Hey. I got a story here. It has a happy end… Ever try to buy a house within family? Advice: don’t. Just don’t.
In a very thin walnutshell; my father died in 1999. We sorted the estate in the fading hours of 2010. I bought out the childhood house of my dreams February 2011. Papers bear my mark, bottle of Taittinger. Yippiekayee, without exclamation mark.
If you can sense a degree of bitterness in my words, that is because there is a degree of bitterness in my words. As always, I was naive. Blue-eyed like a baby. Fool in silly hat, with even sillier shoes, the kind with jinglebells. I just am, can’t do anything about it. Naivety is my force. While it does not yield light sabres, naivety has treated me well over the years. It makes me, no it forces me to think everyone is good, which makes me treat everyone with kindness. In turn, I am almost always treated well in return. Mutual benefits, win-win. But once in a while, there is always someone who does not return the favor. Reasons for such completely illogical behaviour are often multifaceted but always related to how they were treated as children… why, I would put a smiley here, were it not too far beneath me to use such simple ways of communicating mischievousness.
In any case, I was naive, that’s what I was. I thought this would be a piece of fruitcake, a walk in the park, an E-street shuffle. Ha!
It should have been a walk in the park. For all I know, it could have, and it most certainly would have. I come from a family of exemplary human beings. What could possibly go wrong? And then the King of Libya decided that he was in charge of selling me a house that he did not own.
Wow. That is good. And I wish I could explain that last sentence. Frankly, I can’t. Partly because I actually don’t know how to, and partly because I am afraid to get sued down to my bellybutton if the identity of this monkey is exposed. So, in order to protect me from the law, I hereby state that “all characters mentioned in this work are figments of my fiction, particularly the one I like to call the King of Libya. He’s so fucking fictional, you can’t get any more fictional than that“.
If you thought I am only writing this because I must get if off my chest, you are right. It’s too heavy to carry. I need peace. I need to shit this shit to be able to move on.
Well, to start at the beginning in the middle, the house was valued at, say, 2 Million euros before I started to work on it. This was a value that did not include the many MANY and by now WELL-documented flaws of the house. For fuck’s sake, forgive me for believing it was possible to work on a house you did not own. I really really thought this was fine, since the house was an estate on death in the family, I was taking care of it and the bills of the house, and I had expressed my sincerest wishes to acquire it as soon as life permitted. So, I began working on this house some five years ago. By now, about EVERY surface inside and out has been face-lifted. It is no longer the house it was – and it was a house chewed on by the jaw of time, with an interior from 1983.
So you can imagine my surprise when the King of Libya marches in one day with a real estate agent – and still, so fucking naive was I, that I thought this was just an exercise of curiousity. I accurately pointed out the many flaws of the house. The only thing that was deducted was the roof. As it said in the evaluation, deeper investigation is needed to correctly evaluate the value of the flaws (the house is rotten from top to toe). This was never done. But it was just A-OK to ask 2.2 Million euros for the house. Do you know what it means? It means that I was going to have to pay for my five years of hard work and hard material twice over (for example, the whole long driveway is now in stone). Like a fish on land, I was gasping for air.
And when I said are you kidding me, I was insulted, I was threatened, I was accused of ripping off my mother. The King of Libya said that he would take over the house and sell it for a profit. Now, maybe it is hard to see yourself in my position, but pretend that you have invested your heart and soul in a house, and you build it by your own hand and wallet for five years, for your own family, for your princess and queen. Then, when you can buy it, some ridiculous oaf comes in and threatens to steal everything away from you. This is something you really lose sleep over, trust me.
Naturally, in a normal scenario, you’d just boot the intruder out, and piss a long yellow rainbow all over his facist body. But in this utterly complicated and, remember, completely fictitious story, the King of Libya is linked to the family, so there was really nothing I could do.
I dearly wish I could spill all the beans – oh there are many beans to spill – but please understand that I can not go into detail. All I can do for now is just shine a little light on things that thrive in the dark.
The whole affair lasted for more than a year. The King of Libya was unable to come to terms with the fact that perhaps he is a loser because he is not a winner. Once this man makes up his mind, he is as flexible as glass. It is sort of funny – sort of – that the King of Libya always pointed out that you need to remove your emotions from this kind of business. This is the same guy who insulted and threatened me. Very interesting. You know, the King of Libya has lots of self-help books at his villa. He has read them many times, he says. Personally, I’m not quite sure he can read, but I’m pretty sure he has problems in the area of understanding text. More advice: avoid people who read self-help books. It just means that they have a problem. Steer well clear! At least the King of Libya acknowledges that he has a problem. I’m glad to discover that we agree on something.
So, there I am, trying to buy my childhood home from the owner, my mother, and the King of Libya is selling. It is quite the comedy, were you not acting for your life.
To make a long story short, in the end the King of Libya agreed on 2 Million. In my mind, the fair price would have been 2 Million plus index adjustment minus the price for fixing the huge number of categorically serious flaws this house has (more on these some other time). To put in perspective, just the roof goes at 10% of the actual price of the house. Work to begin in May.
Well, I paid 2 Million because I was so sick of this man (a man who I previously counted as a great friend). In fact, I would gladly have paid 5 million to never see him again. Again, I wish I could tell you. It just is too complicated. Besides, the money goes to a good cause – my mother.
The tension had been so thick, for such a long period of time, that when I signed the papers, I was sick for two days. I was shaking, and my whole body hurt. Muscles, head, stomach. Guess I was not used to the feeling of relief… *sound of peace, joy and happiness*
Money makes people funny. Ain’t that the fucking truth.