HOA in action28th Feb 2021
Lize Baard, the well-loved and extremely experienced bookkeeper of Kingswood, has been part of the team for the past 17 years – almost since Day One. And she regards it as a major privilege to live and work in this sublimely heavenly abode.
From the wild North West to the Garden Route ‘When I arrived here all those years ago, there were, literally, only a container serving as the office, and bushes,’ she recalls. ‘I was freshly graduated from university and was appointed to deal with the home owner administration – in those years totalling a meagre 30 plots.’
She witnessed the growth and progress through the years up to today, with the estate boasting lovely facilities, landscaping and over 600 home owners paying levies – a number that continues to increase. ‘It’s very special to be in a position where I could grow with the project,’ she says.
Hailing from Klerksdorp in the North West Province, Lize obtained her BCom degree at Tuks, and kicked off her career at Kingswood. Today she heads the Finance and Administration department of Kingswood HOA, and Kingswood HOA Properties. She is held in high regard by trustees and colleagues, as is evident by spontaneous comments such as ‘she’s excellent!’ by Roy Edge, one of the trustees, who made a quick pop-in during the interview.
The Garden Route is great
Always ready to help with a smile, there is an even brighter twinkling in her eyes nowadays as she’s soon about to walk down the aisle with the love of her life, Barend van Heerden. ‘He’s in the agricultural industry and grew up in Riversdale, but has been living in George for the past few years,’ she says, smiling.
The couple plans a small and intimate wedding, with only close friends and family present. Between the demands of their jobs and organising their big day, they enjoy being active through jogging, gymming and hiking in the area. They also love discovering new restaurants and exploring the culinary delights of the Garden Route.
She is particularly fond of the Outeniqua Mountains, which hold a special place in her heart – she refers to them as ‘our mountains’.
‘It makes me happy to look at the mountain. Its beauty changes every day, and I’m always excited when waking up to see which outfit it’s wearing today.’
Herolds Bay and Brenton-on-Sea are two other Garden Route gems that energise her, and – slightly further afield – she loves to visit Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas to take time out and just breathe.
Lize loves working at Kingswood. She regards the springbok on the estate as a big plus. ‘They are such a lovely addition to an already beautiful and scenic setting. It’s enchanting looking though my office window and seeing the bokkies nearby. They have a calming presence,’ she says.
Fabulous future foretold
Kingswood HOA experienced a lot of growth over the last two years, with the acquisition of the golf course, the increasing number of new home owners relocating to George, and many new houses being built. The construction of the new phase is in full steam, and should be finished within a year, adding 155 new home owners to the community.
‘I think Kingswood is really privileged to have a vibrant market, despite Covid and challenging economic circumstances. The prospective buyers are people who want to come and stay here permanently, and they choose Kingswood as their home.’ Her ambition for the estate is for it to continue growing into the safe, beautiful lifestyle haven that it already is, and to exceed the prevailing high service standards; also, for the community within its boundaries to become a tight-knit family caring for one another and reaching out to each other and the wider George community.
‘I’m looking forward to the future and all the plans that are in the pipeline to make Kingswood the go-to choice for living, playing and working. When meeting new residents, I always tell them I know they are going to have a wonderful life here. And although I’m not currently living on the estate myself, it would definitely be a dream come true to be able to call it my home one day in the future.’