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Moving to the Seaside

Moving to the Seaside

Some are committed coastal Dwellers, others prefer the seaside as a holiday destination. There are pros and cons to life near the ocean wave but, increasingly, the demographics of those who’re heading seawards is altering.

Worldwide, coastal properties in the right location have always been on everybody’s envy list, both for the perceived lifestyle of barefoot and carefree, as well as for the investment value.

Limited availability will always equate to increased desirability, so those properties not only hold their own, but sky rocket in value. Investment and lifestyle associated with coastal living in South Africa is not quite as clear cut as it is in, say, the south of France but, still, it’s no secret that sectors like the Atlantic Seaboard properties have drawn international investors and high-profile celebrity sun-seekers, and values have been off the property Richter scale.

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The Eastern Cape village of Port Alfred, where life revolves around the water, whether it’s boating, fishing, adventure activities or simply the magic of sundowners at the sea

 

Questions to ask before you buy…

  • If you have a sea view, can it be blocked? Is the asking price in line with that of other properties in the area?
  • What are the realistic rentals being achieved, and how can you ensure you’re renting to the right calibre of person?
  • If buying in an estate, do the body-corporate rules allow holiday letting?
  • What about your letting company? Uncover its modus operandi, costs and precisely what their ‘management’ of your home entails.
  • If you’re in an estate, is the maintenance included? What about garden services?
  • And if you plan to rent it out, is security tight enough? Will the property be safe and secure when it’s unoccupied?
  • Is furniture included in the sale price? Holiday homes are often sold complete with furniture and the price should be calculated separately (on a market-related basis) so as not to push up the property’s sale price, on which transfer will be paid. In addition, banks don’t take the value of the furniture into consideration if you are applying for a bank loan, points out Greta Daniel, national sales and operations manager for Pam Golding Franchise Services. Likewise, she adds, ‘Any rental income has to be declared for tax purposes, so keep an accurate record of income and expenditure.’

 

Coastal home buyers fall into two main categories, with variations on the theme: owners who buy holiday beach cottages or apartments for their own use or to syndicate with friends or family, and/or for renting out when they’re not being used; and those who love the sea, loathe the city, and choose the laid-back coastal lifestyle as a permanent one. They’ve often spent time in a particular coastal town and holidayed there regularly, so they know the area, the lifestyle and the pros and cons, and even have friends living there.

Often the decision is almost spontaneous, when, after one wonderful holiday, the beach life looks so much more appealing than the gritty one they’re currently enduring. They fall in love with a cottage, and sign on the dotted line. Some do it as a longer-term prospect to let out while they arrange their lives around this move, or until the children finish school; others want it to happen immediately. Some have had an unpleasant city experience – usually crime related – and believe that small-town coastal living offers the escape to something less stressful and more manageable.

Myles Wakefield of Wakefields Real Estate in KwaZulu-Natal suggests that holidaymakers should not be swept away by the carefree holiday spirit when making decisions about permanently living at the coast or buying a holiday home. That sense of freedom is beguiling, but it should be tempered by solid investigative homework. Location is always vital, but when planning to let out your holiday cottage, it’s crucial to supply what’s demanded by holidaymakers. Get honest figures as to the rentals are being achieved, and ascertain whether the area is entirely seasonal.

In many KwaZulu-Natal coastal hot spots, for example, holiday letting is less seasonal. Think it through. The sought-after aspects are position first and foremost, with sea views and direct or easy beach access being important considerations.

The laid-back lifestyle is the reason buyers choose the coast. It offers everything the city doesn’t… and that’s the appeal. Life’s pleasures become sunsets, walks on the beach, fishing, surfing, nature and community. One little South Coast holiday town has a tradition of sundowners on the beach at 5pm – everyone welcome.

As Simon Olivier, Seeff principal for Eastern Cape coastal villages, says, ‘Coastal life means a lifestyle change from the city’s endless forms of entertainment. Here, you need to get involved in the village, make a contribution and get to know people with similar interests. More often than not, you find yourself busier down here making a difference than you were in the big city. But make sure you choose an environment you’re going to fit into. Test it out first; rent, mingle, snoop.’

