As second-tier cities become increasingly on trend for South Africans on the move, property developers are responding with home offerings for the lifestyles of tomorrow. No longer is a move out of Cape Town or Johannesburg to these new boom towns considered “trading down”. Rather, it represents a bold and progressive decision to seek a better quality of life, often in more scenic locations where the price tags on homes are less likely to break the bank.
Finding the right staff is important but, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, you cannot accurately assess and evaluate a candidate during the selection process. There are plenty of things you can easily forget to assess when interviewing for new talent. It is not just skills and experience, but also soft skills, traits, personality, ambition and – most important – cultural fit. These factors are harder, but not impossible, to assess and if you pay attention to this, you increase your chances of finding, and more importantly retaining the best candidate for the job.
Great movie, and an awesome title. But I would have done it the other way round – the Ugly, the Bad and the Good. OK, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, but it’s a better way to approach life – that way you end on a positive note. But I digress, this article is about life right, not about movies.
We have so many fabulous birds on our estates, we can hardly help becoming birders, or – to be more jargonny – twitchers. Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the world, and it’s far more interesting than just peering into a tree, muttering to yourself, ‘that’s a lesser-spotted grey-winged hooplededoop’, ticking it off on a list, and then moving on – binos glued to your face, pencil poised, ready to add another metaphorical notch to your binocular strap.
Property buyers and sellers are facing uncertain times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Buyers who are accustomed to a regular salary cheque are concerned that they will no longer qualify for a home loan, as many consumers face the dire reality of a salary cut, retrenchment, or shorter working hours. All these events can result in a substantial reduction of income.
Some residential estates are very big so it can be difficult to know what’s going on, especially in the wilder sections. Even if your estate is not strictly a wildlife estate, it’s important to know the condition of the veld and the health – or otherwise – of animal communities. The old adage – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – is particularly true here. And, surprisingly, there is a fantastic app that you can download for free that will do just that.
Interesting how people who will spend hundreds of rands on a carefully selected bottle of wine will happily grab a bag of pre-ground, almost certainly stale, coffee to serve after the meal – probably with an elegant potstill brandy or a cognac. It’s taken us a while to learn about wine, but we’ve only just started the coffee learning curve.
Permaculture is one of those words being bandied about as possibly the only way to save the planet, and to slow down or prevent the demise of humanity. Well, that’s probably a bit over the top, but it is a revolutionary way of looking at how we relate to our world, and – who knows – it might just save the planet after all. Whether you are developing an estate from scratch, managing an existing estate, or just wanting to decrease your personal carbon footprint, permaculture principles can increase efficiency and save costs.
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.
The far-reaching lockdown experienced by homeowners in South Africa has no doubt provided much food for thought and room for introspection, most likely mainly around re-evaluating lifestyle and long-term goals, but also their immediate surrounds – their homes.
Fanie Loubser from Colas SA and Louise Martin of Estate Living share updates on Colas’s Covid-19 company protocals. We breakdown a road maintance plan and look at how cost saving can be taken into account through road resurfacing products.
In the #BestOfCommunity series, Jeff Gilmour of ARC, Jaime-Lee Gardner and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss community living spaces in South Africa. In the 3rd episode we look at the estate and community brand. Understanding how public and homeowner sentiment plays role in the value of the collective community and individual properties.
In the 2020/21 Mauritian Budget Speech, Mauritius opens itself up to the world by creating more opportunities for foreign investment and If you are considering Mauritius as a viable option this is great news for you. Estate Living has partnered with key specialist who can assist with everything you need to know about Estate Living Mauritius – from researching all your options to finding the right home, school, business opportunity and retirement plan.
For some years now, SA statistics have shown that single women are buying houses at a much higher rate than single men, and in some regions at an even higher rate than couples as they seek financial independence and security*.
When you look at them closely, the gardens and protected wildlife areas on your estate probably host an astonishing number of different plants, insects, birds, and even reptiles and mammals. Your observations about the natural world around you can be enormously helpful to scientists – and collecting them can be a lot of fun, and a great way of building your community, too.
How do we continue buying or selling properties in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic as a national disaster? How do we to continue providing value-adding and secure and safe property services?How do we make use of aid that can assist real estate professionals to keep the lights on?
Buying a property is most likely the largest investment you will ever make. So, to avoid the stress of waiting for loan approval after you have signed for your dream home, get a formal indication of the home loan you can qualify for before you even start looking at houses. There is that a free web-based service that is easily available, paperless and quick.
Good news for property buyers, but even better news for property developers and sellers. The affordability ceiling for first-time buyers who qualify for a FLISP subsidy has been increased from the previous average home loan amount of R 680,000.00 to R 870,000.
A 2019 report by the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) states that nearly 20% of the office space in the Durban CBD and Rosebank (Gauteng) was empty in the last quarter of that year. And that was before office workers skedaddled home en masse and cyber-commuted while battening down the hatches against SARS-CoV-2. What does that mean for our cities, and for the people who live in them? Or, more importantly, the people who don’t live in them. And what does it mean for developers?
If you’re thinking of retirement, why not move to an estate with a view? Even if you continue working part-time, which is what many modern retirees do, you’ll probably have a lot more leisure time – all the more reason to have scenic landscapes to immerse yourself in and enjoy. We found seven estates around the country with spectacular views in a range of price brackets. All of them offer healthcare and excellent leisure facilities.
