Funny to live in - Warren Robertson

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

It’s a good thing comedian Warren Robertson has a sense of humour because, as you shall see, buying property for the first time brings with it a few challenges and oddities.

What city and suburb do you call home?

Jukskei Park, Johannesburg

Tell us about your neighbours.

The neighbours are a good mix of people from the slightly eccentric to the certifiably insane. We call the people behind us, The Balcony People, because they live on their balcony, treating my house like it's a version of Big Brother they don't need DSTV to see. I've taken to making coffee naked in the morning and staring right back. It's a battle of wills neither of us is willing to lose. What I want to know is why the house across the river needs to turn a one hundred billion watt green light on every night. That thing lights up the whole valley and makes it difficult to sleep at night.

Did they take you seriously when you first told them that you are a stand-up comedian?

I knew the neighbours were good people when they found out I was a comedian and didn't immediately ask me to tell them a joke. Perhaps they were just stunned we comedians live anywhere other than at the end of bar?

Having recently bought property, what advice could you give to first time buyers?

Don't trust the agent's electrician. Rather get your own person in to do the electrical compliance certificate. Better that than finding yourself paying to have the house rewired. Also don't tell the bank manager you will be paying for the house with, "the booty from your swashbuckling adventures", they don't appreciate the joke.

What do you enjoy most about your suburb?

There is a lot to like. It hasn't been built up like much of the Northern Suburbs and still manages to maintain a small town feel to it. Coming home I feel like the traffic and craziness of Joburg is miles away. The Old Oak Tree Pub in the Spar centre is pretty handy. Very small, and quiet. You can get a beer easily after work, even when other bars are packed. The local Spar is great too. It hardly stocks anything and their vegetables have basically gone off by the time you get them home, but it seems to be the only Spar in the city where it's socially acceptable to do your groceries in your pyjamas at midday and for that it fits right into my lifestyle.

If you could own property anywhere in South Africa where would you buy and why?

I've always been a fan of the intensely beautiful Wilderness area in the Cape and would love to live there if there was any way I could make a living while doing it. If someone else was buying it for me then the sky's the limit; a wine farm would be nice; it'd be the only one in the country where the owner would be the only one paid on the dop system.

If we could arrange for an Extreme Home Makeover of your property, what would you like changed?

Well at present there isn't the space to park my fleet of luxury cars, and the butler complains that the 35 servants are having to share rooms in the staff quarters. The polo field is too near the stables, the roman era statues in the garden need a tailor to make them pants and the ballroom chandeliers could use a polish. I suppose I wouldn't scoff at a second helipad, and three more bedrooms would take me to a nice round 30. Oh and the North wing needs an exorcism - apparently it's been haunted since the 1700s.

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