How Professional Landscaping Can Increase Your Resale Value

Planning to put your property on the market and looking for a way to increase its value? Whether you own a townhouse, single-story, double-story, or a large apartment complex in the suburbs, one of the most important aspects of your real estate investment is its resale value. Before putting any property on the market, most people throw money into their interiors, such as plumbing, wiring, carpentry and painting. But what most property owners or investors do not realise is that one of their greatest assets is their backyard.

Add 20% to your property value

Many interesting real estate studies have revealed some astounding figures. Did you know that professional landscaping can increase the value of your commercial property and residential property by up to 20%? Just by having a beautiful front and back landscape can speed up the buying process by as much as six weeks, which is great news for sellers in a rush to sell their property. Research has also revealed that by installing a front or back patio for entertainment can easily raise the property value by another 12.4%. But there’s more… real estate research has also revealed that a property with curb appeal can add another 4.4%, while hedges around the property for privacy can add another 3.6%.

Professional landscaping ideas

As professional landscaping artists, we’ve been creating landscapes for over 15 years, so we know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Below we’ve given you some professional landscaping ideas that will not only add 20 Percent to your selling price but will also add style and functionality.

#1 Transplant fruit and nut trees

Investing in fruit and nut trees are probably one of the best investments you can make, as they are an enhancement that can add significant value. As we move into the era of self-sufficiency, buyers are steering towards a ‘Garden of Eden’ outdoor environment, where they can have the luxury of picking their own avocados, apples, oranges, apricots and nuts, right in their own backyard.

#2 Install an outdoor entertainment area

There are many professional landscaping ideas that will grab the attention of potential buyers, but none are as inviting as an outdoor entertainment area with a patio and deck. South Africans love to entertain at home, and you could even build a paved pathway leading to a gazebo with an outdoor braai area.

#3 Add curb appeal with a water feature

The front of the home is just as important as the back. As mentioned above, curb appeal can add significant value to any property and by installing a striking water feature in the front garden of the property will add polish, class and charm.

If you would like to get your front and back outdoor space ready for the market, then contact the team at EarthLinks Landscaping. We provide professional landscaping services to homes and businesses throughout the entire Johannesburg region.

ECO Landscaping Ideas to Turn Your Garden Into a Botanical Hideaway

South Africans love the outdoors – not only do they love to spend their weekends outside braaing and entertaining family and friends, but South Africans love their flora. But as climate change wreaks havoc throughout South Africa, it’s difficult keeping a garden green and pristine. Everyone has an idea in their head about what they’d like their dream garden to look like, and while it’s easy to know what you want, it’s far harder to implement. Yes, garden landscaping is no easy feat, which is why we’ve rounded up some ECO-friendly garden landscaping ideas guaranteed to turn your garden into your personal botanical hideaway.

Xeriscape

Amid a serious water crisis, many landscapers and homeowners are xeriscaping. With water now considered as a limited resource, xeriscaping is a method of gardening that refers to a set of principles that are practical and environmentally friendly. By selecting the drought-resistant plants and an irrigation system, xeriscaping allows for easy maintenance and water-wise design. Offering homeowners countless benefits, not only is this a low maintenance alternative, but xeriscaping can save homeowners and businesses up to 70 Percent in water usage. Also, by using drought-resistant plants, shrubs, and trees native to your area, you will eliminate the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Besides the above, xeriscaping can also increase property value.

Install a green outdoor entertainment area

While a green lawn is always pretty to look at—unless you own a golf course—it really doesn’t serve much purpose, especially in areas where water is lacking. If you want to utilise your garden well, then it’s time to ditch your lawn and install a green outdoor entertainment area. By following ECO design principles, and by using recycled or locally sourced materials, such as stone, rock, timber or bamboo, you can create a space that is inspirational, productive, spatial, and maintenance free. And there is no better garden landscaping idea than an outdoor entertainment area that can be used for dining, lounging and just hanging out.

We offer full-service garden landscaping services throughout Johannesburg

Transforming, creating, building and maintaining landscapes since 2001, we are a professional garden landscaping company that offers a full-service garden landscaping service to businesses, commercial developments, private homes and residential estates throughout the entire Johannesburg and Pretoria region.

