select
|

Picturesque Memel sets the scene with eco-friendly “rammed earth” building

Established in 1911, situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains in the north-eastern Free State and only about 20km from the KwaZulu-Natal border, the picturesque town of Memel is rapidly becoming a popular destination among those seeking an accessible weekend getaway, says Phil Medlock, Pam Golding Properties area principal in the Vaal Dam area, who also operates in Memel.


One of the sandstone houses on a game farm set on 1155ha with over 600 head of game. Situated in Memel the farm is priced at R22 million through Pam Golding Properties.
 
“An easy two-and-a-half hour drive from Gauteng, this is an appealing farming town in a beautiful setting, with fresh mountain air in a Highveld climate and an abundance of bird species and outdoor leisure activities. A small town with about 300 permanent residents, Memel is much like Deneysville was about 10 years ago, when it was still relatively undiscovered. It’s also within reach of those from KwaZulu-Natal, being close to Newcastle and about 350km from Durban,” says Medlock.
 
“This area has much to offer those wanting to escape the hurly burly of city life and get back to nature in a healthy environment, with snow in winter and the beautiful mountain views making it very appealing.  Apart from the quaint village, with art galleries, cafes and craft shops, just to the north of Memel lies the Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve – itself a world-renowned birding site with over 250 species documented.”
 
Medlock says with stands in the village priced from just R160 000 and houses starting at R450 000, the town has already started attracting numerous crafters, artists and those who simply want to enjoy the clean mountain air and numerous outdoor pursuits the area offers, including hiking and mountain-biking.
 
Eco-friendly Rammed Earth building

“Investors have already purchased property in the village, including an American developer who has introduced to the area the ancient Rammed Earth building concept. Utilising natural materials such as earth, clay and gravel in order to build walls, this eco-friendly method has considerable potential as today more and more people look towards an eco-friendly lifestyle and aim to use more sustainable building materials – and even live ‘off the grid’.”
 
Already a number of buildings – including a guest house, have been built in Memel to promote this concept. The guest suites are eco-friendly, incorporating features such as solar heating and recycling of gray water for the under floor heating.
 
Says Medlock:  “The Rammed Earth technique is more cost effective and the developer has empowered the local community by showing them how to build in this way. Furthermore, the guest units are built among an organic vegetable plot which supplies fresh vegetables to the local community as well as some top restaurants. This is also a project by the American developer and his wife who gave up careers with the United Nations to settle in Memel, where they have been instrumental in setting up such initiatives in the village with the support of local government. The aim is to attract like-minded people who are looking for a cleaner living environment and at present they are bringing in American students to assist with the local school as well as building projects which include a community centre – currently in the process of being built using a semi-earth build.”


 
Memel is also known as a high quality farming area. Pam Golding Properties recently listed arguably one of the finest game farms in the north-eastern Free State, comprising 1155ha with over 600 head of game across 21 different species. In mint condition and priced at R22 million, the farm is fully game fenced to the highest standard and includes two sandstone homes, numerous outbuildings, stables as well as a separate lodge and game capture boma. Water is plentiful with six dams on the farm, fed from natural mountain streams, with three of the dams stocked with trout and three with bass.
 
“Another appealing option is a 33 percent share in a 1232ha game farm, which is fully managed, making it ideal as a weekend leisure getaway. The asking price for the share is R2.8 million and this includes traversing rights over the farm, use of the lodge as well as the opportunity to build a home on the farm, which is also fully self-sufficient and forms part of a registered conservancy,” adds Medlock.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Whenever changes in the political ecosystem of a traditional property market create uncertainty, smart investors begin to look elsewhere for new opportunities. Property experts at IP Global have analysed the trends and crunched the numbers to find new markets to explore in Europe and the United States.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      The rental market is a cut-throat sector of the real estate market that waits for nobody. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, first-time renters need to be fully prepared before they even start the process of looking for a place to rent in order to avoid the disappointment of losing out on their ideal property.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      Choosing to buy your first home instead of continuing to rent is a big decision that will usually take some time to put into action, but the sooner you can save up a sizeable deposit, the closer you will be to reaching your goal.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      Selling your home is no small task and as you will quickly find out, there are a lot of misconceptions about the process. Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff's MD in Pretoria East lists the top 5 misconceptions when you are selling your home.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      The Cape Town municipality is now installing water-management devices at properties that have been non-compliant with the new level 5 water restrictions and there are talks of fines between R5,000 and R10,000 for households that use too much water.
    • 17 Apr 2018
      The recent interest rate cut has stoked the coals in the first-time buyer’s market. At least for the next two months until the next interest rate announcement, homeowners are guaranteed lower monthly instalments than in the previous quarter. But, is it wise to take out a 100% bond just to enter the property market while interest rates are low?
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK