Embracing relaxed living in a fast paced world

For those in search of the latest trends in lifestyle living, Centurion and Irene have become highly sought after areas offering a wonderful way of life and a good return on investment, says Retha Schutte, regional executive: Pretoria for Pam Golding Properties (PGP).  
There are some beautiful country homes in Centurion, Irene and their surrounds. These areas hold some of the regions best-kept secrets and are literally waiting to be explored and enjoyed, she adds. Developed on the site of the former Lyttelton township on the farm Doornkloof the area nowadays comprises as many as 20 to 30 different suburbs offering a lifestyle of choice for anyone wanting easy access to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Every conceivable amenity including excellent schools, healthcare and shopping malls are literally on tap while residents have the added advantage of living in harmony with nature.
The history of Irene dates back to 1889 while stone arrowheads and tools found in the area indicate that people have been living in the area well before then. Apart from its historical significance, and the fact that the area offers relaxed living in a fast paced world, the main advantage of suburbs such as Centurion and Irene is the accessibility to major highways linking the area to Johannesburg, Midrand, Krugersdorp, Pretoria and Grand Central and OR Tambo International airports. Irene is considered to be the geographical centre of Gauteng with most significant Gauteng destinations being as little as 20 minutes away.
Secure estates scattered around Centurion and Irene have attracted a multicultural community of individuals who enjoy anything from equestrian sport to golf, watching cricket at nearby SuperSport Park, enjoying water sports on the neighbouring Rietvleidam Dam or hiking in one of the world’s largest urban nature reserves, the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, adds Schutte.
Colonial equestrian mansion - Cornwall Hill Country Estate

One such prized property is a colonial equestrian mansion, offering the ultimate spacious, secure lifestyle. This picturesque property is a tremendous find,Schutte says describing the home, which is set amongst the rolling hills and koppies of Cornwall Hill Country Estate, as offering a rural atmosphere in an urban setting.
The magnificently appointed double-storey family home is a perfect country haven for those with an appreciation of wide-open spaces and the finer things in life. Cornwall Hill College, a really good private school, located on the boundary of the estate, completes the ideal lifestyle for those fortunate enough to live there, she adds.
The understated, elegant home offers four sumptuous en-suite bedrooms opening onto balconies with picturesque views over the estate. With its generously appointed living and entertainment areas, high ceilings, double volume entrance and solid mahogany staircase this is a home that has been designed to take full advantage of the abundant, beautiful countryside. Sliding doors provide access to the undercover patio and several courtyards from the large indoor entertainment area consisting of a rosewood fitted bar, sitting area and dining area with built-in wood braai.
According to PGP area specialist, Leonie van der Sande, this north facing home is likely to appeal to those who enjoy both outdoor living and entertaining. Apart from a state of the art sound-system offering piped music throughout, the considerable lounge has a large gas fireplace that is designed to warm the downstairs area during winter bringing family and guests together while the dining room is situated alongside the gourmet cherry rosewood and granite kitchen fitted with state-of-the-art Siemens appliances. Any chef worth his or her salt will appreciate the space, efficiency and excellent design of this well-appointed kitchen.
For those who love horses and equestrian sport there are six stables, a lunging area as well as a paddock. There is also a self-contained grooms’ room and a tack room while the aviary lends itself to possible conversion into a garden flat,observes Van der Sande. A heated pool, an open-air boma with pizza oven and sufficient garaging for six vehicles complete the picture. Over and above the excellent security offered within the estate, the property is fully walled and has its own security cameras, alarm and beams.”
Marketed by Pam Golding Properties, this country haven is on the market for R15.3 million. Schutte says the marketing of this equestrian mansion represents an opportunity for anyone interested in making a solid investment. The property comprises a 1 105sqm home on a 9 176sqm stand.  A vacant 9 650sqm adjoining stand is also on the market for R1.5 million. 
Riverside mansion Southdowns Estate

Southdowns Irene Country Farm, located on Nellmapius Drive, Irene, incorporates the Irene Dairy and is adjacent to the Irene Country Club. Complete with Southdowns College, an excellent private school offering pre-primary, primary and high school education, Southdowns is a residential development that captures the very essence of Irene’s natural beauty. The estate is covered by approximately 50 hectares of conservation corridors and agricultural areas. Landscaping consists of indigenous planting designed to maximise bio-diversity.
According to PGP area specialist, Nico West, Southdowns Estate is the perfect backdrop to a modern, executive family home with a landscaped garden and spectacular views of the river. “This modern character home is situated on the banks of the river with beautiful surroundings and is distinguished by its elegance and style.”
The home has a stunning Miele kitchen flowing into open-plan living areas with triple volume ceilings. Moving upstairs, we find the airy main bedroom with dressing room opening on to a private balcony. It has a magnificent en-suite full bathroom, open shower and separate toilet.
There are a further three generously sized bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms inside the house as well as a separate apartment with its own entrance. All bedrooms open on to balconies with lovely views. There is also a study, and an undercover terrace from which spectacular sunsets can be enjoyed, says West.
The home has a total of five bathrooms, all of which are en-suite, and four reception rooms. According to West, the stand size of the property is approximately 1870sqm and the size of the buildings is approximately 1000sqm. The home has a central sound system with surround sound. This property is superbly appointed and is ideal for the modern family seeking plenty of space and light. It is on the market for R11. 995 million notes West. 
Known for its many hi-tech features, Southdowns Estate was one of the first South African property developments to supply all its homes with natural gas. It also offers homeowners a fibre-optic backbone, which has significantly streamlined estate operations while integrating all residential telecommunications, data and video usage within the estate. Southdowns has furthermore integrated the estate’s state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras into the fibre-optic network. The cameras essentially define images from heat energy and can penetrate atmospheric obscurants, such as haze and fog any time of day or night. Additional security protocols enabled by the fibre-optic network include remote monitoring of the guards, free intercom facilities between the gates and residents, electronic fence monitoring and biometric access control.

It is not often that country properties of this calibre become available so close to Pretoria and Johannesburg, observes Schutte. Both homes represent a distinctive lifestyle and an excellent return on investment.”
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