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A small apartment vs a family house – nearby areas, similar bedroom count, but very different price tags. Which would you buy?

Published Jun 3, 2022

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When most people think about a property that costs about R5 million, they probably picture a large, family home with a nice garden in a good suburb.

But the reality is that, if you are looking to buy property in a prime area in South Africa, such as the Cape Town City Bowl, you will be forking out that amount for an apartment.

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Of course, you could get that bigger family home for a similar price or less if you are willing to live in a ‘not-as-prime’ area, such as Pinelands – a sought-after suburb, nonetheless, but not one considered as upmarket as the City Bowl.

Read our latest Property360 digital magazine below

Only about 12.5km away from one another and with similar bedroom counts, there is a 875 square-metre difference in size, and a R1.255m price difference between the two homes – which equates to a R10 000 contrast in the monthly bond repayment. If you had to buy one of them, which would it be?

Here they are:

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Three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment in the Cape Town City Bowl – R5.95m

  • Monthly repayment calculated over 20 years with no deposit is approximately R50 700
  • Size 140 square-metres
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

This property is described as “ideal for the discerning buyer as a permanent residence or pied-a-terre in the City Bowl. Marketed by Rhonda Raad Properties, the home offers “a rare opportunity to acquire a unique apartment in the sought-after ‘Holyrood’ – a world-famous heritage building in Cape Town's Queen Victoria Street Embassy District, right on the Company Gardens”.

From it, residents have breathtaking panoramic views of Table Mountain, plus the city of Cape Town within walking distance. It features a solid maple wood staircase that leads to an open-plan lounge and dining room, as well as four airy balconies that offer “incredible views of the mountains and city”.

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Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

Two of the bedrooms are double, with en-suite bathrooms and built-in cupboards leading to balconies, while the third bedroom, also with an en-suite bathroom, can be used as a study. It also has plumbing for a Grundig washer/dryer that is included in price.

Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

The kitchen features maple wood as well as rare granite tops, and has a built-in oven, hob and extractor, and plumbing for a Smeg dishwasher which, in addition to a Smeg fridge/freezer, is also included in the price.

“The second bedroom has its own private kitchenette with a Smeg Ceran two-plate hob.”

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Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

In addition, the property offers one covered, secure parking bay, and the complex is pet-friendly, subject to body corporate approval. It also has an “excellent” 20mb fibre WiFi that is already installed.

The marketing agent, Rhonda Raad, adds: “The whole City Bowl is walkable from Queen Victoria Street. Neighbours include the Cape Town Club, the Company Gardens & Cafe, the French Embassy and the Italian Consul – as well as two top hotels and the University of Cape Town's arts campus.

“Holyrood has a sedan taxi pick-up spot outside, and is about 50m from an excellent MyCiti bus stop. It is also 100m away from UCT's Jammie Shuttle service and Hiddingh Campus. A typical Uber wait is 3 minutes.”

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Four-bedroom, three-bathroom family home in Pinelands – R4.695m

  • Monthly repayment calculated over 20 years with no deposit is approximately R40 000
  • Size: 1 015 square-metres
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

Just 12km from the City Bowl, however – and for about R1.25m less, you could buy this double storey house with a garden and swimming pool. Also on the market through Rhonda Raad Properties, this “charming” home is described as being in a prime, sought-after area, has a “pretty garden”, and is “ideal for entertaining”.

On the bottom level, there is an entrance hall; lounge with fireplace; sun room; TV lounge; guest toilet; dining room; and kitchen which leads to a covered courtyard, laundry room, and storeroom with a separate toilet.

Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

“The staircase leads up to a landing, spacious main bedroom with full en-suite, and the second and third bedrooms. There is an additional, small bedroom that can be used as a study, and a family bathroom with a separate toilet,” Raad notes in the property description.

Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

The property also has a self-contained flatlet – with separate entrance, a large lounge leading to an enclosed patio, one spacious bedroom, fitted kitchenette, and a bathroom with a bath and shower cublice, toilet, and basin.

Furthermore, there are two driveways, two garages, a workshop space, and off-street parking.

Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties
Photo: Rhonda Raad Properties

“The property is very central, and close to schools, shops, restaurants, a bowling green, and churches.”

You can find more information on both these homes, including whether they are still available, here.

Start your search for other properties in Cape Town here.

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