Look to the Ka­roo for tro­phy homes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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 ka­roo@pam­gold­ing.co.za 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.

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