Authentic country lifestyle just became more accessible

Who hasn’t imagined living a country lifestyle, looking out over some well-tended small-scale crops and perhaps even some livestock – where you can kick back and relax in an authentic, rural environment?

Artist’s impression showing an aerial view of the Gentleman’s Estates on Val de Vie.

Now this enviable lifestyle is within reach, both secure and easily accessible to boot, with the launch of a new phase comprising 13 Gentleman’s Estates and four River Reserves at well-established Val de Vie Estate in the Franschhoek-Paarl valley in the Boland region of the Western Cape. Val de Vie Estate was recently awarded home of the Safest House in Africa at the International Property Awards.
Priced from R7.5 million to R9.95 million, the Gentleman’s Estates will range from 1.2 to 3.53 hectares, while the River Reserves – classed as eco-estates and portraying nature at its best, will vary from 2.56 to 5.83 hectares, where antelope such as grysbok and steenbok will roam amid rehabilitated fynbos. The River Reserves are priced at R12.5 million.

Artist’s impression of the exterior of a luxury home and lavish entertainment area on one of the new Gentleman’s Estates on Val de Vie.
“Val de Vie has taken an innovative and holistic approach to the development of this sought after estate, catering for a diverse range of home buyers with stylish, modern homes offering the ultimate in secure, country living and with a host of amenities – all this less than 15 minutes from Stellenbosch and under 30 minutes from Cape Town,” says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
“Already renowned for its fine wines, world-class polo grounds, exceptional health club with gym, squash and tennis courts plus heated indoor pool and top quality restaurant, now it has added a highly attractive new element with this agricultural offering.
“These new Gentleman’s Estates will have huge appeal for families who want to enjoy all the benefits of a healthy, farm-type lifestyle – even to potentially live off the land, encompassing a choice of one’s own vineyards, olive groves, organic vegetables and the like, or to keep horses and certain breeds of livestock, while the River Reserves will allow select game species in conjunction with Cape Nature.
“This is already a highly successful farming area. Back in the 1600’s and 1700’s fresh fruit and vegetables were cultivated and traded with passing ships and now today’s residents at Val de Vie can reap the rewards and satisfaction of tilling the land while enjoying an idyllic lifestyle on one of South Africa’s most successful estates, without any security concerns.

Artist’s impression of an interior of a stylish modern home on one of the new Gentleman’s Estates on Val de Vie.

“Furthermore, we believe that the limited number and unique offering of Gentleman’s Estates and River Reserves have the potential for sound investment returns as capital values increase, and will also help boost the value of other properties on the estate,” adds Dr Golding. More than 50 percent (150ha) of the Val de Vie extension – comprising the new phase, will be farmland or green conservation areas.
Adds Surina du Toit, Pam Golding Properties area manager in Paarl, Franschhoek and Wellington: “A key benefit is that each Gentleman’s Estate will have an allocation of Val de Vie’s Berg River and groundwater rights, so all irrigation water provided for in the bulk water rights is covered in the normal levy of R2 995 per month.
“Existing residents revel in the Winelands open farm-style living on the estate, with two existing commercial farms operating within its borders, which are now further enhanced by the additions of the new phases on the southern border, adjacent to the Berg River.  These opportunities are limited and unique in South Africa. For example on another estate in Stellenbosch a 6000sqm stand recently sold for R12 million, while in a major new residential development in Gauteng  4000sqm stands are achieving prices of R15 million. Typically, buyers of the Gentleman’s Estates will build up to 1 500sqm houses including stables, stores and staff quarters. The architectural design of the homes will conform to the estate guidelines, in French Provencale and Cape Vernacular style and with quality finishes.”
Commercial farming will be permitted within the rules of the estate, such as growing grapes for selling to a wine cellar or to make your own wine, or growing nuts or citrus for commercial sale. Glass hothouses for growing vegetables will also be allowed. “It is envisaged that some of the owners will supply the estate’s restaurant with organic vegetables,” says du Toit. A maximum of 10 livestock animals will be permitted, such as horses and sheep.
Included in the selling price is the design of a complete landscape site development plan by Uys & White Architects, as well as a pre-design concept meeting with the design team led by renowned architect Stefan Antoni of Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects. The balance of the fee for the full design development has also been reduced for Gentleman’s Estate owners.
In response to high market demand, Val de Vie Estate has also just released 26 serviced developer plots ranging in size from 650-800sqm and priced from R1.4 million. With 17 already sold, these will allow buyers three years to build their dream homes – unlike existing options on the estate which are either sold plot and plan or as completed homes. These plots are well positioned in the centre of the larger, extended portion of the estate, with access via entrance to the new phase of Gentleman’s Estates.
As a consequence the newly-released developer plots will ultimately rub shoulders with the ultra-luxurious homes to be built on the Gentleman’s Estates where properties – including the ‘farms’ are expected to be valued in the region of R30 million to R60 million when completed. Val de Vie reports that such is the pent-up demand for this kind of product – land values on the estate have increased by some 40 percent over the past 18 months. Homes built on the newly launched plots will also conform to the estate’s architectural guidelines.

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