There is, of course, a significant difference in every respect between buying a little cottage or unit in a tiny, reasonably remote seaside village, and buying a luxury sea-view or beachside apartment or home, 10 minutes’ from the metropolis that holds your office. Both offer the joys of sea views, walks on the beach, perhaps dolphin and whale sightings, water sports and that sense of permanent holiday that the sea seems to evoke. But they’re not the same at all.

The one barely requires a lifestyle adjustment, the other does. Employment can be scarce and salaries lower, so frequently coastal dwellers are entrepreneurs, work remotely via the Internet, are artists or writers, retirees or commuters. When you buy, consider your need for proximity to a city or a local or international airport.

Purchasing a property as a holiday home and letting it out in between your holidays or during peak season to top up the bond or pay the rates and maintenance is a popular choice. Even if you live there permanently, leaving the madding crowd is common – that little town can be less quaint when hordes of holidaymakers descend biannually, block access to your property or create a traffic jam in a town without the appropriate infrastructure, and your local restaurant has given away your favourite table.

It’s said that cost of living is lower at the coast, but the cost of house maintenance is higher – and that includes boats and cars – because of sea air and rust. For new buildings – particularly in gated estates – architects are employing innovative designs and building materials – including face-brick, glass, stainless steel and stone cladding – designed to combat the ravages of sea air, wind and weather. When buying an elderly property, it is best to look at materials that will reduce yourlong-term maintenance costs and headaches.

Always bear in mind that managing a property long distance is onerous. Put measures in place to cope with the tenant who phones about the leaking geyser, rusted security gates and TV that goes on the blink because of humidity or sea air.

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This six-bedroom home in gated Brackenridge Private Estate in Plett is on the market for R9,5 million with Sotheby’s International Realty (ref. 574620)

 

KZN North Coast

 

Why buy here?

With King Shaka International Airport, iDube Tradeport and the business and commercial hubs between Umhlanga and Ballito, it’s perfectly possible to have the best of all worlds. Work and play, with sea views, beaches, nature, horse riding, bike trails and world-class retail facilities.

 

Umhlanga and Umdloti

‘More than half the properties on the Umhlanga beachfront are owned by upcountry people as holiday homes and/or holiday lets,’ says principal of Pam Golding Properties Umhlanga/Umdloti, Elwyn Schenk. ‘The owner-occupiers tend to be businessmen – some retired, many spending half the year abroad. The most popular properties fall into the lock-up-and-go category, and there’s a shortage of stock.’ Permanent residents are increasingly moving into the numerous beachfront complexes (deluxe through to ordinary); prime position is along the sea-fronting Lagoon Drive and surrounds.

In Umdloti, South Beach Road – and to a certain extent, Bellamont Drive (complexes and homes) – comprises mainly freestanding homes and is largely residential, so quieter during holiday season. North Beach Road comprises complexes and apartment blocks for holidaymakers. Umdloti during holiday season is often vacated by owners because of the overcrowding. Superb surfing, tidal pool, dolphins and whale watching are on offer in season.

Prices (in/near Umhlanga beachfront): Beacon Rock, 119m2, R3,350 million; Pearl Tydes, 123m2, R6,250 million; Oyster Schelles, 176m2, R4,950 million.

Prices (On/near Umdloti beachfront): Umdloti Cabanas, 130m2, R1,4 million; Bahia Village, 12m2, R3,4 million; The Waterfront, 79m2, R1,475 million.

 

Ballito and Salt Rock

One of South Africa’s fastest growth areas, Ballito and Salt Rock offer numerous excellent gated, golfing and eco estates, many with sea views or easy beach access (think Zimbali, Simbithi, Brettonwood, Dunkirk, Palm Lakes and more). Attractions include an idyllic lifestyle for children, with cycle tracks, wildlife, water sports and security.

The market is largely top-end executives – some commute to Johannesburg – wanting secure living and a coastal lifestyle for their families, but smaller, less expensive complexes are drawing middle-market residents, too. Beachside property fetches premium prices.