Reputable, reliable, skilled, efficient, ECO-friendly, and affordable – not only do we practice environmentally sustainable methods, but we can design and install any garden design you desire according to your precise needs and constraints. Whatever type of garden design or landscaping services you require – we are the landscaping specialists that can do it all.

The Cederberg: One of the Top Luxury Holiday Destinations in the Western Cape

Looking for the perfect, romantic and affordable getaway, but on the fence about where you should go? Yes, it’s that time of the year again when everyone is planning their year-end holidays. While you could travel to Knysna, George, or Hermanus, you could also whisk your other half away to one of South Africa’s most prized luxury holiday destinations in the Western Cape, the Cederberg.

Only two hours from Cape Town – you really don’t have to travel far to experience romance, beauty, and fun. A frontrunner of luxury holiday destinations, the Cederberg is home to some of the most beautiful jaw-dropping landscapes in the country. A peaceful spot where you can experience a romantic getaway, unlike any other, the Cederberg is celebrated as being one of the most beautiful, luxury holiday destinations in the Western Cape, and here’s why.

The most romantic alfresco accommodation suites

Ever fallen asleep under the stars? Secluded, romantic, and magical, there’s something breathtaking about sleeping alfresco. But we’re not talking about sleeping around a fire in a sleeping bag. We’re talking about resting your head in a natural open-air room in a luxury star bed complemented with white linen. Whether you want your accommodation suite to be completely immersed in Mother Nature, or you only want a view of the stars under a retractable roof—you will fall in love with the open-air rooms in the Cederberg.

Action-packed activities and attractions

A breathtaking luxury holiday destination, hidden deep in the scenic Cederberg Mountains of the Western Cape, this little piece of heaven is a place where wildlife can be seen roaming, and where mystical sunsets fade into a star-studded filled sky. Offering both romantics and families a chance to escape the real world and embrace Mother Nature, not only does this luxury holiday destination offer guests the option of sleeping in the most magical way possible, but this little paradise offers more than enough to keep the adventurous occupied, the stressed-out relaxed, and the romantics in love.
Activities and attraction include 4×4 trails, hiking in nature, mountain biking safaris, nature drives, quad bike safaris, reptile and snake tours, rock art tours, and star gazing tours.

Unplug at Kagga Kamma massage and beauty spa

In an age where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to unplug, the Cederberg offers guests the luxury of leaving their virtual world behind, putting their feet up and indulging in some 5-star pampering. Yes, a luxury holiday wouldn’t be luxurious without a spa and Kagga Kamma in the Cederberg offers a 5-star spa that affords guests and couples exclusive revitalising treatments to relax and rejuvenate. Complemented by TheraNaka™ and TheraVine™ products, and an assortment of relaxing and uplifting detoxifying oils, Kagga Kamma spa offers a wide range of massage treatments, manicures, pedicures, tinting, waxing, facials, and eye, hair and scalp treatments.

With the promise of a majestic mountain range filled with roaming wildlife, action-packed adventure activities, wildlife safari tours, and sleeping under the star-studded night skies – it’s no wonder that Cederberg is one of the leading holiday destinations in the Western Cape. In fact, what does this little gem not offer? To find out more about this incredible holiday destination, contact the team at Kagga Kamma today.

Family-Friendly Things To Do In Graaff-Reinet Over the Easter Holidays

Easter is upon us. Sure, you could stay at home and do that ‘Great Big Easter Egg Hunt’ you do every year in your backyard, you could also braai with friends and family (which you do most weekends anyway), catch up on your favourite Netflix series, or get those small things done around the house you’ve had no time to get to.

Every year around Easter, hundreds of visitors round up their kids and go on a road trip along Route 62 to one of the best, oldest holiday towns in South Africa, Graaff-Reinet. Originally established in 1876, Graaff Reinet, in the Karoo, is steeped in history. Not only do stories of the South African Anglo-Boer war carry a particular resonance here, but the surrounding Karoo landscape is a treasure trove of human and dinosaur fossils. But that’s not all this old town has to offer – here are a few of the top things to do with your family in the beautiful Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet.

