A New Beginning

Over the last 7 years my wife and I have experienced life changing experiences that have left us destitute having lost a business, two properties and everything except our personal belongings gone. Creditors hounding us and still not clear of their harassment. These should have been dealt within the wind up of our company but sadly our paid representation turned out to be as corrupt as the people we bought the business off. Having carved up our estate they have gone back into the woodwork leaving us to our own devices. But this is the subject of an independent book and not what to I want to document here, serving only as a backdrop to our plans and progress and the obstacles along the way.

It was 2009 we bought the security company and 2013 we had to force closure and liquidate the entity. In the ensuing months we had to privately auction our property in Cape Town, a 3 bedroom apartment 10 minutes walk from the waterfront and our home in Hermanus 2 minutes walk from the Marine Hotel.

So we were left with no place to live, no income and debatable prospects. It was a very sobering time. Friends rallied round and all they could to boost our spirits and elevate our mood, but is fair to say that my wife and I experienced gut wrenching fear. Everything at that point in time seemed black and foreboding. The darkness would lift but not for some months. The auctioning of our home had its hitches but it was voluntary on our part in order to preempt creditors moves. In hindsight I believe we were too hasty in our actions. However at that time I secured a contract as a Quality Lead in a mine revamp in Liberia and so it made sense for us to get rental accommodation for my wife who would be on her own for 6 weeks out every 8. I did not want her dealing with creditors on her own so this was a good solution especially as we were renting off a good friend.

We were ensconced in the rental property for 2.5 years but became obvious that our landlord was seeking to make a bigger return on his property. The amount was too rich for my purse and so I gave notice to leave 30 days hence. And so it was that we were faced with our current situation. Due to having 2 dogs we needed a rental that was pet friendly. We were able to acquire the same from another long time friend and that is where we are presently. But this was not to be a long time rental because the writing was on the wall and in the interim period of first knowing we would have to leave our first rental we had spent time scouring Hermanus and surrounding districts for vacant land. Very briefly, we did not want to buy a property and pay transfer tax and we are on limited budget because this build for our new home is going to be cash driven and only cash driven. That in itself offers constraints and a keen eye to value for money. My disdain of gated communities because they add just another layer authority and committee interference drove us away from the new gated communities being constructed that offer a turnkey solution right down to laid lawns and everything connected and completed. Another factor that would make the hairs on the back of my neck bristle is the very limited plot space normally 600 sq meters which affords space for the house, garage and very little else, not to mention the proximity of your neighbours. Not a satisfactory outcome for the R 1.5 million they were asking for at the time. The land alone was R 600, 000, R 1000 per sq. meter. Much searching and researching led us down the path to find the ideal plot for our needs in Fisherhaven. The plot is just under 3 times the size of those above and 2.5 times less the cost.

I have to admit there was some second thoughts at first but the deal being done and our commitment to building a home for cash within our budget to secure a good part of our future and obviously a place for us to live was our goal and desire. There was talk of the proximity of Fisherhaven approximately 14 kilometers from Hermanus, a lack of local amenities and the distinctly rural feel to the location were the early objections. In reality what we experienced in traffic snarl ups and just the shear numbers of people during the peak Christmas season which makes everything you have to do like parking that much more frustrating and annoying. The run by car which lied to the west and the airport side of Hermanus takes 10 to 20 minutes depending on traffic. On the west side of Hermanus near Sandbaai there is a 300, 000 sq. m Mall being erected by Checkers who is one of the anchor retailers. This just means traversing 3 sets of traffic lights and a distance of 10 km to access the Mall and all its delights. What is gained by living in Fisherhaven is the tranquility, the space to live undisturbed by your neighbour and room to think without distraction. Sounds like my kind of place!

We have sourced a builder having scanned and assessed the market. We are happy with our choice and so now we are embarking on the early tasks having sat down with him and addressed and ironed out.

We are building a one story abode of 168 sq. m which is a modest abode by all standards but the remit that a step and the outside surrounding landscaped garden will form part of an extended external entertainment area serves our purposes to have outdoor living in the summer months and minimal area to maintain and heat in the winter. The house is of my wife’s and mine design which is currently being formalised by a draftsman to be presented to the Municipality for ratification. The Christmas holidays conclusion will mark the gearing up of the build activity once the plans are approved. Then it’s game on and we are looking forward to it.

There has been one problem to be addressed already which id one neighbour appears to have encroached onto my land by a meter wide and 40 meters length and has erected a 1.8 m vibracrete fence full length. This will be addressed and I donĀ“t envisage difficulties.

5-6 months build will bring us to May-June 2017 and we are marking the time and the milestones. This is the log of our trials and tribulations and long sought after success.