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The Pearls, a luxury beachfront apartment block at Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, is within a stone’s throw of everything, including the iconic lighthouse

 

KZN South Coast (Hibiscus Coast)

 

Why buy here?

Many towns don’t have direct beach access because of the railway line, but properties are far more affordable here than their northern counterparts. The demographics in pockets of this coastline are changing from retirees-only to younger families. On offer are numerous great beaches, surf spots and dive and fishing sites, and the area is also renowned for many of the country’s top-rated golf courses (popular with international investors and golf tourists).

Myles Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields Real Estate, says it’s currently a buyers’ market, but prices are starting to move up around the beachfront: ‘Previously, the Hibiscus Coast relied largely on a buy-to-rent or buy-to-holiday apartment market. Now the bulk of buyers live in their properties, so houses and townhouses are more popular than flats.’ Some towns have quick, easy freeway access to the city and industry south of Durban, while comprehensive shopping centres now make coastal living here far easier, too.

 

Pennington

Michelle Harris, principal of Seeff South Coast, says, ‘Most buyers are over 50, some not working, others self-employed or commuters. The market seeks freestanding seaside cottages, not complexes – they want to avoid body-corporate rules, and they want their pets to come with them.’

Price: Average, R3 million.

 

Scottburgh

Highly rated schools and the local GJ Crookes government hospital are drawing buyers (in addition, hospital expansion is pulling in medical professionals). Added attractions are the fact that it’s only one hour’s drive to the city, and 30 minutes’ to Amanzimtoti with its shopping malls, private hospital and zero traffic jams. Younger families are purchasing freestanding houses for growing family needs, and first-time buyers, retirees and investment buyers are opting for sectional titles. All buyers are looking at convenience and secure living above everything.The community is a mix of self-employed as well as those from the local industrial and commercial sector. The trend favours who work in the city but live here for the tranquillity and beautiful shores. The area offers great value for money in comparison to other places on the South Coast.

Prices: Three-bedroom house south side, R1,2 million; apartments from R580 000; apartment with direct beach access, R1,6 million.

 

Eastern Cape

 

Why buy here?

‘No longer dominated by holiday-home buyers, the market is largely out-of-towners (there are many Joburgers) buying permanent residences – full-title homes, not apartments – to escape city life. The area is largely crime free, and the market is buoyant in Seaview, Beachview and Kini Bay, with prices between R1,25 million and R2,85 million,’ says Pam Golding Properties Port Elizabeth area principal, Linda de Lange.

Prices: Older beachfront home, R1,7 million; modern architect-designed home, R2,85 million; properties without views, between R1,25 million and R1,499 million.

 

Bluewater Bay

‘Proximity to work , expansion and national/international investment into Coega Industrial Zone mean the suburb is booming,’ says Phyllis Magda, local Pam Golding Properties agent. Bluewater Bay is 13 minutes’ on the N2 from Port Elizabeth; Coega Harbour and Industrial Zone are 10 minutes’ north. Steady, increasing demand for housing is driving up prices of properties for sale and rent. On offer is a relaxed, easy lifestyle away from the city but just minutes from the CBD, not to mention scenic beach walks along the towpath on Amsterdam Hoek towards the estuary, kilometres of pristine beaches for recreational use, and two protected nature reserves on your doorstep: Aloes and Swartkops nature reserves.

 

Summerstrand

‘Great proximity to the university and home to one of the best schools in PE, Pearson High, are among the area’s attractions. The market is buoyant, particularly for family homes in the older part of the suburb, and there is large demand for student accommodation near the university. The market comprises a good mix of buyers, from the historical clientele of academics to investors purchasing student accommodation to foreign buyers snapping up beachfront properties,’ says Linda Engelbrecht, local Pam Golding Properties agent. ‘Owners tend to rent out their properties in peak season, using the funds earned to pay expenses such as rates.’

Prices: Four-bedroom family home in older part of suburb, in need of TLC and within walking distance of beach (but no sea views), R2 million to R2,3 million.

