Home is Where the Heart Is

As a resident of Somerset West for all 42 years of my life, I have my own very strong feelings about the benefits of living in this most spectacular place. In our line of work we naturally get to meeting people either moving into the area, out of the area, or elsewhere in the area.

I’ve watched with interest what factors play a role when families decide where to make their home. What’s interesting to note is that the motivating factors haven’t changed much over the years’.

People buy and sell for a number of reasons – but the focus of this article is about what influences where they make their home, not so much the size or requirements of their home.

A recent survey has confirmed that the strongest motivating factor is the lifestyle for their family. Residents site things such as the mountains, the vineyards, the beaches – the natural beauty of the area. But it’s more about the spiritual and emotional impact these surroundings have on us all.

ImageThink of the calming effect of walking along the Strand beach, or strolling through the nature reserve, or Radloff Park. The sound of your kids laughing as they ride their bikes, or run with their dogs. Picture the sound of clinking glasses as you sit around a table in the glorious autumn sunshine at a wine farm with your friends…

Is there a price we can put on lifestyle? Is there a value we can place on raising our kids in an environment that allows them to enjoy life and the natural surroundings?

I can tell you from firsthand experience that people from further north just love the lifestyle we have. They may joke about service levels and the slow pace in Cape Town – but most would gladly make the move if they could.

Even those that move away, perhaps even overseas, do so with a heavy heart. They may be following employment opportunities, or be concerned with the opportunities for their children in the future – but no one can argue that our lifestyle isn’t absolutely brilliant!

So why discuss this? Because all too often we can get swept up with the stresses of life that we lose sight of what’s around us. Even clients from beautiful places overseas comment on our lifestyle and how special it is.

It’s important not to forget though, that none of this would mean anything at all if it wasn’t for the people that live here. People build Imagecommunities. Families build communities. And everyone makes a difference.

What does this have to do with property? Everything. When other people see our lifestyle they desire it. And to enjoy it, they need to live here. Strong demand and dwindling supply means property values increase. Which is good news for all property owners.

But take time to enjoy what we have. It’s really special. And we’re all part of it.

Steve Caradoc-Davies
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa

Email your real estate question to steve.cd@harcourts.co.za.

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