Category: South Africa


Our agent contacted us a month after our own house sold and showed us one house. It had almost everything we had wanted in a house but it had a neglected pool right at the back door of the house and there were two ugly cracks next to the light in the pool. Although the house was nice, I could not imagine waking up every day looking out the window and looking at this eyesore. Someone had rented space in the garage and it was covered with a thick layer of fine pottery dust. We had heard that this dust causes cancer when inhaled and we discussed it and decided it would be too much of a tricky task to clean it up and not make ourselves or our dog sick.

After that our agent’s attitude was I found what you were looking for and I am not going to waste my time looking for something else.

We had viewed about 18 houses and I was starting to feel tired. Rushing after work, fretting while stuck in peak hour traffic arriving at houses and finding that the estate agent had totally ignored my instructions that we did not want a property with a pool, Jacuzzi or bidet. Which was either next to or across from an empty stand or shop and was not a corner property.

In the beginning when I started requesting viewing of properties online I contacted an agent named Alice and she did not reply to my request to view. Usually I would just leave it but strangely on this occasion I phoned her the next day, to enquire and she made some excuses something like there was already an offer on the house.

Anyway, she asked me what were we looking for and she phone me again afterwards to say that she had a house on a main road in an area where I grew up and although I really very much wanted to move back to my childhood neighbourhood. There was a member of the family that I knew would object greatly if I suggested a house on the main road and so I declined a viewing. It is also much further for me to travel to and from work.

Our own agent then phoned me and said that we must be out of the house by end March. We panicked and I scolded him for only showing us one house. His defence was that there were no houses in the price range I had given him  … although I had found 18 others!

We were wondering if we should not take the house with the tall trees & woody front garden. It had a feeling about it … like we belonged there, we all felt it but there were too many issues with the garage & driveway.

We were told by Alice that there was a couple that had dropped the price on their house drastically because they wanted to return to the U.K.
HOUSE DANDAZI 1-tile
We viewed the property and it had a large front garden and was quite nice apart from the fact that it had terrible creaking floors in all the bedrooms and kitchen. She told us there was an offer on the table but that it was a bond application that might not go through. So we made an offer. Alice told us she had an insider that could supply us info about the bond application and she would let us know within 3 days whether the bond was successful or not. By the end of the week I felt like time was running out for us and Alice had heard nothing.

Our own agent suggested I view a second house with him. It was under a ramp on a busy road, had a fish pond, Jacuzzi and large swimming pool! When I said that it was not what we were looking for he threw such a fit that I agreed to view it. Not a bad house, the fish pond fountain helped to disguise the noise coming from the traffic on the road. I declined it, for people who entertain a lot it will be perfect but not for us. Then I told him we had made an offer on another house and we will wait and see what happens.

The next day at work I sat worrying, what if the bond application was successful, then we were wasting time. We would have to pay occupational rent to the new owner of our old house and still find somewhere to move to. The next day I went online again and landed upon a property, which I had seen advertised for two months, but never requested a viewing, because I had assumed that it had already sold and because it was also way above our price range. This time though, I noticed that the price had come down quite drastically and the agent who brought it down had shown us a property a few weeks before so I had already met her. I requested a viewing.
HOUSE FACE BRICK 1-tile
We met the agent at a small shop, in the neighbourhood where I had grown up and we followed her to the house which was situated on the main road and I immediately said to myself Alice is going to kill me this must be the property I declined to view. But on reflection it was probably too high priced at that time for us anyway.

We viewed the house and the family member who I thought would object to living on the main road insisted this was the property for us, she liked the fact that the house had a lot of tiled floors and two bathrooms. I was not really impressed. When we got home I loaded the pics online again and to my horror found that it was a property on a corner stand and that I had not noticed it while we were there because the agent and her husband and the couple living there had all been talking to us and distracted us. We went for a second viewing the next day and signed the offer papers. I still say it is not really what I had in mind, but I sort of gave up in the end. The other family members are happy and excited though. I hope I can find a dry safe place for the black dog to sleep.

I believe a corner stand is not safe because the backdoor of the property is always visible and accessible from the road. I contacted Alice and told her that we are withdrawing our offer on the creaking floors property and when she found out that it was the property on the main road she turned nasty and said. “You made an offer which is under legal obligations and you will be sued if you do not see it through.” and “By not viewing and buying the property on the main road from me you have taken my bread and butter from me.”

I spoke to our own agent and he said there is no way she can threaten us with legal action because it was a backup offer and did not materialise as an offer before I withdrew it.

Anyway the other people’s bond was successful so our offer would not have been accepted. Everything turned out well.

