Affordability coupled with a tranquil and virtually crime free environment is seeing an increase in home buyers in Kestell
, a sleepy Eastern Free State
town situated 45 minutes from Clarens
on the road to Harrismith
and on the main route to KwaZulu-Natal
"Founded in the early 1800s, Kestell is still relatively undiscovered. However, home buyers are taking more than a passing interest in the town, and we are seeing increasing movement in residential property, with an upturn in enquiries from serious buyers," says Odette Parris
, local real estate agent
for Pam Golding Properties
"These include retired people wanting to escape to a quieter and smaller town, those working in nearby Harrismith - which is becoming industrialised and increasingly developed - as well as a middle black market.
"The demand from the latter is boosted by the fact that the modern industrial centre of Qwa Qwa, also home to the University of the Free State, is within easy access for those who wish to commute to work and live in Kestell, and also convenient for students. The popular Basutho Cultural Village
is located in the Qwa Qwa National Park, and Phuthaditjhaba
, the town's commercial centre, also plays an important role in attracting visitors to Qwa Qwa," adds Parris.
She says homes generally range in price from approximately R380k to R985k, varying from newer modern homes to beautiful old sandstone houses - with some homes in the town earmarked as national monuments.
"As an example of the sound value for money on offer, a 720sq m five-bedroom, two-bathroom home with open-plan living and dining areas, kitchen with scullery and single garage set on just under 3000sq m is currently on the market at R831k," she says.
Another property available to purchase is a historical home dating back to 1806. Set on 1 400sq m and located in the main street, this property comprises three bedrooms, two bathrooms (one en suite), lounge and dining area comfortably enveloped by an enclosed veranda running around the north western side of the house, providing extra living space in winter months.
"Marketed at R546k, this property is ideal for first time home owners or those retiring, or is well-located to utilise as a B&B. With more and more visitors stopping on their way past - a filling station is situated at the entrance of Kestell which is right off the main road - we believe there is increasing tourism potential in the town," says Parris.Caption: This Victorian sandstone home in Kestell is marketed at R1.202m. Set on a stand of just under 3000sq m, the house comprises approximately 220sq m and includes three bedrooms, one bathroom, inviting reception rooms as well as a garden flat and single garage. Caption: This four-bedroom sandstone home conveniently situated in the central area of Kestell was recently sold for R415k.
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