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

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 The below is an overview provided without comment.

Picking up the slack for municipal incompetence

South African communities are buckling under the weight of municipal mismanagement and broken promises. What role could – and should – developers play in digging local municipalities out of the mess?

No trees were harmed in the construction of this skinny house

This spectacular, low-impact Frankie Pappas-designed home in the Waterberg sits lightly on the land, appearing to float among the trees. The brief was to design a home that disappears into the landscape, that sits among the rocks and trees and birds, that offers animals and plants and humans equal opportunity to find shelter, and that treats the bushveld with the respect it deserves.

Mauritius is a diving paradise

If you’re thinking of moving to Mauritius, or even just buying a second home there, you’ll soon be tempted to put your head under water to explore the fantastic coral reefs. You can, of course, learn once you are there, but you could also be proactive and learn before you go.

Keep safe and cool in the pool

Researchers at the University of South Australia have developed a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, and that will vastly improve water safety. New research shows that it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management, so it can safely be used by individual home owners and estate management.

How Mauritius’s unique political culture helped it beat COVID-19

While we struggle to come to grips with the reality, extent and possible fallout of COVID-19, one country has successfully eliminated the disease – Mauritius.

How has COVID-19 affected the rental market?

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?

Emigrating from South Africa

Over the last 20 years, more than one million South Africans have emigrated abroad, usually to greener pastures outside of the continent. But what doors can a South African passport open for you and your family?

Ecosystem monitoring for management

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

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

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?

Municipality hands over RDP houses without water, toilets or electricity

The provision of municipal housing is failing, which exacerbates existing inequity and social problems. It’s not a new issue, unfortunately, but it is a wake-up call for people on waiting lists. Perhaps it’s time to explore other ways of securing affordable housing.

Thinking of immigrating to the UK?

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

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

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

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.

The luxury of Later Living – the UK’s winning formula

Retirement housing has been a key component of the UK housing market for a while now. Better healthcare means people here are now living longer and are better able to manage their health conditions. As a result, every year, the number of over-65s continues to increase at a somewhat untenable rate.

Repurposing student housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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).

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the cryptocurrency market?

The global stock market crashed on 12 March 2020, now referred to as Black Thursday, and Bitcoin lost more than half of its value on that one day. The sell-off in the traditional markets triggered investors to liquidate their Bitcoin and gold assets, at an expensive cost, but although international stock markets remain stagnant amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the cryptocurrency has quickly bounced back.

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

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

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

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.

How to acquire and develop the best talent

Finding the right staff is important but, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you cannot accurately assess and evaluate a candidate during the selection process. There are plenty of things you can easily forget to assess when interviewing for new talent. It is not just skills and experience, but also soft skills, traits, personality, ambition and – most important – cultural fit. These factors are harder, but not impossible, to assess and if you pay attention to this, you increase your chances of finding, and more importantly retaining the best candidate for the job.

Life right

Great movie, and an awesome title. But I would have done it the other way round – the Ugly, the Bad and the Good. OK, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, but it’s a better way to approach life – that way you end on a positive note. But I digress, this article is about life right, not about movies.

Wild at heart

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.

For the birds

We have so many fabulous birds on our estates, we can hardly help becoming birders, or – to be more jargonny – twitchers. Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the world, and it’s far more interesting than just peering into a tree, muttering to yourself, ‘that’s a lesser-spotted grey-winged hooplededoop’, ticking it off on a list, and then moving on – binos glued to your face, pencil poised, ready to add another metaphorical notch to your binocular strap.

The future of secured communities in South Africa

Predicting the future is far from an exact science, but the one thing we can be sure of is that secured communities must adapt to keep up with changes ‘beyond the wall’.

Conveyancers support property owners and sellers during COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Smooth and seamless transitions

A development is not a residential estate – it’s a place with houses in a greater or lesser stage of completion. But there comes a time when the developer steps out and the homeowners association steps in – and from that moment, the estate becomes a community – a place where people live.

Lockdown prompts homeowners re-evaluate lifestyle, including living spaces

The far-reaching lockdown experienced by homeowners in South Africa has no doubt provided much food for thought and room for introspection, most likely mainly around re-evaluating lifestyle and long-term goals, but also their immediate surrounds – their homes.

Mauritius opening up to the world

In the 2020/21 Mauritian Budget Speech, Mauritius opens itself up to the world by creating more opportunities for foreign investment and If you are considering Mauritius as a viable option this is great news for you. Estate Living has partnered with key specialist who can assist with everything you need to know about Estate Living Mauritius – from researching all your options to finding the right home, school, business opportunity and retirement plan.

Women investors have their eye on the property market

For some years now, SA statistics have shown that single women are buying houses at a much higher rate than single men, and in some regions at an even higher rate than couples as they seek financial independence and security*.

