The idea of lifestyle living has redefined the South African property market in recent years. A concept that has numerous applications, it appeals to those who want the very best of life. This is because it arouses an emotional desire for true quality and a yearning to live a life of choice.
While not unlike lifestyle living in other countries, the concept has a special appeal within the African context, with South Africa offering a combination of raw scenic beauty, African adventure, an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage, and world-class facilities and living standards. Gone are the images of lions roaming the streets of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Instead the famous Big Five live in well managed game parks while the streets of South Africa’s top cities offer shops and restaurants that promise First World luxuries and treats at affordable prices – especially for those who visit from foreign lands.
So it is not surprising that lifestyle living is a concept that appeals to both foreigners and locals alike.
Nestled between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa is the 25th largest country in the world, covering an area of 1,221,040 square kilometres or 471,446 square miles. It has a population of more than 47-million people from a wide variety of cultures and religious beliefs. There are nine official languages and nine provinces, making the country truly a rainbow nation.
Anyone looking for property opportunities within this southern-most country in Africa will find that property agents enthusiastically espouse the concept of lifestyle living. On the other hand, magazines published locally use the term loosely to describe just about anything that relates to quality gracious living: food and wine, health and beauty, and occasionally, property.
The beauty of the lifestyle living theory is that it can be adapted to meet almost every discernible desire. That is undoubtedly why the term is often used to promote property values and desirability. As such, lifestyle living has defined its own place in a very competitive industry. And to many, it is absolutely irresistible.
It is accepted that any type of lifestyle estate in this country will provide an exclusive home environment where you are secure and have easy access to the amenities you value. Thousands of gated communities in towns and cities across South Africa meet this basic definition. However quality lifestyle-living means a whole lot more than living in an upmarket housing estate densely packed with identical-looking mansions and triple garages.
Quality rural lifestyle living is the connoisseur’s prize; far removed from city stress. Savvy developers of successful country lifestyle estates link the needs of buyers to lifestyle desires such as game farms, private nature reserves, golf, wine, horses and “gentleman” farming, whether on a full-time basis or “get-away” retreat within a few short hours drive from the city.
Many international buyers want all the benefits of a “Farm in Africa” without the management worry or financial liability. For every buyer there is an environment that satisfies and soothes both the soul and the budget.
Once you understand your options, you can look for the place of your dreams, just like I did.
Rob Atkinson is a senior executive who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He began his quest for a retirement home in 2009 and discovered that the beautiful Overberg region held the secret to his dreams. He found his paradise for retirement at Jackals Dans Private Nature Reserve near Hermanus, overlooking the magnificent Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth) Valley. This series of articles will help you identify your own lifestyle living options in this African land.