Tuesday, 23 June 2015


This is the story of my house.

In 2000 I was making so much money I wanted to buy a house. My landlord at the time kept increasing the rent and the neighbouring shop put up a fan that made me sleep with earplugs at night. It was time to move. It was time to start saving harder and to start looking. It was time to buy.

I started a buy-nothing-phase of my life, started saving hard, counting my money and started going around town to find an area that I liked and could afford.

My buy-ban lasted almost two years. I cycled everywhere, no taxi, no restaurants, I'd rather have people at my place than going out for dinner (I cook cheaper for four than the price for my meal only, and they would of course bring the wine. Win-win.) I bought nothing for the current home, with the reasoning that what-ever-it-was, may not fit the new house. I lived normally but I did not accumulate any items during those years.

2002 I left for Guatemala and I knew I could not buy before that. When I came back, I started looking into specifics and found the area where I wanted to live. In March 2003, I moved into the craziest, loveliest house anybody had ever seen in that town.

On a private website for people wanting to avoid real-estate agents, a woman advertised her house. She was - - odd. Before I even met her or saw the house, I knew I wanted the house. The location was fabulous, the price was well within my budget, and the things to fix were only bonuses.

She was selling the house because she was taking care of cats who didn't like the garden of the house. I will not elaborate on that. I just gave her my bid and cycled home.

A bidding war erupted between me and two couples. The price went up quickly in large chunks and within a week, I was at the top of my budget. Then I found out the other bidders gave their offers in another currency - worth about 20% more at the time. I was outsmarted, outbid and out of the game.

During these crazy weeks, I talked to the owner several times (remember; no agents). She was coo-coo but I am a nerd-lover and we got along fine. When the house was due to change hands, I rang her to hear how it all had gone and to congratulate her to all the money.
I then found out that she had pulled out of the deal with the highest bidder and the second bidder had bought something else.

She then offered me the house for the first asking price.

I accepted. 

I was standing on her doorstep within the hour with a contract.

It took four months for her to move out, and amicably I just watched the value of the house shoot through the roof in the meantime. After that, I never saw her again.

My mortgage was paid off in 2010. 
In 2014 I sold the house and made almost 4 times the buying price.

No comments:

Post a Comment