Take a hike in the Camdeboo National Park

If it’s your mission to tear your kids away from that dreaded computer game that seems to steal them for hours, then pack a delicious lunch, gather the troops and head for an adventurous hike to the top of the Camdeboo National Park. Home to over 215 bird species, 335 types of plants and over 42 mammal species, the Camdeboo National Park is also the old home of the Bushmen where many drawings are still found in caves and on rock cliffs, for all to see. With so much wildlife happily living in their natural habitat, one of the most exciting things about hiking in the Camdeboo National Park is that you never know what you will see. Just keep your camera near you at all times.

Visit the Valley of Desolation

With about 100 000 people visiting the Karoo each year, the Valley of Desolation is the foremost tourist attraction in the region. As a geological phenomenon, this tourist hotspot is a product of the erosive and volcanic forces of nature over a period of billions of years. Fossils of some of the earliest forms have been discovered here, showing that life existed in this region for three billion years. This is one educational outing that will go down in family history so be sure to take many pictures.

Enjoy adventure and fun on the Nqweba Dam

There is no family that does not enjoy spending the day on a dam in a boat with few water toys to make the day even better. Most kids love water and adventure, and what better way to get the kids away from technology than a morning or afternoon of rafting, kayaking or tubing on the Nqweba Dam. Should you be up for some land adventure, then sign up for a family horseback riding tour or a family quad biking tour. Promising your family a chance to escape the world, this gorgeous Karoo town offers entertainment and adventure for everyone of every age.

Your kids will be entertained every day; in fact, a weekend will hardly be enough time to see and do everything!

Top Reasons to Consider Offshore Property Investments in Portugal

Toying with the idea of invest in property in Portugal? Over the past decade, the international property market has seen many destinations across the globe flaunted, but none are as rewarding and popular as Portugal. A favourite destination for many South Africans, Portugal is an incredible country to live and invest – and here’s why!

A steady and reliable property market

One of the most appealing benefits of investing in property in Portugal is that it has a steady and reliable property market with an average property growth of 15% per annum. The tourism industry in Portugal has proven to be an all-year-round financial windfall. In fact, in 2013 Portugal brought in over 6 billion Euros from tourism alone, which is brilliant for a rental income in high rent areas such as Cascais, Estoril and Sintra in Lisbon. These prime areas not only offer high rentals, but they also offer lucrative resale opportunities with a profitable return on investments.

A safe and superior quality of life

While Portugal offers South African offshore investors a superior quality of life, it is also one of the safest and most beautiful cities in Europe with the lowest crime rate. A free-market economy that boasts an all-year-round mild Mediterranean climate, a breathtaking coastline, green landscapes, great nightlife, a wealth of golfing resorts, a cosmopolitan café culture, excellent schools and universities, and a low cost of living – Portugal has it all. It’s easy to see why real estate in Portugal is one of the most attractive offshore investments of the world today.

Freedom to travel, study and live in Europe

Another benefit that is causing quite a buzz is the freedom to work, travel, study and live throughout the EU and UK. While Portugal has excellent international connections and is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone and the Schengen Space, there is also the option of qualifying for the Golden Visa program. This is an enormous benefit for South African investors who want to give their children the option of international education with greater career and travel opportunities.

Investing in property in Portugal has become a major draw for South African investors, and with South African citizens now able to access a mortgage, jobs, travel and education, it’s worth looking into!

Why Beach Houses in Clifton are the Most Sought After in South Africa

Considering a permanent lifestyle change or are you after a beach house holiday home in one of the most sought after blue chip suburbs of South Africa? Despite the lackluster economic backdrop, wealthy buyers are still seeing Clifton as a good store of wealth. Considered as the most exclusive, affluent residential suburb in South Africa and the unofficial playground of the worlds’ most rich and famous – Clifton is not only home to some of the most expensive real estate on the continent, but it’s also the most sought-after.