Hunting SARS-Cov-2

You know you need to manage COVID-19 but you can’t manage what you can’t measure. So how do you measure the extent of SARS-Cov-2 infection in your estate? Sounds like a long, involved process, but it isn’t. In fact, it can be done really simply.

Ryan Sandes’s hardest run

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.

Retirees buying off plan: risks and rewards

Buying off-plan is the norm for new residential estates, but it has proven to be not that popular in the retirement village market.

Citizen science

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

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

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

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.

Commercial space is standing empty in South African cities

A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?

A second life for hotels?

South Africa has had an oversupply of tourist accommodation since at least 2010. With the hotel industry now reeling from COVID-19, what are the prospects for owners and developers of hospitality properties?

Retire with a view

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

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

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.

HOAs may be preserving communities to their death

Forming homeowners associations (HOAs) has become second nature to developers. But handing a development over to the HOA has often not been quite as easy.

Attorney realtor hub

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.

Micro apartments

Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.

Selling your development: estate agent vs sales team

Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?

Safety products you didn’t know you needed

Estates of all descriptions offer safe community living environments and this is the main reason most of us buy into them. This doesn’t mean we can be completely complacent about safety within our own homes, though. Here are three situations you may not have thought of that need attention.

Making the dream a reality

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

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

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

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

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.

How REIPPP is contributing to South Africa’s switch to renewable energy

REIPPP is a government-led initiative to promote buy-in from investors for large- and small-scale renewable energy projects. The program was implemented in 2011, and since then has had some success, but still faces many challenges

Own a piece of a vineyard

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

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?

The Components of a Good Rule

When writing rules and guidelines for the successful implementation of these, boards should keep the concepts and words simple and understandable to the average person in the community. If residents understand rules, they’re more likely to comply with them.

Taking control of water provision

The Water Services Act number 108 of 1997 made sweeping changes to the way that water is managed by mandating water service authorities as the only lawful providers of water. But, because of erratic supply and lack of confidence in municipalities, some estates are taking control of water reticulation, which has – mostly – worked fine until now, but it does technically take HOAs, bodies corporate and boards into a murky grey area of the law.

Work-life balance

We’ve all spent a lot more time at home recently, and – for some of us – that’s put quite a strain on our work-life balance. But what’s interesting is that so many people are realising that they don’t need to go in to the office as much as they thought they did.

Risks and implications of becoming a water service provider

Once municipal water enters the estate, it is reticulated through a network that has been built by the original developer and is maintained by the HOA. All’s fine and good but, if the estate management decides to provide on-site storage to, for example, ensure regular supply, they stray into a grey area of the law, and may be liable to prosecution.

Are nuclear families really the norm?

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’.


Sourdough has a long and varied history, starting with the ancient Egyptians, and the creation of a sourdough mother is probably one of the most enduring and useful of all scientific endeavours.

What to expect from your property price after the COVID-19 pandemic is over

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to impact multiple industries worldwide, and the property sector is no exception. The South African property market pre-pandemic showed positive signs of improvement, with an increased transaction rate. However, the five-week national lockdown has undoubtedly put strain on homeowners and halted any optimism that may have been building.

What happens when your tenant cannot pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced the abrupt closures of shops, restaurants, cafés and other businesses in multiple countries. Like many of us, commercial and residential landlords and their tenants are now at breaking point.

Is the 2% interest rate in South Africa enough to revive the property market?

The surprise announcement in April by the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago, of a further drop in the repo rate – by 100 basis points, to 4.25% per annum – is certainly welcome news for the property sector.

The changing face of concrete

In 1945, concrete was considered the best solution to solving the housing shortage in postwar London. Since then the material has often been blamed for the unattractive, cold and somewhat uninviting face of cities across the urban world.

Buying into a sectional title scheme or housing complex: Free information session

This information session will provide with you the knowledge on how to buy into a sectional title scheme.

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

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.

How small and medium-sized businesses can weather the COVID-19 storm

Economists forecast that the nationwide lockdown implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus will have far-reaching economic implications. Ficth in an article, (COVID-19 Growth Revisions), forecasts that the South African GDP will slow from 0.2% to -1.9% in 2020.

Beyond lockdown

The COVID-19 lockdowns across the globe have brought about a confluence of forces around the business environment – forcing companies to restructure and redefine the way they do business. They need to adopt new strategies to improve security protocols to better manage and deal with the pandemic.

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

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.

Postcards from the pandemic/Letters from lockdown 2: Pilates

On the morning of 20 April, I dragged myself out of bed some time before 08:00. While I left my coffee to brew, I searched for the running tights that hadn’t been used in longer than I’d care to admit, and squeezed myself into them. Once sufficiently caffeinated, I spread a yoga mat on the floor.