We move the end of March.
Continued from my previous posts.
We tried to view as many properties as possible because we were trying to find something that would suit our needs.
This one did not score very high. Strange windows and skylights in bedrooms and bathrooms. Mould and damp rising at the bottom of bedroom walls. Neat little back garden but me being such a huge woman I got stuck in the back doorway and almost knocked the whole metal frame out with my knee when I stepped down the steep step.
HOUSE TRIANGE 2-tile

Then I saw a neat little dolls house for sale. I had an idea it would be too small for our needs, but we went to view it anyway.
HOUSE IND 1-tile
The front door entrance was too tiny for our furniture to go through and the whole house was cramped and tatty.😦 The asking price was a bigger shocker. Pass …
The following house on the list was and still is available and I watched it’s price go down and down and then I thought well, we’ll chop down the palm tree in front of the garages and it will be ok. I contacted the agent, which was a very rude man who gave me the address and asked if we would be willing to view with another couple because he was quite busy on a Saturday. We said it would be ok. I went online and noticed that the front gate entrance to a large school was directly opposite the house. I drove past it everyday and had not noticed it, but I had often struggled to get past the children and traffic on my way home.
HOUSE PALM 1-tile
It was too late, I could not cancel, thought well lets go and have a look, how bad can it be. Very, very bad indeed. If you look at the photo on the right. On the left hand side is the front door and on the right hand side is your kitchen. That means that when someone enters your home the first thing they see is your kitchen sink.
It looked like it had been rented out because the house was in a terrible state. The kitchen cabinet doors were filthy and lay on the floor. The hinges were gone.
When we arrived the agent introduce himself and immediately passed us on to his wife. Five other couples had already viewed the house with them and were waiting to move on to the next house, they were all waiting for us to finish. We ran through the house with his wife, jumped back in the car and followed all the cars to the next house. It was a shabby tin roof house close to the dam (foul smelling, public dump). We refused to go in and I said to him you agreed to show us another house not this one, then he admitted the other house I wanted to view had already sold. We left and made it clear in our attitude that we do not appreciate being treated like a heard of cattle.
The young estate agent who had shown the house with the wooded garden to us contacted me and said he had a property for us to view. It was quite far for me to travel from work but I had said if the house is right for us I would be prepared to travel. We met him at his office and followed him to the house and found that it was right next to a cafe. We entered the house and nine people were inside. He proudly showed us the neat bathrooms and said look the main bathroom is newly renovated. We stepped inside, very nice, all shiny and new, we turned to exit and looked smack bang at a massive discoloured pink panty. When we left we said “sorry we don’t want a house next to a cafe”. Two weeks later when the shy estate agent showed us another property he walked outside and said “what do you think?” and I couldn’t resist and said it was better than the pink panty house. Poor fellow his face and ears turned bright red and he looked down and shuffled his feet and said, “I really regret that I took you to a place like that”. We all burst out laughing.

Continued from my previous post.

HOUSE COKE POOL 6 small

We rejected the small house with the empty CocaCola bottles in the half filled up pool. The online photo shows the beautiful main bedroom’s en-suit bathroom with the pillar strategically angled so that you cannot see the big hole in it.

HOUSE CRAZY 1-tile

Some of the things people do to their homes are simply unexplainable.

HOUSE DRIES 4-tile

This house (above) came quite close to what we were looking for. Burglar bars on every window, double garage & outside laundry. But the fitted kitchen made it impossible for us to have our large refrigerator in the kitchen. The ice-cream colours of the dining room would have to go but the main reason why we did not take it was that they had painted over the wall tiles in the second bathroom and it was coming off in places. All the toilet seats in the house were broken and they would also have to be replaced. It was a neat home. While we were outside the neighbours had a loud disagreement and it was early on a Sunday morning, that really was the deciding factor.

HOUSE GARDINER 1-tile

If you like old buildings this house will steal your heart. Large bedrooms with beautiful original wooden floors, bay windows lovely laundry, pressed ceilings. I really wanted this one. The backyard was a big disappointment a narrow strip all cemented no place for the dog to get a little shade or protection. This eyesore (top right) was some kind of neglected water feature with it’s pump room. Opposite this lovely house is a sports stadium used by local schools. On the outer edge there are a few trees between this house and the stadium and although it was a Sunday several street bums were lying under the trees sleeping. We felt it was too unsafe an area and passed on this one too.

Thank you for reading I will post some more later on.

