The pros and cons of living on an estate in South Africa

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Grant Gavin of RE/MAX Panache highlights the different factors to consider when choosing to live on an estate.

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Presenter: A warm welcome back. I hope you're enjoying your Friday afternoon with us. With Win a Home being in full swing at the moment on Afternoon Express, we're making ourselves experts on estate living, and over the course of this series, we'll explore various aspects related to buying and living on estates. Today, we discuss the different types of estates available in South Africa, and how to choose the right type of estate for you. Welcome to our loft, it's good to have you.

Grant Gavin: Nice to see you, Danilo.

Presenter: So, let's talk a little bit about the pros and cons of living estates, because I think everyone's very excited about estates.

Q: Why is there such a drive to living on estates in the country?

Grant Gavin: I think, fundamentally, the drivers come from the need for security. Security is a buyer's number one priority when they're looking out in South Africa. And so, the demand of getting onto gated estates has increased dramatically, and they're all looking for security and then the lifestyle that the estate can give.

Presenter: Yeah. So, let's talk about some of the other pros. I mean, you've mentioned sort of that that security's a big one of those.

Q: What are the other pros of choosing estate living over sort of plot?

Grant Gavin: Let me start with security again, because I just want to stress how important it is, and I mean, these estates, a lot of them are spending a lot of money. They're spending millions and millions of rand on securing the estate. That's the perimeter fencing, that's the entry in and out of the estate, and it's the guards that go around. So, when you drive into the estate, you literally feel like you can just breathe a huge sigh of relief. You've arrived home into this secure lifestyle, and it gives you peace of mind for you and your family. And the things that spin off from that are so important. It's the kids playing in the streets, walking to their neighbors' houses without so much concern as you would have outside an estate. So, you can't stress enough how important that sense of security and the need for that is.

Presenter: Yeah. Without trying to sound contrived, I guess what we're also trying to do is explain all aspects to what estate living is. I mean, you always feel like you're being sold something. People are like, "You must go live on estates, must go live on estates, well, they're a big trend."

Q: Are there any cons that we should be aware of? Should we really consider this decision?

Grant Gavin: Yeah, I think so. And I think the big con is the loss of absolute freedom. When you're moving into an environment, you're kind of moving into a community, and a community is a group of people with the same sets of values and beliefs, etc. But when you move into a suburb or an estate, you've got to abide by the laws. If you're putting a thousand homes into one area and they've all got to abide by the same rules and guidelines, people have to understand that you're buying into a set of rules as well as the lifestyle. And you can't say, once you transgress the rules down the line, that you don't know. When you're signing these documents. when you're buying the property, you sometimes forget what you're signing into.

Presenter: Yeah. I'm so protective of our viewers because, I mean, one of them is going to get a chance to win a home on an estate, and I think they're all looking to figure out and understand - like me too - understand why I should go and invest in those spaces. Even if I don't want a home, why should I start investing in property and estates, because I think it is such, you said, an exciting and growing space.

Q: What final words of advice do you think you have for viewers who are looking to invest in these spaces? How do you go about doing this process?

Grant Gavin: Well, remember, most buyers buy on emotion. They buy on emotion, they fall in love with their property or an estate, and then they justify it with fact and logic afterwards. So, I think it's just very, very important then, before you make that final decision, when you're going to be spending million and millions of rands, when choosing an estate, choose the estate that's right for you. Choose the estate that's going to give you the lifestyle you're looking for, with all the amenities and the extras that come with it, but understand what you're signing, understand what you're buying into, because once you buy in, you've agreed to accept all the rules that the estate has in place.

Presenter: Being in my position, I've had a huge privilege of being able to travel around to some of the estates and see what they've got on offer, and it really is exciting to see that they are not all exactly the same. Some of them offer a lot of lifestyle, some of them offer a lot of security, and they're all trying to find their own sort of niche.

Q: So, in terms of finding the right estate for us ourselves, I mean, are there different kinds of estates?

Grant Gavin: Yeah, and I think that the big thing is location. So, you can have a certain number of estates in the location that you want to look. For example, if you're living in Durban, you've only got a handful of estates that you can find, without traveling too far. Nobody really wants to commute too far to and from work. So, in terms of the type of lifestyle you're looking for, absolutely. You can get golf estates, retirement estates, eco estates, there's a range. For some people, it's just an estate where you can go and live in an area where you have space to walk after work, and there's walking trails. So, there's a variety of estates, and you've got to find the one that's going to suit the lifestyle that you're looking for.

Presenter: Pique my interest, here.

Q: Help me understand why estates are such a big thing in South Africa at the moment. Why are they booming at the moment?

Grant Gavin: Well, I think, A, security. So, you know that South Africa-- unfortunately, we live in an environment where crime is up there. It's something that we have to live with. But what typically happens, is when you have an estate that is fixed on supply, so you can only fit so many homes into an estate. Once the building's done, once the supply's fixed, as soon as the demand goes up, your prices will go up. So, it's a great long-term investment. If people want to get into that estate, your investment when you buy your house in that estate, over the long term, you're going to get good returns.

Presenter: Lovely. Okay, so, it's really worth us looking into estates. I mean, consider always the documentation. Make sure you know what the lifestyle's about, what you're allowed to do, not allowed to do with your homes as you go in the process. And potentially some of those

people might be very different to who you are as an individual, so choose an estate that really suits you as a person.

Grant Gavin: Spot on. Spot on.

Presenter: Great advice. Thanks very much.

Grant Gavin: Pleasure.

Presenter: All right. So, remember that this season of Win a Home, you stand a chance of winning a beautiful apartment on the Eye of Africa estate!

All you have to do is log on to privateproperty.co.za, and answer an easy question. We'll be right back after this.

Click here to enter the Win a Home competition

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