Harbour Bay Village

Are you retired or know someone who is fast approaching retirement? Seniors today face challenging circumstances and the issues they need to think about and plan for include physical security, financial resources, healthcare, and social interaction. Expect an unparalleled luxury lifestyle at Harbour Bay Village.

Vodacom Fibre

Is your community connected to fibre? Vodacom Fibre connects you to the highest speed Internet, Voice, TV, video and security services available today. In addition, Vodacom’s Fibre network utilises flexible glass cable instead of copper, which is less susceptible to bad weather, lightning and theft, resulting in unprecedented reliability.

Property stokvels

Stokvels are pooled savings schemes with several members who are obliged to contribute a set amount on a monthly basis. Traditionally, each member receives a hearty payout based on a predetermined rotation.


Trout are originally from the northern hemisphere, but they are a highly sought-after species for epicureans and anglers alike, so they have been introduced worldwide. Their popularity as a fly-angling species makes their introduction into dams or lakes well worth considering. But consider carefully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Conferencing post-COVID-19

Whether you have a fully kitted out home office or are just working from a cleared section on the kitchen counter, you’re likely to have had numerous virtual meetings by Skype, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting or Zoom. And by now you’re probably sick of the virtual thing and longing for some human-to-human face time. But regardless of what we want or need, the normal we once knew is no more, and a new normal awaits.

Unpacking the National Water Act

The National Water Act of 1998 (NWA), which was the first comprehensive legislation adopted immediately after the transition to democracy, has far-reaching implications of which most people are blissfully unaware.

Solar energy around the world

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.

Sapiens schmapiens

The COVID-19 pandemic is a terrifying wake-up call for humanity. But will we heed it, or will we ‘overcome’ it as best we can so that we can continue on the self-destructive course that led to it? Certainly, the measures taken by governments, organisations and individuals over the last few weeks show that we can change our behaviour and expectations – if we are convincingly threatened.

How boreholes work

In times of drought, it’s common practice to sink a borehole. Many estates, and individuals, do this without fully appreciating how an aquifer works, and what legal implications are associated with going off grid, even partially.

Teenagers are people too

Teenagers have distinct needs, and making estates teen-friendly can be challenging, but it is so worth it. By providing a safe space for their entertainment and development, estate managers can harness teenage energy and drive as a force for good.

Infectious diseases and the workplace

Employers – including HOAs – must provide a safe workplace, even if that means insisting on disease tests for employees. During the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, cruise ships turned into living, floating laboratories for scientists studying the disease. With their close confines and high proportions of older people (who tend to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus), combined with their lack of access to the outside world, cruise ships were – tragically, in some cases – the perfect incubator.

Stress management and conflict resolution

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

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.

Call for the designation of construction sector as essential services

The construction industry has the potential to create employment opportunities to cushion the impact of an anticipated increase in unemployment in the immediate aftermath of the current nation-wide lockdown. This is according to a submission made by the Construction COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Team (CCRR19TT) to motivate for a phased reactivation of the Construction Sector. The task team is a body representing major organizations in the sector including contractors, property developers, construction professionals, suppliers, and service providers.

Howlelujah Foundation Giveaway to raise funds

We’re super excited to announce this Giveaway! One lucky @howlelujahfoundation supporter could stand a chance to spend a weekend in Luxury at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa.

Sea Point: An Investor’s Eye View

Sea Point has long been regarded as one of the property jewels of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. But does it still offer good investments? With Sea Point’s natural attractions and strong short-stay letting market, but should investors be scared off by talk of ‘carnage’ in the local market, and new regulations around short-term rentals?

Never let a good crisis go to waste

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.

Another brick in the wall

When we think of bricks, we tend to think of either baked clay bricks or cement bricks, both of which have a very high carbon footprint – conventional clay bricks are fired at temperatures of over 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, which requires the burning of coal with all its attendant environmental fallout. But there are bricks – or brick-like things – that can be produced at much lower temperatures, thereby using much less carbon, and producing less pollution. Some are the result of amazing new technological breakthroughs, and are only in the trail phase, while some are so old as to have been virtually forgotten.

Builders face an uncertain post-COVID-19 future

With construction not categorised as an essential service, all projects are suspended under the national COVID-19 lockdown – leaving the sector facing a deeply uncertain future.

Short- term rentals

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?

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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.

Six architectural and decor trends for 2020

Just as facebrick dates homes from the eighties and covered patios hit their stride a decade later, 2020 will bring with it new design and architectural hallmarks. What are they?

Highland gold

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?

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?

The 2019 amendments to BBBEE legislation

Government gazetted amendments to the BBBEE legislation on 31 May 2019, with a six-month implementation timeframe. This limited implementation period could negatively impact on your business, depending on your financial year end, and the date of the next BBBEE verification.

Conradie Park’s model for sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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.

