It’s all a matter of location, location, location when it comes to buying property. If you want something in an utterly desirable area, it’s going to cost you. R1.5m could get you a small flat in a great area, or a decent house and garden in a less popular suburb.
Knowing how much you are able to spend on a new property is the first step in the house-hunting process, but where you want to buy will determine what your money will get you.
A property’s value is dictated by how much a buyer is willing to pay for it. If it is in a popular area with high demand, you will get less property for your money.
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An area that is not as sought after and perhaps not ideally situated in relation to work, school, and recreational facilities will allow you to buy more property for your buck. Of course, what you gain in physical space could be lost in convenience and future value.
If you have a budget of R1.5 million, this is what you could buy in the following areas:
• Atlantic Seaboard
Compared to some other suburbs, R1.5m will not get you much property for your money in Sea Point, Green Point, and other Atlantic Seaboard areas, but this is a prime area and so the ideal location and high property values are the rewards you get for your money.
This budget will get you a “nice-sized studio apartment” on the Atlantic Seaboard or, if there is a highly motivated seller, possibly a one-bedroom unit, says Lolly Unterslak, property consultant at Jawitz Properties Atlantic Seaboard.
“At that level, you would probably have to renovate the one-bed and it may not have allocated parking. You’re unlikely to get a property with views at this price.”
Currently, a spacious studio apartment in a desirable block in Green Point – with 24/hr security, swimming pool, and communal gardens – is selling for R1.599m.
A 25m² property in The Ivory is on the market for R1.45m, including transfer duty, through Dogon Group Properties. Agent Paul Upton says a further R25 000 will get you a scooter parking bay while a basement parking bay will cost an an extra R350 000. Private storerooms start from R75 000.
In the secondhand market in Green Point, Dogon’s Alison Rob says there is a 25m² micro unit in Greenpark available for R1.3m, excluding transfer duty. It has great views but would need minor renovation to modernise it. A further R150 000 will get you a private parking bay.
• City Bowl
The greater Cape Town City Bowl area is home to Woodstock, Zonnebloem, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, Gardens, Higgovale, and the city centre, says Dogon sales agent Byron Kruger.
While some parts of the city centre can be noisy, congested and not offer much in the way of views, they are close to amenities and for R1.5m you can buy a one-bedroom renovated apartment or a two-bedroom unrenovated apartment.
You could also get a new two-bedroom apartment or an unrenovated freestanding cottage in Zonnebloem or a one-bedroom apartment in the Gardens, he says.
Darice Loeb, property consultant at Jawitz Properties City Bowl, says: “You could purchase a studio apartment under 50m² in the area for around R1.5m while in Woodstock you could buy a one or even an older two-bedroom apartment.
“Woodstock is popular with students and young professionals needing to be close to the universities or CBD and people who want to get a foot in the market in a diverse, vibey area.”
While Upper Woodstock is slightly further away from the city and beaches, Kruger says there is the opportunity to add value.
“You also get a bigger home that is still in close proximity to artisanal coffee shops and restaurants.”
For R1.5 million you can get a new studio apartment in Upper Woodstock or an unrenovated cottage in lower Woodstock.
The Salt River and Woodstock areas offer proximity to the CBD and Atlantic Seaboard but property is more accessibly priced, says Craig Algie, an agent with Seeff Southern Suburbs. For R1.35m you can get an older semi-detached cottage with two bedrooms, a courtyard and great features ready for upgrading.
• Southern Suburbs
The southern suburbs is one of the city’s most sought-after areas and if you are happy with a sectional title property you should find a home in almost all of its suburbs for R1.5m, says Claude McKirby, co-principal of Lew Geffen, Sotheby’s International Realty in the area.
“However what you find for this price will depend on the suburb. In Rondebosch, Claremont and Newlands you will obviously get much less for the same price than what you’ll get in Kenilworth, Plumstead and Wynberg.”
In the less expensive suburbs, you might find bigger apartments with a possibility of a garage or parking bay, whereas in the higher-priced suburbs you will find smaller apartments, with a parking bay if you are lucky, he says.
In Kenilworth you could buy a two-bedroom, one-bathroom maisonette in a secure complex for R1.3m, and in Kenilworth Upper you could acquire a modern one-bedroom apartment in a complexes like Three Fountains, for R1.495m or, “if you’re very lucky”, for R1.395m.
James Lewis, managing director for Seeff Southern Suburbs, says Kenilworth is one of the most affordable suburbs in the area, so R1.5m will still buy you a property, but there is not much available for that price. Many older apartments are bought and renovated.
• Northern Suburbs
Properties in the northern suburbs in Cape Town are bigger and offer more garden space than properties closer to the city. Caron Leslie, broker/owner of Re/Max Property Associates in the area, says it has “excellent schools” and many major shopping centres close by.