 

ST Francis Bay

Richard Arderne, Pam Golding Properties area principal in St Francis Bay, says sales are strong since the 2012 fire: ‘Prices are still under pressure, but have probably bottomed out, so it’s a good time to buy. Gauteng buyers are the biggest sector – they like the canals where they can park their boats at the end of the lawn. Today’s buyers are looking for bigger holiday homes than 20 years ago. There are low crime levels, so no real demand for security estates. Many buyers move here, and commute to work in Gauteng or overseas on a weekly or monthly basis. I estimate about half of men between the ages of 30 and 60 travel frequently, some as much as Monday to Friday every week, others for a few days. The airport is an hour away, so it’s a favourite home for pilots.’ Arderne adds that there are few shops, so retail isn’t a draw-card. ‘We’re more in touch with nature, the tides, the weather and the sea conditions,’ he says.

Prices: From about R1 million to a record sale of R21 million; most average out at R1,5 million to R4 million.

 

Kenton On Sea/Port Alfred

Attractions, says Seeff area principal Simon Olivier, include: ‘More sunny days than anywhere else in the country! Both areas are relatively central, accessible from the inland provinces within a few hours or via a flight into PE or East London. The growing tourism product development means it’s no longer just retirees living here, because there’s more to do. Unspoilt beaches, bird- and wildlife and nature trails, water and adventure sport, angling too – all appeal to a younger demographic.’ Olivier adds that both villages are close to Grahamstown (with its university, National Arts Festival and top private schools): ‘In addition, Port Alfred has the Royal Alfred marina with private water frontage and private jetties, and a golf course. It’s a good time to buy as prices have remained static…but sellers aren’t discounting their prices,’ continues Olivier. ‘Many homeowners have independent incomes, some open B&Bs or self-catering facilities, buy small businesses or start cottage industries,’ he adds, ‘Their creative juices get stimulated!’

Prices: It’s difficult to find a three-bedroom house with a sea view because people tend to snap up prime sites. A good three-/four-bedroom house minus a view will set you back between R1,5 million and R2 million.

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St Francis Bay’s canalside homes, such as this one that is on the market for R11 million, have enormous appeal (pamgolding.co.za, ref. 1SA1166438)

 

Garden Route (Plettenberg Bay and Knysna)

 

Why buy here?

Garden Route coastal properties offer a dual coastal/forest lifestyle. ‘It’s one of the last areas to bounce back,’ says Ling Dobson, Pam Golding Properties area principal, ‘so there is stock available but not at Leisure Isle and Thesen Island where prices are rising.’ Retirees are still a component of the market, according to Dobson, but, increasingly, younger couples from the cities and international ‘swallows’ are the primary buyers.

The market also comprises numerous commuters to the cities, teachers for private schools like Oakhill and those who’ve set up virtual offices. Although crime is minimal, secure estates are tops, plus Thesen Island has direct access to the lagoon – just moor your boat in front of your house. Both areas are also great sporting/outdoor locations and boast numerous facilities to this end. But do your research before buying to be sure your expectations match reality, warns Dobson. ‘For example, few beachfront properties in Knysna offer beach access – the lagoon is the focus; buyers want views, but those properties come with challenged access and no level gardens.

Prices: Golf estate, R2,9 million/R3,9 million to R12 million; Leisure Isle, R2,5 million/R3,9 million; for outside view sites, R5 million to R10 million; Thesen Island, R3,4 million/R4,5 million up to R10 million on the water; Beachy Head beachfront, R18 million; Plett Golf Estate, R2,5 million to R3,5 million.

 

Cape Southern Coast

 

Why buy here?

Dotted with little coastal villages like Still Bay, Witsand and Arniston in the Agulhas area, this is the most southern point of the continent, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Renowned for its scenic beauty, fynbos, nature reserves, stunning coastline and beautiful beaches, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers, says local Seeff agent, Jo Attenborough.

