The pros and cons of living in an estate
This has been a 17 year journey with most of the high level estates in South Africa.
Estate Living is one of the best decisions anyone could make and a significant portion of the middle to upper class has done so, at the same time South Africa is a global pioneer in Estate Living. South Africa is home to some of the most exquisite golf estates that match every lifestyle property investment, notwithstanding they are home to some of the best golf courses in the world, yet again, estate living has stretched into every facet of one’s tastes and needs. The only difference is the golf course has been swopped with Eco, Equestrian, Wild Life and some have gone as far as Mountain Bike Estates.
Estate Living has become the most sort after investment of our time. There is another time of estate living that has popped up in a short period of time, some have coined phrases such as Aerial Estates, don’t be fooled by names. Change your perception of what the word Estate or Estate Living truly means – Safety first – which leans toward a sense of freedom, lifestyle second which is a way to meet everyone’s needs. Then there are all the other facets that sway people’s tastes, such as architectural style and so on.
The is, no matter what you call it the word estate really means gated community, or secure living environments, whether it is a golf estate, equestrian and even a high rise penthouse, the underlying need I for safety.
Making such investments is in my opinion driven by far and the need for safety, all the flowery stuff after that is the secondary motivator. No matter what that motivator is absolutely acceptable and therefore a good one no matter the return on investment or the lifestyle you choose. That is the one pro that stands out from all others. But alas estate living in any shape or form is dogged by cons that we are all used to in some sense, however those things are overridden and minor in the search of safety, nevertheless they are real and really do happen.
There have been many reports, that most of the public eye will not have heard of where the most sort after estates have been riddled with crime and safety has been breached, these crimes include robbery, murder, massive financial scams where some estates have been financially rescued by financial institutions, in this instance two parties have come together to save the day from hundreds of millions of rand’s of financial mess, in the instance of supreme wealth, the homeowners have covered the debt, in others Investec bank have done wonders to rescue some of them. And alas then there is drug dealing, those are the really big cons of estate living, but what are the more subtle ones that come close to breaking the moral fibre of what estate living and are unseen but happen.
Trustee fraud of the highest level, committed by the wealthiest and stealthiest of business owners in South Africa, running brands that if you knew about you would probably not buy their brands and they would be jailed. Yet they are protected by estates not wanting to expose it to their homeowners or the public. They become rumours and hence the truth is cloaked by everyone involved.
Gang type residents and clicks of people, which come in children teenagers and of course adults no not that type of gang, but rather a personal gang which comes in the form of a family too. This type of gang or click will express themselves in several different ways. Which you the reader and or investor may understand further on in this article.
Keeping up with the Jones’s mentality, in one particular estate I noticed this more than others and this estate is the main point of focus as it is the most glaring one that is bedevilled by most of the above mentioned and also the following:
- Your neighbour buys something, hence you have a need to beat them, and it could be a Ferrari, a new pool or something as sundry as a super golf cart with mag wheels on it or branded with the families names. This type of behaviour is driven by ego, hence the less fortunate or not so wealthy or the people that don’t participate in this game are separated into a class by the people that do play the game and forever thereafter these people are looked down upon by the game players and a sense of inadequacy creeps in.
- The estate itself from most homeowner’s builds an almost unbreakable pride, that is formed by the concept of community and we all stand together, this happens despite the many things that are kept under wraps and therefore they are guilty by association.
- As a result of this investment value and return become obscured by the wealthy and not by the inherent value of a lifestyle estate investment. I am of the opinion that the most successful estates are ones that don’t have a great return on investment but are not dogged by most of these issues as they have catered for all and everyone’s financial means to invest and therefore have a lifestyle offering that is unparallel and meets most needs.
- An architectural mess that is an eyesore for those in the know or a standard look and feel that in fact stops a lot of the social problems, you can’t beat the neighbours if you are governed by architectural restrictions, the only way is to beat them in this instance Is by external things such as cars. Make no mistake there are estates where everyone simply ok with everyone else.
- Rumour mongering and gossip that happens in every community, where your privacy is invaded by and becomes known to all and sundry and like the broken telephone will spread to the end of the line and an investor or family is shunned for as long as it takes for the next rumour to spread
- Single person’s ego builds an estate in their honour, probably the worst estate of all, or an estate that is driven by the egos of infamy such as sporting heroes and no I am not talking about golfing heroes, you know who you are.
Every estate like every neighbourhood or community secure or gated, is not immune from any of society’s problems, crime, rich and rich but not so rich, designed to keep the more affluent safe from the rest of society. There is nothing wrong with this in the fight for security and safety and to protect your children and family from the insidious, the next estate that should become the most prioritised developed I a farming estate, as strange as that sounds and as impossible as it is, we all sit in our secure living and watch as people are hacked to death that will without doubt destroy our country.
So I agree with global opinion about South Africa’s beautiful country and its tasty investments, however there will come a time where what is happening in South Africa and what has happened will breach global opinion and local investors into finding an alternative country. I say this as I am privy to the flight of investors of investors already and the lack of investment in certain developments that are being halted by the ever unstable political environment.
Tread carefully and choose wisely. Golf estates have led the almost insatiable desire to invest in such beautiful estates of all kinds, but in short never forget that the price you pay does not exclude you from still being effected by crime and the social failings of mankind.