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JOBURG: Our insider’s guide to Willowbrook

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Sales activity is high in this area because of its affordability, and its proximity to tertiary educational institutions and the number of private schools nearby increases its attraction. Many buyers come from the north and east, often downsizing to

Good value for money and ease of access to essential amenities are two stand-out factors for choosing Willowbrook as a great place to live. “Sales activity is high because of affordability.

You can find apartments priced between R1.3 million and R1.4m here which would cost R2m if you look to the north,” says Johann Malan of Re/Max 2000. 

“Lots of buyers come from the north and the east because you get better value for money.” Northern Joburg neighbourhoods including Sandton, Fourways and Rosebank are famed for their pricey properties.

There’s a mixture of two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments close to institutions such as Maragon School. – Johann Malan, RE/MAX 2000 Picture: Supplied

Bedfordview, Linksfield and other eastern areas of Joburg meanwhile are also well known for their prime realty. What binds homeowners from these areas is they have a good downsizing candidate in Willowbrook for a more affordable location.

Willowbrook is also close to Randburg and thus allows residents easy access to the pleasures of such amenities as Clearwater Mall, Cradlestone and Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

In the locality are two service stations within a 1km radius; Intercare Wilgeheuwel Medical and Dental Centre is within 3km, with three shopping centres in a radius of 1.5km: Featherbrooke Village, Melrose Crossing Shopping Centre and Ruimsig Boulevard Shopping Centre. It is noteworthy the majority of the owners are economically active and agile folk, with almost 70% of residents aged under 50.

For the past year to August this year, this subset accounted for a hefty 86% of new buyers in the suburb, underscoring Willowbrook’s convenience lifestyle living dividend.

“There’s a mixture of two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments close to educational institutions such as Maragon Private School and IIE SA (formerly Monash South Africa), which are within a walking distance,” says Malan. Some parents buy apartments here for their children at tertiary level.

Parents of younger children also find Willowbrook attractive for the abundance of private schools in the vicinity, says Malan. Willowbrook is almost all built-up, except for a few pockets where one or two cluster developments are being constructed.

A few freehold homes can be found in estates such as Willowbrook Estate, where homes cost anything from around R2m to R3m and Zamori Estate, which has bigger properties marked at between R3m and R4m.

“Here you can find homes with three to four bathrooms and with a floorspace of about 300m²,” he notes. This contrasts with the more affordable units of around 100m² (two bedrooms) or their bigger three-bedroom versions, measuring approximately 120m².

Above these are the more luxurious homes of between 180m² and 200m². Good demand in a well-situated area can only point to properties appreciating in the near future, he says. Ruimsig AH is more expensive, with Amorosa just a bit more affordable.

Edwina Mabambe’s places of interest and things to do

Willowbrook is a quiet place that offers easy access to many areas and facilities, including shops and schools. My last-born son went to nearby Maragon school. He’s now at university. I work in Randfontein, but try to avoid the highway. I can take Ventersdorp Road or Main Reef Road to get to work. – Edwina Mabambe, resident Picture: Supplied

1 Silverstar Casino

I like a good comedy show and make sure to catch Trevor Noah whenever he’s in town. R28, Krugersdorp, Gauteng.

Silverstar Casino has live shows. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

2 Fourways Mall

I go there for lots of services, including grocery shopping, visiting home decor shops and taking my grandson for cappuccinos. It’s a fabulous place. William Nicol Drive and Fourways Boulevard, Fourways. 011 465 6095

3 The Dome

I make sure not to miss a good concert at The Dome. It’s also relatively close so I’ve got a perfect excuse. Olievenhout Avenue, Northgate, Randburg. 011 794 5800

4 St John’s Catholic Church

It’s conveniently situated and, therefore, an ideal centre of worship. Cnr Northumberland Road and Olievenhout Avenue, North Riding, Randburg. 086 547 5554

5 Cradle of Humankind

Lots of archaeological and heritage history. R563, Gauteng. 014 577 9000

6 Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

Beautiful natural surroundings. Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort. 086 100 1278


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