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Real Estate or simply Property – Is property better than sex?

Updated on June 11, 2011

Buy at your peril!

Property in my Life

The current topic is Real Estate which we simply call “property” here in South Africa. I wrote on this topic recently as part of a hub on investing. So you can read about that aspect in that hub if you wish to.

Unfortunately I have had to deal with purchasing of property more than a few times in my life.

Most of these were not a great experience probably a bit like sex?

The First time 1965

The first time was supposed to be the investment of a lifetime. I was young, naïve and susceptible to a smooth talking sales person. The fact that she was pert, blonde very pretty and wore the shortest of mini’s had nothing to do with it. I promise hand on heart, I was only about twenty at the time. You see it was the sixties and all the girls wore minis. Besides driving around with her looking at view sites was certainly pleasant (the property, dammit concentrate!). The car radio played “help”, unchained melody and “I cant get no satisfaction.The premise here was to buy a vacant lot make a small down payment. Pay the interest only and wait for the property to appreciate in value. The transfer balance needed to be paid before development could begin, so you could leverage the increased value against a building mortgage and build a house, or sell the land at the increased value, to a buyer who wanted to build. Well that was the theory. In any event, payments were duly made and for a while I simply forgot about my “golden goose”.

A few years on – 1971

A few years later after marriage (not to the blonde, min-wearing, salesperson – who I never saw again after signing and paying the deposit- yea ok don’t be smart) and a baby daughter, the time came to build that house. I then hauled out my papers and found out to my horror, the development company had gone bust and I owned a piece of land I could not build on as no development of infrastructure or new houses had taken place!

So was my first time good for me? Well not really I would say.

Second time.

So my ex and I went home hunting. The car radio played Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Country Road" and Imagine. But guess what, we found a new development in progress and liked what we saw. I then asked the developers if I could trade my piece of ground as deposit on the new place. To my utter delight, they accepted, so my I sort of recouped my losses and owned a house and mortgage.

My second time was infinitely better!

Third time ( and fourth or maybe it only counts for one?) 1977

Well a few years went by - two more kids, three in total and as we were in the country, the kids were in a farm school which was fun for the kids but not really a great school. At that stage in South Africa, schools were area bound and the school we would have preferred for the children’s education was in a different suburb and town. So if we wanted our kids to attend that school, we had to move. So the house hunting began. The car radio played Hotel California, Mull of Kintyre, Ma Baker, and Bohemian Rhapsody Every house we looked at was too expensive.

We eventually found a suitable house and made an offer. The owner (a builder as it turned out), reneged on the offer and the deal fell through. The house hunting continued. Once again we found a house under construction, made an offer subject to the sale of our existing house, and it was accepted to our great joy and delight. We had a party on the strength of that!. We put our house up for sale and sold within a few days. We got our price (with a tidy profit) but we had to move out within 60 days. Our builder assured us the new house would be ready in time. But you guessed it , it was not ready!

Hell on earth.

We now had no choice we had to move and the interim step was to stay with my parents. We crowded the five of us into a three bedroom house and put the furniture into the garage. Two cars were parked in the driveway and one outside on the kerb.

This state of affairs endured for about two months. My ex never had a good relationship with my mother from that date. Parenting ideas differed and Mom was not above expressing her opinion, frequently, often and loudly invariably ending the sentence with “after all this my house you know!”. The third time was not so great after all.


We finally moved into our dream house and lived happily there for 20 odd years until my younger son died in a car crash and we were attacked and robbed in our home by 5 armed men.

So the fourth time was pretty good most of the time.

The fifth time. 2001

After our few bad events described above, my ex and I went on holiday to the Natal coast. The car radio played “Another Day In Paradise" , "Sail Away" On the way we stopped off and looked at a farm in a small Mpumalanga town and fell in love with it. We made an offer subject to the sale of our house. It was all accepted and we sold our house at a good profit and moved to the farm. The farmhouse needed work and I did it all myself. The idea was we would live off the land in semi-retirement but the cost of restoring the farm was eating into my savings and my ex suggested that I went back to consulting. This meant a weekly commute to Johannesburg, staying at my club during the week and returning home on weekends. My ex then became friendly with the neighbor and the rest is history.
Divorce was the result. So the fifth time was not good at all.

The sixth and hopefully last time. 2003

I then met my dearly beloved, got married and we found a house under construction made an offer (once again – I never learn do I). The car radio did mostly talk shows and “Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and "White Flag", so the CD player gave us sixties classics most of the time. At any event we made an offer and we have lived here happily for the last 6 years.

