July 13th, 2012

First-ever retirement home for Queenstown


The launch of Flowers Halt Retirement Lifestyle Estate in Queenstown, the commercial centre of the Karoo Heartland, has brought with it the first-ever opportunity for senior citizens to live in a retirement complex.

Situated 3km outside of Queenstown, Flowers Halt is a life rights scheme comprising 270, one and two bedroom units in a peaceful mountain setting.

According to Moira Pappas, principal of Harcourts Queenstown, the over 50’s development is the first retirement village in the area, which has a resident population of more than 105 000. Its large agricultural community comprises a large number of pensioners who, until now, had few alternatives with regard to retirement living.

Pappas, whose company has been selected to head up the marketing of the high-security, 19 hectare estate, says Flowers Halt offers a host of benefits. These include refunds to sellers based on the selling price of their units, rather than on the purchase price, which she says is the usual practice in such schemes. Further, it’s a risk free investment since buyers only pay for their homes seven days before occupation. And no transfer fees or rates and taxes are payable. Added to this is that the first 10 units are being sold for R695 000, a price discounted by ten percent.

While designed to meet the needs of active, healthy residents with its tennis courts, bowling greens and heated swimming pool, she says the Estate also offers a frail care centre and the option of home-based nursing for those in poor health.

Other facilities include a community hall, restaurant, library, hair salon, communal laundry and a shop selling basic provisions. There is also a guest house for visiting family and friends, a children’s activity centre, and a daily shuttle to town.

In addition to a shortage of retirement homes, Pappas says Queenstown is also in desperate need of affordable residential stock. “The town boasts a wide but very limited range of properties, and anything for under R600 000 is snapped up almost as soon as it comes on to the market.”

Attributing the shortage to the area’s limited municipal services, Pappas says the ill-feted Berry Park Development would have offloaded 500, much-needed affordable homes on to the market. However, despite selling out its first phase within weeks of launching, the development came to a halt due to insufficient municipal services.

“Limited stock coupled with high demand makes Queenstown an ideal rental investors’ market,” she maintains. “Aside from a very strong agricultural component, the town is home to top schools such as Queens College and a number of tertiary education institutions including the Walter Sisulu University. It also boasts a number of historical attractions, game farms, a casino and range of eco tourist industries as well as a new mall, currently under construction. And it’s more accessible than ever before as a result of the recent upgrade of the N6 highway which connects Queenstown with Bloemfontein and East London.”

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