A year ago we decided that it was time to move to a new house. To be honest our house was starting to show signs of neglect. We had made feeble attempts at hiring people to waterproof the roof and to clean the gutters. It was a losing battle for two reasons.
One the large trees which grown on the public sidewalk produce pollen in Spring, seeds in Summer and the leaves fall in Autumn and in winter tiny twigs break off in the wind and most of them end up in the gutters. 
The second reason is people who advertise services or neighbours who say they can clean up or paint, take your money and do not do the job or do not do the job right.
Chop down the trees you might say to me, a lot of people in this area do but I am afraid of getting a fine and when I wrote a letter and waited six months for the Parks Department to send out a crew they sent out two guys. One stood on the other side of the road gazing at nothing in particular while the other one used a chainsaw to chop branches in huge pieces which came down with a crashing sound and pulverized the fence post. I think they thought no one was home so I darted outside and asked them “what now?”, oh they will carry on like that and fix everything on Monday they told me. “You mean smash the whole length of the brick fence?” Yes, that is what they meant so I sent them away and emailed the lady at the Parks Department, she did not reply, it was hectic at work and I really did not feel like an argument so eventually I just left it and the trees just got bigger and bigger and now the branches hang over the house.
parks dept South Africa useless
So after we decided it was time to move I had a look at the finances and decided we need a year to prepare for this venture. When the things got worse at my work I decided in Oct to change jobs and for me it has been a hectic period because changing jobs and deciding to sell our house all at the same time is very risky.
In December we contacted an estate agent and he came over, took some photos and placed our house online for sale.
The second viewing was to a lady who works for the Correctional Services. Her bond was immediately approved and although our jealous neighbour had said that “December is the wrong time of the year to put your house on sale”, it sold within a month after coming onto the market. While the agent was outside with her negotiating the selling price, our other neighbour on the other side ran to her and told her his house is bigger and he got it for less trying to spoil our offer. So beware when you sell it turns your neighbours nasty!
I wanted to show the house while I was on leave because knowing I was starting a new job in January I did not want to ask for days off.
Yippee our house sold happy dance animated gif photo: Silly dance dance.gif
I was quite excited to start looking for a new house and our agent said to me that I was too hasty and that we had two months before we need to be out of the house.
At first there were very few houses on the market because most people were still on holiday. It was only mid January when our options got better. We viewed 20 houses in two months. Here are some of them:
HOUSE AUSTRAL 1-tileThis garden was magical, we arrived after 6pm the light was fading 4 huge fir trees on the sidewalk and several other large trees in the front garden. The owner had passed away and the ground cover under the trees had dried up and died due to the drought. It looked magical, a place fairies would dwell. It was not depressing at all. It was like when you are a kid and you read a book about someone experiencing a wooded area, the crunch of your footsteps on the stone path, the birds in the trees, the gentle breeze …. The large house was disappointing inside and the driveway was too narrow for modern cars but if I was a writer this would have been my choice. Lovely! 
HOUSE CASS NO BACK YARD 2-tileThis house was too small, a sleeper couch total fills the third bedroom. A passage going around the house which they called the back garden was home to 3 vicious dogs so we could not actually see it. The best part was the spacious double garage with the washing machine.
HOUSE COKE POOL 2-tile
We met an Indian lady, who really tried very hard to find us a place but she did not fair very well.
She took us to this house (above) the parents rent from a friend who is selling. The little girl loves her trampoline but unfortunately she thinks she can jump into the jacuzzi and bath the same way as she jumps on her trampoline. So the tenants promised that the damage to both would be repaired before the sale goes through.
The pool was a shocker they promised to have it filled by the time the sale went through but it was only filled about a quarter of the way with building material and plastic CocaCola bottles. Yuk!
We had two months and with the bickering between them and the owner about who was going to pay what it would take months to sort out so we passed on this one.
