A Heritage home is much like a well-matured wine

There is a very specific buyer for Heritage homes – not your usual buyer looking for a modern, contemporary home, but someone who likes the look, feel and even the particular scent of an older home steeped in history and with a tangible sense of history and heritage. Much like a well-matured wine, in fact, says Pam Mullany, an agent for Pam Golding Properties.

And when it comes to Cape Dutch homes, the Western Cape has not entirely cornered the market. With its fair share of grand mansions, KwaZulu-Natal is also home to numerous houses built in this striking architectural style.

“Being Heritage month, it’s interesting to view an esteemed Cape Dutch residence which was built in 1947 by a well respected Kloof family and currently being utilised as a luxury B&B, enabling patrons to enjoy the rich heritage of the property,” says Pam Golding Properties agent Janelle Alford.

“For some buyers, there’s a great deal of appeal in acquiring a Heritage home, where you can immerse yourself in the history of the property and feel privileged and proud to take ownership of a home built with the high standards of days gone by and which has baronial-size rooms. If it is in good condition, some buyers will also be prepared to pay a premium to take ownership of a unique property.”

Now on the market priced at R6.9 million and ideal for use as a spacious family home, the property is named Morgenzon, which is Dutch for morning sun as the residence is bathed in the morning sun each morning. This expansive property is located in the prestigious Kloof Country Club area in the Upper Highway region just 20 minutes from Durban CBD and the beaches and 30 minutes to Pietermaritzburg and the KZN Midlands.

Dating back to 1947, the owners have retained the historical Cape Dutch architecture and spectacular gardens.  This was the first house in the immediate area and appeared on early aerial survey photos, and it pumped water up from the river to a holding tank at the house.

The current owner purchased the property in 1994. Comprising two acres at that stage, and bordering the golf course, the home was originally three-bedroomed with a single garage at each end.  In the late nineties the owner subdivided and sold off the front section and renovated the house extensively, adding two en-suite bedrooms, a large lounge, study, a pantry and scullery, swimming pool and triple garage, and enlarging the kitchen.  This also entailed adding two new gables to the front section and two new side gables.

Set on an erf of 4 400sqm with buildings of 660sqm, the home today includes a total of five en-suite bedrooms, a huge fitted kitchen, stained glass feature window, level lawn with grounds landscaped with indigenous plants, private pool and Jacuzzi area, separate self-contained one bedroom cottage, three garages and four carports.

Another grand heritage home currently on the market in Kloof is a beautiful six bedroom, 852sqm mansion with spacious rooms, high ceilings with character beams, cosy fireplaces and a sweeping staircase – ideal as a character-filled family home, B&B or guesthouse. Including two cottages and staff accommodation as well as a pool and tennis court, the property is priced at R6.8 million through Pam Golding Properties.

Says Mullany: “This home is situated on in a lovely part of Kloof, opposite one of South Africa’s most illustrious private schools – St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls.  The road next to the house is named after one of the previous owners, Dr Ellis.  He donated the sports field above the house to St Marys School, hence the naming of the road between the house and the sports field ‘Erasmus Ellis Road’.

“Some buyers just love the history of a home, while others revere the stately look, the timeless character and size of the rooms which are usually much larger than a standard home. Large rooms, high ceilings, a quality sweeping staircase, deep veranda and standing proudly on large land – this is a very real monument to the heritage and grandeur of the stately dwellings of the past.

“The person who will buy this type of home is one who appreciates the history and magnificence of the home and its surrounds, with its sweeping lawns, statues and a true feeling of the history of this well loved home.  Position and price obviously play a major part in the sale of this type of home as with all other homes as well.  If the house is in good condition and in a good area then it can be priced for its beauty and size.  If a heritage home needs major renovations then obviously it should be priced accordingly. This particular property is very well priced for the size of the home.”

In KZN in order to make any changes to a home older than 60 years you need to apply to AMAFA / Heritage KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial heritage conservation agency for the KZN region, which administers the permit process for demolition and alteration of protected structures in KZN.