WHAT DOES THE MONTHLY LEVY COVER?
On each individual unit: Exterior maintenance of the buildings; individual building insurances; mowing of the lawns; exterior window cleaning once per month; weekly clinic and ER24 Ambulance Services. Electricity and water are charged separately by the Body Corporate and rates are charged directly by the uMngeni Municipality. On the whole complex: Management; maintenance of all common buildings and services; security; garden maintenance; rates and insurance on common property.
WHY ARE AMBER VALLEY LEVIES SO LOW?
Some of the reasons are the wide use of low maintenance materials and the economies of scale with the size of the village.
WILL THE LEVY INCREASE?
Unfortunately with inflation it will. As with the costs of running your present home they are expected to rise in line with inflation, any additional charges the local authority or any other authority may levy and any additional services or facilities that may be introduced on the recommendation of the Body Corporate, i.e the individual owners of the cottages of Amber Valley collectively.
DO I PAY FOR ELECTRICITY?
Yes. Every cottage is metered and you pay a basic charge plus what you consume. Pay-as-you-go metering is not possible.
DO I PAY FOR WATER?
Yes. Every cottage is metered and you pay for what water you consume, together with the charge for sewerage that is calculated on the same usage.
DO I HAVE A TELEPHONE?
Yes. One bedroom cottages are supplied with one jack point, others two. One instrument is installed in each cottage, all at no extra charge to you.
HOW DOES THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM OPERATE?
An automatic PABX is installed with direct dial in and out facilities. This means that anyone phoning you will dial you direct as with any normal private telephone. To dial out of Amber Valley you would dial 0 and then dial in the normal manner. For calls within Amber Valley you dial the last four digits of a listed number. For emergency services it is only necessary to dial a single digit.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM?
It is a high-grade network used in conjunction with Amber Valley's emergency and security services.
You will not pay for any calls within Amber Valley and will be billed for all outgoing calls at the normal Telkom rate, with a monthly rental similar to a Telkom phone line.
HOW DOES THE EMERGENCY SYSTEM WORK?
Should the telephone receiver be removed from the cradle and no dialling take place within a given time period an alarm will sound at the duty nurses station.
In addition to this you could call either the nurse on duty or the security officer on the phone by dialling a single digit.
HOW ARE MAJOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES HANDLED?
Amber Valley has contracted with ER24 Ambulance Service , who will respond to calls with their emergency response vehicles equipped with life support systems and manned by qualified paramedics and if necessary transport you to hospital in their ambulance. The fee for this service is included in the monthly levy.
IS THERE A CLINIC?
A weekly clinic operates at which blood pressures and weights may be checked a for no charge.
Foot care, blood/sugar levels, urine testing, dressings, injections under doctors' orders, etc. can be carried out / administered at a nominal charge.
WHAT HAPPENS SHOULD I BECOME ILL OR FRAIL?
You will be able to move into Amber Valley's own care centre on a daily or monthly basis. The nursing staff will also do home visits if required.
The care centre is run by qualified nursing staff. It has 89 rooms. There is a charge for the use of the care centre or nursing facilities in your cottage, which is at operating costs.
IS THERE A SWIMMING POOL?
Amber Valley has two heated indoor swimming pools. The smaller pool (12,5m x 12m) is kept at a warmer temperature for aqua excercises and therapy, the larger (25m x 12m) for those who prefer to swim lengths. Access to the pool is via steps or a gently sloping ramp, both with handrails. Change rooms and showers are included. There is a nominal charge for residents wishing to make use of the pool. Unfortunately due to public liability difficulties, controlled access to under age swimmers is strictly controlled.
CAN I GET MEALS?
Amber Valley Restaurant supplies normal basic mid-day meals at cost. If you are not well and unable to get to the restaurant meals can be delivered to your cottage at a nominal charge.
WHAT SECURITY IS THERE?
Any non-resident or non- registered employee will be stopped at the gate and the validity of their visit verified before access is allowed.
The entire property is enclosed within a monitored electrified security fence. Should the fence be interfered with, an alarm sounds in the guardhouse and the guard contacts their response unit by radio. The guards man the gate 24 hours per day, and carry out patrols at irregular intervals. To ensure the guards are actually patrolling and not encountering any problems there are numerous points that have to be activated by the guard's electronic baton during each patrol.
For extra security you may install an alarm which will sound in the guard house should it be activated.
DO I HAVE TITLE TO MY COTTAGE?
Yes, you purchase the cottage under sectional title and receive title deeds for it, which are registered in the Deeds Office. Amber Valley is NOT a Life Rights village.
CAN I GET A BOND TO PURCHASE?
WHAT IS THE POSITION, SHOULD I WISH TO SELL MY COTTAGE?
You may sell your cottage at anytime you wish to and all proceeds of the sale (excluding agent's commission) will be for you, nothing of the original purchase price or profit will be withheld. Amber Valley is NOT a life rights village.
CAN I RENT OUT MY COTTAGE?
MAY I KEEP MY PET?
Most pets, except cats (which will only be accepted under special circumstances), are allowed but must be controlled at all times and not cause a nuisance to other residents. Should any pet cause a nuisance to other residents, permission to keep it at Amber Valley will be withdrawn.
WILL I HAVE MY OWN GARDEN?
Each cottage is allocated its own garden area for the owner to develop as they wish for as long as it is properly maintained. Should it not be properly maintained the Body Corporate will develop the area as they so decide. Garden areas may be fenced if permission is obtained from the Developers or Body Corporate Trustees and only with materials specified by and erected by a reputable contractors. No creepers will be permitted on unit walls.
