Saturday, September 27

My wife and I, being a newly wed couple and starting our careers, are looking to buy a house, flat, condo or shack.

We live in Cape Town, in the City Bowl, as this is the most conveniant for both of us to get to our jobs. There is a thin stretch of property along De Waal to the N2 that would allow us both to avoid traffic. This stretches from Lions head to about where the N2 crosses Main Road, all along the North facing mountain side (Thats Table Mountain). Our Goal? Find a place along this stretch.

Firstly let me say that I know the Cape Town property market is cheap in comparison with the rest of the worlds hot spots. Secondly let me say that it seems that the whole German nation apperantly knows this too. The result? German estate agents. Yes. There are estate agents in Cape Town that cater almost exclusively to the german market. They dont even advertise here, only in germany.

The Germans apparently have bought up Camps Bay and Clifton. Now they are moving accros the neck and are invading the City Bowl itself. End Result? A semi-decent two bedroom appartment costs half a million rand. If its a nice place or has a view you can increase the price by another 3 to 5 hundred thousand.

Selling our souls and putting ourselves into debt with the bank for the next 20 years, we still cant raise this money (Current interest rate is 14% I think?). So we move on up the line, still looking along this stretch that we want to stay in. Next stop, Woodstock and Observatory. Under apartheid these were coloured areas, but they have now been invaded by yuppies (Id probally be counted as a yuppie if I had time to hang out at a coffee shop. Fortunately work has reduces me to mere geek status.)

Prices? Not bad. Varying between 3 and 5 hundred a quant historical house can be yours. Spacious, solid walls with wooden floors usually standard. Problems? Yes. Firstly, no parking also comes standard. We have two cars and I dont feel like leaving one on the street when we go away. So, find a house with a secure parking spot, or place to build one. Mission Impossible. Im picky, you say? Dam right I'm picky. Secondly, these places generally need work. Work ranges from a paint job and sanding to ripping out the interior and hoping the walls remain standing.

We saw a nice place for 350 thousand this week. We liked it very much. Good location. Nice layout. Of street parking. Unfortunaly it was in the latter of the two work categories, with doubts about the walls. Doubting the walls is not a good thing when your looking to commit yourself to financial bondage. So, the search continues!


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