GRACIOUS HOME WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS
Category Property News
THERE'S an almost 100-year-old home, a beautiful, gracious, thatched-roof National Heritage house nestled on the slopes of Houghton Ridge, north-east of Johannesburg, that owners Sandy and Carole Mason are going to be very sad to leave.
What they are going to miss most about their three-level haven at 76 Houghton Drive in Houghton Estate are the spectacular vistas they have grown to love - fabulous, panoramic views of Johannesburg which they soak in from their patios, over manicured lawns and a sparkling pool.
The time has come to slow the pace of their lives and bid adieu to their home of the past 11 years, they say. Consequently, their property is now on the market for R16 million, the sole mandate being with the fast-growing Dormehl Phalane Property Group.
The Masons, who have taken early retirement, have decided to leave Gauteng for a quieter, more simple life on a 851-hectare farm in the Karoo which, home to natural game, was bought by the couple three years ago, and where Sandy is already spending a lot of time.
"We will certainly miss the views here," says Sandy of the Houghton property, pointing out that they are that "something special" he always looks forward to when he returns to Johannesburg.
On a clear day, it seems, you can see forever at the home, which offers five bedrooms and five garages.
Special features include a 5m x 11m gym, with its own bathroom, which Sandy added to the property. Other changes he has made include the addition of stone walling and cladding, a generator and a revision of the garden.
"We wanted a flat, uninterrupted view from the garden, so brought in lots of soil to level it to offer a 180-degree view of Johannesburg. It's truly special and so different to most houses in the valley," he says.
The view is also ever-changing, he adds, pointing out that recently, when Owen Dormehl, of Dormehl Phalane Property Group, popped over to see the house, just about everything one could see seemed either green or brown.
"Today, nearly the whole view seems purple, with the many jacaranda trees in bloom," Sandy says during our interview, adding that one can see as far as the famous Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand and the O R Tambo International Airport.
Carole describes her Houghton home as an "amazingly convivial place" and mentions having had countless parties there that have gone on into the wee hours of the morning, due in no small measure to the wonderful surrounds and many areas in the house that lend themselves to entertaining.
The home's entrance gate is on Houghton Drive and its back area is on Houghton Ridge. Carole fell in love with the property the minute she first drove up its driveway in 2007.
The funny thing, she says, is that both she and Sandy were perfectly happy with their former home in Oaklands, but when they drove up that driveway they were instantly hooked on the Houghton house which, at that time, had been vacant for a couple of years.
At the end of the driveway, near a large and impressive tree, are three spacious garages, the home's two other garages being halfway down the driveway. Nearby outhouses have been used as offices but are large enough to become two extra bedrooms with lounges and bathrooms.
The facade of the house features neat thatched roofing with plastered walls softened with rock cladding.
Enter the home through its ornate, Victorian, wooden front door and your eyes are immediately drawn to the parquet flooring running through the entrance hall and to adjoining rooms.
Side-mounted timber cladding panels wrap around inner walls of the large entrance hall and a striking, wooden winder staircase leads to a landing with a window in the middle, and then up towards the home's second floor.
At the end of the entrance hall is a guest bathroom with two toilets, a bidet and basin.
An inviting, L-shaped formal lounge with parquet flooring offers a wood-burning fireplace at one end, while a spacious diningroom highlights timber cladding and wooden panelling, and comfortably accommodates a 12-seater table.
The home's TV room is carpeted and has wooden bay windows with double doors, while the farmhouse-style kitchen, with storage space aplenty, is also most welcoming and spacious.
The kitchen has tiled flooring, specially 'aged' earth-tone wooden cabinets (some with glass-panel doors) and offers granite tops. It has a gas-hob with extractor, a scullery, a laundry area and a wine cellar.
A special feature is that the kitchen door leads to a forecourt with under-floor heating. A few steps from there is an entertainment area that looks over the pool, lawns and the terrific views.
The TV room, kitchen, forecourt and entertainment area are all connected.
The home's second floor landing is a carpeted central area leading to all other rooms. The Masons have created a study on the landing and a beautiful sunroom.
The first bedroom one comes across is the large main bedroom, offering solid wooden flooring, a lounge area, gas fireplace, walk-in cupboards and an eye-catching bathroom.
Large, ornate and in a round room, the main bedroom’s en-suite bathroom has been kept as it was built, with original tiling from the 1920s. It has a bath, shower, toilet and basin.
The second bathroom off the second-floor carpeted hallway is more modern, with shower, basin, toilet, bidet and bath.
The house's big second bedroom is carpeted, has wooden bay windows facing the garden and built-in cupboards. The tiled, en-suite bathroom is accentuated with French designer faucets and sanitaryware.
A third bedroom has a queen-size bed, ample built-in cupboards and double doors that lead on to the room's own huge patio.
Also on the home's second level is a room the Masons have turned into a cosy library with a log fireplace. With walls featuring built-in wooden shelving and a floor-to-ceiling bookcase, it is the perfect place to put up your feet with a good book, a crackling fire and a hot toddy or two.
The fourth room on the second floor is also carpeted and has earth-tone cupboards. It accommodates a single bed. A small fourth bathroom offers a basin and a quaint toilet accentuated with a flower design.
The carpeted staircase leading to the home’s third floor offers a fifth bedroom with ample space for a lounge and sleeping area. It is a room of note as it is the house’s highest viewpoint and allows one to drink in views as far as Sandton, Midrand, the Johannesburg CBD and Pretoria. Quite breathtaking.
Close to well-known schools, golf courses, a sports club and a public gym, the home was entrusted to Owen Dormehl, says Sandy, because he believes the Dormehl Phalane Property Group is an innovative company.
Also, Owen came highly recommended by one of Sandy's friends, who was at school with Owen and vouched for his experience and clout in the property world.
Owen, who started the Dormehl property group in 2009 and was joined by business partner Tau "Daniel" Phalane in March 2017, rates 76 Houghton Drive as a terrific find for the discerning home-seeker.
A 3D pictorial tour of the property is available as well as a wealth of additional photographs.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the property should contact Owen Dormehl at 082 654 0024. Alternatively, phone Dean Hutton at 082 4153 339 or Roy Leisegang at 082 410 3428.
Author: Billy Suter