Giving developers a greener EDGE

While green building practices – and Green Building Council certification – are known to improve sustainability and reduce running costs, EDGE certification is now also showing its worth as a marketing tool for estate developers.

Lockdown lowdown

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.

District Six open for development

Property developers are encouraged to invest in District Six, despite rumours that the historic Cape Town precinct might be declared a National Heritage site. That’s according to Shahied Ajam, chairperson of the District Six Working Committee (D6WC).

Size counts – at least for kitchen appliances

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

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

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

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.

Schooling solutions

Estates offer families the opportunity to ‘live, work, and play’ in a single space, which has led to a demand for practical schooling solutions in or close to estates.
But schools take up a lot of space, so it’s worth considering smaller collaborative learning spaces, fuelled by online educational centres and curriculums.

Creating value with running trails

Developing trails in estates not only adds value to properties but provides safe and healthy opportunities for residents – and also creates unique selling features with little investment.


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.

Know the law when procuring vendors for your residential scheme

To protect your financial interests and your investment, you’ve volunteered to be chairman of your body corporate or homeowners’ association. As the person in charge, you’re now navigating things like cleaning, greening, security and a host of other issues. When it comes to handling the vendor procurement process, understanding the law will help you avoid any pitfalls.

Safe and Secure

As more cases of Covid-19 are reported in South Africa, residential estates need to take action to keep their residence, visitors and staff safe – and that means being proactive, rather than reactive.

2020 SONA lights the way for energy independence

As South Africa continues to battle with power cuts, grid constraints and load shedding, the government is making it easier for businesses – including residential estates – to generate their own solar PV (photovoltaic) electricity.

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

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.

Investing body corporate reserve funds

It’s old news that sectional title schemes need to establish and maintain a reserve fund that is separate from the administrative fund. Most bodies corporate have done so, and have built the fund up to meet the requirements. And some are now sitting on large sums of cash, and may even have a surplus of reserve funds. So investing this surplus makes good financial sense, but it must be done cautiously and with the preservation of funds as a priority.

Mud buildings of Groot Constantia

Should we be looking to the past for ideas for alternative building methods to reduce our carbon footprint? It makes sense, because traditional, low-tech building methods are almost naturally low carbon-intensive.

What is mould

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.

It’s the SELL OUT BONANZA at Harbour Bay Village!

Ladies and gentleman, hurry don’t miss out! This is your last chance to get your hands on 1 of the 27 units left at Harbour Bay Village. Your journey to exclusive resort-style, luxury living starts here. Are you ready?

How to control mould in your home

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

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

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.

Top influential women developers share their industry experience

While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.

Problem Pets

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.

BDI pod homes

As sustainability and the desire to live off grid have become mainstream, so too has the trend of tiny homes risen in popularity. We take a closer look at BDI’s PanGoPod home and explore how developers can utilise these methods by thinking out of the box.

Somerset Nurse’s’ Home to become affordable housing

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.

The coronavirus outbreak in context

The coronavirus outbreak has been making headlines worldwide as a potential new pandemic. But before you start panicking and cancelling your travel plans, here’s a summary of what you need to know about the current situation and what you can do to protect yourself.

Getting to know Estate Living’s COO, Louise Martin

With a qualification in Art Direction and Design, Louise Martin travelled the world before returning to South Africa where she worked in the local film industry. She owes her multi-tasking and communications abilities to these years where she was responsible for a myriad different tasks within the art department. At age 36 she was ready for a change and joined Estate Living – and what lay ahead was a headlong tumble into the exciting world of property.

Something rich and strange

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

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.’


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.

Teams are living things …

As managers, we are sometimes so concerned about the outward signs of effectiveness – whether all the boxes have been ticked – that we often don’t notice that our employees are just going through the motions. For real effectiveness, and a staff that actually enjoys coming to work, we need to manage from the heart – for the heart.

Controversy won’t pull plug on LHWP

Work on the multi-billion-rand, cross-border Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is going ahead, despite protests from local activists and NGOs.

The Property Practitioners Act

The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.

Where does Johannesburg get its water

Johannesburg is a unique city because it was built without a local water supply. It has become the only major city in the world totally reliant on water sourced from distant rivers and pumped across mountain ranges. This creates a vulnerability that few appreciate when buying or developing real estate.

Is overpopulation to blame for climate change

A seemingly innocuous comment about overpopulation at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos highlights how oversimplification of the issues and processes can exacerbate the problem, and shift blame from the perpetrators to the victims.

Do due diligence before investing in an estate

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.

Is Amazon’s Ring worth the risk?

With smart camera technology that lets you monitor your doorstep for deliveries, Amazon’s Ring doorbell seems like a winner. But is it?

