If you’re English-speaking and have your heart set on living in one of Cape Town’s northern suburbs, Edgemead may well be your best bet. Not only can you get away with speaking English wherever you go, but the place feels more southern suburbs than it does north. And while it’s not the most upmarket of the northern suburbs, it’s anything but downmarket. Edgemead is very much middle of the road – and not too far up the road, either (off the N7 off the N1). A mere 15km from the city centre and the same distance from the airport, Edgemead is within easy reach of all that’s hot and happening in the Mother City. Established in the late 1960s and set at the foot of the Tygerberg Hills, the suburb comprises over 340 hectares and is home to more than 3500 families. That’s according to www.edgemead.co.za. The site also tells of the suburb’s history with Garden Cities, the developers credited with having set “rigid standards to create and maintain a distinctive architectural character for the town”. This has paid off tremendously: “Since its inception Edgemead has experienced a demand for houses which has always outstripped supply.” That’s no exaggeration: scour the local property publications and property portals and you’ll find relatively few Edgemead properties for sale. Given all that the neat, flat, spacious suburb has to offer, it’s no wonder folks are lining up to live in Edgemead. Apart from proximity to the city, it’s a cool two or three kilometres from Canal Walk Shopping Centre (complete with 400-odd stores) and boasts a host of other excellent amenities. Edgemead is very much a family-friendly suburb, catering for all ages. It has good schools (such as Edgemead Pre-Primary, Edgemead Primary and Edgemead High); sufficient shops (Edgemead Village Shopping Centre has everything from a SuperSpar and Woolies food store to a hardware, hairdresser, florist and post office); is near to top private hospitals (Milnerton Medi-Clinic, Panorama Medi-Clinic and N1 City Hospital); has an impressive range of clubs (running, cycling, soccer, cricket, tennis, bowling and scouts) and plenty of parks and public open spaces. It even has a seniors’ club. Considering all it has to offer, property in Edgemead is surprisingly affordable and great value for money. For under R1.5m, you can pick up a modern/renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom, double-garage home with a swimming pool and a good-size garden. For under R1m, you can find an unrenovated three-bedroom, one-bathroom home with an established garden. Most Edgemead houses have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and garages (usually double) set on plots of at least 500 square metres. According to Deeds Office data supplied by Lightstone property analysts, the average selling price of a freehold property in Edgemead is R982 300. There have been only 27 recorded sales this year: 25 freehold and two sectional title properties. Last year, 132 properties in Edgemead changed hands. The average selling price of a freehold property was R953 000 and the average selling price of a sectional title property in Edgemead was R700 000. Edgemead is made up of mostly freehold property. Only 14 percent of market stock is sectional title. According to Lightstone, Edgemead has 3440 freehold properties and 534 sectional title properties. Looking at performance, property in Edgemead has appreciated steadily though conservatively over the past six years. In 2004, the average price of a freehold property in Edgemead was R550 000. Back then you could pick up a sectional title property for about R371 000. Many families who have bought in recent years have picked up bargains and invested in their homes. Andre and Tersia Reynierse bought their house in 2003. For R480 000, they got a three-bedroom, two-bathroom (plus separate loo) home with a modern fitted kitchen, laundry and double garage. The Reynierses decided to buy in Edgemead because they were looking to live close to the city and in a suburb that has good schools. The peace and tranquillity in the area was also a draw card. “Edgemead is like a big family – a little village of its own. We’re extremely happy. We have no plans to move!” The Reynierses recently did renovations, putting in a pool, erecting a boundary wall around the front of the property and adding an undercover patio / entertainment area the length of the house. They also installed sliding doors from two of the bedrooms leading out to the pool area, plus did some tiling. “At the last valuation, before the renovations, the property was valued by the municipality at R1.1 million. I estimate that we could get about R1.5 million for it now.” Gary Irlam is the chairman of the Edgemead Residents’ Association (ERA) and has lived in Edgemead since 1974. “I love Edgemead for the openness of the dwellings and the many public open spaces. I love what the area has to offer as a whole and that it’s relatively safe and in close proximity to the major shopping centres and not far out of Cape Town.” Gary says the Garden City ambience is not a selling point but more of a purchasing point in that the suburb is well laid out, has all the necessary facilities and is close to major shopping nodes. The residents’ association is a strong body that represents the interests of residents and takes up matters of concern with the municipality, he says. Usually these are matters like repairs to the roadway, storm water drains or street lights, but sometimes they are more serious – like the issuing of liquor licences in areas that are not zoned for such outlets. For the past year and a half, the ERA has been involved in a wrangle with the local authorities over a rezoning dispute to allow for the issuing of a liquor licence for a “Tops at Spar” Liquor Boutique in the Edgemead Shopping Centre. A large number of residents object to having the liquor store in the centre and rezoning for this purpose. Gary says the decision now rests in the hands of Provincial Legislature. Whatever the outcome, it’s encouraging and commendable that Edgemead residents take such an active and keen interest in their suburb.
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