Pace Yourself in Stanford

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

Among the many characteristics this quaint Cape Overstrand village is known for, there are two things that stand out above the rest. One is the ‘little river’ running through it, the other a relaxed lifestyle believed by locals to produce peace and tranquillity.

Because Stanfordians take great pride in their measured pace of life, they make time to appreciate all things good, such as slow food, good wine and locally brewed beer. Not surprising then that many of the town’s inhabitants are practicing artists and nature lovers, who welcome newcomers to share in the local sense of calm.

Getting there from Cape Town takes approximately two hours pass the towns of Kleinbaai and Gansbaai, with Kleinmond and Hermanus lying further out toward Cape Agulhas. For first time visitors who appreciate masterful architecture, the town’s rich heritage value has made for a number of interesting Victorian and Edwardian buildings that can conveniently be viewed on foot. As a result of many locals passionate about the conservation of buildings as old as 100 and 300 years, the centre of Stanford has been proclaimed a National Heritage site. One of the oldest buildings in the town is the undeveloped original market square that dates back as far as 1785. Prospective buyers of homes with heritage value need not look far, since many have been lovingly restored, and for those building new homes, strict architectural guidelines are in place to preserve the town’s original historic value.

This picturesque village also boasts magnificent gardens that have become a paradise for birds and watchers alike. Since bird watching has become a popular hobby in Stanford, the town hosts the annual Glendower Bird Fair in October. Birdlovers can also take river cruises to spot their favourite species while meandering down the Klein River that leads to a magnificent lagoon area, perfectly suited for picnics and outdoor activities such as canoeing and kayaking.

For those looking for property to buy or property to rent in Stanford, the town offers mostly freehold homes , with only 5 percent being sectional share properties. Lightstone shows that current residents of the town tend to stay for long periods, living there for 11 years and more, who are mostly aged between 50 to 64 years. What is notable is that average freehold prices that started out at R233 000 as far back as 2004, moved to its peak in 2010 when houses were priced at R960 000. In 2011 the town saw a total number of 40 sales where 14 were valued at over R1-million rand, and average values at R650 000. Stanford saw a total of 9 freehold property sales in the past three months that fetched average values lower than that of last year, of R557 000.

Positioned within close proximity of its wealthier neighbours Hermanus, Pearly Beach, Kleinmond and Gansbaai, Stanford is well positioned in the list of Overstrand towns to offer property buyers in search of a small town lifestyle near the coast, good value for money. Stanford offers all the necessary amenities, including primary schools and high schools in nearby towns. The close-knit community is well known for producing a gastronomical haven, a number of successful wine farms, cheese making facilities and the Birkenhead Brewery.

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