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Heritage homes selling from R2m to R60m in the Western Cape

21 Sep 2018

With heritage day upon us, the Seeff Property Group highlights the Cape’s fabulous wealth of heritage neighbourhoods and architectural styles, from Cape Dutch, Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and Art Deco to the beautiful Fisherman’s houses of the West and Southern Cape coast and sandstone and farmhouse architecture of the Karoo.

This three bedroom, three bathroom sandstone gem in Oudtshoorn is on the market for R2.05 million - click here to view.

Property options range from a Cape Dutch cottage which can sell for around R3 million to a Cape Dutch wine farm which can sell for well into the upper millions.

Heritage buildings such as the Castle, SA Museum in the Company’s Garden, Slave Lodge, St George’s Cathedral and the Groote Kerk and Bo Kaap Museum are popular tourist attractions. Architects such as Sir Herbert Baker (1862 to 1946) also left behind a treasure of buildings such as the Union Buildings (Pretoria) and Groote Schuur and Wynberg Boys’ High (Cape Town). Louis Michel Thibault (1750 to 1815) left landmarks such as Koopmans de Wet House, the Groot Constantia homestead and wine cellar and Drostdy buildings in Graaff-Reinet and Tulbagh.

Built in 1849, this four bedroom, three bathroom house is one of the oldest homes in Worcester. It is on the market for R3.223 million - click here to view.

Today, you can also find designed areas which are heritage protected, according to Seeff. These include the Bo-Kaap, which dates to the late 1700s and boasts a mix of Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture, and Chelsea Village in Wynberg, dating to the 1700s.

While most of the historic buildings and the beautiful Cape Dutch wine farms of the Winelands/Boland area are beyond the reach of most buyers and investors, there are many opportunities to buy and invest, according to Seeff’s agents. These are sought for a variety of reasons, from residential to businesses, boutiques and restaurants and guest houses.

A few areas where you can invest in historic or heritage property include:

1. Cape Town’s Constantia

As one of the oldest neighbourhoods, and in particular due to the establishment of the various historic farms in the area, Constantia boasts a number of Cape Dutch residences, especially on farms such as Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting and Steenberg, along with other landmarks such as the Alphen and Cellars Hohenhort. Residential Cape Dutch homes though rarely come onto the market, and you can expect to pay around R18 million to R60 million.

2. Cape Town’s City Bowl

This 1925 landmark villa in Oranjezicht has six bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. It is on the market for R29.75 million - click here to view.

Here you will find a mix of Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and Art Deco.  Tamboerskloof, Oranjezicht and Higgovale offer Victorian semis, priced around R6 million and houses, priced from around R9 million, according to Doris Ricketts, Michele Apperley and Colette Jackson, Seeff’s full title team for the area.

In Oranjezicht and Higgovale, you can also find the odd Sir Herbert Baker. A rare 1925 manor house of 1 200sqm, built from Table Mountain sandstone, with six bedrooms, eleven bathrooms, a swimming pool and rare 1 800sqm plot, is priced at R29.75 million.

3. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl

Built in 1928 and restored to provide an upmarket guesthouse, this property in Stellenbosch has 10 bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It is on the market for R11.2 million - click here to view.

The Stellenbosch/Franschhoek/Paarl areas are home to a wealth of Cape cottage and Cape Dutch architecture. Stellenbosch’s Dorp and Church Streets offers a number of heritage buildings, as well as on the historic wine estates such Blaauwklippen (1682), Murati (1685), Lanzerac, Spier (both 1692), Meerlust (1693), Rust en Vrede (1694) and Neethlingshof (1699), says Lita Hartman, Seeff’s marketing representative for the area.

In the town, you can find beautiful old homes with original woodwork on the floors, doors, windows and even ceilings, and some event still with the old hearth in the kitchen or original fireplaces. Prices range from around R8 million to R28 million.

Paarl Central has several Cape Dutch homes, but due to the building and land sizes, these are priced from around R15 million to R35 million, according to Clive Hartman, Seeff agent. These properties tend to be converted to corporate offices and retail centres.

4. Tulbagh, Wellington and Worcester

This nine bedroom, nine bathroom bed-and-breakfast in Worcester includes a historic home, and is being sold with furniture included. It is on the market for R3.5 million - click here to view.

Tulbagh, which dates to around 1714, is another town with a rich heritage of Cape Dutch architecture. This includes Church Street, declared a monument in its entirety and home to 32 historic buildings, says Nelia Retief, of Seeff Tulbagh and surrounds. Other famous landmarks include The Old Drostdy (1804, designed by Thibault) and Twee Jonge Gezellen (circa 1720). Prices range from R2 million to R4 million for historic homes in Church Street.

Marilize de Beer, an agent with Seeff Wellington, says that the town offers excellent examples of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture. Prices are still in the affordable range of R2.8 million to R3 million, with the 1921 Klipvleifontein farmhouse with many original features including wood work and the old farm dam, priced at just R3.45 million.

Worcester, which dates to 1820, offers mainly Cape Dutch properties, according to Pieter Van Zyl, an agent with Seeff. Historic properties are popular with buyers relocating to Cape, foreign investors and also with farmers who buy these as investments. Due to the heritage value and unique character, prices carry a premium of around 20% to 30%. Although prices differ, you can expect to pay around R3.2 million to R3.5 million.

5. Swellendam in Overberg

Built in 1905, this three bedroom, two bathroom home in Swellendam is set on a 3 655sqm stand. It is selling for R3.25 million - click here to view.

Dating to 1743, Swellendam offers fine examples of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture, says Val Anderton from Seeff Swellendam. As a popular stopover on the N2 to the Overberg and Garden Route and a busy commercial centre, Swellendam is a great town to live in or own a second home or a B&B. Prices range from R1.5 million to R3.5 million, with only about a 10% premium paid for a top-class find.

6. Ladismith and Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo

Albert Manor, built in 1892, is an authentic Victorian home in Ladismith. The eight bedroom, five bathroom home has been carefully restored and declared a national monument. It is selling for R2.8 million - click here to view.

Imelda Egan from Seeff says the Klein Karoo town of Ladismith is home to a few fine examples of Victorian architecture which are popular for B&Bs and guesthouses, given their generous sizes. Prices are around R2.5 million for a large eight bedroom property with well-preserved features.

Oudtshoorn, the main town of the Klein Karoo, is renowned for its role in the global ostrich boom of the 1800s, and still known as the ‘ostrich capital of the world’. During the boom, many grand manor houses were built, predominantly from sandstone, which are still in high demand, along with Victorian styles. Prices range from around R2 million to R3 million according to Bettie Nel, an agent with Seeff.

Legislation and regulation

The National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 regulates all structures over 60 years old including, the fixtures and fittings. A tier system classifies property according to its national, provincial or local importance. Tier One is a Heritage Overlay Zone, generally applied to entire areas with all properties in the area protected. Tier Two applies to individual properties and buildings, and Tier Three, to buildings officially classified as National Monuments or Provincial Heritage Sites.

All interior and exterior work, including paint, on these structures must be approved by the local heritage committee, and if none in that town, the provincial body should be consulted. Municipal approval cannot be given if the heritage has not approved it, says Stefaan Verlinde, Seeff licensee for Oudtshoorn. Towns such as Oudtshoorn has a heritage committee which does excellent work, he says.

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