For those with deep pockets, when it comes to finding that dream home there seem to be only two preferences. These are suburban splendour in areas like Saxonwold, Houghton and Bryanston, or sprawling smallholdings in areas like Chartwell and Lanseria – close to nature and away from the bustle of inner city living.
Both these lifestyles come with a price. For suburbia dwellers, traffic is a constant gripe, and you’ll have to settle for buildings as the best view to gaze upon after a long day. On smallholdings, security is a major issue, and living on the outskirts also means not having facilities oft taken for granted, such as shopping centres, hospitals and more.
Recently, a new approach to living has been catching the market’s interest. Bringing together the best of worlds, country and equestrian estates are offering people used to living on smallholdings the security and convenience they haven’t been able to enjoy and those who have had the security in suburbia can now enjoy a “village lifestyle” without compromising on their family’s safety.
Bringing together lifestyle, convenience, status and the best that nature has to offer, country estates are all the rage when it comes to housing for young professionals and their families.
These luxury high-end estates are more than just about land and space. They are rural suburbs offering luxury living, convenience and lifestyle. Often found off the beaten track and nestled in areas that are yet to be tainted by development, country estates boast lots of character, calm and country living.
According to Mark Corbett, CEO of Century Property Developments, the developers behind Waterfall Equestrian Estate and Blue Hills Country and Equestrian Estate, people are looking for a specific way of life. “People who are buying on the estate are mostly business owners and professionals – often two working parents who recognise that time spent driving their children to school and social activities eat into their own scarce family time. So everything parents could want in a wholesome environment to raise a family is on site.”
And this is no exaggeration. At Waterfall there are private schools and shopping centres located in the estate. This means children can walk or cycle to school without leaving the safety of this self-contained village. Residents of Waterfall will enjoy the amenities included in Waterfall City, which include a private hospital, hotel, conference centres and office and retail parks.
With a strong emphasis on outdoor living, there are several kilometres of walking trails winding through indigenous parkland with a fishing dam along the way. Picnic areas and playgrounds with park benches are incorporated into the urban design elements. A mountain bike track cuts through the scenic marshlands with plenty of rest areas and bird hides along the way. For the health buffs, fitness centres, several cricket nets and tennis courts provide a platform for healthy lifestyle activities.
At Blue Hills, being an equestrian estate, there are several dressage arenas with paddocks for warm-ups and other horse-riding activities. For the security-conscious all estates come with top of the range security features, which include guard patrols, state of the art CCTV and thermal imaging cameras. All this is designed to keep intruders out yet remains unobtrusive to residents. This affords the homeowner the luxury of having simple paddock fencing or nothing at all.
Because business-owners and professionals have a need to make their money work for them, many have realised the investment opportunities that these properties hold. According to Century Property Developments sales executive, Nick Crow, their properties on the estate have bucked the national trend with an average 21% return. In some cases, figures as high as 45% have been recorded, making this a worthwhile investment option indeed.
In Waterfall Hills stands that were purchased three years ago for R650 000 are selling for around R1 million and a unit that was bought three years ago for R3 million recently sold for R5.75 million.
The appeal of this kind of lifestyle is plain. You can raise your family to enjoy a luxury lifestyle within a secure environment but without the feeling that you’re living in a fortress. With most properties being un-walled you are free to enjoy the views as far as the eye can see.
As you walk down the paths around the estate, acknowledging your neighbours as they canter past on their Kaapse Boerperd, you cannot help but appreciate all the nature as to offer.