Look to the Karoo for trophy homes
TROPHY Karoo homes have become highly sought after.
The Karoo has become a leading alternative lifestyle choice and continually attracts interest from home buyers keen on its variety of properties on offer.
The wide-open spaces and picturesque towns offer a wide range of appealing properties to choose from. Whether it is Karoo farms, historical houses or classic Karoo cottages, the region has something of interest for almost everyone, says Wayne Rubidge, Pam Golding Properties (PGP) manager for the Karoo region.
“Although the Karoo has no coastal towns, it does have two of the largest inland lakes in the country and many freshwater dams around very scenic towns such as Graaff-Reinet, Gariep and Vanderkloof. The ‘trophy’ homes of each of these towns are sought after because of their value, and to many investors these are their prized property portfolio investments. Many of these homes were built by Karoo ‘barons’ of the ostrich and wool booms of the 19th and 20th centuries,” he says.
Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, and surrounding towns such as Aberdeen are intrinsically linked to these former, prosperous times.
PGP is marketing some of these choice homes, including one of Graaff-Reinet’s original farmhouses built in 1850 – complete with wine cellars, yellowwood floors and all you would expect from a prestigious Karoo character home.
Located on a spacious stand and in the process of being renovated, this property of historical and cultural value to the town is priced at R1.75 million. In addition to producing sweet wines, part of the original estate’s history was that of a wool wash for the farmers who brought their wool clip by ox wagon.
Another striking property on the market in Graaff-Reinet is an elegant, double-storey Edwardian, Cape Dutch-style home built in 1911 for a well-known sheep-far ming family, and which was sold for the first time in 1987. The main homestead has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and four reception rooms. In a park-like garden are five guest rooms with en-suite bathrooms, with a further three being leased from the adjoining property – all with private parking.
This property, which has potential for development as a boutique hotel or upmarket retirement village, is one of the town’s most popular and successful guesthouses and is marketed at R6.3m.
In the quaint town of Aberdeen a charming Victorian home, built in the ostrich boom years around 1897 is also on the market, priced at R950 000. Over the past 112 years only four families have lived in this stylish home, which has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, three fireplaces and Oregon pine floors.
In the tower is a former gambling room with views over the plein, useful for scanning for any approaching policeman intent on disrupting this popular pastime.
Some of the walls are still covered with the original wallpaper such as those used in smoking rooms back in 1940, and the front hallway light is the original from the 1800s.
Rubidge says: “Many other towns such as Somerset East, Prince Albert and Carnarvon offer such distinctive Karoo homes.
“The history and heritage of some of the homes PGP has marketed in the past include those of Olive Schreiner, Laurens van der Post, and many other well-known personalities.
“The town of Carnarvon is expected to benefit form the next Karoo boom – eclipsing Sutherland as the ‘astronomy capital’ of the southern hemisphere with the anticipated announcement of South Africa being awarded the sites for the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project – the world’s most powerful radio telescope, which will encompass a large area of the northern Cape’s vast Karoo.”
Call 049 8923 495, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.karooproperty.co.za.
AUTHENTIC: This charming Victorian home in Aberdeen in the Karoo is for sale through Pam Golding Properties at R950 000.