The best blue flag beaches in the world

Flaunting a collection of four beautiful secluded beaches that have been the subject of countless topless travel photos over the years, Clifton 4th beach was awarded Blue Flag status in recognition of its environmental, safety and tourist standards. Boasting four clean beaches, excellent facilities and good-looking lifeguards, Clifton has not only earned the title as Cape Town’s St Tropez, but it was rated the 2nd best in the world on National Geographic’s “New Best Beach Cities list in 2015”. Beautiful people and a phenomenal and infectious vibe complemented by super-yachts, dolphins and outstanding beach weather for at least 7 months of the year make these world-class homes an exclusive address of immense value that every affluent property owner wants to include in their real estate portfolio.

The most glamorous “Iron Man Meets James Bond” houses in the world

The playground of our very own “one-percenters”, Clifton offers everything from beach bungalows, villas and modern apartments to luxury beach houses. Accentuating exquisite architectural exteriors and interiors, these trophy homes highlight spacious two to three-storey properties that boast up to five bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms with jetted bathtubs, open-plan dining areas that flaunt floor to ceiling glass doors, and grand open-plan lounges that extend outside onto cold or heated infinity pools that boast first-class views of the ocean.

Elevators, wine cellars, steam rooms and customised cinemas and gyms

As if these features aren’t enough, additional ‘wow’ features include elevators, wine cellars, steam rooms, and customised cinemas and gyms. As you can imagine… security is far from an afterthought in this top-notch hood. Offering unparalleled 24-hour security with CCTV, video monitoring, and access control at all security entrances, this is one neighbourhood where you’ll never find crime!

With enormous “Iron Man meets James Bond” houses nestled on cliffs with sweeping multi-million dollar views of the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean, a beach house in Clifton can easily cost between R10 and R80 million. Topping the list as the most expensive and sought-after property genre of choice for well-heeled local and international buyers, a beach house in Clifton is an attractive place in which to holiday, live, play and invest.

In a country where many feel the need to be closer to the city and enjoy the perks of luxury, safety, and the ocean lifestyle—these trophy properties offer residents a better quality of life, unlike any other. But just remember to have your black card ready!

Luxury Garden Route Property: A Buyers Paradise!

Notwithstanding the weakening economy and South Africa’s housing market, luxury property on the garden route has got its ‘boom’ back! Yes, prime garden route property is in high demand once again and not only with top end Capetonians but also Gautengers and Durbanites. While it’s evident that there are new vigour and confidence in the Garden route property market, the leisure market has woken up and there are major new developments taking place every day.

The Garden Route is a buyers paradise

Celebrated as one of South Africa’s most iconic tourist attractions, the Garden Route, as the name suggests, stretches from Riversdale through to Plettenberg Bay. Voted the sixth best coastal drive in the world by Virtual Tourist, the Garden Route is the world’s best-kept natural secret. Stretching for 400 km along large expanses of panoramic beaches, secluded lagoons, beautiful towering mountain peak backdrops, natural forests, and rolling hills with lush landscapes covered in aloes and fynbos, this breathtaking picturesque region is a highly desirable location to live, play and work. Encompassing some of South Africa’s most appealing and scenic coastlines, the Garden Route is also home to world-class golf courses and secure luxury residential estates.

Dotted with beautiful coastal towns that range from Mossel Bay, George, Wilderness, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay to Nature’s Valley—the Garden Route is one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the country. A buyers paradise that offers a region of enormous diversity, residents and tourists can indulge in excellent wineries, award-winning golf courses, craft villages, private and public schools, excellent medical facilities, gourmet restaurants, organic farmers markets, antique stores, and luxury furniture and designer clothing boutiques. For those who are looking for a little more than a round of golf can enjoy world-class hiking (the famous Otter trail route), the big 5 safari experience, bird watching, bungee jump, canoeing, fishing, horse polo, mountain biking, and an enormous variety of ocean water sports and yacht sailing. Without a doubt, the Garden Route lets you live life the way it was meant to be.

