A good “get-away” location is usually located within an hour or so from a big city. The Western Cape and more particularly, the beautiful Overberg region are very popular, both with South Africans relocating from busy areas like Gauteng and with international visitors-whether retired or second-home owners.

The Overberg certainly answers to the description of an ideal location. Its commercial centre, Hermanus, and surrounding areas like Hemel en Aarde Valley, are a comfortable 60- to 90-minute drive from Cape Town, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The property slow-down experienced in many parts of the country is not seemingly evident in the gorgeous Overberg where housing and apartment construction is still brisk in the towns of Hermanus, Sandbaai, Onrus, Fisherhaven and other places on the R43, which is the main road from the City of Cape Town.

To meet buyer-demand for more seclusion and peaceful surroundings, both large and small private lifestyle estates have emerged over the past few years.

Small private estates are generally limited in terms of the number of homes that can be built, and thus an investor simply purchases a shareholding in the corporation that owns the property. In this instance, you select your own building site and have the freedom to design and build your own home. Stakes in such an arrangement are usually about five or six shareholders at most, and each individual is the sole owner of their own dwelling (whether for personal use or investment as a holiday rental). This is the most exclusive and desirable investment you can find because the property value can only increase over the years. Unfortunately these opportunities are rare.

As a senior executive presently living in Cape Town and close to retirement, I have been seeking my own perfect lifestyle retreat in a rural setting. I am sick of the city.

My research has taken me through many potential environments and locations. The Overberg area was a given since my wife and I have spent many happy holidays there and we both love Hermanus.

We know what we want. We want seclusion, but with easy quick access to town amenities and our friends. We want stunning views, natural rural surroundings and security. We want a certain standard of neighbour – that is really important. My wife enjoys shopping, and I like to play an occasional round of golf. We both love long walks with our dogs, and every now and then we like to go canoeing. We definitely want the ocean to be in our view.