Friday, March 22

GAUTENG: BUY HERE: Our insider’s guide to Kensington B

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Central location makes for an easy commute to popular centres from this small, settled area. It has good security, is close to some of Joburg’s top schools and amenities, and has homes at affordable prices

Kensington B is surrounded by upmarket suburbs. To this add its centrality and it would be difficult to find an area that gives more value, especially in light of the affordable homes one finds there.

“Kensington B is a hidden gem, tucked away between the mansions in Bryanston and Ferndale, across the road from St Stithians College, one of Joburg’s top private schools,” says Cheryl van Kerckhoven, a property consultant with Meridian Realty.

The many top-notch amenities and easy access to some of Joburg’s popular centres make this relatively small suburb of about 400 mainly freehold residential properties the exception rather than the norm.

Kensington B is an unassuming suburb that’s an ideal place to bring up a family.- Cheryl van Kerckhoven, property consultant Meridian Realty Picture: Supplied

“And don’t forget the central location – it is only 20 minutes’ commute to any of the major centres of Sandton, Rosebank, Cresta and Fourways. “It is also near the Randburg Magistrate’s Court and Randburg police station, whose officers regularly patrol the area.

“All the above is what makes this unassuming suburb an ideal place to bring up a family,” notes Van Kerckhoven. Most homeowners concur and cite the schools as their main reason for buying in Kensington B.

It appears the land the suburb is built on was sold as a spillover of the original Kensington. At one point it was an avocado farm and to this day, Kensington B is known for its avos.

Many of the original homes in Kensington B remain intact and can be bought at a reasonable price and renovated, making them a great investment opportunity, says Van Kerckhoven, who adds proximity to top schools, as well as lots of commercial and retail options, mean the buyer gets a great deal in a challenging Joburg property market.

She has observed as the older generation who have lived in the suburb for the past 30 or so years move out to retirement homes, it is attracting younger people, who are upgrading the properties to modern homes.

Furthermore, Kensington B has fared better than its high-end neighbours in the challenging market as the properties have held on to their values or stayed relatively stable.

“Kensington B consists of manageable properties ranging in size from 991m² to 2 500m². The properties start at around R1.4 million and up to R2.5m for the bigger properties,” says Van Kerckhoven.

The suburb is home to two small secure, modern estates fetching a slightly higher price than the freehold homes. There are a number of apartment blocks, where prices start from about R400 000. These are highly sought-after as rental properties in a central location, according to Van Kerckhoven.

An active residents’ association, frequent security patrols in a settled and built-up suburb all support the case for investing here, says Van Kerckhoven. In its locale, the nearest in value would be Ferndale, which still is a lot pricier.

Andrew Shaw’s favourite places and things to do

We moved here because it’s central and close to good private and government schools, including St Stithians and Bryanston High School. We have an active residents’ association and there’s a good sense of community, with people making an effort to know their neighbours. – Andrew Shaw, chairman Kenbrink Residents’ Association Picture: Supplied

1 1920

This is a nice Portuguese restaurant conveniently situated for us. The food is great. Ferndale Village, Oxford Street, Ferndale. 011 886 0804

2 Alpine Restaurant

Cosy, casual groups. 83 Bram Fischer Drive, Ferndale. 011 781 5455

3 CrazyKidz Farmyard

A zoo with animals, ducks and geese and a children’s play area. The children love it. 7 Daniel Street, Bryanbrink, Randburg. 0823899153

Children love the CrazyKidz Farmyard. Picture: Supplied

4 Public swimming pool

It’s well looked after and a really great public facility. Cnr Abington and Sirdar streets, Kensington B.

5 Munch Café

This cafe is great – it has a kids’ play area and is situated within a garden centre. 278 Main Road, Bryanston. 011 463 1805

6 Schwabinger Stuben Restaurant

Traditional German fare. 387 Main Ave, Ferndale. 011 787 2550

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