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News

Up to date news and insights from in and around your community

News

Up to date news and insights from in and around your community

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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.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Conservancies

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

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.

BMI Group Roofing and Waterproofing Solutions

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

COVID-19

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.

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.

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.

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

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.’

Brevity

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 investinmauritius.co.za, capital growth has exceeded 300% in the last decade.

New Rural Living

Crossways Farm Village and the New Ruralism: new towns, old farms, 21st-century opportunities. Old policies and new ideologies have plunged South Africa’s rural areas into a downward spiral towards economic disater. It doesn’t have to be like this, though – if we return to basic by reconnecting with our agricultural roots. ‘Agriculture,’ says Chris Mulder, ‘is the new golf.’

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.

Neil Whitehead of Olarm introduces Olarms new offering to community managers

Olarm is a digital transformation partner for security companies and the residential estate community

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.

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, Bookings.com 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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 2011 put the total South African population at 57.7 million people. Of this number, 5.4% were aged 65 and over. When compared to the same figure in 2000, only 3.7% were aged 65 and over.

How does Johannesburg measure up as a megacity?

Joburg is fast becoming a megacity, but how does it compare with existing African megacities for return on investment? Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos all carry the status of megacity – cities with a population of at least 10 million inhabitants. Fast on their heels are Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Johannesburg, which are predicted to attain the status of megacity by 2030, according to the United Nations.

Bamboo houses … are they the answer to the affordable housing crisis?

Bamboo is sustainable and easy to grow, and South Africa has the perfect conditions for cultivation. Could this be the answer as a building material for affordable housing?

How green is green?

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

Xers mark the spot

As Gen X hits 50, existing and planned estates need to re-evaluate their position on retirement, and on multi-generational living. As the oldest of the Gen Xers are turning 50, and watching their baby boomer parents ‘raging against the [dimming] of the light’, they are starting to ponder their own mortality, potential morbidity and – shock, horror, gasp – old age!

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.

Wefarm secures $13 Million in funding to scale its Smallholder Agricultural Ecosystem

Wefarm the digital network for global small-scale agriculture, announced it has raised $13 million in a Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures.

Winning at the numbers game

Converting leads into sales is the most important element of ensuring the success of your development, so it’s worth streamlining the process. When selling off plan, it is important to remember that you are doing just that … selling a plan, a concept, an intangible future. And, without those sales, there is a good chance that your development may never get off the ground.

Managing your parents’ finances if they are incapacitated

It can be tricky discussing finances with your ageing parents, but it’s vitally important to have some sort of plan in place in the event of their becoming incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs.

Not that kind of LSD trip

There are some fabulous citizen-by-investment opportunities for gaining a more powerful passport and/or living in a safe, secure and convenient location. But emigrating is a big step, so – regardless of how attractive the nuts and bolts of the offer – you really should make sure your soon-to-be-adopted home is a place where you could actually live. And the best way to do that is to take an LSD trip.­ This kind of LSD trip is not a psychedelic, away-with-the-fairies experience – quite the opposite. LSD stands for ‘look, see and decide’, and it’s a practical, sober exploratory trip that is undertaken with open eyes and an open mind.

Security estates – to the max

Developers in the USA are cashing in on doomsday prophecies by building extreme survival estates. Could this work in SA? For many residents, security is the number one reason for moving to an estate. There is a comfort in the electric fences, controlled access, and the staffed gates. But, for some, that’s not enough.

IRP 2019: What does it mean for developers

The new Integrated Resource Plan sets out a roadmap for SA’s energy supply. What does that plan look like, and what opportunities does it offer residential estate developers?

Turning home-work balance on its head

Facebook has been likened to a virtual community of more than two billion people, but the company’s attempt to build a real – bricks as opposed to clicks – village is proving more problematic. Originally planned to provide office space for Facebook and housing for some employees, the Willow Village development has been plagued by controversy.

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.

Spellbound in Mauritius

Sales have been brisk at the luxurious Akasha Villas lifestyle estate on the west coast of Mauritius. Only three villas are still available for sale. Priced at €595,000, permanent residency is part of the package for investors, their spouses and dependants up to the age of 24.