So the sixth time has been great.

The Seventh time (actually not it was an oops).

Because of our regular commute we decided to move to a more suitable location. We hunted around found what we wanted, made an offer. “The premise here was to buy a vacant lot make a small down payment. Pay the interest only and wait for the property to appreciate in value. The transfer balance needed to be paid before development could begin, so you could leverage the increased value against a building mortgage and build a house”. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? At any rate we approved plans, re-approved plans, costs escalated and suddenly everything was more than budgeted. The economic downturn had begun. I tis instance, we reneged on then deal, sold the land and restored the status quo.

So we didn’t have a seventh time besides we are getting older!

So is property better than sex? Go figure!

But however you cut it you eventually get screwed!

Besides as I told my dearly beloved, they need to take me out of here feet first!

Another great Hubmob by Sixtyorso


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    • Aya_Hajime profile image


      9 years ago

      I loved the way you linked music into all of it, and how you shared snippets of your life's story with your real estate choices. Never read such a personal and authentic real-estate hub before - it made me realize how intricately linked real-estate is to different stages of our life. Really enjoyed what you did here.

      Will definitely be visiting more of your hubs :)

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      onlinemarketingsc Thank you for stopping by and commmenting. Glad you enjoyed the story line.

      Santoion Why thank you kind sir!

    • santoion profile image


      9 years ago

      I believe that YOU are Great !

    • onlinemarketingsc profile image


      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for sharing your house-hunting ordeals. I'm into real estate myself, but rarely does one get to hear a life story such as yours, one that's intimately tied to trying to find that one sweet deal that would satisfy you for life. Good hub.

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Tom you are absolutely right both can give you great pleasure or great pain and heartache!  Either way you stand a good chance of being screwed!

      Btw having Sex in the title has not improved the hit rate or hubscore that significantly compared to my other hubs.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Excellent job, Sixty, and a fascninating story. We bought under the the influence of over-optimism and ended up on a fold-out couch for six or seven years. Real estate and sex must both be viewed with a healthy dose of ambivalence, I think.

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Blondie I have no clue how hubscores really work. It is a mystery to me. But i started the week with an overall rating of 99. When I play in the captain's hub my scores decrease. My hubscore is now 95. So go figure. I am getting hit on my hubs too. It is just a perception on my part.

    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Sixtyorso do we really lose points for commenting in the captain's hub. Is this true?

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      sophieqd Thank you

      Spryte Lovely to see you around. Thanks for your parise and support. As I keep saying "Feet First" !

      Toady Thank you for your fine comments. Coming from you I consider that a compliment indeed. I am sure you will be able to use the recession to your advantage and once things pick up, it will be good time to put a down payment on your first home or a piece of land . However modest that may be. Once you have that step on the rung you are on your way. My buying of cheap, intially worthless land, was what got me started and kept me going over the last 40 years.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....


      a fine weaving the the periods of time to the places in which you lived and you got a good soundtrack to match. I have yet to buy a property and all my hopes were dashed these last couple of months when everything bottomed out and I have no idea what the future holds. I moved in with the wife shortly after we hooked up and left a tremendous bachelor pad and room mates behind. her place was a one bedroom apartment in a dangerous neighborhood. We moved when the baby was a couple of months old and though my neighbors are a little strange, I'm sure we are much stranger.

    • spryte profile image


      9 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Sixty: I just love the way you related what the music of the time was along with your experiences. Damn fine nostalgia in my opinion and one that made it easy to relate to.

      Now...stay put and just enjoy your house! :P

    • sophieqd profile image


      9 years ago

      Great discussion!

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      After reading a couple of their hubs yeah! The typo was obviously a moment of dejavu and prediction!

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      9 years ago from Cape Town

      ooh, kinky, you gonna lock them up

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Cindy Thanks will lokk them up.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      9 years ago from Cape Town

      and mmmminternational and teddybear

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Cindy thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated. Yes there are about 4 of us South Africans now. Tonymac, Just_Rodney, you and me That I know of.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      9 years ago from Cape Town

      Hi fellow South African, loved your hub and the way you showed the year by the current songs playing on the radio at the time. Very clever!

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Real Tomato. I hope you enjoy the others too. Thanks for stopping by and for your much valued input.

