Heritage homes still popular in pristine Swellendam

The town of Swellendam is known as much for its architectural gems as for its magnificent river- and mountainside setting in the interior of the Cape Overberg region. The town is the third-oldest magisterial district in the country, dating back to the early 1700’s. Given this long history, it is little wonder that it has over 50 buildings listed as heritage sites by the South African Heritage Resources Agency, including a number of fine examples of Victorian, Edwardian and Cape Dutch architecture.

 Many of these have been restored with careful attention to detail and authenticity, often for use in the town’s busy hospitality industry. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that these heritage homes are extremely popular with buyers intending to run B&B’s or restaurants, but also appeal to those seeking a unique family home with romantic charm.

PGP agent Lynette Badenhorst says the town’s heritage homes can attract top prices if they have been well maintained and restored. “The very best examples of historic homes can fetch well over the R3 million mark if they have been kept in good condition,” she says, “and even smaller heritage properties can command premium prices.  They also tend to sell quickly as there is high demand for these homes - in the past year alone we have sold an original thatched cottage for R790 000, a Victorian home for R1.65 million and a Cape Dutch home for R1.75 million, as well as a Cape Dutch home circa 1800 for R2.4 million.  These properties tend to be highly sought-after by local and international buyers alike, with particular appeal for our European clients. Their charm and historic value are not the only appealing features – often by virtue of being the oldest buildings in the town, they occupy the prime locations, and many also enjoy beautiful mountain views and substantial plots.”

Among the historic homes currently for sale in Swellendam is a late Victorian/early Edwardian style home in Buitekant Street, built in 1900, declared a national monument in 1965 and now listed as a heritage site. The home is in pristine condition after a successful restoration process, and boasts magnificent wooden floors, doors and shutters, as well as lovely chandeliers. PGP has the exclusive mandate to market the property, which is priced at R3.75 million.

The home occupies a substantial erf of 2300sqm. It offers three bedrooms and a spacious study/fourth bedroom, three reception rooms and a lovely farmhouse kitchen with Italian stove and separate scullery and laundry. Double doors lead from the cosy lounge onto the home’s wraparound stoep, which offers lovely views across the town to the mountains, from its elevated hillside position. The sparkling pool has an adjacent pool-house ideal for casual entertaining, with a built-in bar and braai. Badenhorst says the home is well-designed for modern living, with wiring in place for a surround sound system, internet access and DSTV. “All appliances and floor-length curtains are included in the asking price,” she adds, “and the location is superb – very private, yet still within walking distance of the local shops.”

Garaging is provided for two vehicles, with off-street parking available for a further four. The property also offers two sizable storage rooms and a beautiful manicured garden with sensor lighting.

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