 

Witsand

Only two hours from Cape Town, this crime-free town offers an affordable alternative to city life. A birdwatcher’s and angler’s paradise, it’s set at the mouth of the Breede River – one of the largest navigable rivers in the country – and offers sandy white beaches surrounded by vast expanses of fynbos (it lies within the Cape floral region World Heritage Site). It also has its own small harbour and some of the finest land-based whale watching. Freestanding homes in the village often enjoy both river and sea views (think the Indian Ocean beaches of San Sebastian Bay) so no matter where you buy, you’re close to both. Purchases used to be holiday homes for Capetonians and Gautengers, but now many of the buyers are South Africans living abroad who want holiday homes, as well as those relocating from up north and KwaZulu-Natal. There’s a seasonal influx, says Jo Attenborough, ‘so, I recommend you be financially “fit” before opening your B&B or restaurant. Witsand is perfect for those who can work remotely, bake rusks or grow herbs… or you can live simply, by catching fresh fish for your supper, foraging for oysters and mussels off the rocks, and generally just taking a breather until you feel inspired or are forced to get economically active again.’

 

Still Bay

George International Airport is an hour away, Cape Town, three. The sea’s right there, and so too is the Goukou River – residents have sea and river frontages and views. It’s a water sport and nature paradise, increasingly drawing entrepreneurs and those allied to the medical-centre development. Property prices have escalated. Marie Hamman of Seeff says, ‘The fynbos setting inspires home builders and developers to create stunning Strandveld-style homes.’

Price:Three-bedroom home with view R1,5 million.

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Renowned for its fynbos, nature reserves and glorious beaches, the Cape South Coast village of Witsand is a mere two hours’ from Cape Town

 

Cape West Coast

 

Why buy here?

Unspoilt and beautiful, plentiful seafood, fisherman-style villages. Popular little villages are Jakkalsfontein, Yzerfontein, Langebaan, Paternoster, Jacobsbaai, Brittania Bay and Shelley Point.

 

Jakkalsfontein

A nature reserve with ocean views as far as Cape Town. Homes in the estate are set among unspoilt fynbos, and designs are white with green roofs in the typical West Coast vernacular. ‘It’s a good time to buy,’ says Seeff local agent, Cynthia Cousins, ‘The market for holiday homes priced over R1,2 million is flat, so the higher priced categories are now lower in price.’

Prices:At Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve, older beachfront properties sell for between R3,3 million and R4,5 million. Newer beachfront properties, between R5,5 million and R6,7 million.

 

Jacobsbaai

Conveniently set between Saldanha and Vredenburg, Jacobsbaai offers easy access to excellent infrastructure, including West Coast Mall, and is renowned for its seafood and wild flower display from July to September. The surrounding coastal fynbos is home to a variety of buck, and you can also spot dolphins and southern right whales. It’s ideal for surfers, particularly along Kwaaibaai, Jacobsbaai, Smalbaai and Moerie se Baai, and perfect for launching boats, while Bamboesbaai and Toothrock are popular for diving, fishing and crayfishing. ‘Popular with holidaymakers, it’s also home to numerous artists and writers who fall for this picturesque location and the charming West Coast fisherman vernacular style of architecture,’ says Elma Steyn, Seeff local agent. ‘It’s the smaller cottages that are in demand.’

Prices:Vacant plots start around R400 000 and go up to R1,4 million for a 643m2 plot close to the beach. Houses start at around R1,4 million and go up to R435 million for a four-bedroom home next to the beach.

 

Brittania Bay/Shelley Point

‘You’ll find a golf course, country club, slipway to launch boats and a harbour for larger craft. The market comprises half-holiday homes, half permanent – no longer just retirees,’ says Stephanie Wynne-Cole, Pam Golding Properties area manager for the Cape West Coast. ‘For the past five years, beachfront homes have been bought by Capetonians – young couples with children, farmers, retirees and so on. Popular properties are a mix of large, impressive designer homes and plot-and-plan homes a couple of minutes from the beach.’