Island style

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

Estate Living and Openserve interview

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

How community-friendly is your estate?

Every residential estate understands the need for a people-focused environment, but a few truly stand out as accessible, integrated and human-centric.

Simplify your life

Less is more, space is freedom, possessions weigh you down, clutter makes you sick. So tidy up. Decluttering is the new big thing, and a quick Google search will reveal a slew of best-selling books on the subject, all published in the last three years. So rush off and buy them all – you’re bound to find space for them.

The complicated art of simplicity

Simplicity is deceptively hard. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things to achieve in garden design. And, with all the confusion of different plants, materials, accessories and styles available to gardeners today, it’s daunting too.

It’s serious – it’s just a game

Families buy into estates largely so that their children can grow up free to play and to explore. And that’s not just because it’s nice. It’s vital. So developers who want to entice families should ensure that they leave lots of ‘room for adventure’.

Choosing between a life annuity and a living annuity

When reaching retirement, we’ll almost all be faced with the choice of taking either a guaranteed annuity (also known as a life annuity) or a living annuity.

Rethinking the three Rs

You’d have to be living under a rock not to be aware of the tons of plastic floating in our oceans, the mountains of refuse filling up our landfill sites and the waste clogging up our rivers and streams, let alone our highways and byways. We’ve gone way beyond the solution that recycling offers. While it’s a valid industry for the employment it offers and the waste it deals with, it’s no longer enough. Nowhere near enough.

Lifestyle estates are on the coalface of the digital revolution

Fourth industrial revolution technology is fast manifesting in every South African business sector, creating ever more seamless ways of living and working, but the property market is where it’s already becoming a living, breathing reality.

How is the world tackling the global affordable housing crisis?

South Africa’s lack of affordable housing is a well-documented problem. The country is short some 2.3 million houses, and the number continues to jump by nearly 200,000 every year. The picture is no better outside of our borders either, with 1.6 billion people – it’s estimated that, by 2025, a fifth of the world’s population will lack secure, adequate, and affordable housing.

Arabella Country Estate boasts impressive security

In an age where home security has become the norm, the chance to live in an environment that does not look like Fort Knox, but is completely secure at the same time, is becoming more and more of a need than a luxury for most people.

Oceans of change

Summer is around the corner, and you’re probably thinking about heading to your favourite coastal holiday spot. It’s a great opportunity to gaze out to sea and contemplate – nothing! But, perhaps it’s also a good time to think about the sea. We can’t imagine a world without it, and it is so big, we can’t imagine it ever changing, or being vulnerable. But it is. And it is time to think about it.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility

More and more people are buying homes in residential estates, with around one in 10 South Africans choosing a luxury lifestyle community when purchasing residential property, according to Lightstone – a local business that provides valuations and market intelligence on property.

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.

A Short History of the Bo Kaap

With records of its initial development dating back to the 1760s, the Bo Kaap is among Cape Town’s — and South Africa’s — oldest residential areas. One of the first houses built in the area during this initial wave by architect Jan de Waal still stands as the Bo Kaap Museum on modern-day Wale Street, echoing the area’s original name of Waalendorp. It’s a rare glimpse of the prevailing urban design inclinations some 250 years ago.

A global trend

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

Estate Living Interview with Dirk Uys from Arabella Country Estate

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.

Retirement: Working with what you’ve got

Discussions around retirement typically revolve around having the required funds to live comfortably once a person stops working. This ‘income for retirement’ is what most of us save up for during the bulk of our lives.

2019 ARC annual conference, expo & golf day

We can truly echo San Lameer’s slogan ‘The Good Life!’, as we thoroughly enjoyed the good life in so many ways for a few days. Thank you to San Lameer for treating the early arrivals to some Night Golf to whet our appetite for the ‘main event’.

The Residential Communities Council (RCC)

Estates in the residential community industry and all ARC members will have heard by now that we have established the Residential Communities Council (RCC), which has been successfully registered with CIPC as a non-profit company (NPC) that will pursue the objectives as defined in the MOI.