A sneak peek at the Garden Route property market

Immune to the weakening economy, luxury property on the garden route has been branded as a ‘Buyers Paradise’. Whether you’re looking for a residential home or a holiday home, luxury property on the garden route can accommodate any discerning taste. Home to some of the most expensive real estate in South Africa, you will find everything from grand expansive mansions, villas, modern apartments, farms, and beach bungalows to luxury golf estates in the Southern Hemisphere.

A thriving property market with a rich heritage, property on the Garden Route is increasingly relied upon for being a good, solid property investment. Not only does this coastline offer a much more superior quality of life, but it’s also a real estate hot spot. A major pull for both South Africans and foreign investors, real estate agents are witnessing a tsunami of interest in properties priced from R10 million to R30 million upwards, While the average price of luxury property on the Garden Route can range from R5 million to R25 million, over the past 18 months properties right on the beachfront have been fetching between R20 million and R30 million.

Start your adventure with Fine & Country SA

Luxury property on the Garden Route is without a doubt one of the most inviting investment areas right now. When you invest, you’re investing in a lifestyle that only a few in the world can afford to have. To view luxury property on the garden route, contact Fine & Country today!

Golf Estate Property in Gauteng: Live a Lifestyle That Most Only Dream About

Looking to live a lifestyle most only dream about, or are you looking for a lucrative short- or long-term investment? Then you need to turn your attention to golf estate property in Gauteng. An attractive place in which to live, holiday or invest, golf estate living in Gauteng tops the list as the most sought-after property genre choice for many well-heeled local and international buyers. An affluent address that every property owner wants to include in their property investment portfolio – if you’re undecided then here are some persuasive reasons that will have you snapping up one of these lifestyle properties in no time.

A luxurious lifestyle manned by 24-hour security

It’s no secret that living in Gauteng has become dangerous, which is why many families and retirees are slowly turning their attention to golf estate property. Security and safety is everything today, especially if you have young children, and in a country where many feel the need to be closer to the city, yet still feel safe, residential golf estate living has proven to be a remarkable choice for those who wish for both, easy access to the city and the gated estate lifestyle. Offering an unparalleled residential lifestyle that needs little in the way of introduction to those familiar with its luxurious environment, golf estate property in Gauteng is often more popular for its exclusivity and security rather than its actual golf course. Offering a superior quality of life, it’s hard not to appreciate the benefits of living a luxurious lifestyle manned by 24-hour security.

A HOT investment with lucrative ROI’s

Having experienced a prolific property boom, those looking for a fruitful investment will be pleased to learn that golf estate properties are in high demand and will make an attractive long- or short-term investment. Not only do these prime golf estate properties in Gauteng offer significant resale opportunities with lucrative ROI’s, but they also offer high seasonal rental opportunities.

Trophy golf estates second to none

Renowned for providing the perfect balance of both a small town and a big city, the Golf Estate Property market has witnessed an enormous surge in affluent buyers snapping up luxury golf estate properties in Gauteng, which means if you’re a buyer or investor looking at golf estates then now is the best time to buy. If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change and are looking to partner with a renowned property agent that can offer you an exceptional level of service and expertise, then make a lifestyle change with Fine & Country. Offering luxurious trophy, golf estate properties, second, to none, we can offer you properties on the following Golf Estates in Gauteng:

• Ebotse Golf & Country Estate
• Eagle Canyon Golf & Lifestyle Estate
• Magalies River Club Golf Estate
• Blue Valley Golf and Country Estate
• Matumi Golf Estate
• Kasbah Eagle Canyon Golf Estate
• Blue Valley Golf Estate
• Jackal Creek Golf Estate

Live a lifestyle most only dream about 

Luxury Golf Estate properties in Gauteng are without a doubt one of the most inviting investment areas right now for both local Gauteng residents and international investors. When you invest, you’re investing in a lifestyle that only a few in the world can afford to have. Not only will you be living in the safest and most secure surrounds of Gauteng, but you will also live in a magnificent home with impeccable views strategically built right on an award-winning golf course.

