Property in South Africa: Could Johannesburg be the world's best place to live?
A closer look at Jo'burg, venue for the 2010 World Cup.
Where I live
was originally termed "peri-urban" or rural so a lot of the
houses are farm style conversions. Its pretty central in terms of
the Sandton central business district (CBD) and has access to lots of
shopping, malls and retail parks. Its very pretty with loads of
trees and good roads and it straddles Rivonia Road, the main drag through
Sandton,close to two major highways. Rivonia has great schools and a thriving
nightlife. Within a kilometre you can experience Italian, Chinese, Japanese
and Taiwanese cuisine, nouveau cuisine, fine dining and streetside cafes.
I live in a converted farmhouse from the 1930s. It still has an outhouse, which we use as a storeroom. Lots of thick white uneven walls, wooden doors and window frames and Oregon pine flooring. Its surrounded by half an acre of grass and fruit trees. If this kind of upkeep is not your bag, there are literally hundreds of townhouse apartments within a five kilometre radius, the result of older residents on larger stands selling on to developers.
Rivonia property is priced towards the lower end of Sandton real estate. You can pick up a similar property for anything ranging from about 1.8 million rand to 4 or 5 million at the top end. Townhouses, two and three bed range from 700 000 rand to two million, but you can rent for anything between four and seven thousand a month. Considering that not six kilometres further up in Morningside and Sandown, a furnished and service apartment can run to 25 thousand rand a month, its good value (although there you are within walking distance of three major banks and the stock exchange). And, as I never tire of telling my UK-based brother, he could snap up over two thousand square metres of real estate for £50,000.
In the heart of Rivonia, down a quiet residential street, lies Liliesleaf farm. In the early 1960s, this quiet smallholding forms a centre for ANC military operations and its where in 1963 Nelson Mandela and other struggle leaders were arrested and sent to trial for treason. They were found guilty and sent to Robben Island. Now, what was a quiet country small-holding has been transformed into a superb musem where you can get a really informative look at South African history.
In my dreams
The old Victorian stone houses Dolobran in Parktown. Double storey, romantic and filled with history. Deep verandahs, lawns that roll on for ever and views to bring a lump to your throat (and a coronary to your bank balance).
Article from: www.telegraph.co.uk