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Design for Living

June 2019

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Retirement. How much is enough?

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

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Turn your development into a SMART development

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

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FLISP – Making homeownership a reality for lower income households

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

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A life less ordinary

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

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A ‘golden’ opportunity to relocate to Portugal

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

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Facial recognition – Not to be taken at face value

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

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Community building requires time and effort

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

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Eastern Cape residential estates: wild and wonderful

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

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Eastern promise – explore south africa’s most underrated province

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

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Rules are rules… or are they?

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

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Lawns – lush oases or green deserts?

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

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Om nom nom nom num-nums!

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

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Hope for an effective treatment for memory loss

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

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Liquid gold and low-emission bricks

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

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Hurry up and wait

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

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

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

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

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

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Retire with a view

If you’re thinking of retirement or scaling down, why not move to a development with a view? Even if you continue working part-time, which is what many modern retirees do, you’ll probably have a lot more leisure time – all the more reason to have scenic landscapes or city skylines to immerse yourself in and enjoy.

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Ready for takeoff

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

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Insurance while you build

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

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