The case for CAISA

Community Association Institute of South Africa (CAISA) is the first international chapter of the US-based Community Association Institute (CAI). We believe that home owners and community associations should strive to exceed the expectations of their residents.

The communication challenge – is the data correct?

Effective communication in a world of information overload and instant gratification is difficult to achieve. But this becomes even more challenging when the accuracy of the information on which these communications are based comes into question.

Fundamentals of communication

According to an article written by Ravi Kaneriya for the World Economic Forum, studies show that the key to happiness lies in having rich social bonds and meaningful relationships. And being part of a community is a powerful way to build those relationships in a faster, more scalable way.

Building a powerful management team

Great management teams don’t just happen; they are built – carefully and deliberately. Creating an effective management team, which is probably one of the most important functions of boards, trustees and HOAs, requires both discipline and being open to new ways of doing things.

When good intentions go bad

Sometimes, good intentions go bad. When things go wrong, there are always lessons to be learned. Read on. Not all decisions are easy. Be careful not to ignore a problem and hope it will go away. In this litigious world, if you have a question, seek advice. Surround the board with competent advisors. This will make your job easier. What follows are eight real-life examples of situations faced by boards of directors.

Nedbanks new home-buying kit and HeyNed

Nedbank is the first bank in South Africa to incorporate a lifestyle enhancing virtual assistant into its banking app. With the exciting addition of two new features in the Nedbank Money app, these life-enhancing digital solutions are set to catapult the highly rated, award-winning MoneyApp beyond the realm of banking.

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

Positive news to emerge from Statistics SA today is that South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3,1% in the second quarter of 2019 (to end-June), compared to a decline of 3,1% in the first quarter.

Village life

Gowrie Village in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is the quintessential country community, integrated into the greater village of Nottingham Road. Established in 2002, Gowrie’s sense of relaxed rural spaces and neighbourliness are key to the success of this mixed-use estate.

Managing Marina Martinique for its community

Which processes, procedures, and best practices keep a successful older estate at the top of its game? Marina Martinique – a unique Cape-Caribbean-style estate consisting of 384 residential stands and 475 units in group housing developments – is built around a lake and seven kilometres of constructed canals that lie three metres above sea level, and whose water is pumped in from, and flows back into, the ocean.

Erinvale

On the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the prestigious Erinvale Country Estate and Golf Club, which will be celebrating 25 successful years in 2020, was one of the first residential golf estates in South Africa. To find out what the ingredients are for this success, we chat to Kerstin Dinklage, Erinvale HOA trustee responsible for marketing and communication.

Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate

Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate epitomises idyllic and peaceful estate living. The estate has been developed around a world-class Peter Matkovich signature golf course and a game reserve that offers spectacular views of the lakes and tranquil surroundings.

Customer complaints & social media

Not so long ago, if somebody wanted to have their complaint heard, the best options were to write a letter to the newspaper (and hope that it would be published) or dial into the radio. now, in the digital age, everyone has a voice. Never before has it been easier to have your concerns or thoughts heard – no matter how insignificant or trivial they are – and that has implications for estate managers

If you can’t take the heat …

The world is facing a climate crisis. A young Swedish schoolgirl is now leading a global campaign of defiance driven by school children. The world has just experienced the hottest July ever recorded, even while a vocal segment of the chattering masses in leading economies like the USA believes that the science underpinning global warming is a massive hoax perpetuated by scientists who are – somehow – conspiring to make money.

South peninsula

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

Property Development and Section 12J

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

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

Projectprop, which owns Leloko Lifestyle and Eco Estate in Hartbeespoort, is seeking a solid new buyer, or buyers, for this idyllic estate following a resolution by the shareholders to disinvest in the company through the sale of all of their shares.