“It is easy to jump on to the highway to head in any direction. There are also many commercial nodes for offices and companies. The area is popular with various age groups as these are mainly family areas, but the suburbs also suit retirees. The northern suburbs are a mere 20-minute drive to beach and central Cape Town, and is also close to the airport.”
Properties in Brackenfell are mostly apartments, with a few freestanding houses.
Jason Thiart, an agent at Rawson Property Group, says what you get for your money depends on where you buy.
Currently a three-bedroom property with two bathrooms and two garages is under offer for R1.499m. It also offers parking for three cars, a swimming pool, an entertainment braai area, and separate domestic quarters.
In Tyger Waterfront (Bellville), Seeff agent Anéne Botha says R1.5m can get you an apartment with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and one or two secure parking bays.
“The Tyger Waterfront offers an excellent location which is central to amenities and sought after by young professionals and investors alike.”
The location boasts proximity to good schools and is kept “spotless”.
With R1.5 million it will not be easy to find a property in the Winelands, says Chris Cilliers, chief executive and co-principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the area. In Stellenbosch, for example, there are mainly student flats on the outskirts of town with a few two-bedroom townhouses outside town.
In Paarl finding R1.5m properties is also becoming a challenge but several new developments are offering good value at this price.
“In particular, Honeydew Estate in Northern Paarl offers two-bedroom townhouses for R1.56m. Northern Paarl sometimes has older three-bedroom homes in this price class but generally you are looking at new builds in developments. These could have two or three bedrooms.”
Linda le Roux and Marilize de Beer of the Seeff Property group says R1.5m can get you a duplex or townhouse with two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms in a complex such as Wellington Mews, Bainsvallei, Versaille Village and Les Huguenot.
Nelia Retief, an agent with Seeff Tulbagh, says R950 000 will get you a cute two-bed duplex cottage on a 388m² plot in a quiet area in the old part of town.
“There is no garage or garden though and the house can do with a little renovation, but it is a real little gem.”
For R1.25m you can buy a compact family house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a granny flat and a single garage with a nice garden.
Hermanus is made up of a few suburbs that offer a variety of affordable homes. Johann Larney, broker/owner of Re/Max Town and Country, says Sandbaai, one of the most popular suburbs in Hermanus, has the largest number of such properties, ranging from free-standing shore-line villas to two-bedroom units within security sstates.
The eastern side of Sandbaai contains the industrial area and properties here are priced slightly lower, while the western end is chiefly residential and consists of both free-standing homes and numerous estates. Plot sizes vary significantly. Within the estates plots are sized from 195m² up to around 600m², while stand-alone plots are usually from 600m² upwards and priced from R500 000 upwards. Houses, both stand-alone and within estates, are usually between R900 000 to around R3m.
Neighbouring Benguela Cove, Fisherhaven, is a small country/coastal suburb situated on the banks of the Bot Lagoon and a property currently on the market here is selling for R1.475m. However, it needs some TLC, Larney says.
You could also buy a two-bedroom apartment or house in Hermanus, says the Seeff Property Group.
• Blouberg – Milnerton and Royal Ascot
The Milnerton and Royal Ascot area is just outside the city with quick access to the Milnerton Lagoon and the beachfront. For R1.5m you can buy a one-or two-bedroom apartment with a parking bay in a well-managed apartment block, says Andre Blignault, an agent with Seeff Blouberg
“Amenities close by include the Paddocks shopping centre, the Centrepoint Centre and Canal Walk (a mega mall) is just up the road. The area borders on a bustling business and light industry area, offering excellent proximity for people who might work in the area.
“Royal Ascot consists of security estates with controlled gated access and pricing which suits first-time buyers as well as buy-to-let investors.”
In Milnerton, a studio apartment with sea, lagoon and Table Mountain views is a suitable investment for under R1.5m, says Carol Whitehead of Re/Max Living.
“Milnerton has over 30 different sectional title blocks to choose from. There are a series of apartment blocks facing the lagoon with both sea and mountain views.”
With about R1.5 million you could buy a property in the most affluent section of Khayelitsha, says Fernando Antonio, founder and chief executive of Zakasi. This includes Ilitha Park, Graceland and Thembani.
“You can expect to get a home with three or more bedrooms, a huge garage and yard. In addition, some internal features would include two bathrooms – one of which would be en-suite, a beautiful kitchen that is fully built-in and tiled throughout, lounge and dining room.”
Not only will such a property be “very secure” with alarm systems, but there would also be a high possibility of it having two or more outside rooms.
“The benefits of living in the area would include the available amenities, such as a close proximity to the Khayelitsha Mall, petrol stations, train and bus stations, easy accessibility to the N2, food outlets such as The Milk restaurant, Spinach King and various other entertainment facilities such as the popular Rands Cape Town and Kwa ACE,” he says.