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Guest houses and B&Bs are big business

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Durban North’s residential sector dates back to 1950, to a time when grand family homes boasting timeless Dutch and Victorian architectural designs were being built throughout the suburb.

These were steadily interspersed by more modern homes until the suburb became an amalgamation of old and new, a balance which it retains today, says Greg Harris, owner of the local Chas Everitt International franchise.

Yet, while Durban North is a sought-after residential choice for families, a new trend is starting to change the suburb.

“Many of the larger homes, once owned by wealthy families, are now being converted into guest houses and B&Bs by business-minded locals who see promising tourist potential in the suburb. this trend looks set to grow as Durban North has widespread appeal among domestic tourists and business visitors who are increasingly booking accommodation in these types of properties.”

The guest house and B&B sectors in the suburb are fed by those, who want comfortable accommodation with a homely atmospherewhich is affordable, secure and close to key arterial routes and places of interest, he says.

“Besides offering a home away from home, guest houses and B&Bs here are attractive options for business tourists because Durban North is close to a number of commercial precincts and hubs. Adding to this convenience, King Shaka International Airport is only 25km away or a 22-minute drive via the N2.”

Harris says domestic tourists are opting for this type of accommodation because it is more affordable than hotels, while still placing them close to local attractions.

“Location, affordability, attractions and convenience will be the driving force behind the growth of guest houses and B&Bs in Durban, North and we expect more homes to be converted into such sought-after accommodation for business trips and holiday getaways.”

However, investors looking to enter this market must first research and understand it and the implications of owning and managing such properties.

“You can buy an existing guest house or B&B, in which case it is advisable to double-check the zoning permissions to make sure it is operating legally, or you can buy a property that hasn’t been zoned and take the steps to apply for zoning permission through the local municipality.”

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