Spec­tac­u­lar moun­tain views

This 4-star guest­house, well po­si­tioned in the Fran­schhoek Val­ley is on the mar­ket at R13m, writes Michelle Swart

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

UN­TIL the mid 1990’s res­i­den­tial prop­erty in Fran­schhoek was owned mainly by old Boland fam­i­lies, with the odd for­eign or lo­cal owner pur­chas­ing mainly for hol­i­day/week­end pur­poses.

It was around this time that both for­eign and lo­cal in­vestors com­menced buy­ing prop­erty with in­tent in the val­ley. The ten­dency im­pacted on both res­i­den­tial and farm­ing land and the up­ward spi­ral com­menced.

At that time, the mar­ket was some­what lim­ited to child­less and re­tired folk and the only op­tion for school­ing was ei­ther in Paarl or Stel­len­bosch. A group of par­ents with great fore­sight iden­ti­fied the need for school­ing in the val­ley and set about es­tab­lish­ing what is to­day the highly ac­claimed Bridge House In­de­pen­dent School. The ad­vent of the school there­fore opened up the val­ley to a host of in­vestors who would oth­er­wise not nec­es­sar­ily have con­sid­ered Fran­schhoek as an op­tion.

The de­mo­graph­ics nat­u­rally changed; not only as far as res­i­den­tial and farm­ing, but also com­mer­cial prop­erty, plus the need for fur­ther de­vel­op­ments to ac­com­mo­date the ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for prop­erty. The de­mand was fur­ther driven by the de­sire to not only ben­e­fit from coun­try liv­ing but also to en­hance the over­all life­style el­e­ments and thus restau­rants, bou­tique winer­ies, art gal­leries, spe­cial­ist re­tail and cof­fee bars mush­roomed. Fran­schhoek also plays home to a con­tin­gent of “swal­lows” who own prop­erty and en­joy only the sum­mer months in the val­ley.

The end re­sult of all this was sim­ply that Fran­schhoek be­came the ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion in the winelands; the wine and culi­nary Cap­i­tal of SA. Fran­schhoek has a quaint vil­lage at­mos­phere jux­ta­posed with the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of fine din­ing, bou­tique ho­tels, 5-star guest houses and wine farms.

Bev Malan, one of the agents mar­ket­ing this prop­erty, notes that dur­ing the eco­nomic down­turn, sales vol­umes de­creased from the high of R565m per an­num to just over R2m last year. “The unique fac­tor was that prices re­mained firm and last year saw a 6,11% pos­i­tive growth. Since Novem­ber last year, there has been an in­crease in sales and de­mand is strong, es­pe­cially from for­eign buy­ers,” she says.

Malan in­di­cates that an en­trylevel, two-bed­room apart­ment sells for around R1,3m whereas a small three-bed­room house will fetch around R3m. “A mid level home on 1 000m² with three to four bed­rooms will sell around R5m. There are a few exclusive homes on the mar­ket around the R30m mark; th­ese have four or five bed­rooms en-suite, a wine cel­lar, ex­quis­ite fin­ishes and most likely, a spec­tac­u­lar view.”

Malan says that Fran­schhoek is an ex­cel­lent lo­ca­tion to in­vest in as de­mand is al­ways high for prop­erty in the vil­lage. How­ever, the en­try level into the mar­ket is high and thus, pro­hib­i­tive to some. Place Ven­dome, a life­style cen­tre com­pris­ing bou­tique shops and a cham­pagne bar, has re­cently opened and two more cen­tres are un­der construction.

This 4-star guest house, which was a fi­nal­ist in the World Lux­ury Ho­tel Awards 2008, and sep­a­rate owner’s home has been built in the tra­di­tional French Proven­cal style on a hectare of land and is nes­tled among vine­yards with great views of the moun­tains.

Al­though out of site of the vil­lage, this home is only a short walk to the high street with its many shops and restau­rants. This prop­erty is set on farm­land and is 9 000m² in ex­tent with spec­tac­u­lar views of the moun­tains.

In ad­di­tion to the newly ren­o­vated guest­house which in­cludes a swim­ming pool, lounge, kitchen and three en-suite bed­rooms with ter­races, there is a sep­a­rate owner’s home with four en-suite bed- rooms, three of which have beau­ti­ful views.

There is also a very spa­cious lounge with three dou­ble sets of French doors lead­ing onto the cov­ered ter­race and pri­vate pool with out­stand­ing panoramic views, study and a spa­cious kitchen. Three of the bed­rooms in the owner’s house have their own en­trances (ac­cess to the main house not re­quired) and are cur­rently used as guest rooms.

In ad­di­tion there are ap­proved plans to ex­tend the guest­house to 10 en-suite bed­rooms with ter­races and large lounge, li­brary and kitchen. The owner’s house also has plans to be ex­tended to a dou­ble-storey lux­u­ri­ous home with four en-suite bed­rooms with ter­races. The es­ti­mated costs for all the above im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sive land­scap­ing and large new guest pool are ap­prox­i­mately R7m.

“The guest­house cur­rently gen­er­ates just un­der R2m per year in­come, there­fore pro­vid­ing a pri­vate home, idyl­lic life­style and a gen­er­ous in­come,” says Malan.

Fur­ni­ture and plans for ad­di­tions will be in­cluded in the sale. Price: R13m Con­tact: Bev Malan 082 901 6966 Kevin Lay­den 082 300 9446

The guest housis built in the French Proven­cal style on a hectare of land and is nes­tled among vine­yards with great views of the moun­tains.

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