Wednesday, 7 December 2011

the story of a house

In November 1990, WM and I sold our scuba diving business for much less than we had paid for it in 1987. When we sold, we were in the "recession we had to have". We then owed the bank most of the money we had borrowed to buy the business and our family home was mortgaged to that loan. If we couldn't make the repayments we would lose our house as well as the business that we had already lost.
I went back to teaching and WM took a temporary (four to six week job) with the railways. In May 1991, he was made a permanent member of staff and still works for CityRail.

In July 1991, I saw an advertisement from Agency C for an "open house". In those days, open house was not a common way to sell real estate (at least not in our area); it was mostly "inspections by appointment". I wanted to go to the open house so talked to WM but he wanted to look for a new car.

Needless to say, we bought a "new" second-hand car in July 1991.
Mitsubishi Sigma station wagon
I didn't think any more about the house I had seen in the advertisement.

In October 1991, we put our first house up for sale and began to search for a new home.

We found an agent called Michael we were comfortable with - it just so happened that he worked for Agency C. We looked at eighteen houses on three consecutive Sundays (WM worked six days a week) - one of those was the house I had seen in the advertisement in July.

We decided (in frustration) to take the advertised house because we were sick of looking and, more importantly, the house we had on the market sold in five weeks (during a recession).
our first home - purchase in 1977
The house I had first seen in July met almost all of our criteria but one - the second living room was smaller than we would have liked.

WM rang Michael, the real estate agent (from Agency C), on Monday to tell him of our decision. But, somewhere between Sunday when Michael had showed us some houses and Monday when WM called, Michael had left the agency. The receptionist told WM that the house we wanted "had gone".

We were talked into viewing yet more houses with another agent (from the same agency) the following weekend and ended up putting a deposit on one of them - a five bedroom, two bathroom house in the suburb in which we now live.

But, I didn't feel right about our proposed purchase.

The following day, WM phoned Agency S. He knew a couple of the agents that worked there because they had handled our tenancy when we owned our business. While WM was talking to this agent, Michael entered the agency, looking for a job. WM was given a chance to speak to Michael who told WM that Agency C was in turmoil because the owners, a couple, had decided to divorce. She had taken over the agency and pushed out all the people he had employed. In the meantime, her husband had gone to work at Agency R, taking with him all the stock that he had brought to the business. This included the house we wanted to buy!

Unfortunately, the owner had decided to put the house up for auction because it had already been on the market for eight months. We made an offer but the owner was committed to going to auction. So we attended the auction.

We had never been to a real estate auction before and had no idea what to expect. But the agent who had handled our offer knew how much we were willing to pay so he told us not to enter the bidding at the beginning but to wait. Eventually the bidding was down to two couples and we hadn't even placed a bid. My parents attended the auction with us and my mother was praying like crazy! The agent acting on our behalf put in a bid and one couple fell out straight away. The other couple kept bidding, then suddenly she burst into tears. We offered another two hundred and fifty dollars and it was all over - we had got the house for nearly eighteen thousand less than we had offered for it six weeks earlier!

I don't believe in coincidences - I just believe this house was meant to be ours. On 7th December 1991, we moved in.

Happy 20th anniversary house and spouse!


  1. What a great story! It made my eyes all watery ;-) just like at the end of a good girl's movie ;-) Even better that this story is true!

  2. Happy anniversary to a lovely house.

  3. Reminiscent of 20 years ago... "This is my room, it has pink curtains"

  4. Such a great story of your home, Lynne! Happy Anniversary!

  5. House hunting is awful, isn't it. But what a great outcome in the end!

  6. Definitely not a coincidence. Similar story to my friend's and she couldn't believe she got their house less at auction than what they had previously offered the owners. I told her it was obviously meant to be after years of searching. Happy Anniversary.

  7. Our God is a big God. Awesome story.

  8. Great story! and congrats!
    I don't believe in coincidences either.

  9. Beautiful story and you were meant to have that house :-)

  10. Great post! happy anniversary :)

  11. It's was obviously meant to be! Happy anniversary house!


Hi. Thanks for dropping in. I look forward to reading your comment.
I like to answer comments; if you are "no-reply blogger" I will try my best to get back to you on your blog! I'm not on FaceBook so I can't contact you there!