Comfortable, farm-like living
Michelle Funke looks at an award-winning home in Irene that is up for grabs at just over R5m
THE Pretoria suburb of Irene started out as a 1125ha farm situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria which was named Irene in 1889 by its owner.
While the area has been developed over the years and is equipped with all the amenities and services one would expect of a modern, upmarket suburb, it has still managed to keep its rural charm throughout the ages.
One of the estates in the area is the Twin Rivers Estate, which lies at the confluence of the Olifantsspruit and Sesmylspruit. This estate forms part of the original farm Doornkloof — the home of General Jan Smuts who bought the land in 1908 from Daniel Erasmus. Smuts lived in this family home until his death in 1950.
The Smuts House Museum, which was declared a national monument, is also home to the popular Irene Market and is situated across the road from the Twin Rivers Estate. Old structures from the Smuts farmstead such as the water tower, silo and De Waal’s Cottage remain on the estate today.
All of the homes within the Twin Rivers Estate have a strong farm-like feel to the architecture in keeping with the area’s roots. There is an authentic Italianstyled farm house and several typical South African styled farmhouses among the 24 properties in this exclusive estate. Most homes here enjoy river frontage and prices range from around R3,5m to R9m.
The area and surrounds has a host of amenities from medical facilities and good schools such as Cornwall Hill College and Irene Primary School, to a number of shopping centres like the Irene Farm Village Mall and Centurion Mall. The estate is also well located in proximity to the N1 Highway and R21 to the OR Tambo International Airport.
Designed by architect Gary White — who won an architectural award for the design of this home — and built by the owner, this residence is situated within the Twin Rivers Estate.
Measuring around 695m² under roof, this home, which has been featured on the Top Billing television programme and mag- azine, has been well constructed from low maintenance face brick and provides comfortable living space for a family.
It consists of four bedrooms, three bathrooms and spacious, open-plan, double volume living and dining areas with a fireplace and doors opening onto a huge patio overlooking the garden, boma and pool area.
There is also a modern farm kitchen with breakfast area, a gas stove and a separate scullery and laundry. The design of this home also offers a unique concept “Silo” study plus a separate hobby room and entertainment room over and above the three garages plus double staff accommodation with bathrooms and private patio and garden. With the Sesmyl Spruit at the bottom of its 1,1ha landscaped garden, the owner of this property shares water rights to pump 10,000l of water daily from the river.
While the estate provides security through its access controlled gate and 24-hour guard, this property includes the additional security measures of an electric fence and alarm system.
Mercia Havenga of Pam Golding Properties, who is marketing this home, says that homes within the Twin Rivers estate usually measure around 500m² or more under roof and are mostly situated on 1ha stands with landscaped gardens and river views. “Homes here also mostly have swimming pools as well as wine cellars and other similar features. They are also all fairly new with top-end security features and quality fixtures and finishes.”
She says that those properties situated on the river can fetch around R500,000 more in price.
It is interesting to note that according to Lightstone, a property statistics and data provider, that the average price for full title property in Irene for this year is around R2.3m. The data also shows that 82% of property in the suburb is made up of residential estates, and that 71% of recent buyers have been aged between 36 and 49 years old. The figures also reflect that 83% of property transactions between November last year and October this year have been in the R1,5m to R3m price category. Price: R5.95m Contact: Pam Golding Properties Mercia Havenga 082 335 5378 Nico West 082 331 5057