Do you remember the eighties? In those days, Cape Town was not the tourism darling of the world, traffic was manageable, petrol was cheap, music made sense and hotels were not priced according to the exchange rate. But things have changed.
Nowadays Cape Town traffic is a nightmare, every inch of space has been developed to cater for insatiable tourists waving powerful euros, dollars, pounds and yen at beaming hoteliers, and every second home owner has their spare room on Airbnb. This is not ideal for us locals.
When business requires yet another trip to Cape Town, our sad little state-captured rands tell us to forget about a comfortable, centrally located hotel, and advise phoning a friend and begging for space on their couch.
It’s the sort of thing we did when we were students, agreeing with the sentiments of Paul Young in his hit ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)’. However, business travel requires convenience, a bit of privacy and a level of creature comforts, so we need to be smart about accommodation.
Make money while you sleep
By purchasing a small property in Cape Town, frequent business travel becomes financially viable and can be tailored to suit your unique needs while giving you a safe long-term investment.
Instead of identifying with Simply Red lamenting that ‘Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)’ every time you need to travel, you can agree with the Eurythmics as they croon ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’. Let’s do the maths Before we start crooning, let’s look at the numbers based on a property of R1.5 million, purchased by a business person who travels to a mid-range hotel seven nights a month.
Let’s do the maths
Before we start crooning, let’s look at the numbers based on a property of R1.5 million, purchased by a business person who travels to a mid-range hotel seven nights a month.
This smart person charges the company for the equivalent cost of hotel accommodation. They also put the word out to their business network offering the property to colleagues and associates at an affordable R1,000 per night. Bookings for seven nights cover their costs and anything after that is a profit.
- Bond repayment on a property for R1.5 million at 10.5% interest R14,750 per month over 20 years
- Rates, taxes and/or levies R2,000 per month
- Total monthly cost R16,750 per month
- Hotel accommodation for seven nights @R1,500 per night R10,500 per month
- Rental income for 7–14 nights per month @R1,000 per night R7,000–R14,000 per month
- Total monthly savings/income R17,500–R24,500+
Of course, this is a simplified overview, and – to maximise the benefits and savings – you really should consult a professional financial advisor before committing.
Look at the tax implications, as there are pros and cons to ownership of the property being with the company or the individual. An individual will be liable for tax on the rental income, but can charge the company for the nights stayed. If the business owns the property, you can’t charge the company but will benefit from savings made on hotel accommodation.
By paying 10% more than the minimum bond repayment, you can knock six years off the length of your bond and save a fortune in interest. Once you are bond-free you have an investment that not only generates a market-related income but is also an appreciating asset for you or your business.
Little things can make a big difference
Unlike a hotel, which rarely meets all your requirements, a place of your own can easily be tweaked and stocked with everything you desire to make a business trip as stress-free and comfortable as possible. Just having a kitchen, even if you only use it to make your preferred brand of coffee and heat up frozen meals (which you can eat in your pyjamas), is a money saver and better than room service or going out to find food when you are tired and just want to chill.
Set up a workspace the way you like it, and put an end to crawling under beds looking for plugs and cursing as you look for a late-night shop that sells extension cords or multi-plugs so that you can charge all your devices. Have the luxury of a hair dryer that is not plugged in with the cord coming out of a drawer, and no hope of extending anywhere near a mirror, or any reflective surface. You get the idea, right?
Location, location, location
Finding a suitable property for under R1.5 million in Cape Town might have many calling for a sing-along to U2’s ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, but we managed to find six developments or estates that will have you changing your tune to ‘Money For Nothing’ by the legendary band Dire Straits.
Beating Cape Town traffic
On weekday mornings, traffic travelling from the airport towards the city is to be avoided between 06:15 and 09:00, and in the afternoons you need to leave the city by 15:30 at the latest to avoid the gridlock heading out of town. (On a Friday, make that 15:00 as most Capetonians go home early to get a jumpstart on the weekend.)
If you are not able to leave by 15:30, stay in town or head to the Waterfront and surrounds until after 18:00 when the traffic is a little less hectic – and tune in to Magic 828 (828MW) for great music that will bring back the eighties (and sixties and seventies and nineties) – interspersed with regular traffic updates.
The first three estates listed below are situated in the Cape Winelands, which is in the opposite direction to the city when leaving the airport.If you still know all the words to UB40’s ‘Red Red Wine’, this area is for you.
The other three are in or close to the vibrant CBD, they are not a ‘aerotropolis’ investment but good options to investigate, so if you resonate with Lipps INC belting out ‘Funky Town’, this is where you want to be. They are also accessible via the MyCiTi bus, which has a dedicated lane from the airport to the city and can be used all around the CBD and immediate surrounds, as well as along the Atlantic Seaboard. You can buy a card at the airport and top it up when required. That way, you won’t need to rent a car.
SITARI ESTATE, WATERFORD
Location: Just off the N2, 8km before the Somerset Mall and Somerset West
Priced from: R1.4 million
Levy: R1,500 Transfer costs: None
Cape Town International Airport: 24.6km
Accommodation specs: 71 square metres of living space includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony and two parking bays. Fittings and fixtures include a solar geyser, Grohe sanitary ware, a glass-panelled walk-in shower, LED downlights, a Miele oven, hob and extractor, and engineered stone countertops. Ground floor apartments include a built-in wood braai and a landscaped garden.