Prices:A modest four-bed on the beachfront, R3,4 million; designer mansion on the beachfront, R4,5 million to R8,95 million; plot-and-plan homes R1 million to R1,15 million (three bedroom, with sea views, 600 to 700m2 stand 150 metres from the beach).

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This beautiful Brittania Bay home offering streamlined contemporary living at the coast is on the market for R7,3 million (pamgolding.co.za; ref. LA1037639)

 

Atlantic Seaboard

 

Why buy here?

Why not? It’s hard to beat the cachet that comes from owning property in the country’s premier residential belt. And good news for those with deep enough pockets to afford to buy here is that, while the economic front remains rather uninspiring, the Atlantic Seaboard property market has done something of an about-turn since early 2013, with a notable increase in the rise of the R50 million ‘trophy home’.

 

Llandudno, Clifton, Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye

In the five years since the start of 2009, nine properties priced above the R50 million mark have sold along the Atlantic Seaboard, and there has been a clear acceleration over the last two years, notes Seeff’s luxury-market specialist, Lance Cohen. Not unexpectedly, Clifton tops the list with four of these sales, followed by three sales at the V&A Waterfront and one each in Bantry Bay and Fresnaye. While residential buying has largely dominated the trophy-home sector of the market, Cohen says that investment buyers are slowly returning. Jawitz’s Glenda Luitingh refers to a number of case studies that demonstrate the phenomenal return on investment that the Atlantic Seaboard has delivered to its buyers in the last 30 or so years: ‘A 689m2 property in Avenue Des Huguenots, Fresnaye, was bought in 1986 for R120 000 and sold, completely unrenovated, in March 2014 for R7,5 million. In Bantry Bay, a 591m2 property in Avenue Marina was bought in 1983 for R235 000 and sold in 2014 for R11 million.’

Prices:In the 2014 period, some 25 properties along the Atlantic Seaboard sold, to the total value of almost R776 million, with three sales above the R50 million mark, including a Clifton Road luxury home for R55,86 million, a vacant plot on Victoria Road in Clifton for R70 million, and a villa in Avenue Fresnaye (Fresnaye) for R64,8 million.

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This five-bedroom thatched home in Witsand comes complete with boat mooring. It is on the market with Seeff for R3,65 million (seeff.com, ref. 333547)

 

The pros and cons of coastal living…

  • Salaries can be lower and employment opportunities fewer and often seasonal.
  • On the flip side, this can be your motivation to start that business you always wanted to.
  • Rust and sea air can play havoc with everything from air conditioners to boats to kettles. Maintenance is not optional.
  • You can holiday at home, and family/friends can join you for holidays.
  • An influx of holidaymakers can disturb laidback living – it also pushes up prices in shops and restaurants during those periods.
  • Lifestyle is slower, simpler, less pressurised. It’s an outdoor life, where community matters and nature rules.
  • In small towns, there’s little upbeat entertainment for young people, who may become bored.

 

Holiday Homes…

  • … are not places to keep family heirlooms or the latest technology, or keep luxury vehicles or desirables in the garage.
  • … need a local person/company to manage/maintain/supervise letting and associated expenses/issues associated with that.

 

R / V Residents’ Views

Kendall Snyman, La Lucia, Durban

‘We had just returned from a skiing holiday in Japan and, given the three-day travelling time to reach home, we felt we needed a holiday by the sea to recuperate! My husband Marc’s parents own a simplex unit in a complex right on the beach at Hibberdene on the South Coast, so we spent the weekend there, walking, swimming and imagining how wonderful it would be to have a place of our own at the sea. Monday morning, Marc mentioned to his dad how much we enjoyed it, and how we’d love to own a place at the sea, and he said, “Phone the next-door neighbours; I overheard them talking about selling.” Two months later, we had the keys to our new place, a step towards our dream of a beach holiday spot where our new baby, Jordy, and his cousins can make happy memories. ‘It’s also great because we can let out the unit if we choose, hire other units in the complex to house our large extended family, the guys can surf and paddle to their heart’s content, there’s a small tidal pool for the little ones and, ultimately, it’s a family investment that will hopefully be passed down through the generations.’

