The decision to invest in leisure or recreational property is, more often than not, taken by the heart and not the head. Nevertheless, careful consideration of all the pros cons of such an investment must be made to avoid a regrettable decision.
The most important factor to any property investment is full ownership and self-governance. At Shona Langa, opposed to most other estates, you own a full title stand (individual Title Deed) in excess of 1 ha (10 000 m2) as well as a share in the remainder of the 2000 ha nature reserve, infrastructure and game, by virtue of your shareholding (membership) to the Home Owners Association (HOA), which is an Article 21 company, and the Title Deed holder (owner) of this remaining property. Therefore there is total self-governance by the owners and no outside individual or entity can later affect the reasons for your decision to be an owner of Shona Langa.
Full Title ownership should not be confused with ownership forms like sectional title (often referred to as real right), share block or time share. There are many pitfalls and shortcomings of these ownership forms, therefore financial institutions are reluctant to finance these transactions. This may not pose a problem to you now, as you may be a cash buyer, but will affect your investment marketability and growth in future, because future buyers may require finance to purchase your property.
Some of the reasons why it is important for the HOA, and not an outside individual, to own the remainder of the property is the following:
The HOA can not extend the development by introducing more stands or change the layouts or amend any rules, unless approved by the members (property owners) at Shona Langa.
The HOA can not construct and operate timeshare units, occupied to capacity by non-owners due to the overselling, causing major problems as is the case in some estate developments.
The HOA is a non-profit organization, meaning that the income generated from levies and harvesting of game due to the growth in game population, can not be drawn as dividends to the benefit of any one individual, but must be utilized in the HOA to improve the HOAs assets or lower the levies to the benefit of the property owners.
The property owners, which is like-minded individuals with a common vision of conservation and enjoyment of nature, all own a share in the remainder of the property, unlike some other developments where the property owners only have a traversing right over the property with conditions that may be amended at any time.
The HOA has an obligation to the property owners to implement environmental management plans and programmes to the benefit of all property owners, which may not be the case of outside ownership.
The HOA makes management decisions to the benefit of the property owners.
The HOA can not sell the property
Therefore it is clear to see that should an outside individual or developer, for that matter, own the remainder of the property; there are no guarantees that the initial intentions of this individual will remain as pure as at the time of your investment decision. This property may then become a money spinner or neglected burden to the detriment of the property owners.
LEVIES AND SERVICES
At Shona Langa we adopt a policy of affordability and that each property owner pays for his own luxuries and amenities. If, for instance, you require a heated swimming pool, you are free to construct it on your own stand. It would not be fair to the other property owners to subsidize the construction, maintenance and electrical consumption of this facility.
Research has shown that central amenities and recreational facilities like a swimming pool, tennis court, restaurant clubhouse or conference facility pose a financial burden on the HOA budget due to maintenance, staff salaries and insurance (i.e. higher levies); are not utilized to economic capacity most of the weekdays while creating a feeling of congestion on one specific day on the weekend due to over utilization.
At Shona Langa levies are determined by dividing the HOA budget by the number of property owners, resulting in a very low monthly amount due to the low budget requirements of HOA.
The budget of the HOA consists of a manager and staff salaries, administration, wildlife management, vehicles, security, insurance, maintenance (roads, fences, gate & office structure and staff quarters), water and electricity consumption for staff, office and game. These expenses relate to the direct basic services necessary to maintain the communal property to the benefit of all property owners, therefore not exceeding R 450 per month per property owner for the first year, with no extraordinary escalations, if any, foreseen in the near future. These levies become payable from date of transfer of the property.
In addition to the levies, each property owner will be charged individually by the HOA for water, electricity and refuse removal determined by actual metered/measured usage and based on utility providers cost structures. The result being that each property owner will pay market related tariffs for own use and not subsidize other owners or facilities. These costs will only become payable after construction of each owners lodge.
The other services offered at Shona Langa, like housekeeping, domestic services, laundry services, stabling and property maintenance is optional and will be charged for, if and when used. Therefore these luxury services are available, but not forced on any property owner or subsidized by any owner not requiring these services.
LOCATION & LAYOUT
Situated only 90 minutes or 160 km from Pretoria, and 50 km from Bela Bela (Warmbaths), in the Mabula district, Shona Langa is conveniently accessible by good quality national roads.
The last 8 km of the short journey is by a provincial gravel road (Kromdraai road), diverting away from these national roads and passing through existing game farms, and then a 1 km servitude road to the gate, once again diverting away from the provincial Kromdraai road to ensure peace and tranquility. Apart from the entrance road, there are no public roads bordering or in close proximity of Shona Langa.
Shona Langa is nestled amongst numerous private game lodges with very slight sloping landscapes leading to the seasonal Rietspruit and vast wetland, against the dramatic backdrop of the Waterberg mountains some 10 km away.
The natural vegetation consists of a wide variety of bushveld trees and shrubs of which the following are the more conspicuous: Shepherds tree, Umbrella thorn, Buffalo thorn, Sicklebush, Tamboti, Leadwood, Wild seringa, Boekenhout, Weeping wattle, Bushwillows and Wild medlar to name a few. The large variety of birdlife (over 200 species identified to date) and other wildlife guarantees a pleasurable nature experience.
Due to the characteristics of the landscape, the whole estate is easily accessible by vehicle, bicycle, on foot or horseback, making game viewing a pleasurable experience.
Special care was taken during the layout of the stands to ensure privacy for each property owner. The individual stands do not border any roads but are tucked away in cul-de-sac roads usable only by the owner of the stand. This creates a secluded feeling, ensuring that properties will not be visible from any game viewing roads while property owners will not be exposed to any game viewing traffic.
The large size of the stands (10 000 m2) ensure a minimum distance of 100 to 150 meters bushveld between any 2 houses, limiting the visibility of any other house and ensuring that game can roam freely between houses and be viewed at leisure from your patio or pool deck.
SECURITY AND SAFETY
The perimeter of the Reserve is fenced with an electrified game fence to the specifications of Nature Conservation with the only access at the main gate. The main gate is manned 24/7 and horseback patrols on the perimeter and inside the Reserve is undertaken daily. All homes are linked to the gate for emergency purposes with prompt assistance if needed. Shona Langa uses trained field guides with experience of wildlife conservation to execute these duties. Strict access control is imposed at the entrance limiting access only to owners and their family and friends. No day visitors are allowed.
In order to enjoy nature to the fullest, no dangerous animals (i.e. big 5) are present on the Reserve, therefore allowing safe, unguided hiking and cycling excursions by the whole family.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Shona Langa is an exclusive high quality lifestyle Nature Estate. Certain rules and regulations are imposed to ensure this lifestyle. It is in the interest of all owners to adhere to these rules and regulations for harmonious, sustainable enjoyment of the natural lifestyle Shona Langa offers.
(Please refer to the Rules & Regulations section of the website for more detail)
BUILDING AND ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINES
The building and architectural guidelines are the design criteria developed to preserve, protect and maintain the unique environmental physical attributes of Shona Langa. The intentions are not to hamper or dictate development and construction but rather to allow freedom of unique design within a set of guidelines.
(Please refer to the Building & Architectural Guidelines section of the website for more detail)
Although every owner has the freedom to design and build his own private lodge, subject to the Building & Architectural guidelines, various building packages and contractor services are available to simplify the process of design and construction.
(Please refer to the Building Packages section of the website for more detail)