More holidays followed and Klaus stood increasingly often in front of the displays of the local estate agents – “just browsing…”. Eventually, we began to consider where we could imagine spending our holidays, and later perhaps a longer period of time.
There were so many captivating regions. The north with its abundant wildlife, the De Kelders coast with its stunning combination of landscape and the large marine mammals that arrive here every year to calve, raise their calves and mate before heading towards the Antarctic again. And then, of course, my place of longing, the Robberg Peninsula next to Plettenberg Bay, I don’t quite know what’s happening to me here. I could sit here quietly for hours, be perfectly still and just observe…
But it quickly became clear to us that for a longer stay, the only place that really merited consideration was Cape Town, with everything it has to offer. This now also limited the estate agents, at whose displays Klaus henceforth continued to frolic. Still nothing but a dream…
First ideas and swift implementation
At some point, it became clear to us that we had chosen Hout Bay as our new home. We definitely wanted to live by the sea, but we also love the mountains. By no means should it be directly in the city centre, yet we wanted to be able to reach it within 20 minutes. And let’s be honest – you can hardly imagine a more beautiful road than the one between Hout Bay and the city centre, below the 12 Apostles along the Atlantic Ocean! Well, Chapman’s Peak and Clarence Drive are not shabby either, but they are within easy reach from there too!
We also liked Hout Bay because the community between the different population groups functions relatively well here. Perhaps it is because of it being nestled in a valley which brings everyone a little closer to each other? In exceptional situations, such as the pandemic, it became particularly apparent how well the support worked. The townships are also not as huge as in the Cape Flats, for example, and the crime rate is lower here.
On this holiday, we also took a stunningly beautiful helicopter flight. We took off from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and flew all the way down the West Coast to the Cape, circling it and then on the False Bay side we headed north again, back to the Waterfront. At that time, we had no idea that we had already seen our future property…
One day we told Ralph, a guest house owner we knew in Hout Bay, about our future plans and he finally got the ball rolling by saying: “Here, too, property prices continue to rise. If you are certain that you want to buy something, you should do it now. You can leave the land for now and sell it if you have to.”
Well, he had made a point! Fortunately, he also knew a real estate agent, so we asked her without any strings attached what she could offer us. Dear Ralph, at this point it is absolutely necessary to mention that we are eternally grateful to you! We are not sure whether we would have made our dream come true without your initial spark back then.
A little later – we had been back in Germany for some time, it became spring and then summer – we received an email from the estate agent one day with a list of 5 properties. Thanks to Google Maps and Street View, it is no longer a problem to take a look at the property, its location and even its potential future neighbourhood. At this point, I was actually quite relaxed and wanted to take things slowly, but Klaus greeted me the next morning with the words: “Martina, I haven’t slept all night! We would be complete fools if we didn’t buy this property in Kronenzicht! It offers everything we asked for.” I had to agree with him: Nobody wants to be a fool!
So a few days later, it was July 2017, he flew back to Cape Town, had all the properties shown to him and instantly fell in love with “ours”. I was sent loads of photos, as I couldn’t fly with him. But I knew I could rely on his decision. Moreover, Google Street View had probably taken me through the streets of “our” residential area a hundred times by now and I already knew my way around. 😉
Picture yourself driving down Victoria Road in Hout Bay from the Llandudno direction, then at the first traffic lights turn right up the residential area and keep going until you reach the turnaround ramp of Brunia Way. Here you are on top of the saddle between Karbonkelberg and Klein Leeukoppie and have a spectacular view. On one side you can see Hout Bay with Chapman’s Peak Drive in the background, and on the other side across the saddle, you can see the open Atlantic Ocean – it is magnificent. In contrast to almost all the rest of Hout Bay, we are high enough to enjoy the sun the entire evening until sunset. Directly behind our “garden fence” begin the dunes with the fynbos, which stretch down to Sandy Bay and belong to the Table Mountain National Park. Incidentally, this is where the “Brunias” grow, which gave their name to the road on which our property is situated, and which later became the inspiration for our logo.
As we are asked so often: Buying land in South Africa is no problem for foreigners. For historical reasons, the entire process is comparable to English law. Back home, we made a written offer to buy via the estate agent, which is binding as soon as the seller agrees. Then began a tense wait. When we got the call soon after that the seller had accepted the offer, we were ecstatic. In all honesty, I have to add that I kept asking myself whether we were not being foolish after all. 😉