Effective utility management guides estate managers through rough economic seas

The sluggish economy and continued inflationary pressures are taking their toll on the property market in general. According to credit bureau TPN’s latest report, the last three years have seen a steady decline in demand for residential properties, with a concomitant increase in the supply of properties. What’s more, the bureau says vacancy rates remain consistently high at 8.64% with escalations at just 4.85%. Most worrying for estate and property managers is that tenant good standing numbers continue to decline, with a current level of 81.8%.

Something you love …

The oldest ceramic object is a nude female figurine dating back to about 25,000 BC, found in the Moravian Basin in the Czech Republic. Generally accepted to be a fertility symbol that formed part of a wider culture, no one knows how the first one was made. Perhaps a man yearning for his wife, or even – let’s not limit ourselves here – a youth on the brink of puberty, fashioned a voluptuous woman from a handy bit of clay and, not appreciating his handiwork, tossed it in the fire. Unbeknown to him this action hardened his creation, enabling it to last until this lifetime.

Future proof

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

Keeping your world beautiful

The gardens, areas of natural vegetation, rivers, water features, paths and even parking lots on your estate are all part of your ‘shop window’. So they need to be beautiful – and also sustainable in every sense. That’s where Servest comes in – creating beautiful spaces that enhance your estate both aesthetically and environmentally.

Financial reserve planning for estates

The world is changing faster than any of us can comprehend. So how can homeowners associations and estate managers plan for the future? And what is reserve funding, anyway?

Being reasonable

Most community associations seek to enforce their rules while still maintaining a harmonious community that the residents view as a desirable place to live. At times, though, these goals seem to be contradictory, and strictly enforcing the rules can result in controversy.

Do HOA’s have teeth?

Policies, procedures, our governing documents and our rules and regulations are binding on members who choose to buy into a homeowners association or sectional title scheme. But, of course, the directors, trustees, management, and the members themselves have to ensure that these are lawful, consistent and fair, and that they protect the common interest of the community at large.

Protecting your investment with insurance

Your home is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you will own. While you put a lot of time, effort and money into making it the ideal home, it is equally important to keep yourself informed on how well this investment is protected.

Sometimes we need a little help…

There comes a time in everyone’s life when simple day-to-day tasks become overwhelming and difficult to deal with; when confidence levels start to wane, and cooking becomes a frightful chore. Thankfully, most retirement estates offer a wide variety of assisted-living options – just what you need when that helping hand is required.

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

Travel – whether for business or leisure or both (bleisure?) – can be extremely exciting. But it comes with its own set of risks. According to short-term insurer, Travel Insurance Consultants (TIC), a division of Santam, it is wise to prepare for the unexpected by getting travel insurance before your trip and understanding exactly what you are protected against so that you have enough cover for any eventuality.   Some of the other most claimed for travel events are pre-existing medical expenses, cancellation of journey, luggage loss and travel delays.

Estate living: getting ahead in today’s risky property market

As with anything in life, knowledge is power and in today’s risky economic climate, investors need as much as possible to make bold, calculated investment moves that yield great results. Cue Estate Living, South Africa’s leading resource and specialist consultancy within the community living environments. Masters at building relationships and identifying new opportunities, Louise Martin and Jaime-Lee Gardner’s innovative services are helping investors and developers all over the country to understand their market.  

Healthy body, healthy mind and healthy finances

We hear every day that 70 is the new 60 and that with advances in medical science people are living longer. Looking at this realistically if I work to age 60 but live to 90 I will have approximately 40 years to save up for a 30 year retirement.

How to find the luxury in city living

Some of us get the idea of “Joburg luxury” completely wrong: We see ourselves in the car of our dreams driving down William Nicol on the way to work. When in fact, real city luxury (or perhaps even city happiness) could be found not when you upgrade your ride but when you shorten your commute. Living closer to work does not only add more time to your day and more buck to your budget, but recent research shows that it can also improve your overall wellness.

AMAX Estate Technology

In the words of Richard Branson, ‘launching a business is essentially an adventure in problem solving …’, and in the case of AMAX Electronics, they’re having one heck of an adventure as solving problems is what they do best. Their 15 years of experience in solving the security problems of secured communities has seen them grow to market leaders in this technology space.

