Estate Living Popular in Stellenbosch

It would seem that Stellenbosch no longer only attracts students, but also both locals and out-of-towners looking to settle in one of the many new residential estates popping up around the town and surrounds. 

Estate living has become increasingly popular in South Africa as buyers are attracted to the safety and sense of community they provide. Newer estates also offer great lifestyle options with amenities either within the development itself or located nearby.
“We’ve seen significant estate development over the past few years such as the De Zalze Estate, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, Koelenbosch, Nooitgedacht and there are currently five more in the pipeline”, says Giel Viljoen, Principal of Leapfrog Property Group in Stellenbosch, “Contrary to what’s happening in most of the country the property prices in our area are still going from strength to strength and we’ve seen a lot of growth in the R1.5 to R2.5 million price range, though most estates offer properties between R1.6 and R4.5 million”.  
There’s something for everyone
While the plots in the Slaley and De Zalze Estates are sold out, there is the possibility that the Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate could be launching another 50 plots, while the Koelenbosch Country Estate is a new development consisting of 74 plots. 
The Nooitgedacht Village, situated on the exclusive Nooitgedacht Estate, consists of about 720 units, varying from apartments to mansions and residences for retirees with medical facilities. Viljoen mentions that two new developments will be launching close to Welgevonden in the next year or two and that there are possibly two more small developments launching in Kylemore soon.
“We are receiving more and more people from other provinces, but mostly from Gauteng who are looking for property in Stellenbosch. Most buyers tend to look for safety in the forms of a secure estate. We’re also finding that parents buying as an investment for their children would much rather buy into an estate for their childrens’ safety”, explains Viljoen.
The Benefits of Estate Living
Estate living provides residents with a sense of security and community while also sharing the costs of the development’s general maintenance. With the increasing focus on providing amenities like shops, schools and medical facilities within the estate, the option of living in one of these developments has become even more popular.
Considerations before Buying
“If you’re buying an existing property in an estate the main things to look into would be the body corporate and whether they’re managing the development properly, investigate the levies you’ll be expected to pay and read the fine print as to what is exclusive use and what is considered common property so as to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on”, advises Viljoen.
Viljoen also has advice for buyers looking to purchase off plan, “The most important thing is to learn as much about the developer and the builder contracted by the developer as possible; take a look at previous projects they’ve handled to get an idea of the quality of their work. Also, find out if the builder is registered as a closed corporation, a limited company or as a sole proprietor as this affects the warranties provider by the builder”.
It’s also important to check whether the NHBRC levy, water and sewerage connection fees are included in the purchase price.
“I would recommend including penalties for late completion in the purchase agreement and securing warranties on structural and workmanship issues”, says Viljoen.

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