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 

      9 years ago

      Very enjoyable read. Its nice to know I am not the only one who as been screwed! (pun intended)

      This is the first of your Hubs that I have read...Think I'll go find somemore (click,click)

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      AEvans I will put my link on your hub with pleasure if you wish. Thanks for your lovely comments which in their turn enhance my hub. thanks so much for your continued and really fantastic support. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

      Don, too true, but both are simply a reflection of life and what life dishes out to us. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated! Thank you.

    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 

      9 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Property and sex can either be rewarding or agonizing or both . . . unique way to bring together a life experience.

    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      It is definitely a fantastic hub, it goes to show that we all have been burnt one way or another and the first house would never be the last, love the highlight of music ins't it amazing how certain songs can bring back where we were and what we were doing? You should have put your link on my hub as I would have loved to have others read this article. :)

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Blondie Thank you. i am glad to know I can touch you with my hubs.You too have a lovely soul.

      Thanks so much for your support and comments.

    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Omg Sixtyorso I never knew about your tragedies.My heart is just beating so fast and I have tears in my eyes for you. You are such a beautiful soul....(hugs and kisses from me to you)x0x0x0x

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      CW great idea! I willl look at doing that, as The music plays an integral part of my lfe at each stage! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Your comments are valued and appreciated!

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 

      9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Sixty. Great hub - and no, property ISN'T better than sex.

      I have an idea, if you're open to it. You included some excellent songs. I think you should link those song to the YouTube videos! I know they're there 'cause I'd never heard "Mull of Kintyre" (very close to my last name, McIntyre) so I found and listened to it on YouTube.

      Just a thought ...

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Princessa I sincerely hope so! Unlike you I positively hate moving! Thanks for your greatcomments. Much appreciated.

      Shalini thank you for the compliment and I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      Very entertaining with music in the background - what do you know? Through all that sixtyorso, you make some very pertinent and relavant observations about real estate!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      I enjoyed reading this. Having to move houses, to buy and sell is always a pain, but it is something I enjoy (masochist?) I find the whole process very stressing but exciting at the same time. Me too I had to "bunk" in with my parents in law for a few weeks and that was way too much, we ended renting a holiday home in the meantime before I would go crazy :)

      Everytime you buy and sell is like starting a new life all over again. I hope things go well for you and this time is YOUR best one ever!

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Chris I am glad enjoyed this. Thanks for stopping by and for your great comments

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This reads like a movie. Is it because of the soundtrack? i'm not sure but I was highly entertained by your storytelling, the highs and the lows and of course the music. Thanks for sharing :D

    • sixtyorso profile imageAUTHOR

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Rodney Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I always appreciate your comments and contribution to my hubs.

      Marisue your considered comments and reflections add greatly to my hub. As always thanks for warm support. I am so pleased I could appeal to your funny bone and heartstrings. This is another of those hubs that started with one thought and ended up writing itself (sort of) touching on other hubs and repeating some of the issues discussed in those hubs. It is starting to weave a pattern, perhaps a book, one day, for my grandchildren?

      Misty It is just the cycle of life I guess. It is probably karma and a learning cycle that we all have to go through. Take  your life as a case in point too. I guess we all have dark corners in our lives. Thank you so much for your support. It is really valued and "blush" thanks for saying I am nice too!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Really enjoyed this hub Sixty, but saddened greatly to hear about your lost Son, and you being held up by 5 armed men. You just don't deserve such crappy luck, you are truly too nicer person to go through this. Life is so unfair sometimes!

    • marisuewrites profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Isn't it a pain that we think we're making good choices, our reasoning seems to be sound, and then wham!  Disaster strikes...lessons learned, but then, the next opportunity comes, and the cycle repeats...with disaster lurking...always's enough to give us post traumatic stress disorder. 

      still, life is lived in moments. and 20/20 vision is only available when reflecting.  by the time you know what you're doing...we're too old to do it.  haahahha

      Your story is built around joy and pain...and it seems that is the true cycle of life.  One day - I will ask why?  but, perhaps when I can finally ask it...I will not need to.

      =)))))  I cried as I read parts and laughed at others....we are all linked in both experiences.  be well, my friend...and stay away from real estate, I'm thinking. 

      I'm told everything goes with sex.  buying, renting, success, failures, sadness, joy, giddiness...but I wouldn't know...I just wouldn't know.  Have to go by what I hear and read.  

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      9 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      My we take a in a lot of music, nice hub, and great un-Real Estate reflections. Way to go.


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