Positioning your estate correctly is the key to success

The way we live has changed so dramatically in the past few years that disruption is becoming the norm. Property ownership is no longer viewed as a giant step into adulthood and a promise of financial security. Bricks, mortar, a level of security and some pretty landscaping in a desirable location no longer cuts it.

Tenders and their respective duties of due care

Navigating the minefield of procurement in your custodial role of a scheme can be tricky – are you aware which pieces of legislation apply? Let’s be honest: undertaking a custodial role in a scheme in which you either reside or have a financial interest can be somewhat onerous. Emotion-driven general meetings, laced with commendable intentions to ensure the ongoing viability of your investment, can often see you ‘volunteering’ for any number of duties and/or committees. 

High density, small space – the ultimate decor guide

High-density living makes for greater convenience, but it means less floor space. Small needn’t equal cramped, however. Try these savvy tips.

The best exercise

There are no gyms in the ‘blue zones’ – the five parts of the world identified by National Geographic writer Dan Buettner as the places where most people live to a healthy old age and tend not to suffer from what we call lifestyle diseases.

Make the room extraordinary with wallpaper

Wallpaper can elevate a space to something interesting, intriguing and sophisticated. Botanical-inspired wallpapers are on trend in 2020, while texture continues to feature prominently as a way to create a cosy, design-conscious environment in your home. ‘Printed or textured wallpaper adds visual warmth,’ suggests interior designer Bailey Basson, owner of Blue Capricorn Interior Design Studio in Durban.

Navigating the minefield of plastic recycling

You’re trying to do the right thing by recycling. Cans, glass, cardboard and paper are easy – but plastic! And all those little ‘recycling’ symbols and numbers on them, fat lot of good they do to clear up the confusion. That is unless you know what they mean and how to interpret them.

Feels like home

Home should feel like a sanctuary, a place where we can breathe out, and feel the weight of the world fall off our shoulders from the minute we drive through the gates.

Who you gonna call? … Snake rescuers!

If you see a snake – firstly – don’t panic! Most of the time snakes are far more frightened of you than you are of them. That’s hard to remember when a three-metre mamba rears up in front of you on a path, opening its inky black mouth, but take it from me it is terrified of you.

What pet owners should keep in mind when moving to an estate

If you’re looking to move to an estate, but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind, be sure to look through the body corporate rules before sealing the deal.

The wonders of waste – organic waste converter

Everyone knows that composting is a no-brainer, and now it doesn’t have to be a labour-intensive, space-intensive eyesore. If, as an estate, you’re not composting, you’re crazy. But composting takes up lots of space, there is a limit to what you can or cannot compost, and restaurants produce a lot of organic waste that is not easily compostable. So I was pretty darn impressed when I was recently introduced to a dedicated composting machine.

Power to the people

Boardroom battles at nuclear SOE Necsa underline the need for residential estates to take the power back. Boardroom battles at South Africa’s Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) highlight the urgent need for residential estates to create their own power plans.

Play hard, play safe, nobody gets hurt

Outdoor play is critical for children’s development, but may also present a number of potential hazards. Here’s how to manage those risks. Experts tell us that children should spend at least three hours a day outside – and, indeed, one of the joys of estate living is that kids have literally acres to run and roam. Here’s how to ensure that they enjoy it all safely.

Love – island style

What better way is there to celebrate the month of love than a surprise island break for you and the love of your life? No matter what type of travel couple you are, there’s a perfect destination match for you on one of our delightfully exotic, but so close and accessible, Indian Ocean islands. Best of all, no visas are required for South African passport holders for holiday stays of up to 30 days.*

Gimme space

Yes, economy of scale is important in the residential market in order to make home ownership affordable. But is there space for personal space and why do we need it?

A community is more than buildings

The historic settlement of Inanda outside Durban offers some telling lessons about using space to create communities, and about how those communities can change the world – both within their borders and without. It should be a pilgrimage of learning for all developers and estate managers.

Smart-home insurance solutions…the future is here

Technology has become an integral part of our lives and it is the main driver of change in the insurance industry. That is why as Santam, we have embraced the benefits of integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) into existing insurance models and systems.

Brick it!

Recycling is a given in most households nowadays. Dealing with paper, cardboard, cans and glass is easy – just make sure items are clean and not contaminated with any food scraps (think pizza boxes). But plastic! Now there’s a minefield of confusion. Once you’ve worked your way around all those pesky numbers, you’re bound to be left with a mound of unrecyclable material.

Food trends

From vegan fare to pea protein, here’s what we’re eating in 2020. Our constantly evolving plates are a reflection of societal trends. So, what do this year’s food trends say about us?

How the repo rate drop can make your life easier

On 16 January 2020, the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy community announced its decision to cut the repo rate by 0.25% (from 6.5% to 6.25%). This decision came despite all but three of 24 economists surveyed by Reuters predicting that the repo rate would remain unchanged.

