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Historic Heilbron in demand

06 Jun 2006
Historic Heilbron, situated 90 minutes from Johannesburg, an hour from Bethlehem and Clarens and only 50 minutes from Sasolburg, is experiencing a surge in demand for homes, reports local agent Phil Medlock.

In just three months he has sold six homes priced between R185 000 and R450 000. One of the buyers saw one of these properties on the internet, travelled in to view it and bought it on the spot.

Says Medlock: "There is good value for money available here, and the proximity to Johannesburg makes Heilbron an ideal weekend getaway or leisure investment," he says. "The boom is mainly as a result of Gauteng buyers wanting to escape the city to the peace and quiet of a platteland town, which is still within easy driving distance. This is coupled with a demand from investors looking for affordable, well-priced property which will yield a good return."

Established in 1873, the town today still boasts some magnificent buildings which were built in that era. The most sought after homes currently are those constructed in the early 1900s, with solid sandstone walls, spacious wrap-around verandas, Oregon floors and windows and superb original pressed ceilings. These older, character homes are priced between R275 000 and R480 000. Heilbron also has a more modern part of town called Vegkop, where prices start at R350 000 for a standard three bedroom home, to R1.5 million for an executive residence in pristine condition.

The surrounding farming areas offer good value for those who want a weekend farm, with prices starting at around R500 000. Presently on the market is a 40ha farm just 5km from Heilbron selling for R820 000, which includes a three bedroom thatched home and grazing lands.

Another property with sound investment potential is a 171ha fully game fenced lion farm, Tau Thaba, which is marketed exclusively by PGP at R2.75 million. "The property has conference facilities, guest accommodation for 18 people, a main 10-bedroomed house built in stone, boma, large dam, 28 lions and various other game such as wildebeest, blesbok, zebra and gemsbok," says Medlock.

In addition, a modern 2300sqm office complex is available for sale. The building is fully air conditioned and comprises 63 offices with 60 undercover parking bays for R5.46 million. Medlock says it is ideal for a corporate office, college or conference facilities.

Heilbron has a solid infrastructure with shops that include all the major retailers and banks. In and around the town are game farms, a lion breeding project, historical sites and even a wine route with four wine farms - each representing a different cellar, and numerous guest houses and B&B's which have recently sprung up. There is plenty to see and do, from visiting the town's battle sites and national monuments commemorating the Anglo Boer war, such as the Woman and Child Monument in honour of those who died in the concentration camps, the Riemland Museum and the Vegkop Battlefield Monument, to the beautiful sandstone churches. There are numerous crafters in Heilbron and furniture manufacturers and restorers.

For further information contact 016 3711377 or 084 582 8007.

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