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072 171 1979

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big bird - Fly, Big Bird, Fly!

Fly, Big Bird, Fly!

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So, the kids have flown the coop and you’re left with a substantial chunk of home on an even more substantial acreage.

The empty bedrooms and unused garage space that lie in wait for occupation still need cleaning, and the unused swimming pool still needs its regular chlorine fix – not to mention the bucket-loads of leaves that need to be removed on a regular basis. Is this all that life’s about? Setting one up for the dreaded empty-nest syndrome? And everlasting home maintenance? I hope not …

When your kids are of schoolgoing age it’s all about providing the right home environment – the safe place to play, to learn, to entertain friends. This acquiring of real estate generally includes a four-bedroom home, possibly a three-car garage and, of course, a pool – all set within a beautifully landscaped large garden. Looking back, you’re proud of what you’ve acquired … and achieved. Your well-adjusted kids have graduated, and they’ve landed themselves great jobs – maybe in Joburg, or London, or somewhere else in this wonderful world we live in. Gradually you come to the realisation that it’s not just the kids who can see the world. You can too.

It’s time to downsize … nothing as drastic as a retirement home, God forbid – you’re not ready for that yet! You think smaller, but still stylish. Minimal to no maintenance but set within park-like gardens. A tech-savvy home in a secure environment. Something that’s lock up and go. Something that will meet the requirements of your new ‘it’s time for us now’ lifestyle of travel and experiential pursuits.

If you’re in KwaZulu-Natal, there’s a likelihood that your current home is in Durban’s upper-highway area of Kloof and Hillcrest.

And good for you, as home prices in this region have rocketed in the 20-something years that you’ve had your home. Despite varsity tuition and the costs that come with growing kids into adulthood, you’ve virtually paid off your bond, so with the three million plus that you could possibly get for your home, it’s likely you could downsize and put some cash in the bank. Those holidays, you’re thinking …

You pursue the idea and start looking along the KZN North Coast. You’ve always liked the idea of being closer to the beach, and the airport is just a short hop away.

So, what are the options? Duplex, simplex, or apartment? Something needing a little TLC, or a beautiful new build? TLC doesn’t quite fit the new lifestyle, you think, and duplex might become problematic as you age (it does happen, unfortunately). So, a stylish new build, simplex or apartment in a secure estate is what you would be looking for – keep in mind that when you’re purchasing a new build, or off-plan, transfer duty does not apply.

A great place to start the search is in New Salt Rock City, a new multifaceted development that’s just a 15-minute drive from King Shaka International Airport. The Mount Richmore Village Estate offers a vast array of lifestyle facilities including clubhouse, swimming pool and sports facilities, all set in indigenous forest, wetland and greenbelt areas. Mount Richmore’s Lifestyle Village offers both apartment living – priced from R1.6 million for a one-bedroom apartment up to R2.5 million for a two-bedroom simplex – and three-bedroom freestanding homes priced at more than R3 million.

Another great development in that area is the Elaleni Coastal Forest Estate located in Sheffield Beach. Elaleni, with its forest walks and trail runs and commitment to sustainability, is ideal if you’re looking for a lifestyle that is immersed in nature – think bird-watching from the privacy of your veranda to swimming laps in the Elaleni Leisure Centre pool while listening to the breeze rustle through the surrounding forest.

It’s not all about nature and warm fuzzy feelings though – the estate integrates state-of-the-art security and modern design. Within Elaleni, Lush offers chic 2 and 3-bedroom Condos and Villas priced from R2.49 million. Phase 1 has sold out and Phase 2 has launched with great success. Site establishment is now underway and construction is anticipated to start imminently.

The buzzword, from a development point of view, is the Sibaya Coastal Precinct, with its pristine coastal forest and proximity to the beautiful North Coast beaches. Additionally, it’s close to both the airport and to the urban buzz and business hub of uMhlanga, should that be important to you. The developments here are in high demand, with investors getting the lion’s share. Ocean Dune and Pebble Beach both sold out within months of launching – if you’re lucky you may pick up a resell. Clearly purchasing here would be a great investment … for your property portfolio as well as your lifestyle.

If you’re in suburban Cape Town you may think you’re even luckier considering the price of property in that neck of the woods (potentially R4+ million) – but before you get too excited, your downsized property is also likely to come with a hefty price tag. So, what are the options once you’ve decided that leaving the suburban bliss of the northern or southern suburbs is for you? If it’s a lock-up-and-go urban lifestyle you’re chasing, then the obvious would be to head into the city … Green Point, Sea Point and Woodstock come to mind. But note – the closer you get to the ocean, the higher the prices.

So, if you aren’t keen to bust that budget, consider looking at Woodstock. While this area is mostly targeting up-and-coming young buyers, if you’re looking for an investment that is lock up and go, then this could be a good option. Urban Artisan Apartments, set for completion in December 2019, are already almost sold out, with just a couple of one-bedroom units left at around the R3.7 million mark. The Iron Works, now complete, is also sold out – but some will have been bought as investment, so there are bound to be resells.

If you’d prefer something closer to the ocean, then consider Green Point, and the luxury development 35 on Main, where there’s just one two-bedroom apartment left at R5.7 million. In Sea Point there is The Estate, a luxury development by the Berman Bros Group. There are a couple of two-bedroom apartments left at R10.4 million, and three-bed units starting at R20.7 million. Clearly some budget busting is required.

If you’re prepared to head outside the city, then it would be worth considering Somerset West – at Somerset Lakes property prices range from R2 million to R5 million, and at Kelderhof Country Village between R2 million and R6 million.

These estates offer breathtaking views, as well as close proximity to local vineyards and the airport. Alternatively, perhaps a move to a warmer climate in KZN could be the answer …

So, with the weight of ‘emptiness’ off your shoulders, it’s time to tidy up your home and call your real estate agent – you never know, your dream of a change in lifestyle and travelling the world may be on the cards sooner than you think.

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