Facilities and lifestyle: Parks, wetlands, running, walking and cycling trails, and a clubhouse. The Sitari Village Mall is scheduled to open opposite the estate in late 2019. Sitari is close to Strand Beachfront, Erinvale Golf Estate, and hundreds of excellent wine estates on the Stellenbosch and Helderberg wine routes.
Location: Next to Cloetesville, 4.3km from the centre of Stellenbosch
Priced from: R960,000 to R995,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, R1.5 million for a two-bedroom house
Levy: R1,800 per month
Transfer costs: Included
Cape Town International Airport: 31.4km
Accommodation specs: Apartments are 57 to 64 square metres with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, Smeg oven and hob, granite tops, aluminium windows and a choice of laminated timber flooring or tiles. Houses are similar, but measure 100 square metres on a 180 square metre plot with a single garage.
Occupation: January 2019.
Facilities and lifestyle: Nuutgevonden is a secure, access controlled estate bordered by the suburb of Cloetesville on one side and the Beyerskloof vineyards on the other. The houses are designed along the lines of traditional Cape farmhouses in keeping with the semi-rural location. The Monterosso wine estate is 850 metres away, and a four-kilometre drive will take you to the lively, historic university town of Stellenbosch where excellent restaurants, student pubs, shopping malls, museums, oak-lined avenues and quaint shops will cater to all your needs. The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve begins on the edge of the town and offers a variety of day and overnight hiking trails, camping and picnic spots or just a quiet walk in the forest or along the river. Cycling off road or through the streets is lovely here.
Location: Between the N2 and the Old Main Road (R102) at Firgrove, just before Somerset West, and a few kilometres from Sitari Priced from: R1,259,900
Levy: Not known yet
Transfer costs: Included
Cape Town International Airport: 26.9km
Accommodation specs: 68–80 square metres of living space consisting of one- or two-bedroom options. Kitchens have granite countertops and each unit has a patio with a built-in braai and covered parking.
Availability: Phase 1 is sold out, phase 2 is presently selling and under construction, and future developments to phase 6 are planned. You might have to wait a bit while you heed the words of Pink Floyd as they put ‘Another Brick In The Wall’. Facilities and lifestyle: High-speed fibre, conference facilities, a communal pool and braai area, parks, a river, and walking/jogging trails. Strand beachfront, Erinvale Golf Estate, Strand and Somerset West golf clubs and the Stellenbosch and Helderberg wine routes are all within a 10-minute drive from Acorn Creek.
Location: 33 Burg Street, Cape Town
Priced from: R1,264,000
Levy: R1,500 (estimated)
Transfer costs: Included
Cape Town International Airport: 18.1km
CBD: In the CBD
Closest MyCiTi bus stop: MID LONG is a walk of one city block
Accommodation specs: Micro apartments offer 36 square metres of living space, which is sufficient because all your other needs are met within the building. The apartments are fitted with quality appliances and the option of a furniture pack.
Facilities and lifestyle: The Pinnacle is situated in the heart of the CBD with easy access to everything. It describes itself as ‘a neighbourhood within a building – space redefined’. Communal spaces include work and meeting rooms, Wi-Fi with hot desks, and shared office space. For your convenience, there is an on-site laundry, gym and retail outlets, and for relaxation and socialising, a rooftop pool, restaurants and walking distance to everything.
Location: 45 Chapel Street, Zonnebloem
Priced from: R1,360,000
Transfer costs: Not included
Cape Town International Airport: 16.5km CBD: 2.3km
Closest MyCiTi bus stop: CPUT is a short walk away
Accommodation specs: 66 square metres of living space offers a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with one secure underground parking bay. All units have views either of Table Mountain or the harbour.
Facilities and lifestyle: High-speed fibre, a rooftop pool deck and entertainment area. Close to the city centre just below District Six, and an easy jump onto the highway, Chapel Towers is central to everywhere.
URBAN ARTISAN APARTMENTS
Location: Corner of Kent and Salt River roads, Woodstock
Priced from: R1,350,000
Transfer costs: Included
Cape Town International Airport: 14.4km
Closest MyCiTi bus stop: KENT is right outside the building
Completion date: December 2019
Accommodation specs: There will be 33 studio and seven onebedroom apartments, as well as seven penthouses.
Facilities and lifestyle: This four-storey building will have 280 square metres of retail space on the ground level, and secure underground parking for residents. Security includes biometrically controlled access, CCTV surveillance and a concierge. A coin-operated laundry, a pet-friendly attitude and a communal rooftop braai and pool area add to the appeal. Woodstock is a lively, upcoming neighbourhood that is an exciting mix of cultures with plenty of trendy coffee spots, craft gin and beer venues, exciting street art, creative indie stores and unforgettable hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Awesome as this sounds, this is not a B52’s ‘Love Shack’. Rather align your thoughts with Men at Work singing ‘Be Good Johnny’.
Bonus: Urban Artisan Apartments are situated in an Urban Development Zone, which entitles you to some nice tax rebates.
Thanks to Brendan Dale from ‘Take charge of your money’ blog for advice on tax implications and other tricky details