Be my dar­ling, small town begs

Ex­pe­ri­ence the tran­quil­lity of coun­try liv­ing, close to the city

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THE CAPE West Coast town of Dar­ling has en­joyed an­other sea­son of mag­nif­i­cent spring wild­flow­ers, with vis­i­tors flock­ing to the town to en­joy the spec­tac­u­lar scenery and ex­pe­ri­ence its coun­try at­mos­phere.

Pa m Go l d i n g P r o p e r t i e s re­ports that the prop­erty mar­ket has been slow this year, with just seven prop­er­ties chang­ing hands across all agen­cies.

How­ever, prices have set­tled at ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive lev­els so the vil­lage now of­fers ex­cep­tional value for money, as well as a pleas­ant life­style.

PGP’s area man­ager for the West Coast, Stephanie Wyn­neCole, says prices in the town start from around R250 000 for va­cant plots and R675 000 for s mal l t wo - b e d r o o m s t a r t e r homes.

“You can buy a more sub­stan­tial three-bed­room home for around R900 000 to R1.2 mil­lion,” she says, “and more ex­pen­sive fam­ily homes cost any­thing from R1.4 mil­lion up­wards. The top end of the mar­ket, in­clud­ing his­tor­i­cal prop­er­ties and lux­ury homes, can fetch prices of up to R2.5 mil­lion.”

Dar­ling was for­mally es­tab­lished in 1853 on the farm Lang­fontein, and was named af­ter Sir Charles Henry Dar­ling, who was ap­pointed Lieu­tenant Gover­nor of the Cape in 1851.

The town is 75km from Cape Town along the West Coast ro a d, a nd i s s ur ro unded by hills of vine­yards and wheat­fields.

It is the eco­nomic hub of the area, with ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture, su­per­mar­kets, banks, a clinic, a phar macy, doc­tors, schools, churches and sports fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing a nine-hole golf course and ten­nis and bowl­ing clubs.

PGP’s MD for the Western C a p e met r o r e g i o n , L a u r i e Wener, says it is not widely known that Dar­ling even has its own pri­vate school.

“ D a rl i n g C o l l e g e w a s founded 12 years ago and of­fers inde pen­dent school­ing for about 100 chil­dren from Grades 1 to 7. The school has an ex­cel­lent aca­demic rep­u­ta­tion and of­fers a full range of sport­ing a n d c u l t u r a l a c t iv i t i e s . We be­lieve that this is a ma­jor draw­card for par­ents of young fam­i­lies who want to raise their chil­dren away from the big city, but don’t want to ne­glect their ed­u­ca­tion.”

Many D a rl i n g r e s i d e n t s com­mute into Cape Town for wo rk , a n d t h e t ow n h a s at­tracted a large artis­tic and cre­ative com­mu­nity. The hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor in­cludes a num­ber of B&Bs and restau­rants, in­clud­ing Evita se Per­ron, run by Pi­eter Dirk-Uys.

An­other grow­ing sec­tor is the lo­cal wine in­dus­try – the Dar­ling Wine Route has a rep­u­ta­tion for good-qual­ity wines a n d v a l u e f o r mo n e y f r o m es­tates like Groote Post, Cloof, Or­monde and Dar­ling Cel­lars.

Other res­i­dents of Dar­ling in­clude some Euro­pean “swal­lows” who spend sum­mer in the town, as well as re­tired peop l e a n d e mpt y - n e s t e r s , f o r whom the open­ing of the Net­care pri­vate hos­pi­tal in nearby Ta­ble View has made Dar­ling a vi­able home.

The safe, ex­tremely lowcrime en­vi­ron­ment has also helped at­tract some buy­ers from Gaut­eng, KwaZulu-Natal and the East­ern Cape.

Wynne-Cole says a new small busi­ness cen­tre is be­ing built on the town’s main road, and a sec­ond cen­tre is planned for the top sec­tion of this thor­ough­fare, po­ten­tially with a res­i­den­tial com­po­nent above the shop­ping area.

“This is a wel­come devel­op­ment for Dar­ling,” she says, “as it will at­tract new busi­ness and cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, and could also help al­le­vi­ate the short­age of rental ac­com­mo­da­tion in the town.”

PGP’s cur­rent man­dates in Dar­ling in­clude a three-bed­room house on a 1 600m² stand, which could be con­verted into a B&B, sub­ject to plan­ning ap­proval. The price is R1.375 mil­lion.

PGP is also sell­ing a fourbed­room house on a 1 110m² erf in the his­tor­i­cal heart of Dar­ling, priced at R1.8 mil­lion.

Call Sheena Board­man or John Nut­ter on 022 451 2188 for more in­for­ma­tion.

PEACE­FUL: This four-bed­room house in Dar­ling is for sale through Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties at R1.8 mil­lion.

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