Size counts

One of the main reasons people move into residential estates is to recreate the sense of community typical of villages or small, well-defined suburbs. People knew their neighbours – and their neighbours’ pets – and they memorised each other’s phone numbers. In their heads! Kids played in the street or in public open space, wandered in and out of each other’s houses, and only came home when they were hungry.

Is it worth building a doggy park on an estate?

Building a dog park on an estate can bring in increased revenue and foster a sense of community. Many of the drawbacks of being dog-friendly can be mitigated through careful planning.

Biometrics: Is Gait ID The New Gate ID?

New technologies allow security teams to identify guests – and intruders – by how they walk. Is this the future of estate access?

Icky green goo

It’s great having a dam, pond, lake or river on an estate, but when it turns green overnight, and things start dying in it, it’s more of a liability than an asset. So, as estate managers, we need to understand – firstly – how this happens, and then how to deal with it.

Composting in small spaces

We tend to think of compost as a huge heap in an obscure corner of the garden – something that needs to be strenuously turned regularly, and that can generate enough heat to warm bathwater or possibly roast a chicken. Well, that is the traditional method, and it may well be the most biologically efficient way to compost, but there are much neater, smaller, more user-friendly options, some of which can even be used indoors.

Four things you never knew an app could do for your residential estate

Most residential estates in South Africa today have invested in high-tech security solutions to make sure that they can offer residents much-needed peace of mind. However, when it comes to maximising the benefits of app technology, South Africa is still somewhat lagging behind.

Single source of truth

Don’t you hate that feeling when you’ve spent hours working on something until it’s finally perfect, only to find – perhaps days later – that a colleague has done the same thing? But it’s a different perfect, so now you have two versions.

Eco-friendly design and sustainability define modern lifestyle estates

The worldwide movement towards eco-friendly living has taken centre stage in the design ethos of lifestyle estates across the country, directing architectural and decor trends without compromising on luxury and style.

A de-vine decision

If you have a hectare or two lying idle, would planting a vineyard be a good idea? That depends on what you plan to do with the grapes. There is a slew of residential wine estates in the Western Cape, and for very good reason. Vineyards are beautiful, and living among them is a privilege and a pleasure.

Tracking the green bond market

Climate change has been widely acknowledged as one of the greatest long-term challenges facing humanity. In their monthly report to member countries this October, the United Nations warned that the world has 12 years to avert catastrophic climate damage, and countries needed to get their financing in order.

Identifying managers with staying power

The four critical qualities that every leader needs to survive in the industry are adaptability, reliability, the ability to make and own difficult decisions, and being able to engage stakeholders.

BLOK & Oggie hardwood flooring

Blok is a property development brand that is designed and curated by passionate urban dwellers. This understanding results in the ability to create a living space that delivers on multiple aspects of city living from the delicately constructed flow to the generous size of each apartment.

Cambridge Analytica, Car Boots and Confused Security Guards.

Do you remember the moment, that exact moment, when the security guard at a complex you were attempting to gain access into, asked the question: “Can you please open your boot? “I do. I was fetching my daughter at a friend’s house in one of the vast estates in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg. “What? I exclaimed, ““Open my boot? ” “Not a chance!” “Do you have a search warrant?”

Confusion over Appeals against CSOS awards reaches resolution.

The word ‘appeal” can have different connotations:- in the wide sense it means that there must be a complete re-hearing of the merits with additional evidence. In a strict sense it means a re-hearing on the merits but limited to the old evidence. The third interpretation is that an appeal can be a judicial review which is a limited and more informal process.

Body Corporate or Managing Agent powers

Can your Body Corporate or Managing Agent switch off or reduce your electricity if you have not paid your levies? The answer is a resounding NO. Many owners in Sectional Title buildings who are in arrears with their levies are faced with the situation where their electricity supply is unilaterally cut off by the Trustees or Managing Agent.

Are Gaslighters getting your goat?

Up until a few weeks ago I was blissfully unaware of the meaning of the term-“Gaslighter.” This state is quite contrary to the norm actually, as I feel that I am mostly au fait with colloquial English. When, by chance, I came across the word in an overseas article, I felt momentarily slighted thinking that it meant ‘some sort of lamp utilising gas to illuminate the surroundings’.

Anchoring the Airbnb debate in Community Schemes

In October last year, I visited Sydney on a study trip, to meet Managing Agents and to view new and exciting developments, in this, my area of passion and expertise. It was simply marvellous to be regaled with interesting information about how Bodies Corporate would have to cater for the electric car revolution by placing  charger docks in garages and within a carport structure.

The perfect all-rounder

The property market in Mauritius has been a major contributor to GDP since government enabled foreign investment via the Investment Promotion Act in 2000. Possibilities for residential property purchases by foreigners have been refined over the years, with the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS) being launched in 2006. According to, capital growth has exceeded 300% in the last decade.

