There are a few country towns in South Africa which are leading the way into a modern and luxurious country style of living, says Wayne Rubidge, Pam Golding Properties (PGP) manager for the Karoo region.
“Prince Albert, a water-rich Great Karoo town, is arguably the trendsetter among all the towns, with its beautiful setting at the foot of the Western Cape’s majestic Swartberg Mountain Range, which is a declared protected area. The vibrant property market in this town is the best indicator of what is occurring, with strong interest being shown in high end properties that offer an exclusive, country lifestyle.
“Furthermore, the town and farms in the area produce some of the Karoo’s most sought after produce such as the various Karoo meat delicacies, olives, cheese, wines and much more. With 13 National Monuments, its own recreational cookery school – African Relish, and increasingly popular among artists, designers, craftspeople, and even home to South African music legend Brian Finch, this area includes some of the most beautiful country properties. These range from historic Karoo homes to contemporary country classics, all of which are often located on large erven with fruit trees, lei water from the Swartberg Mountains, as well as outbuildings in the traditional Karoo historical Karoo style.
“For many years we have promoted the sound investment value offered by Karoo towns such as Prince Albert, which are now reaping the benefits of being recognised as prime country property destinations. Resident PGP agent Eric Ahrens, reports that these investors – who are now property owners in Prince Albert, are so enthusiastic about the prospects of their town that they have become its biggest ambassadors. In fact many of the high end sales in the town are repeat business with investors looking to buy additional properties or second houses or business premises,” says Rubidge.
He says prices of top end properties and homes can achieve in excess of R2.5 million with sought after commercial options offering great investment opportunities as the town’s commercial needs expand.
Former Ford Motor dealership now ‘The Showroom’ theatre
Achieving consistent sales over the past year, Ahrens recently sold a landmark building which in the 1940’s was the original Ford Motor dealership in Prince Albert and was later used as a family restaurant. For the past three years the owner of the property resided there without running any commercial entity, prior to the building recently being sold by Ahrens for R2.2 million. This has now been remodelled into a beautiful Art Deco building – The Showroom theatre, with state of the art lighting, acoustics and the like and is now an impressive venue used as a theatre and for films and art.
Other recent sales by Ahrens include an 800ha olive estate in the Prince Albert Valley which fetched R5.7 million and a 300ha olive farm in the Weltevrede Valley which sold for R3.6 million. He also sold the iconic Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert for an undisclosed sum and as well as the National Centre – originally the first petrol station in Prince Albert and which now comprises 10 shops/offices and two luxury self-catering units – for R3.4 million.
Currently PGP is marketing a number of interesting properties, including one of the town’s finest accommodation and guest establishments. De Bergkant Lodge is located on three erven comprising a total of 4500 square metres and consisting of three separate stately buildings surrounded by lush gardens, mature trees and verdant lawns. The lodge includes four superlative suites and five luxury double rooms, all with fittings and furnishings of the highest calibre and with carefully collected antiques, artwork and rugs included in the selling price of R11.2 million. All the units have air conditioning and under floor heating and are furnished with the lodge’s signature black and white tiles with copper and brass plumbing.
The main 1858 Cape Dutch homestead is a declared National Monument and has 4.5 metre yellowwood ceilings, original sash windows and internal shutters. The owner or manager’s accommodation is in the form of a 1904 Edwardian villa with bell cast verandas on all four sides. The villa has two bedrooms and expansive open plan areas. The contemporary Georgian style annex houses four of the accommodation units and is finished to the same standards as the historical buildings on the property. The property has beautiful gardens with two swimming pools, including a 15 metre lap style pool. The lodge has excellent occupancy levels with both local and international clients and is sold as a going concern.
Another historic, landmark property on the market in Prince Albert is an 1841 Cape Dutch heritage home which is said to be the oldest gabled house in the town, situated on just over a hectare of land in prime position. The homestead still has many of its original features, including some yellow wood doors and ceilings, yellow wood ‘muurkassies’, internal shutters and some Batavian style tiles. The original loft has been converted into the master suite with an en suite bathroom and walk-in dressing area. Downstairs are two further bedrooms and bathrooms, study, separate dining and sitting rooms and a large well equipped farm style kitchen with scullery. Outside is a large covered verandah with built-in barbecue facilities, overlooking three thousand vines, olive trees, a vegetable garden, fruit trees and herb gardens. The extensive outbuilding are currently used as a wine cellar for the production of dessert wines and port and the property has rights to three generous hours’ half stream lei water per week, which is more than sufficient for the current agricultural usage of the property. There is also a very strong borehole which is utilised for the dragline irrigation system. Priced at R4.75 million this beautiful property has exceptional views over the village and the Swartberg Mountains.
Located on the scenic R406 route from Prince Albert to Klaarstroom, Oudtshoorn and George, is an idyllic property just 40km from the world-famous Swartberg Pass and minutes from Meiringspoort. Currently run as an organic farm, vegetable garden, guest house and retreat, this property offers abundant opportunities, all in a tranquil and scenic setting. Built in 1825, the main homestead retains its original heritage plan with large rooms, four metre high yellow wood ceilings and sash windows. The bell-cast front veranda commands a breathtaking view across the gardens and fertile lands to the river running through the property and the mountains beyond.
Priced at R5.75 million, the property includes various original outbuildings, including stables and carriage house, with a variety of prospects from storage barns to roadside farm stall or tea garden. Apart from the spectacular setting, the natural assets of this property include an iconic row of ancient Cypress trees, to the dam, year round river and mountain views.
For further information contact Pam Golding Properties Prince Albert agent Eric Ahrens on 072 184 8518 or 023 5411125 or Wayne Rubidge on 082 432 9364 or firstname.lastname@example.org