Looking for Land – Part 2

In which we form a new plan, Shaz decides she wants a llama, and we learn another lesson

The town that time forgot

New Plan!

After more thinking and discussions, Russ & I decided to lower our budget to what we thought (hoped) we could do on our own – bank willing. Our new plan is to get the property on our own, and get things going. Then, when our friends are able to come on board, they join in. We started looking for properties at the reduced budget, and found a lot of potentials in a little town we’d never heard of before, called Tesselaarsdal, population “almost 2000”, high in the mountains of the Western Cape’s Overberg region. We planned a weekend away and booked ourselves into a rustic off grid stone cottage in the area.

Shaz Wants A Llama

We connected with an estate agent who lives in Hermanus but comes to Tesselaarsdal to show properties when needed. We were curious as to why there seemed to be so many properties on the market for such a small area. The answer, as it seemed to us by the end of our first day of exploring, was water – or lack thereof. Tesselaarsdal is another town suffering from the dropping water table. Our host who rented us the stone cottage for our stay said he’d had neighbours coming by to fill up water bottles from his borehole once a week, since their borehole ran dry. We could really see it in some places, but others seemed to be luckier and weren’t as hard hit. We still saw some really interesting properties, including a luxury tented accommodation getaway…with llamas. I mean, they also had buck and zebra, but who cares when LLAMAS!


About That Smaller Budget…

So as I mentioned, we’d worked out a lower budget now that we knew our friends wouldn’t be joining us immediately. Out of all the properties we saw, I really liked the tented accommodation one, although water was a major concern. We spent the evening chilling out in front of a cosy fire, eating soup and processing our thoughts from the day’s viewings.
We wondered about what we liked and disliked about the area itself – comparing it to our reactions and feelings about the other areas we’d seen, like Montagu. We also did some experimental sums – how much would the accommodation at the “llama camp” bring in, what sort of initial outlay we’d be looking at, and so on.

And then we hit our next big curveball.

Lesson Two:
When applying for a bank loan for any land or property zoned “agricultural”, the bank will request between 30% to 50% of the purchase price upfront as deposit.

And as our agent informed us – the whole of Tesselaarsdal is zoned agricultural. Drat. There is a very big difference between a 10% – 20% deposit and a 30% – 50% deposit when you’re looking at big figures. Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Well, at least we have healthy sense of humours to weather the bumps on the road!

Back to the Drawing Board

We had a lovely time in Tesselaarsdal, and regardless of the “deposit bump” meaning we’d have to reduce our reduced budget yet again, we still felt positive. We just weren’t quite sure what the next step was. Russ decided we’d just have to win the lottery.


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