Getting back to basics with small town living in the Western Cape

As modern life gets more and more demanding, there is a growing counter-drive towards returning to basics, embracing wholesome living and a natural lifestyle.

As part of this movement, many city dwellers are starting to reassess their way of life and are coming to the conclusion that the rat race is just not for them. In search of a simpler, cleaner existence, they are increasingly turning to small farming towns for a taste of good, old-fashioned living.

“A lot of people are moving to Bonnievale from up-country,” says Jean Donaldson, an agent for the Rawson Property Group’s Robertson franchise and previous Bonnievale resident. “They are escaping from the city looking for a wholesome place to bring up their children – or even to retire – with a real village atmosphere and some of the most beautiful natural surroundings in the country.”

Bonnievale is certainly blessed in the looks department, following the curves of the Breede River’s banks and bordered by majestic mountains on two sides. The area is also famous for its cheese and wine, winning awards in both industries and providing the locals with a ready supply of culinary delights.

“Bonnievale is, at its heart, a farming community,” Donaldson says, “but it has a complete mix of residents from all walks of life. We’re seeing an increasing number of people commuting to and from towns like Ashton, Montagu, Robertson, Swellendam, McGregor and Riviersonderend, and rental properties in Bonnievale are definitely in demand.”

Properties in the town range from working farms and smallholdings to lifestyle estates and apartment blocks, with prices starting at around R650 000 and heading all the way to R6.5 million and more.

“There is something for everyone in Bonnievale,” says Donaldson, “whether you’re looking for a quaint little cottage, a work-from home business opportunity, or a full-on family farm. The community is wonderful and the activities are plentiful – there’s a golf course, a bowling green, tennis and squash courts, bird-watching groups and bridge clubs. If you’re good to Bonnievale, Bonnievale will be good to you.”

Almost directly south of Bonnievale, heading closer to the coast, lies Bredasdorp – another farming town seeing an increase in residents from previously urban lifestyles.

“There are a lot of locals that were born and raised in Bredasdorp,” says Marthie Jones, the Rawson franchisee for Cape Agulhas and the surrounding areas, “but more and more people are arriving here from the city, looking for a quieter lifestyle.”

With agriculture and sheep farming forming the basis of the Bredasdorp economy, quiet is definitely the status quo for the town. Annual events like the Foot of Africa marathon inject some liveliness into the social calendar, but most residents enjoy the simple outdoor pleasures of the spectacular Heuningberg Nature Reserve, regular rounds at the local golf course, and the comforts of entertaining friends and family at home.

Properties in Bredasdorp are mostly freestanding, with a few sectional title developments and the occasional block of flats designed for retired people.

“Prices range from R1.020m for an average house to around R2.365m for a stone and thatch property,” says Jones. “Sectional title property prices start at around R730 000 and retirement apartments at about R500 000. There is good demand for rental properties and rental stock is limited, so there’s definitely an opportunity in the buy-to-let sphere as well.”

Donaldson and Jones agree that it’s the old-fashioned, quiet, low-stress lifestyle that is attracting people from all over the country to small towns like Bonnievale and Bredasdorp. As city living becomes ever-more chaotic and smog-choked, all signs indicate that this trend will continue to grow.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Jun 2018
      The rental market in many Johannesburg suburbs has shown encouraging signs of revival this year but it remains a competitive market and landlords who best cater to their market’s needs will reap the healthiest returns.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      Home design is constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs of society. We look at some of the ways in which our use of space is changing.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      While estate agents can help the seller with correctly pricing the property and marketing a property to the right pool of potential buyers, at the end of the day it’s the impression that the property will make on buyers that counts the most.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us