The lock-up-and-go investment property

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

What deteriorating municipal infrastructure means for residential estates

Not a day goes by without one hearing of some municipal crisis somewhere in the country. These range from banal but extremely annoying stories of billing crises, lack of budgetary control and bloated bureaucracies to the horror story unfolding in Emfuleni, where total collapse of the municipality as a functional entity has unleashed a tsunami of raw sewage flowing unabated along the streets and through the buildings, as it makes its way to the nearest river.

UNICITI: a vision for education on the west coast of Mauritius

The Medine group, a century-old key player in the local sugar industry with a land bank of over 10,000 hectares, launched its Education Village in 2012 in the region of Pierrefonds as part of its diversification strategy. This campus has been designed to host a selective cast of world-class and internationally recognised institutions across different fields of study.

Think Big

The secret to successful property development is spotting opportunities before others do, seeing potential in a place where others don’t. It’s about taking the gap, thinking out of the box, and a whole lot of other clichés. And that’s just what Dennis Hope did more than three decades ago.

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.

Simple, transparent utility metering can be a differentiator for developers

In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.

Santam real estate scheme development insurance

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

SANBI online: treasure trove for gardeners

The South African National Biodiversity Institute’s awesome online resources make finding information about the living world around us a genuine pleasure. And if you’re a gardener, developer, or estate manager with a special interest in indigenous plants, it’s a treasure trove almost as rich as biodiversity itself.

People, planet, prosperity, and peace

On 24 and 25 September 2019, heads of state and government will gather at the United Nations headquarters in New York to follow up and comprehensively review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event is the first UN summit on the SDGs since the adoption of the 2030 agenda in September 2015. So it’s probably a good time to review them and – along with the rest of the world – assess the progress (or lack thereof) that we have made towards achieving the 17 goals.

Monkey business

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

Land reform and private investment can go hand in hand

Combining a successful land claim, community development, hard-nosed economic opportunity, responsible conservation ethics, and a fabulous tourist destination, Mdluli Safari Lodge is a win-win-win-winner. 

Home grown

By some estimates, South Africa has a housing backlog of about 2.3 million, and that number grows by about 178,000 houses a year. Despite the country’s sophisticated banking system, busy property market, generous impact investment projects and advanced construction industry, neither the public nor private sector has been able to catch up that backlog.

Going out on a limb

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

Encryption

One of the most enticing features of WhatsApp is its offer of end-to-end encryption. This has ensured that our most personal conversations, and our treasured photographs of children and grandchildren, would be safely sent to family members and friends in a closed and safe communication loop.

Double trouble or twice as nice?

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

Connectivity – the essential building block for smart movements

The future of ‘Smart’ everything – leveraging digital technology to do just about anything more efficiently – is inextricably linked to our ability to ‘connect’ via the internet. ‘Smart’ anything and ‘Smart’ everything will depend on a frenzied exchange of data with, within and between people, entities, things and machines. The actual connection required for this exchange – in terms of speed and accessibility – will be as critical as available and adequate bandwidth is, or we risk losing out on the next wave of the internet. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is what the gurus the world over are calling this next wave.

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 data can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.

A footpath named desire

Developers, HOAs, municipalities and the management of all manner of complexes, schools and campuses are learning that there are some things you just can’t fight. Put up as many ‘Keep off the grass’ signs as you like, people will take the shortest (or most convenient) path to get to where they’re going. So, the smart ones are giving in.

Are small-scale retirement developments a viable option?

Retirement is the new buzzword in the residential development market, but building a retirement village is an enormous undertaking with huge implications – it’s a much bigger deal than building a golf or eco estate. So, is there room for small investors to cash in on this profitable sector?

Affordability and funding of technology to secure estates

What are the key drivers for the buyers in residential estates and how can a security service provider support estate managers? The impact of security risk at residential homes in the form of violent crime and burglaries, has fuelled the growth and development of residential estates to meet the upward demand.

Arabella Country Estate proves their green ways

Arabella Country Estate, home to Fynbos and fine living, located on the shores of the Bot River Lagoon surrounding the magnificent World Heritage Nature Reserve, has recently been re-certified with their full ISO 14001 compliance certificate.