Estate Property in Sandton: A Safe & Secure Lifestyle Change or a Lucrative Investment

Looking to make a lifestyle change most can only dream about? Or are you a local or international property investor looking for a lucrative short or long term investment? An exclusive component of South Africa’s affluent property sector, estate living has witnessed an enormous wave of interest over the past few years, including estate property for sale in Sandton. A desirable suburb for many well-heeled locals and international investors, Sandton has proven to be ideal for those who desire both the city life and the safe, country estate lifestyle. Here’s why estate property in Sandton makes such good sense.

24hour manned security that puts the Hawks to shame

It’s no secret that crime has increased in just about every part of South Africa, and although no more dangerous than New York, Paris or London, South Africans want to feel secure and safe in their own homes. And this is exactly why many families, retirees and international investors are slowly turning their attention to estate property in Sandton.

Offering unparalleled 24 hours manned security that puts the Hawks to shame, estate property in Sandton is often more popular for the security and safety it offers than anything else. Offering residents a gated fort that has every type of luxury within its walls, not only will your kids be able to ride their bikes in the street without fear, but you will never have to worry about intruders or theft.

Affording residents peace of mind, each guest or person entering these estates are often subjected to scrupulous security checks, which will allow you and your family to feel more secure and safe. Estate property simply affords homeowners and investors the opportunity to live an exclusive up-market lifestyle in a safe and beautiful environment surrounded by a community of like-minded people.

A lucrative short or long-term investment

Largely immune to the weakening economy and South Africa’s housing market, estate property in Sandton has remained bulletproof, achieving record sales and yielding solid returns for short and long term investors. Not only do these prime estate properties offer significant resale opportunities with lucrative ROI’s, but they also offer extremely high seasonal rental opportunities, throughout every season of the year. Whether long term or short term, guests and residents have the best of both worlds – the CBD right on their doorstep and the world’s most iconic big 5 private game reserve, the Kruger National Park, only a few hours away. Should guests or residents decide to head down to the warm Indian Ocean, they can be in Durban in less than 7 hours.

While Sandton has experienced a prolific property boom over the past few years, one of the greatest treasures of investing in such real estate is the safety, security, luxury lifestyle, sense of community, and the exclusive facilities, such as restaurants, spas, parks, shops, schools, hospitals, and signature golf courses that it offers.

Estate property in Sandton is simply an affluent address that every property owner wants to include in their property investment portfolio. For a safe and secure lifestyle change, or a lucrative short or long term investment – contact Fine & Country SA today.

Increase Your Property Value by 20% With Landscaping

Looking to increase the value of your property without having to invest a fortune? A part of your home or business that speaks volumes about your values and lifestyle, your outdoor space is an influential piece of property that can easily increase the value of your property by up to 20%.

“When people ask how they can get strong interest in their property, we always tell them to fix up their landscaping.” National Association of Realtors

A space that can increase the value of a property and speed up the buying process by as much as six weeks—your garden is one space you really want to get right before you put your property on the market. But where does one start? We’ve got 3 tips guaranteed to add at least 20% onto your asking price.

#1 Swop your lawn for a Zen Rock Garden with succulents

Unless you’ve turned your outdoor space into a mini-golf course, lawn serves very little purpose. While grass can look pretty and polished, it is high maintenance and can quickly become a nightmare to keep green, healthy and polished. Add value and style by removing your lawn and installing a Zen rock garden with aloes and succulents, complemented with a table and some chairs.

#2 Install an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area

Did you know that by installing an entertainment area, you can further, raise property value by another 12.4%? It’s no secret that South Africans love to entertain and if you’re looking to for a way to sweeten the deal, then forget your interior and focus on an outside entertainment area fitted with a braai area, gazebo and swimming pool.

#3 Increase value with fruit trees

Necessary for us to survive, trees do so much more than house birds and sway in the wind. Considered as one of the greatest investments a property owner can make, trees provide shade in the summer and heat in the winter. They also suck up excess water that runs off a property, they reduce carbon dioxide, they prevent soil erosion, and they protect properties against pollutants from entering waterways. On top of the above, they attract birds, provide fruits and nuts, and improve air quality.

Of all improvements to boost property value, landscaping is one that will definitely give you the largest return on your investment.