Forty on L

BLOK RAW’s FORTY ON L brings global travellers and savvy locals a trendy urban lifestyle at a deliberately lower price point without compromising on quality.

Greenhill Estate

The Green Housing Company is a Gauteng-based building and property development company. They work across a spectrum of markets including domestic and commercial buildings such as off-grid shopping malls. Their speciality is building highly insulated and energy-efficient homes for both the high-end luxury property market and the affordable housing sector.

Staycation Johannesburg

Rather than fight your way to a popular holiday spot this December, stay home and get to know your city better. Really, are you going to join the lemming exodus down to the coast? Or brave the crowds at OR Tambo so that you can spend hours squished up in a plane? While a holiday is a great idea, sometimes getting there and back is so stressful, you need another one once you get home.

Invest in Property in Cyprus

Buy direct from the developer and save thousands on your property investment in Cyprus (member of the European Union). Many South Africans are looking to invest in overseas properties, with most of them seeking a Plan B as well as an investment opportunity.

Count your blessings

While the end-of-year holiday is a great time to go hiking, biking, diving, surfing or more, it’s also a great time to kick back and just chill. And what better way is there than to line up a bunch of seriously feel-good movies, make some popcorn, open a bottle of something fizzy, and curl up on the couch surrounded by friends and family, with at least one pet snoozing gently on your lap?

The good the bad and the ugly

Restoring and developing old buildings is essential to preserving our heritage, so it’s important to go beyond minimum compliance with the regulations. There’s so much to consider when you’re developing an old building – and that’s over and above the regulatory hoops.

2019 Legislation summary of relevant acts

Important legislation applied to estates and their management teams in 2019. Here is a summary of each legislation, its application and what you need to know and have in order to ensure compliance.

Are self-storage units a viable development option?

Storage units are cheap to build and easy to maintain, and there’s a constant demand for tenancy. So what’s the catch? Self-storage units are a tempting option for property developers. But in an increasingly competitive market, cheap building costs and attractive rental income has to be balanced with a quality offering.

Out in the open

Take advantage of balmy summer nights by organising some fantastic outdoor events for your residents. One of the big advantages of living in South Africa is our fabulous weather, and one of the big advantages of living on an estate is the open space – so take advantage of those fabulous summer nights by organising some great outdoor events for your residents.

Private Equity Funding

As private equity funding continues to enjoy favour among South African investors, we take a look at the traditional structure, and consider alternatives.

Sustainable cement

With increasing consumer awareness of global warming and CO2 emissions, combined with possible future carbon taxes on various industries, it may be time to rethink concrete.

What are the techprop and proptech start-ups to watch in 2020?

Digital transformation is disrupting every industry across the world. The real estate sector is no exception, with residential and commercial markets seeing a large number of techprop and proptech start-ups each year.

Growing investments

You have to have plants on the estate, so why not plant things that can bring in a bit of an income? Many estates have quite significant tracts of open land, some of which is used for recreation, and some of which is just there because the plan for the estate specified a certain percentage of green open space.

Should estates go plastic free

How can residential estates contribute to reversing the preponderance of plastic waste in our surroundings, rivers and oceans? Plastic litter is possibly the most visible of the environmental issues facing us. And, unlike greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, it’s not really debatable.

Azuri’s rental guarantees

In addition to providing high quality and highly desirable homes, the Azuri team is offering a 3.5% income guaranteed for the first 2 years of acquisition.

Community is everything at Arabella Country Estate

At Arabella Country Estate, we believe that community is what makes our estate one of the best in the Western Cape and is one of the key reasons why we are consistently voted one of the top 10 estates to live in!

Purchasing and managing an investment property – a few fundamentals

It seems every investor is jumping on the property investment bandwagon and boasting about margins and fantastic rental incomes. Granted, the property market, especially in Cape Town CBD, has been given a shot in the arm thanks to short and medium-term-type rentals and the success of student accommodation, Airbnb, and the likes, but believe me, managing and making a favourable ROI on a second or third property is not a walk in the park. Getting it right, though, can be one of the best investments you ever make.

Colour in Nature

Blur the lines between the great outdoors and your interior spaces by replicating nature’s colours on your walls. Here’s how.

Is a smart city a healthy city

While developers of smart cities claim that they are healthier than non-smart cities, do they really address the issue that cities – regardless of their IQ – are unhealthy? Or are they just applying a metaphorical Band-Aid?

All at sea

Danish students are living in beautiful floating container homes in Copenhagen Harbour. Can this system help us to solve our affordable housing crisis?

Are IKEA flat-pack houses viable in South Africa?

Prefab housing does not have a great track record as an affordable option in South Africa. So could IKEA-style flat-pack houses work here like they are in the UK?