WHAT IS THE POSITION WITH TV?
The cottages are cabled to receive both terrestrial and satellite TV. SABC ONE, TWO and THREE, E-TV and M-NET including SUPERSPORT ONE AND TWO and MOVIE MAGIC, BBC PRIME and BBC WORLD are received without the need of your own aerial or M-Net and satellite decoders. All cottages are billed a monthly M-NET fee, which is almost half of the normal M-NET charge. Should you require any additional satellite programmes you would need the necessary decoder and pay the broadcaster their normal fees. No private external TV aerials are permitted. Any satellite dish required must be obtained from and installed by the Body Corporate's nominated supplier. This will ensure that all dishes are powder coated to a natural colour and installed in keeping with the visual appeal of the village.
MAY I ADD TO MY COTTAGE OR ALTER IT EXTERNALLY?
No external additions are permitted to the building, except for patio awnings which may be added but only from the selection specified by the Body Corporate and erected by a reputable contractor.These must first be approved by the Body Corporate and Municipality. Internal alterations are permitted, however if they affect plumbing or electricity, permission is required from the Body Corporate.
WHERE DO I PARK MY BOAT, CARAVAN, TRAILER OR ADDITIONAL VEHICLES?
No vehicle may be permanently parked anywhere but in a garage or carport. Boats, caravans, trailers and additional vehicles may only be parked in caravan ports, which may be purchased according to availability. Carports and caravan ports may not be used as a storage area.
WHERE DO I GET MY POST?
The post is collected daily and sorted into the post boxes situated in the main centre, where you may also post letters and purchase stamps.
CAN VISITORS STAY OVERNIGHT?
Yes, with the owner or occupier of a cottage being at all times responsible for the conduct of his visitors in Amber Valley.
Subject to over-crowding there shall not be any restrictions to visitors being accommodated in an owner's section, with the proviso that children may only be accommodated for a period of up to 7 days within any month without the consent of the Trustees.
ARE SERVANTS ALLOWED?
No servants may be accommodated in any part of the cottage. Servants may be employed by individual owners, however, they must first be cleared and registered with Amber Valley's security officer.
IS THERE A CONTROL ON NOISY VEHICLES?
No vehicles that make an excessive noise, especially motorcycles, are permitted in Amber Valley.
WHO MANAGES THE VILLAGE?
As Amber Valley is a sectional title development you have the entrenched right to vote on the future of the village and how it is managed.
Trustees are elected annually by the members of the Body Corporate i.e. the individual owners as a collective body. The trustees are likened to directors of a company, being responsible for ensuring proper financial control, making policy decisions, and employing management to carry them out. Because of the size of Amber Valley it is possible to employ the staff who have the necessary expertise to run the village with its many facilities. Thus you do not have the headaches of managing the village, but have the necessary element of control.
WHY IS NOTHING WITHHELD FOR THE VILLAGE ON RESALE?
Nothing is withheld on behalf of the village when you wish to sell your unit, as it is considered that when you purchase in a Retirement Village you should not be denied the normal benefit of a property investment and you or your estate should be entitled to the full increase in your capital investment. It further obviates the problem that if your circumstances change in the future you will not be tied into the village through being unable to realise the full value of the property to invest in another home.
It is often suggested that if a percentage of the profit on a resale is withheld by the village, a fund can be built up to assist in stabilising the levies. The theory sounds attractive but there has to be a large number of resales before a fund can be large enough to have any major effect in stabilising the levies. In any case, would you benefit from it, as it is only those who do not sell who may eventually benefit in the future?
To put a monetary value to this, take the example of the Body Corporate or some other body retaining 20% of the eventual selling price and a current selling price of R800 000. Should the value of the cottages double over the next 5 years, as expected, you would actually lose the sum of R32260 000 i.e. an average of R5334 per month. We do not believe the average purchaser is prepared to invest this much for someone else's benefit at the same time as reducing their capital should they wish to relocate.
WHY DO COTTAGES AT AMBER VALLEY COST MORE THAN SIMILAR COTTAGES OUTSIDE OF A RETIREMENT VILLAGE?
It is possible to purchase similar cottages outside of Amber Valley at lower prices. It is simply because when you purchase at Amber Valley you are paying a portion of the millions of rands spent on items such as the Care Centre, Restaurant, Library, Function Rooms, Heated therapeutic Swimming Pool, Tennis Courts, Bowling Green, Services, Security System, etc. Beware of the argument put forward that you could purchase an ordinary simplex with a security fence and if need be, make use of Amberfield's, Amberglen's or Amber Valley's care centre. Yes at the moment you can make use of the care centre facilities at much higher rates and only if residents do not require the facility, this is where the catch is, as it is expected that in the near future there will not be the excess capacity available for outsiders. In addition you will not have the benefit of a life-saving qualified nursing sister available in your cottage at the touch of a telephone button. An electric fence, without the sophisticated warning systems installed at Amber Valley, and the 24 hour security guards on the premises, does not afford anywhere near the same protection.
Amber Property Network in conjunction with Harcourts Ambers, through Tiffiny Hancock (Amber Developments longest standing agent), is your most likely option of bringing suitable buyer and seller together. As Amber Property Network also sells for the developer, they may also offer other options at one of the similarly successful Amber developments, or at the latest development selling off plot and plan at developer prices. (NO additional commissions or transfer duties).
Please contact Senior Property Consultant Tiffiny Hancock for more information on buying and selling at Amber Valley, Amber Ridge, Amber Lakes, Amberglen, Amberfield and the new Amber development, Amber Lee.