Photos of our house in Marloth Park... The nuances...How much is our rent?

These photos were taken a few years ago by Louise and Danie.  But the condition of the house has remained constant and these photos are exactly as we are experiencing this house.  As a newer house there is more vegetation close to the house at this time.  The veranda to the right in this photo is where we spend most of our daylight hours.
There's a veranda off of the living rooms on each level with another outside the kitchen door.
The only reason we've hesitated to post photos of our house in Marloth Park, South Africa is the same reason that most women will understand:  Who wants to take photos of the interior of your house, room by room, without tidying every inch of space?
Dani taking care of finishing touches as they photographed the house, now all cluttered with  our food stuffs and miscellaneous supplies.
No, we're not that messy.  But, everything we own is strewn about the house in a reasonable state of tidiness but by no means, to the degree that I'd love to have photos taken. 
It's a pleasure to have use of all of the kitchen amenities, making cooking a breeze. 
We could take the time to go from room to room, of which there are seven and organize it all, making it photo worthy.  Or, we could let the chips fall where they may and take "as is" photos.  Not gonna' happen! 
Currently, this bread keeper contains matches for starting the stove (required everywhere we've lived outside the US so far) and a few of our own kitchen gadgets.
Posting "as is" photos here isn't as if only a few people will see them.  With our rapidly growing worldwide readership, I cringe to think of how many readers would actually see our mess. No, thank you.  I may be wearing socks with holes and only own a few items of clothing but my dignity is still in tact. 

The stainless steel double sink has been a real boon for my favorite dishwasher, Tom.  Having
lived without a microwave for a year has made it of less interest to us now.
The first thing we'll do when we get the rental car this Friday is to find a store to purchase socks.  We've been told that they sell them in Nelspruit although selections are limited. Tom also needs socks.  Who goes 14 months without buying a pair of single pair of socks or underwear? How weird is that?

We've moved some of the furniture to accommodate our needs, including the bar stools on which to set my laptop for movie viewing and some side tables to act as TV trays.  Thus, we can dine while sitting on the sofa, rather than on the backless bar stools.
Anyway, back to the house...We either had the choice to clear everything off of the shelves or, to use the photos Louise and Danie had used online that attracted us to this house and this location in the first place.  We chose the later.

Ah, a comfy sofa with ottomans.  Indoors, none the less!
Thus, only a few of these house photos shown today were taken by us.  As we've mentioned in the past, anytime we use a photo taken by others, we will disclose it. 
To the right in this photo are the sliding doors to one of the 3 verandas, 2 of which have the iron gates, as do all of the accessible windows, to protect us from animals entering the house or in the event of theft which is a rare occurrence in Marloth Park.

Here is the door from the living room to the master bedroom which we keep closed at all times to keep the insects out. Keeping the outside doors shut at all times is vital to keeping the interior insect population under control.  There are no screens but the 3 AC units makes this less of an issue when inside.  Plus, we spend most of our days outside on the main floor veranda, fearful of missing any of the action.

The second floor loft/living room.
This isn't to say we won't post photos that we've taken of the house of insects, creatures and unusual situations we encounter indoors for instance, the photo of the live bat I found in the kitchen sink yesterday morning which has been saved for the next "Small Things" posting for next month.
Our photo of the second floor bedroom which I use as a dressing room.  What a luxury!

The master bedroom on the main floor where we sleep is almost identical to the upstairs bedroom which I use for storing my clothes and as a dressing room. With two en suite bathrooms, we avoid bumping into each other.  There are 2 beds in the master, a full size and a twin size.  We sleep in the full size which is the smallest bed we've slept in thus far.

Main floor en suite master bath.
We like this house.  It's small but has everything we need; two stories, two bedrooms, two en suite bathrooms, two living rooms, a well equipped modern kitchen, three verandas, a plunge pool, and fabulous bedding and towels. 

The second floor soaking tub which I've only used once. Soaking in a bath has always appealed to me.  However, the brownish colored water, although safe for bathing, makes doing so unappealing. 
It's clean and well maintained.  A few odd items require a "work around" such as;  the main split Dutch door from the kitchen to the veranda sticks, making opening and closing tricky; the pool has a slow leak which requires refilling each day; the location of the light switches and lack of easy access outlets is tricky; the kitchen windows are too high to see outside (to prevent monkeys from trying to get in) making it impossible to see the driveway from the kitchen. 

The veranda off of the second floor living room.
Most homeowners often have a number of annoying items in their homes many of which after a period of time are simply ignored.

Excellent views from this second story veranda.
Twice weekly, Zef arrives to clean the house, change the linen and towels, clean the verandas, the pool and take our latest batch of dirty laundry to be returned the following time. There's always lots of gecko poop everywhere. Zef gets it all.

To the left are the steps from the kitchen to the main floor veranda we use most often.  We've yet to use the outdoor grill since most of the food we've made has required stove top cooking.

The house aside, Louise and Danie are the most attentive, helpful, kind and responsive hosts one could imagine. On a dime, they'll rush over if we need assistance, as in the time we locked ourselves inside or, on the hottest day thus far when one of the three AC units quit,  They were here in minutes from our reporting it. 

The small pool, although lovely, has more appeal to the wildlife than for us.  
Where does one get this type of service?  Their dedication to all of their guests in the many properties they own and manage in Marloth Park is astounding.  When they made the food for the Bush Braai after the game drive in Kruger Park, they cooked everything suitable for me.  I won't let this happen again!!!

As has been the case with most of our vacation rentals, we've been able to negotiate excellent rates for a couple of reasons; first, we usually stay for extended periods and secondly, during the extended stay, we'll continue  to promote the property. 

This is a sizeable boon for a property owner with our extensive (and growing) worldwide readership, often motivating them to offer us a more reasonable price than the "going rate" which ultimately proves to be more befitting to our budget.

Here is our previous photo of the outdoor Braai area.  With so much rain lately, we've yet to use it.  It fills with rain water from which the visitors drink.  The hose is held in place by the rock on the ledge of the pool keeping it easily accessible for adding more water each day. I couldn't resist including this photo with out photogenic visitor! 
The usual nightly rental rates for this house in Marloth Park ranges from ZAR $1500, US $147 to ZAR $2000, US $196, (during high season which is now).
Most vacation homes are rented for shorter periods resulting in nightly "hotel' rates.  

Almost two years ago, when working with Louise to determine this special "long term" pricing, we settled on a nightly rate of ZAR $350, US $34.30.  This appreciated and affordable rate has resulted in a budget allowance sufficient for a rental car and the expenses for game drives, Bush Braais and visits to other areas.

Included in the rent is the twice weekly cleaning, paper products, cleaning supplies, laundry service, all utilities, cable TV and the most attentive host and hostess in the land. And of course, included is the endless stream of visitors stopping by on a regular basis.   How can we ever put a price on that?


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