 

Graeme and Kerstin Bird, Umdloti, KZN North Coast

Graeme: ‘I’m a surfer, so living walking distance from the waves is a big plus. We had a beach cottage on the KZN South Coast for many years, but moved our primary residence to Umdloti about two years ago. Living in a small coastal village is a great way to live because you get a real sense of community … unusual in the modern world. I work across the country and my decision to be based here is most certainly a lifestyle decision – I’d love to work from home and suggested it to my boss, who said no, because I’d just stare at the waves! ‘We have a great Urban Improvement Project (UIP) on the South Beach side of Umdloti, well supported by the community. The UIP provides security patrols that go a long way towards preventing crime. Being a village, people also know and look out for one another. ‘Waking up to see the sea each morning makes every day feel like a holiday. Whenever I arrive home from work, I feel a genuine sense of peace and calm. It’s also hard not to have a healthy, active lifestyle when the beach is just out the front gate. The only downside is that being a fair drive from town means we see our friends slightly less. Any advice? Be prepared for rust.’

 

Leverne Gething, Yzerfontein, Cape West Coast

‘I bought this three-bedroom home, which is 500 metres from the beach, before the market went flat, seven or eight years ago. It was the cheapest home for sale in Yzerfontein at R870 000. The only other property near that price – at over R900 000 – was a small cluster home. I saw this property on the Internet, phoned immediately, but was told that it had been snapped up. A few months later I saw it on the Internet again and phoned to moan about them not removing properties that had been sold, only to be told there was a problem with the sale. To cut a long story short, I was there with a full price offer in hand and got the house. ‘Since then I have added on a double-storey extension, which gives me a brilliant sea view. I have had to struggle to pay the mortgage through lean times – but the value of the incredible weekends and holidays that I have spent there with friends and family, and the joy it brings me are immeasurable. When we do manage to move there, I will still be able to work since I am a freelance writer and editor. Perfect!’

 

Louisa Gillman, Langebaan, Cape West Coast

‘We’ve lived for nine and a half years on Langebaan Country Estate. This was our first home on a golf estate, and we love the lifestyle! After a few years of research with us wanting another home on the East Coast, we decided on the St Francis Links, St Francis Bay. We wanted to grow with a new estate and this ticked every box for us! We plan on building our new home with the aim of celebrating Christmas 2016 in it. The golf course is currently rated as the eighth best in SA, and the facilities and clubhouse are also amazing. As well as the estate giving us everything we want, this stretch of coastline offers some of the best surf as well as excellent fishing. It was a very easy decision to make. You watch the sunrise over the ocean and sunsets over the mountains – it’s perfect. We love being outdoors, love the ocean, love surfing, walking on the beach, fishing and golf. St Francis Bay offers us all that. It’s a clean, safe and beautiful town.’

 

René McKillian, Bakoven, Atlantic Seaboard

‘Bakoven has got to be the Atlantic Seaboard’s best-kept secret. My Dad bought the house 30 years ago and I took it over 25 years later after we made the decision to keep it in the family because it’s just such a great investment. ‘I’m lucky to be in the Little Village – the area below Victoria Road that slopes down towards its own private little beach. Because it’s such a sought-after area in which to live, we locals are extremely protective over it, which, in turn, lends a great sense of community to living here. We’re in one of the traditional bungalows nestled on Bakoven’s famous boulders and it’s nice to know that new properties have to adhere to strict building codes and height restrictions to protect this special area. ‘Even in the silly season, Bakoven feels like a little refuge far from the madding crowds of the Camps Bay strip and Clifton areas. I’m a rock climber and the Twelve Apostles behind us are perfect for this. My small children, Ryan and Saige, enjoy the great swim area a few steps down from Beta Close – and I feel secure knowing that the sea rescue base is right there on the slip. When we get tired of the beach after a day in the sun, there is a small park with swings and slides just a moment’s walk from the sands. ’

 

Contact Details

 

Text:Anne Schauffer

Photographs:Supplied

 

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