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Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

There’s no mistaking the warm fuzzy feeling that one gets when reminiscing over experiences of neighbourly goodwill.

And what better remedy for the moving blues than the true hospitality that eased our angst as first-time homeowners taking up the challenges of small city living in East London, many moons ago!

When our new neighbours in the suburb of Vincent arrived on our doorstep with the most welcome home-cooked meal ever served, all our frazzled nerves were soothed. Their immaculate timing coincided with a glorious sunset. We felt at home.

Agents say that residents of a high calibre have an eye for central locations, where the management of private and business properties, particularly those close to quality schools and public amenities, reflect strong community relationships. They are attracted by living close to sport and social clubs, or shopping centres and places of worship, where property owners welcome the organisation of recreational and social events after hours, when the facilities are not officially in use.

A lovely relocation

Relocating to Cape Town’s far south many years later has highlighted how many residents in the seaside valleys of Fish Hoek and Simonstown enjoy endless conveniences on their doorsteps due to the joint efforts of business and private communities. Many take for granted the pleasures of walking family pets on privately-managed nearby sport fields, or seeing their children participate in evening sports events close to home. Some schools in the area have also hosted swimming galas courtesy of the South African Navy, which provides local institutions with the use of its facilities at Seaforth.

High levels of community goodwill are also reflected in the upkeep and renewal of retail centres, which landlords say contributes to attracting higher tenants and residents to areas. Patrick Flanagan of property owners Flanagan and Gerard says the upkeep and re-development of shopping malls in Morningside and Bryanston in Johannesburg is attracting community events such as school art exhibitions and peace forum meetings.

Property professionals say that optimum communication connectivity lies in welcoming new residents by circulating digital contact information, irrespective of whether they live in security complexes or secure freestanding properties, or when absent due to commuting.

Carol Reynolds, area principal for Pam Golding Properties Durban North and La Lucia says that the area is seeing relocations from Johannesburg, with many families choosing to settle at the coast with the major breadwinner commuting to Johannesburg every week for work.

Irrespective of where you live and how far you commute, there’s really no excuse not to get to know your neighbours. Pop next door this evening and introduce yourself. Why not!

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