Thank you for reading I will do some more posts later.
(CONTINUED FROM MY PREVIOUS POSTS)
I WAS EXTREMELY SURPRISED BY THE TELEPHONE CALL FROM JOHNNY. HE WAS VERY FRIENDLY AND PROPOSED A MEETING. ALTHOUGH I KNOW HE IS A TERRIBLE CAD WHEN IT COMES TO WOMAN I BROKE ONE OF MY OWN RULES (AND MANY OF MY OTHER RULES IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS). I SUGGESTED MEETING HIM AT A FAST FOOD TAKEAWAY IN MY SMALL TOWN, WHERE NO ONE FROM WORK WOULD SEE US TOGETHER. YES I WAS ALONE, AND WOULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS TWO YEARS AGO WHEN I FIRST MET HIM, BUT I FELT TIRED AND DESPERATE.
WHEN HE ARRIVED IT WAS CASUAL AND HE BEHAVED HIMSELF. HE TOLD ME ABOUT HIS SMALL RIVAL COMPANY HE HAD ESTABLISHED WITH FINANCIAL HELP FROM HIS CHINESE FRIEND AFTER THE CORPORATION HAD FORCED HIM OUT. HE ALSO TOLD ME ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE (STILL WORKING FOR THE COMPANY) WHO WERE SUPPLYING HIM WITH VALUABLE INFORMATION. HE OFFERED ME A JOB, CREDITORS & DEBTORS & R2 000 INCREASE. I AGREED AND REQUESTED A CONTRACT.
AT THE NEXT MEETING HE BROUGHT THE CONTRACT AND HE TOLD ME HE WAS NOT READY FOR ME, I MUST WORK FOR THE CORPORATION UNTIL THE DECEMBER HOLIDAYS SO THAT I COULD GET MY BONUS AND I COULD START IN JANUARY. I WAS SO TIRED, PUTTING IN LONG HOURS AND WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED ABOUT THE DELAY. THE NEXT 2½ MONTHS SEEMED LIKE SIX MONTHS.
I HAD PLENTY OF LEAVE DAYS, BECAUSE THERE WAS ALWAYS AN ISSUE WHEN I WANTED TO TAKE OFF AND I WANTED TO TAKE ALL MY LEAVE BEFORE RESIGNING BUT I RECKONED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE. I APPLIED FOR 18 DAYS LEAVE AND THEY APPROVED IT AND ON 4 DEC I WAS ALREADY ON LEAVE. I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY LUCK. THEN MY BONUS APPEARED IN THE BANK A MEASLY 25% BONUS. JOHNNY ALLOWED HIS WORKERS TO HAVE A FULL MONTHS LEAVE AND THEY GOT A FULL 13TH CHEQUE.
I FELT COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF WORKING FOR JOHNNY BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE WHO HAD LEFT THE COMPANY WERE NOW WORKING FOR HIM AND THEY WERE ALL PUSHED OUT BY THE CORPORATION. IF I WAS ABLE TO GET WORK WITH ANOTHER COMPANY THERE IS ALWAYS THAT WORRY WILL YOU FIT IN OR WILL THEY LIKE YOU. I ALREADY KNOW THESE PEOPLE AND THEY KNOW ME.
AFTER CHRISTMAS I DECIDED WELL IF I AM GOING TO BURN BRIDGES LET ME MAKE A BONFIRE. I GOOGLED LETTERS OF RESIGNATIONS AND FOUND A SCATHING ONE WHICH I ADAPTED.
FOR A FEW DAYS I EDITED, CONTEMPLATED AND FINALLY HAD IT FINE TUNED. IT BASICALLY SAID THAT I WAS SICK OF DOING THE WORK FOR PEOPLE WHO TOOK THE CREDIT FOR MY HARD WORK AND WERE IN POSITIONS WHERE THEY HAD THE TITLE BUT COULD NOT DO THE JOB. PLUS I WAS RESIGNING WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.
I EMAILED THE LETTER TO SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE AND ASKED THEM TO SUBMIT IT TO THEIR HR CONTACT PERSON.
I SAT AND WAITED FOR THE DAY THEY WOULD CONTACT ME AND DEMAND THAT I WORK NOTICE PERIOD. (ANOTHER ONE OF MY RULES BROKE, NEVER LEAVE A COMPANY IN A BAD WAY).
I HAD MADE UP MY MIND, I WAS NOT GOING TO WORK NOTICE AND TRAIN SOMEONE AND HAND OVER ALL MY KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE WAY THEY TREATED ME.
VERY EARLY ONE MORNING, I WENT IN AND HANDED IN THE LAPTOP, ONLY THE RECEPTIONIST WAS IN, THAT WAS GOOD, NO AWKWARD EXPLANATIONS ABOUT WHERE I WAS GOING OR WHAT ABOUT NOTICE PERIOD. I WALKED OUT AND DID NOT LOOK BACK.
A WEEK LATER THE RECEPTIONIST PHONED ME TO ASK ME FOR THE PASSWORD TO THE LAPTOP. THEN SHE SAID THE CORPORATION INFORMED THEM THAT THEY COULD LEAVE IF THEY WANTED TO AND ALL THOSE WHO STAYED WOULD BE INCORPORATED WITH ONE OF THE OTHER EXISTING COMPANIES OWNED BY THE CORPORATION. THE PREMISES WOULD BE OCCUPIED BY A COMPANY SELLING PAINT BRUSHES WHO WERE MAKING A BIGGER PROFIT THAN OUR COMPANY.
PHEW! CLOSE CALL, I HAD GOTTEN OUT JUST IN TIME. WHERE WOULD THEY HAVE FITTED ME IN. THOSE COMPANIES ALREADY HAVE THEIR ACCOUNTS PEOPLE THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT ME WITH OPEN ARMS.
I STARTED WORKING AT JOHNNY’S RIVAL COMPANY. ALL THE CLIENTS FOUND OUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND STARTED TO CLOSE THEIR ACCOUNTS AND OPENING ACCOUNTS WITH JOHNNY. IT IS OBVIOUS HE IS GROWING MUCH FASTER. THE DURBAN & CAPE TOWN STAFF ALSO ASKED HIM FOR JOBS NOW HE IS OPENING A BRANCH IN KZN AND CPT.
THE FIRST MONTH WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME, I DID NOT HAVE A LAPTOP AND I DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE BANK ACCOUNT YET, SO IT MEANS RELYING ON OTHERS TO SUPPLY ME WITH THE INFO, WAITING IS NOT SOMETHING I ENJOY, BUT I GOT MY PAY EVEN THOUGH I HAD NOTHING TO DO FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS.
THEN MY LAPTOP ARRIVED AND I HOPE FEBRUARY WILL BE THE MONTH WHEN I WILL BE ABLE TO SAY THIS WAS NOT A BAD DECISION AND WITH TIME I MIGHT HAVE ACCESS TO ALL THE INFO I NEED. THANK YOU FOR READING.