July Savings Month – what did you achieve?

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

The smoking gun

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

The dry allure of the xeriscape

Gardening in the driest or windiest parts of the country? Xeriscaping may be the system you’ve been looking for. We’ve all heard about water-wise gardening – the practice of choosing, grouping, and placing plants according to their watering needs in order to maximise the efficiency of the little water you have.

Retire comfortably for less than R2M

Seeking secure retirement community living but for under R2 million? There are surprisingly many options. Today’s retirees are quite a young lot, living active, lock-up-and-go lifestyles that often set a fine example to the generations after them, but not all of them have R3 million or more to invest in a contemporary home on a lifestyle estate.

Invest offshore with a guaranteed rental

Many South Africans are investing in property in the UK, and if you can afford to do so, now is a great time! Whether it be due to family or business circumstances, future plans or simply the desire to diversify, there are some exciting opportunities to look at.

The best years of your life are ahead of you

Have you planned sufficiently for your retirement? It’s about a lot more than finances – you also need to decide where to live. Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Slowing down and putting one’s feet up is no longer the “default setting” in later life.

Luxury, style in Simon’s Town

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

Hartbeespoort havens

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

Investing in a sustainable future

We’ve come a long way since Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary in 2006. Although not the first we’d heard of climate change and the effects of globalisation, it was an eye-opener for many and it sparked fierce debate. Things that were only spoken of then are now becoming reality, and we probably all understand the severity of global climate change, and what this means for future generations. 

Wearables

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

Invest in Europe’s ‘coolest’ capital

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

S’now is the winter of our discontent

Wherever in South Africa you live, it’s probably freezing, so you’ll be thinking of escaping to somewhere warm – possibly with turquoise water, waving palm trees and snow-white sand. But then, come summer, you may head north to go skiing. It just shows how out of touch we can be with the seasons. But we don’t have to be.

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

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

Industrial hubs

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

Getting teens away from screens

Trudging around the golf course and playing tennis are ‘like so yesterday …’ your teenagers say, rolling their eyes skyward. Followed by a ‘there’s nothing to do here’ as their fingers tap the keys and the mayhem of one of a dozen blood-and-gore-filled computer games continues. This lament can be heard from tweens, teens and young adults the world over – gone are the days that residential estates could get away with the bare essentials of outdoor activities like (indoor or outdoor) gym, jogging and MTB trails, and a pool. The youth of today are way more demanding, and as parents and estate developers we need to take heed.

The internet of things on our daily lives

The Internet of things (IoT) has become a hot topic of conversation with technical, social and economic implications. It is a concept that not only has the potential to influence how we live, but also how we work and play. Projections for the impact of IoT are notable, with some anticipating as many as 100 billion connected IoT devices, and a global economic consequence of more than US$11 trillion by 2025.

Bringing the case for prepaid electricity to light

Hardly a day goes by without the future of South Africa’s power grid making front-page news. Keeping the lights on, and sustainably, is a favourite topic around the dinner table, whether you live in Port Elizabeth or Pearl Valley.

Better bond, better home, better life

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

Changing needs of healthcare for a 100-year lifespan

We’re all getting older – it’s just part of the cycle of life. And with no fountain of youth or magic chocolate bar to cure us of our ailments, we’ll just have to make do with ageing and the added health issues that arise.

Creating communities

The estate that appears so avant-garde today will have lost its competitive edge in 20 years, as developments with ever more sophisticated technology take the lead. So, how do you remain relevant? This is the question Dainfern sought to answer when it recently embarked on renovations to its clubhouse, restaurant and outdoor areas.

Mauritius, the perfect balance for investors and businesses

The destination requires no introduction! Mauritius combines attractive business opportunities in a strategic regional location, a high economic resilience, and social stability with a quality lifestyle amidst a welcoming population and landscapes of great beauty in which to indulge in a wide choice of leisure activities – the perfect balance.

