20 Thousand rugby fans...and dozens of beautiful historic homes

The Boland town of Paarl is preparing for what is arguably its biggest showcase of the year- the Inter-Schools sports festival, culminating this weekend (4-5 August 2012).

Believed to be one of the biggest school sporting events in the world, the event draws together thousands of rugby, netball and hockey fans, including some 20 thousand people who watch the main event of the U19A rugby clash between Paarl Boys’ High and Paarl Gimnasium at the Faure Street Stadium.  Pam Golding Properties (PGP) believes the festival provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the town’s beautiful homesteads, wholesome lifestyle and warm community atmosphere.

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, says Inter-Schools weekend divides the town firmly into two rival camps, each supporting one of the boys’ schools.  “Paarl Gim was founded in 1858 and Boys’ High in 1868, making them two of the oldest schools in the country, each with a proud tradition of academic and sporting excellence,” she says.  “One only has to look to the recent Springbok sides to see the proof, as old boys include Corne Krige, Gurthro Steenkamp and Mannetjies Roux (Boys High) as well as Schalk Burger, Jean de Villiers, Marius Joubert and De Wet Barry (Paarl Gim).  In fact, the current captain of the Paarl Gim side is Handre Pollard, a Junior Springbok and member of the recent World Championship-winning Baby Boks.  The two teams are currently placed first and second in the inter-school rugby rankings (source =, so it’s a match that is taken extremely seriously – even though the atmosphere in town over this weekend is one of festive celebration.”

PGP’s area manager for Paarl, Surina du Toit, says the festival not only brings together the Paarl community at one major event, but also draws a number of visitors to the town, exposing them to its many charms, including magnificent mountain views and celebrated Cape Dutch homesteads.  Some of these are currently on the market, and du Toit says the weekend provides an excellent opportunity for buyers to soak up the atmosphere and experience the warmth of the local community, while viewing both sport and property.

“Historic properties have a particular niche appeal,” she says.  “They are always something of a labour of love, as they are by their very nature older homes that need upkeep and often, significant modernising.  Yet for those who love the beauty and tradition of such homes, it can be a very rewarding purchase – not to mention a lucrative one, if you are prepared to invest in upgrading the property.”

For example, PGP recently sold a refurbished historic home dating back to the early 1900’s, in the popular suburb of Courtrai.  Purchased in 2003 for R2.16 million, the property was extensively renovated by its new owners, transforming it into a substantial modern family home with five bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and separate guest cottage, as well as extensive indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces with excellent flow between them.   The home was sold by PGP in June this year (2012) for R8.25 million.

PGP is currently marketing another refurbished Cape Dutch home in the prime location of Constantia Street, close to the Grand Roche Hotel.  The property was originally part of the farm “De Nieuwe Plantatie”, but was sub-divided in 1830.  Its homestead, known as “De Kleine Konstantie”, was built in 1841, and occupies an erf of just over 3100sqm.  PGP sold the property in April 2010 to local residents who then carried out an extensive refurbishment, with the assistance of architect Johan Malherbe of the firm Malherbe Rust.  The end result is a magnificent family home, offering a farm lifestyle, while still being within easy reach of all amenities including schools.  The house has four bedrooms, open-plan living areas with a cosy fireplace for winter, and a deep, cool front veranda offering breathtaking views of the Drakenstein Mountains, while a covered back veranda overlooks an outdoor entertainment area beneath huge oak trees.  Other features include a study, staff quarters and double garage, as well as an open-plan kitchen with separate scullery.  The property is now available for purchase exclusively through Pam Golding Properties, priced at R7 million.

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