The house that moved - now for sale in Onrus

A house with a difference has come onto the market on the Western Cape’s Overberg coastline - one that actually changed locations from one town to another.  

“Glenugie” now rests in Onrus, a small town on the outskirts of Hermanus.  But it once stood on the Strand promenade, where it was a well-known local tearoom in the early 1900’s. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) explains that the entire building was moved by truck to Onrus in 1921, where it was reassembled as a holiday home for the Binderman family, and became known for a time as “Binderman’s Cottage”.  The late Victorian home was fully restored and extended by subsequent owners in the early 1990’s.  Occupying an erf of 858sqm, the property is now on the market exclusively through PGP, priced at R2.75 million (inclusive of furniture).

PGP agent Annali Durr says besides being of such quirky historic value, Glenugie is a character-filled, light and sunny residence, ideal for coastal living and well-suited to both holiday and permanent residential use.  “The home has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a well-fitted eat-in kitchen with separate pantry and laundry,” she says. “There is a large open-plan living area with double glass doors that can be thrown open to create easy flow from the indoors to the garden and its ample outdoor entertainment areas.  An indoor braai also allows for entertaining in inclement weather.  Several notable design features date back to the home’s early roots, including Oregon pine floors and an original cast iron fireplace.”

The home is located in the section of town known as “Old Onrus”.  Durr says this area is particularly popular for its proximity to the lagoon and main swimming beach, which are just 500m from Glenugie.  “This area also offers easy access to the local market and the site of all the local festivals, so it is ideal for those who want to be within walking distance of the major amenities and attractions,” says Durr.  “The location would also make it highly suitable for use as a guesthouse, subject to planning approval.  Alternatively, it would make a lovely permanent home for a growing family, or an ideal holiday home for an extended family.”

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, says the property market in Onrus has picked up of late.  “We are seeing a general increase in enquiries,” she says, “with particular demand for homes in the R1 million to R1.5 million price range.  There is also increased interest in the R3 million to R4 million price range for properties which are located on the lagoon or beachfront, in Old Onrus or the section of town known as Onrus Peninsula.”

In the period from March 2012 to January 2013, PGP sold 25 properties in Onrus, at a total value of R46 million.  The average selling price was around R1.8 million, but sales ranged from R360 000 for a vacant plot to several family homes sold over R3 million, and a beachfront home in the adjacent village of Sandbaai sold for R4.85 million – the highest price ever recorded for a residential property in this area (by any agency).

Borg says Onrus has grown tremendously in popularity, both as a holiday destination and a place of primary residence or retirement.  “The close proximity to Cape Town and other major Boland and Overberg towns makes it particularly attractive for holiday-makers, as does the wide range of outdoor activities on offer,” she says.  “And for those seeking a full-time home for their families, there are good schools in the near vicinity, including a Curro private school in Sandbaai.  Residents can enjoy the charm and tranquillity of small town living, while still being able to access all major amenities in nearby Hermanus.  A number of our recent enquiries to buy or rent have come from businesspeople working abroad, who wish to leave their families in a secure environment where their children can enjoy a sense of freedom and a healthy outdoor environment.  The excellent value for money on offer is just the cherry on top.”

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