Common mistakes to avoid when involved in a fender-bender

Being in a car accident is stressful but just imagine having your insurance claim rejected because of something silly that you did! It could be a financial disaster and make your unpleasant situation far worse. Don’t let that happen and take a look at these 4 common mistakes to avoid when you’re involved in an accident.

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

It’s Youth Month, when SA focuses on the 38% of the population aged between 18 and 35. But there are two distinct generations of consumers represented within that cohort, and they have very different ideas about real estate. Generation-Z, born between 1995 and about 2010, are the world’s “digital natives” who have been exposed to the internet, social networks and streaming media their whole lives, and they are proving to be very different from the Millennials born between 1980 and 1994 – especially when it comes to their views on real estate.

Retirement. How much is enough?

Planning for retirement can be both exciting and scary. Exciting in the sense that you’re planning for a life event that is spoken about so often throughout your life that it’s really a milestone and period to look forward to. Scary though, as you never know whether you’ll have enough since it’s impossible to predict the future. So much could go wrong in our economy and even if you’ve invested offshore, nothing is certain.

Turn your development into a SMART development

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

Showhouse of The Residences at Sitari now available to view

With a starting price of R2.995m The Residences plot and plan homes at the award-winning Sitari Country Estate outside Somerset West offer excellent value for money, and the release of new plan designs opens up a plethora of choice for potential purchasers. Claudius Combrinck, Executive Director of Uvest Property Sales, explains: “We have just released a further set of plan designs for The Residences, all of which are freestanding homes with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a double garage.”

FLISP – Making homeownership a reality for lower income households

Empowering first-time homeowners with a one-off government-funded subsidy . The Finance Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP) offers an amazing opportunity for qualifying individuals to own their first property. It’s unfortunate that the details and implications of FLISP are not commonly known, and that there are some misconceptions about its process and value. The benefits, however, are huge, and estate agents and those involved in financing have a crucial role to play in educating prospective buyers and assisting in the process.

The transition to retirement

Thirty years ago I attended a lecture in Minneapolis USA by a Dr William Bridges on change and transition. Change he said is what happens in the real world but transition happens in the mind. When planned change fails its usually because people have not made the mental transition to accept the change. He offered a simple way to understand transition by breaking it into three stages. Stage 1 is all about making endings and letting go. Real change he said must begin with an ending, counter intuitive isn’t it.

A life less ordinary

You can have it all – live in the country with wide-open spaces. Perfectly balancing freedom and space with top-of-the-range, AAA-rated security, Monaghan Farm offers safe, secure country living – a place to breathe, relax and wind down. A place to bring up a family in a nurturing environment without the hustle and bustle of city life.

A ‘golden’ opportunity to relocate to Portugal

If an endless supply of pasteis de nata isn’t enough to entice you to relocate to Portugal, perhaps the favourable quality of life, cost of living and friendly investment and residence programmes will do the trick. Portugal has become one of the most sought-after destinations for South Africans seeking to relocate, largely because its investment opportunities and Golden Visa regime make it one of the easiest European Union countries to secure residency and citizenship – simply by purchasing property to the value of €500,000, provided certain conditions are met.

Facial recognition – Not to be taken at face value

Facial recognition – whether it’s a passing fad, or the next big thing, one thing is sure: everyone has an opinion – good, bad, delighted or furious.

Community building requires time and effort

Community. What a nice concept. So simple. So appealing. And so elusive for residents of so many common-interest ownership developments that are communities in name only. A collection of residents who share ownership but nothing more may form an association, but they do not create a community by any definition of that term. True communities – living, breathing, vibrant communities – are not born, they are built, and the community association board is the primary architect in that construction process.

Eastern Cape residential estates: wild and wonderful

The Eastern Cape is a friendly and endlessly fascinating province – especially if you’re a fan of wild places – and its residential estates reflect its amazing diversity. There’s literally something here for everyone.