The introduction of the National Credit Act had an immediate impact on the approval of credit agreements. The affordability factor, which is the capability of a debtor to pay back a loan became, the lender’s primary focus of a lender before granting a credit facility. Lenders are imposed with severe penalties if found guilty of risky lending but, as the market experienced a major decline in home loan approvals, there was an unsurpassed increase in unsecured lending. Capitec Bank is a prime example of expansion of unsecured lending, and African Bank is an example of a lender that was almost sunk as a result of risky lending practices.
Inspired, in part, by the tiny house movement, micro apartments have been touted as a solution to the housing shortage, the increasing cost of urban land, and the need to conserve resources. But, as with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some shortcomings of these tiny spaces.
Your development is ready for sales, and you need widespread marketing to reach as many potential buyers as possible, followed by a flawless sales process. What is the best way – a dedicated sales team, or an estate agency?
Emerging from a single contract in 1999, Tsebo Cleaning Services now has over 500 contracts across South Africa and a staff complement of over 13,000 cleaning professionals.
Estates of all descriptions offer safe community living environments and this is the main reason most of us buy into them. This doesn’t mean we can be completely complacent about safety within our own homes, though. Here are three situations you may not have thought of that need attention.
Meyer De Waal of MDW Inc and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss buying into a sectional title development or residential estate understanding the difference and what opportunities each offer.
Karl Bishop, Head of Santam Real Estate, and Louise Martin of Estate Living discuss Santam’s risk appetite within the property sector as it applies to property finance and development guarantees.
We look at various Mauritian Developments and how best to approach a Mauritian property investment and/all emigration of family and business.
Your new home is almost certainly the most important purchase you will ever make in your life but, like many of the good things in life, it may require some sacrifice and discipline. It’s worth it, though, so plan proactively to improve your affordability by implementing some simple strategies, namely saving on everyday expenses and proactively managing debt.
Purchasing a home will most likely be the biggest investment decision you make, and one that comes with specific financial obligations – but also enormous advantages. When you appreciate the benefits of home ownership, you will no longer see obligations such as repaying your loan or maintaining your home as a burden, but as a route to investing in your and your family’s future.
When you apply for a bond, financial institutions consider your affordability to be equally as important as – if not more important than – your credit history. So drawing up an accurate monthly household budget will assist in determining what you can afford, and how you can adjust your budget to improve your affordability.
There is nothing more exciting – or daunting – than buying your first home. It’s a rite of passage, and also a passport to financial, emotional, social and family security. There are so many advantages to home ownership, but it’s a big step, so it’s worth planning carefully.
In this video Phil Wilson takes us on a walking tour of Evergreen Noordhoek village. He is also joined by one of our exceptional Village Managers, Bronwyn Davies.
Estate Livings, Louise Martin and Atlantic Beach Estates CEO, Harry White, discuss the importance of effective communication within an estate and how community App’s play a valuable part of this strategy
REIPPP is a government-led initiative to promote buy-in from investors for large- and small-scale renewable energy projects. The program was implemented in 2011, and since then has had some success, but still faces many challenges
At a press briefing on Thursday 30 April, basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced that – if all goes according to plan – school admin staff would go back to work on 18 May, and Grade 7s and Grade 12s may return to school on 1 June. It sounded nice, but it’s really not that simple, and – as at 18 May – it doesn’t look as if that timeline is going to pan out. But, more importantly, how and when will our children return to schools, and will they be safe when they do?
The Water Services Act number 108 of 1997 made sweeping changes to the way that water is managed by mandating water service authorities as the only lawful providers of water. But, because of erratic supply and lack of confidence in municipalities, some estates are taking control of water reticulation, which has – mostly – worked fine until now, but it does technically take HOAs, bodies corporate and boards into a murky grey area of the law.
Once municipal water enters the estate, it is reticulated through a network that has been built by the original developer and is maintained by the HOA. All’s fine and good but, if the estate management decides to provide on-site storage to, for example, ensure regular supply, they stray into a grey area of the law, and may be liable to prosecution.
Other than developments specifically designed for retirees, students and/or ‘young professionals’, the homes on estates, and even in apartment blocks, are designed as ‘family homes’, and estates are marketed as places in which families can thrive. But what, exactly, is a family? First let’s look at those ‘family homes’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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?
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.
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 1,000C, and cement requires temperatures in excess of 1,400C, 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.
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?
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 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.
We all want to know that our homes are secure, and that our families are safe, but we also don’t want to feel that we’re living behind prison bars. So we got together with Peter Rawson from Trellidor to find out about their latest offerings.
If you own, live on, or are developing a piece of land of significant natural value, you will need to come up with a way of ensuring that you manage it responsibly – and the best way to do that is to think beyond your boundary fence. The plants, soil, birds and animals don’t recognise title deeds, so managing for nature requires thinking outside of the strict ownership model of land use.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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, 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While the property industry has historically been dominated by men, an increasing number of women are making their mark in property development.
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.
After years of controversy, the old Helen Bowden Nurses’ Home near Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is set to be developed into social housing following the City’s decision to rezone the site for this purpose. However, the building remains occupied by the Reclaim The City activist group, who moved in in March 2017 and renamed the site Ahmed Kathrada House.
The coronavirus outbreak 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.
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.
There’s no better way to start a morning than with a croissant and coffee – and that’s not just because, as Bridget Jones says, ‘started having hazelnut pastry and chocolate croissant every morning, and lost loads of weight. So will have cappuccino and croissant as usual.’
Every day the average working person receives more than 100 emails. Many are clearly garbage, and get deleted without opening, but you can’t just delete – or even file – mails from colleagues, clients or your boss without reading them. Or can you? You can if you just use your subject lines effectively and creatively.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 living makes for greater convenience, but it means less floor space. Small needn’t equal cramped, however. Try these savvy tips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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’.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.