Areas and Places

Architectural treasure of the Camdeboo Plains, discover the allure of Aberdeen

“If you have not yet visited Aberdeen, situated on the N9 between Graaff Reinet and the Garden Route, you are in for quite a surprise”, says Seeff agent, Mike de Villiers.

This typical Karoo town is dominated by the steeple of the local Dutch Reformed Church, typical of so many country towns across the Cape regions. It is located on the historic Camdeboo Plains of the Eastern Karoo on the N9 between Graaff Reinet and the Garden Route, Aberdeen.

Post-card pretty, Aberdeen is a declared architectural conservation town for its treasure of historic architecture including Victorian, Georgian, Karoo, German, Gothic Revival, Russian, Art Nouveau and Flemish Revival. There are also excellent examples of the ostrich baron homes in the town.

“The town offers a clean, healthy Karoo lifestyle with spectacular landscapes and vegetation. Just what the busy city dweller needs to de-stress”, says the agent.

As with most of the Cape countryside, the area is dominated by agricultural activity and is particularly renowned for its wool and mohair as it is the largest mohair producing area in the country. Another product of the area, is the famous Karoo lamb with its distinctive taste, attributed to the unique Karoo grazing.

The area is home to about 4400 residents. All of the 1540-odd properties listed for the town on Lightstone are freehold.

The latest data from Lightstone also shows that the town now boasts an average house price of around R400.000, up from around R100.000 ten years ago and around R300.000 five years ago.

“It is very reassuring for buyers to note that property values have grown nicely in the area over the last few years”, says de Villiers.

“In addition to local buyers, the town should now also appeal to second home buyers and especially those who might want to relocate to the quiet countryside”, says de Villiers.

“The town has a selection of beautiful homes, from quaint Karoo cottages priced from just R380.000 to about R850.000. This is value that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere in the Cape”, he says.

The Karoo is a popular tourist area and this is most certainly an area that can still be developed here. This, he adds, makes guest houses or properties suitable for conversion to guest houses or self-catering facilities a particularly appealing option for buyers.
These homes are generally wonderfully preserved historic houses in one of the architectural styles and are quite well-priced.

At a price of just R850.000 for example, there is a lovely Georgian-styled property with four bedrooms, a wrap-around veranda and shutters. It was the original farmhouse of the area, built in 1820. It boasts original Oregon and Yellowwood finishes including the floors, doors and ceilings.

The property is spacious and ideal for conversion to a guest house. There are also outbuildings that could serve as self-catering units. The home is set in a lovely garden and there is a swimming pool.

Another prime guest house opportunity is a Victorian homestead with three bedrooms, a separate one-bedroomed flat and a popular bar, on offer for just R1.625m.

At the top end of the market is another Victorian guest house with nine bedroom suites, three in the main house and a further six in a separate building. The main house also has two lounges, a study, dining room and restaurant along with a kitchen. The large yard includes a lovely garden and small swimming pool and parking for ten vehicles.

The finishes and interiors of this property are quite appealing, from the wooden floors and doors to fireplaces, chandeliers and modern bathroom facilities. It is beautifully furnished in a Moroccan/Indian style with beautifully carved furniture pieces, woven soft furnishings, lighting and wall art. The asking price is R2.3m and includes all furniture and contents.