Eastern promise – explore south africa’s most underrated province

The Eastern Cape is a region of extreme diversity. Pristine beaches rub shoulders with forest-clad dunes, aloes punctuate the sere brown Karoo plains, and the history of Settlers, San and Xhosa communities tells stories of the region’s past. It’s South Africa’s premier malaria-free Big Five safari destination and it’s an adventure junkie’s playground – the highest bungy jump in the world, some of the world’s best surf, great diving, mountain biking and hiking – and it boasts South Africa’s only ski resort.
But it’s not all nature and adrenaline.

Rules are rules… or are they?

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

Lawns – lush oases or green deserts?

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” Walt Whitman. The ubiquitous urban lawn. Where did it come from? Do you really need one? And what do you choose if you do? In the bad old days they used to say you should never interfere with a South African’s lawn – or their braai. And while that’s probably still true for the braai, is it really still true for the lawn?

Hope for an effective treatment for memory loss

A promising new treatment for memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s, ageing and depression was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington DC on 14 February this year. An auspicious date. If it works, no doubt everyone will love it.

Om nom nom nom num-nums!

Quick! Which ridiculously handsome South African is wind-resistant, drought-tolerant, security-ready, eminently prunable, easy to grow, farmable, culturally significant, and downright delicious? Answer: the plant with the tastiest name of them all – the num-num.

Liquid gold and low-emission bricks

The manufacture and transport of bricks contributes quite a lot to the carbon footprint of a building, which is why some of the finest minds all over the world are looking at alternatives – be it beer bottles, sandbags, straw bales, bag-stuffed plastic bottles, or bricks made from ash, toxic sludge, compressed solid waste, and even cannabis. So it’s pretty exciting that local researchers have come up with a novel, energy-efficient way of manufacturing bricks from a waste substance that usually takes lots of water and other resources to process – and that we don’t usually like to talk about.

Hurry up and wait

The affordable housing market has high demand, low supply, and the promise of long-term investment returns. So what’s the catch? Investing is a long-term game. Gregg Sneddon, the financial adviser who blogs and tweets at thefinancialcoach.co.za, often emphasises this point to his clients: ‘Investing takes time,’ he says. ‘Three years is not “time”.

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

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

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

The almost complete inundation of the city of Beira was in the news for a while, but then it fell away in the midst of newer, more important, or just more entertaining news – Ethiopian Airlines crash, Christchurch mosque shooting, South African elections, a 37-year-old woman successfully giving birth, and David Beckham’s conviction for talking on the phone while driving.

Ready for takeoff

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

Retire with a view

If you’re thinking of retirement or scaling down, why not move to a development 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 or city skylines to immerse yourself in and enjoy.

Arabella Country Estate moves even closer to nature

Arabella Country Estate, consistently voted as one of the top residential estates in South Africa, has recently undertaken a full rebrand in order to bring their current look and feel more in line with their natural surroundings and eco-system.

Insurance while you build

Building a new home, or having your existing one renovated, can be one of the most rewarding experiences. But, for most people, the thought of investing in a fixer-upper or a new build is more than a little overwhelming. The good news is that, with a little help and a lot of planning, it’s definitely possible to create the house of your dreams.

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

Samsung has been a pioneer in TV design for 50 years. Over that time, Samsung has researched what people love most about TV – the way it brings friends and families together and the many details that amplifies the viewing experience. This knowledge has led to innovation that has transformed how people watch TV and is one of the reasons it has been global number 1 for the 13 years. The 2019 QLED line-up builds on this legacy in a big way.

JJ Rewards

J AND J REWARDS PTY LTD entered the market in 2014 as an innovative wholesale distribution company. Founded by a young Belgian and American, we pride ourselves on sourcing quality products at a great price. We visit up to 4 international trade shows a year to make sure we never fall behind when it comes to tech focused products worldwide. With an office based in Shenzhen, China, J AND J REWARDS has the ability to source, test, and brand products at the highest levels possible. Our head office and warehouse in Cape Town distributes seamlessly to every end of Southern Africa.

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

Sitari Country Estate situated just outside Somerset West has been a remarkable success story, with unprecedented buyer interest and 926 properties sold to the value of just over R1.2 billion within the past 56 months.