I was polite and worked well with Lettie. I did not gossip or give her anything that she could report to Leann and I hope they were bitterly disappointed. If she needed paperwork or info I jumped and provided everything with a smile.

LeAnn one day told me that after that first day, when I met the CEO, he told them in the car, back to the corporate head office, that I was going to be a very difficult person. She said she was so impressed about how much she could rely on me and how hard I was working. It was true that I was really working long hard hours but reliable sources had informed me that they were merging us with the corporate head office and vacating the current premises.  They have already done this with the other branches throughout South Africa and the staff have told me how unpleasant the conditions are. You join a team which is already fully staffed, you are the outsider and treated as such. Our stock must be kept separate from their stock and the cramped conditions were mostly filthy and unpleasant.

Lettie complimented my work several times and I think she meant it but I don’t doubt that she was looking for things to report to LeAnn. There was nothing. The cash balanced and I worked after hours because LeAnn and Goulam was making sure I made no progress during the day.

There was only one hassle – one of the financial reports had me stumped and no one could help me.

I got a break. There was a break in at the office. They had reduced the security guard patrols to cut costs and one Sunday (either the alarm was not set or the thief disconnected the alarm) but either way the thief or thieves had several uninterrupted hours to loot all the company computers about 30, plus surveillance equipment.

The figures of my report were lost and I used this to full extent to buy me time. I was not allowed to ask the person at head office to assist me to compile his report because they did not want him to see all the actual figures. I was just instructed to make it happen.

I want to change the subject a little to explain about Johnny. I met Johnny for the first time in March 2012 when I applied for this job. Although a very likable Chinese man he has one annoying tendency to hit on all women. He liked purchasing cars on a whim and spending large amounts. He also used company money to buy properties, boats, cars etc. Funds were also siphoned off into Chinese bank accounts. When the company got into financial trouble he signed the deal with the corporation heads and agreed that they would control 51% of his company in exchange they would pour money into the company and build it up and once it was financially stable again he would have an opportunity to buy the shares back again.

This did not happen, once the corporation moved in they investigated Johnny and got rid of him dragging him to court with all sorts of proceedings but none they could actually stick on him because he is actually quite a slippery fellow.

When Deedee and I were sure that our time had come for the corporation to get rid of us she contacted Johnny to see if he would hire her but he said he did not have a position available.

I also threw a hint but it seemed that it fell on deaf ears and I was quite disappointed that he had head hunted several staff for his opposition company but I had not been contacted.

After the break-in I got a text message “Hi, it is me  “

I was rushing madly around, people wanted 10 things simultaneously from me and I felt vulnerable without the aid of my computer.

I had placed some items for sale online and thought someone was playing the fool with me so I picked up the phone and was about to send a text something like “bugger off you childish %*&%” when I was called to one of those stupid corporate meetings. When I returned to my desk my cell phone rang “Hi, it is me” the man repeated. I hesitated I did not recognize the number and then he said “ it’s meee!” and I suddenly recognized the Chinese accent. “Are you ready to leave the company?” he asked. “YES!” I replied.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 294 other followers