Security Switch

Humans or robots? It sounds like the sort of choice you’d only have to make in a sci-fi movie, but for more and more estate security managers, it’s a very real dilemma. The advances in digital technologies – including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, automation and machine learning – have made it possible to employ a full-service security force staffed entirely by non-humans.

Eaton Square – A brand new offering in Cape Town’s latest urban renewal zone

Diep River is currently seeing rapid urban renewal and is expected to assume its place as a popular hub for new families and up-and-coming professionals. We are extremely excited to be introducing Eaton Square, our 4-storey, mixed-use project situated on Main Road, Diep River, to this area.

Zane de Decker

Zane found his aptitude for property development early in his career. After graduating from UCT with a BSc in Property Studies, he pursued the complex and intriguing arena of asset management, finding that the assets he was drawn to most often were in the property sector.

Section 12J, are you really getting it?

We have recently taken our newly launched Section 12J property fund to the investment market. I’m a property specialist, with a bit of an asset management background, so the 12J structure really appealed to me when it first caught my interest. What I’m finding is that many people we are chatting to about the tax incentive really don’t fully understand its structure and workings. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? Wrong!

Grenada strikes a chord with SA investors seeking secondary citizenship

Citizenship by investment in under nine months and visa-free travel to 143 countries, including the EU Schengen area, UK, China, Singapore and Hong Kong, is seeing Grenada in the Caribbean receiving increasing attention from South Africans, including those seeking an ideal holiday home with sound investment potential plus rental income from a growing tourism base.

Why the E-2 VISA is often the best U.S. VISA

Many South African clients are motivated to immigrate to the U.S. and are prepared to invest a significant sum of money, but are not prepared to wait a substantial amount of time to enter the U.S. Educating children in the U.S. is a priority, as is avoiding taxation on worldwide income and flexibility to travel in and out of the U.S. 

Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort A World-Class Citizenship by Investment Opportunity

There has been increased demand from High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in South Africa seeking secondary citizenship as a way to protect themselves and their families from the risks caused by external political and economic factors beyond their control.

REDi Property Technology

REDi was founded just a week before Christmas of 2003, the intent being, as founder Deon Basson is often heard saying, ‘to do something remarkable’. So we created a business based on our strengths and interests, which have always been property, technology and entrepreneurship.

Gardening is good for you

A lovely garden impacts positively on property values and relationships with your neighbours as well as the quality of your leisure time. A garden is a joy to behold. But did you know a garden is also a joy to create? We all know that exercise, fresh air and a moderate amount of sunshine are good for you, and gardening provides all that. But there is more to gardening than that.

Forget streets paved in gold – plastic roads are the future, and Jeffreys Bay is leading the way.

Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape is best known as a top surf spot, home to the perfect wave. The J-Bay Open is one of the stops on the Men’s Surfing Championship Tour, and boasts the longest right-hand point break on the planet.

Should you use Myers-Briggs in your management team?

Can estate managers use personality tests like Myers–Briggs to create (and manage) better teams, boards and bodies corporate? Despite widespread scepticism, more and more organisations are using personality tests like the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to create and manage their teams. Should you?

What’s mine is yours …

The sharing economy might just revolutionise all aspects of estate living, ushering in a less expensive, more connected way of life. Just a few years ago, it seemed as though shoppers had embarked on an acquisitive drive that would have no end. Consumerism had reached precipitous heights: the more one had, the more one needed. Houses were bursting at the seams as people responded to ads pushing more, more, more.

Going Green is Profitable

It’s good business to protect natural areas within your housing estate, not only because they make it a nicer living space that can command a higher property price, but also because the functions they provide have monetary value for both you as the property owner and also the municipality within which you live.

KZN fastest growing wealth market in SA

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

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. 

Weirdly wired for wireless

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

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.

Property Practitioners Act: What it means for developers

Early October 2019 saw the Property Practitioners Act of 2019  signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The new law was generally welcomed by property practitioners … even if there was initially some confusion about who exactly counts as a property practitioner!

Dr Mulder does it again

Chris Mulder is no stranger to winning awards. In his illustrious career, Dr Mulder – together with his team from CMAI Architects – has won numerous awards from US and South African professional associations and universities since he founded the firm in 1980.

Fishy business

Countless studies have shown that outdoor activity is good for your mental health, and – interestingly – even more so if there is water involved. And that’s hardly surprising. We all know that the sound and sight of water is soothing.

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment puts extra responsibility on developers to reduce their carbon footprint, right from the planning stage. As more signatories add their names to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, South African developers are reflecting on what it means for them – and for the building industry.

In the Zone

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

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

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

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.

Why developing retirement facilities under R1.5m is a no-brainer

We all know retirement facilities are the new big investment opportunity, and research shows that the R1.5 million price mark is the sweet spot. The most recent census conducted in 20