Secure estate living has grown in popularity around the country, and the province of Limpopo is no exception, says Annie Van Den Berg, Broker/Owner of Wildlife Properties, based in Hoedspruit.
“Security is a top priority for many buyers in our country and has been one of the driving factors behind the growth in popularity of secure developments,” says Van Den Berg. “It is easy to see why so many are choosing to stay in closed communities such as gated complexes and secure estates due to the lifestyle benefits, sense of community and security that they provide.”.
Characterised by access-controlled entrances, a perimeter fence or wall and in many cases security guards that patrol the community 24/7, it’s no wonder that homeowners looking for peace of mind are flocking to these kinds of lifestyle options. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says: “In today’s property market buyers are spoilt for choice with the various types of homes available to them in security estates, from grand villa-type houses to sectional-title apartments. Many secure developments have shared amenities and facilities such as swimming pools as well as common areas such as parks that are available to all residents.”
According to Van Den Berg, many such gated communities are managed by a homeowners association that makes sure that the facilities and a good general appearance of the community is maintained. The homeowners association will also see to it that residents abide by certain rules and standards, such as proper maintenance of their house and lawn. “Enforcing these rules ensure that the aesthetics of the community is protected, which in turn ensures that the value of the individual properties within the community is protected,” she says.
Demand for lifestyle benefits, secure living environments and accommodation options that are close to central business nodes has also grown considerably in recent years, which is being addressed by the many lifestyle estates and mixed-use precincts that have been developed with work, play, live environments where office, retail, entertainment and residential nodes are all located in one estate or development along with other facilities such as schools.
With the number of residential estates and developments having increased significantly over the past ten years or so, there can be no doubt that close community living is a sought after way of life. The increase in demand for these kinds of properties as a good investment option is reflected in the fact that homes within estates or developments continue to offer buyers a good return on investment. But aside from the obvious physical aspects of living in a secure community, there are also mental benefits and advantages.
“Frequently homeowners choose to live in gated estates due to the sense of community that they experience. This is a feeling of belonging and a feeling that members matter to one another and the group, sharing a common interest,” says Van Den Berg. “Very often the development of the secure estate is based on that common interest, such as the case of an residential wildlife estate or golfing estate.”
She notes that irrespective of the demographic of the residents or their interests, a common thread can be seen throughout all estate living residents, which is the human fundamental need for community.
She adds that from an investment perspective, property within these kinds of developments saw exceptional returns in the boom times, and has mostly held its own during the recession. “Demand for security and the lifestyle elements that these estates offer mean that property owners can expect continued value growth over the medium to long term,” Van Den Berg concludes.
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