If affordability is a deciding factor whether you’re looking to rent or buy, look no further than property in Randburg. Randburg is a typical South African melting pot of cultural expressions, income brackets and opportunities. Take a drive down Main Road to tap into the pulse of Randburg: the hustle and bustle of sidewalk hawkers, commuters making their way to taxi ranks, car dealerships selling everything from VW Beetles to BMW X5s, mechanics and the odd second-hand store worth stopping for. Then there’s Randburg suburbia just a few kilometers up the road towards Bordeaux: families in old Johannesburg homes on leafy lanes. Kim Miller is an estate agent in Randburg. She’s honed in on sales and rentals in Bordeaux, Randpark Ridge and Northwold. Kim has run Roots Real Estate for the past four years and has also been living in Randburg since 1999. She’s relieved that business has picked up in the last month. "The past two years have been tough. Sales took a major knock but thank goodness for the rental market that kept us afloat."Kim says stringent lending criteria on the part of banks forced many people into the rental market. "People just don’t get bonds like they used to, so they’re renting in more affordable areas and in doing so, saving up for the deposit they need to buy a house." According to Kim, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom townhouse in a good development in Randburg goes for about R4200 a month. A cluster home – two-bedroom, two-bathroom – will set you back about R5500 per month. On the sales front, Kim says that there’s a lot she’s excited about in the 'just under a million' price range. She says there are gorgeous, older homes in Bordeaux for just over R1m. "Even though some of the places in Bordeaux need a little renovation, people love this particular part of Randburg because the homes are big. Bedrooms are huge and most places come with an outside room, which can be converted into a little cottage on the property." Price is at the top of Kim’s list of 'reasons to love property in Randburg'. "Randburg is down-right affordable. Amenities are fabulous and service delivery is good: we have street lights that actually work."Kim says there are a host of good schools in the area, including Randburg Hoer Skool, Ferndale High, Aurora Private School and Knight Preparatory School and College. On the shopping front, Kim rates Northgate Centre as the best place to shop. There’s also Brightwater Commons (formerly known as Randburg Waterfront), Cresta and Randburg Square (where parking is ample and delightfully cheap by the way). Kim’s personal favorite store in Randburg is Nicholas Plants on Witkoppen Road. "Plants are priced just right and the service is great."On the downside, however, Kim says that property in Randburg is being affected by drug dealing, which has become a major concern. "Estate agents and owners have a responsibility to run proper checks on prospective buyers, and tenants especially. Things like TPN (Tenant Profile Network), ITC credit checks and FICA checks are a must. We must stop dealers from moving into the area and running their illegal operations from our properties."The Randburg Management District or RBMD (http://www.randburg.org.za) also notes on its website that urban decay in the area has become an unfortunate reality. This group was established in 2004 to deal with these issues. In the five years that it has been in existence, the RBMD has done a lot to give Randburg the face-lift it needs to be a top-drawer Johannesburg suburb. The Public Safety Ambassador project is one of these initiatives. Thanks to the RBMD, armed guards patrol Randburg night and day. According to the Randburg SAPS, this provision has resulted in a significant decrease in the crime over the past three years. RBMD is also responsible for the employment of 20 street cleaners in the area.
Area Review: Property in Randburg
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