Re­tired life in a vil­lage at­mos­phere in Over­berg

Have you con­sid­ered the life­style you want when you re­tire? Michelle Funke finds out more about Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

IF YOU have al­ways wanted to re­tire to the coun­try, Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage may be a good in­vest­ment bet. You could be for­given for think­ing that the ru­ral com­mu­nity of Napier in the Over­berg is just an­other pleas­ant and rather sleepy hol­low, but ac­tu­ally Napier has a tan­gi­ble vi­brancy. Once a farm­ing town, this de­light­ful vil­lage is fast mov­ing up the chart of as­pi­ra­tional places to move to.

Ly­ing at the foot of the Soet­muis­berg, Napier is emerg­ing as a real chal­lenger to Grey­ton in its ap­peal. Numer­ous restau­rants, lo­cal winer­ies, gal­leries and a bur­geon­ing com­mu­nity of artis­tic and cre­ative res­i­dents con­firm the fact and make this vil­lage worth a se­ri­ous look.

To­day in Napier, cen­tury-old cot­tages blend with mod­ern houses in a ru­ral vil­lage sur­rounded by the rolling farm­land that is typ­i­cal of the Over­berg re­gion. This and the hos­pi­tal­ity of Napier res­i­dents leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on vis­i­tors and peo­ple who stop en route to the coast. Napier is in the Cape Agul­has re­gion with easy ac­cess to the sea­side vil­lages of Arniston (Waen­huiskrans), Stru­is­baai and L’Agul­has. Bredas­dorp, a busy Over­berg town and the near­est big su­per­mar­ket, is 25 min­utes away and Her­manus with its hos­pi­tals and shops is about 45 min­utes away. You don’t have to stray far from Napier though be­cause the vil­lage boasts its own butcher, baker, dairy and bar­ber; it has its own brew­ery (the most south­ern brew­ery in Africa) and a cou­ple of winer­ies, in­clud­ing Jean Da­neel’s bou­tique win­ery.

For the 4,000 Napier res­i­dents, there’s plenty to do; var­i­ous clubs of­fer any­thing from bowl­ing to read­ing and bridge to craft­mak­ing. The main street is pep­pered with numer­ous restau­rants. For those want­ing to stride out, the Groot­berg Hik­ing Trail is a new 8km walk around the Groot­berg sum­mit and, in­deed, ev­ery­where you go in the area you’ll be re­warded by sight­ings of birds amid the fyn­bos.

At Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage, a range of life-right re­tire­ment cot­tages and units are avail­able. This pro­vides in­vestors and their spouse with the right to oc­cupy a cot­tage or apart­ment for the rest of their lives.

“When you en­ter into a life right scheme you sim­ply pur­chase the right to oc­cupy a unit or cot­tage for the rest of your life or un­til you sell that right,” ex­plains Mark Tame, trustee of the Con­ver­sion Trust, de­vel­oper of Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage in the Over­berg. “The own­er­ship of the unit is re­tained by the devel­op­ment and is not trans­ferred to the in­di­vid­ual as with sec­tional ti­tle units.”

Life right falls un­der the Hous­ing Devel­op­ment Scheme for Re­tired Per­sons Act, pro­tect­ing buy­ers fi­nan­cially and en­sur­ing sales con­tracts are fol­lowed through on. No trans­fer du­ties, reg­is­tra­tion fees or VAT are payable.

There are sev­eral life right op­tions avail­able. Some pro­vide for fixed levies and lim­ited cap­i­tal re­cov­ery, while oth­ers, with vari­able levies, pro­vide for full cap­i­tal re­cov­ery. Monthly levies, of course, go to­wards the up­keep and op­er­a­tional costs of the com­plex.

The life right is a pop­u­lar, widely prac­ticed model around the world. In the US and Aus­tralia, life rights are the most com­mon type of re­tire­ment prop­erty sale.

In New Zealand up to 80% of res­i­dents in a re­tire­ment vil­lages have a life right agree­ment.

At the Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage, buy­ers are able to choose their own plot and make cus­tom al­ter­ations while paying the bal­ance on the de­posit only once the unit is com­plete.

The trans­fer­ring at­tor­neys hold the 10% de­posit in a trust where it earns in­ter­est un­til the date of oc­cu­pa­tion. In the event of a sale, the out­go­ing res­i­dent or de­ceased es­tate re­ceives a per­cent­age of the re­sale price. Tame ex­plains: “At Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage the re­sale cot­tage or unit will be of­fered to those on a pri­or­ity wait­ing list, which will be man­aged by the Con­ver­sion Trust to en­sure that the sales value of all units re­main mar­ket-re­lated.

“On trans­fer of the re­sale prop­erty, the seller will pay 7.5% of the re­sale price to the Trust as a sales/mar­ket­ing man­age­ment fee, and 7.5% to the levy sta­bil­i­sa­tion fund con­trolled by the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the Napier Re­tire­ment Vil­lage Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.” This sta­bil­i­sa­tion fund is ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause of the sta­bil­is­ing ef­fect it has on the monthly levy, re­mov­ing “much of the in­fla­tion­ary risk from the re­tire­ment equa­tion”, says Tame.

At Napier com­mu­nal ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able to the first oc­cu­pants al­ready. They in­clude a club­house, li­brary, two lounges, gym, so­lar heated pool, health­care fa­cil­ity, din­ing fa­cil­i­ties, laun­dry and kitchen. Con­tact: Napier Vil­lage Will 081 271 0543

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