Buying the Echo Road Cottage Part 2

If you read this today for the first time, to get the picture you need to go and read what I wrote yesterday.

So the next day dawned. I looked it up. It was 15th December 2014. Stacey and Adrian were with us, celebrating an early Christmas. We decided to go to Cafe Roux for lunch. David joined us. During the course of the day, I had a guy trying to get hold of me. I think he wanted to know something about marketing and advertising. We kept missing each other. While out at lunch, my phone rang. It was an unfamiliar number. I answered it and this male voice greeted me. “Ah,” I thought, “this is the guy who has been trying to get hold of me.”

“Helga! It’s Polly!” the voice said. “Polly?!” “Oh,” I thought, “It’s the estate agent. Okay, this is the moment he tells me that she has refused our offer and wants more. I will thank him and say we can’t afford more and we’ll walk away, but thanks for his time.” I was all ready to give my answer. He explained he went to see the owner, Lesley and sat down with her.

“Helga! She accepted your offer!”


My heart began to pound. I got up from the table and moved away so I could hear him more clearly.

“Congratulations!” he was saying.

I was speechless for a moment.

“I can’t believe it,” I said.

“It’s true,” said Polly. “Will you phone your brother?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Okay! Great” said Polly. “I’ll be in contact with you in the next day or two.”

We said goodbye.

My jaw dropped. I felt weak. What had just happened? I returned to the table. The kids wanted to know. “She accepted our offer.”

David was mostly gobsmacked. He had seen the house. He couldn’t believe we were going to buy it.

“Oh my word,” I said. “I have to tell Dad. He’s going to have a fit.” There began a roller coaster of emotions for me sandwiched between my beloved brother who wanted it and my beloved husband who didn’t!

I phoned Julian first. Delightedly I told him: “Julian, she accepted our offer!” “Wow!” was his response, “that’s amazing. That’s very good news.” He was thrilled. I was thrilled. I couldn’t believe it.

Then I phoned Mike.

“My darling,” I said, as he answered the phone. “I’ve got some news.” Very quietly and nervously I broke it to him – “they accepted our offer.”

“What?! Oh no! That’s terrible. How am I going to find a million rand?”  He unleashed his horror at the thought of being tied into a mountain of debt 14 months before he retired. “Have you told Julian?” “Yes,” I admitted, embarrassed that I hadn’t let him know first. “I suppose he’s thrilled,” he said. “Yes,” I cringed, “he is.”

Mike was so very unhappy about this turn of events. It was not something he would have got us into in a million years. We had to max out our bond again. It was a very ‘delicate’ time! I promised him I would do anything I could to get more work on Upwork and contribute to as much of the running of the house as I could. All he needed to do was shovel money into the bond. We had some assets that were able to be sold off and once that was done, we were left with a bond of R400 000 plus transfer fees. Apart from the bond, we owed Julian a further R90 000.

I want to stop here and just say, if God leads you to something and it is fully from Him, He will provide for it.

We very quickly began to see the fingerprints of God on our new unexpected purchase. Polly came round to bring the balance of the required paperwork. He explained that he had gone to see Lesley. As he entered her home, she began by saying,  “Polly, before you speak, let us pray.” Polly said, “You don’t know what I was going to say.” Lesley replied, “I know you are here to speak about business.” Lesley proceeded to pray. Afterwards, she got out her Bible and she read Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

Polly sat with Lesley and presented the offer. Lesley was not overjoyed at the amount. “Do they have more?” she asked. “No” Polly said. Lesley asked another question: “Do they love it as a home or do they see it as a house they can get rid of?” “They love it as a home,” Polly replied.

“Then let them have it.”

And in those short words she passed her home over to us.

After Polly told me, I pondered Hebrews 12:1 and the penny dropped. This sale of their home had been weighing on her mind. It had been empty for a number of months and the expenses related to it were adding up. It was time for it to go….let us throw off the house that so easily entangles. I was humbled. I visited Lesley after we bought the house. She told me some of the stories attached to it. I thanked her.

The home has been a great blessing, largely, so far for Julian who comes down twice a month and certainly for David who acts as caretaker and lives in the upstairs section. He has a weekly Bible study. I have not kept my word – “If I bought this house the first thing I would do is put an air conditioner upstairs!” Perhaps next summer I should!

The Lord provided throughout 2015. By the time Mike retired at the end of February 2016, we were debt free.

That is the cornerstone to financial freedom. Get out of debt as soon as possible.

Echo Cottage is the Lord’s provision. He knows what is ahead and how it will be used. May it be for His glory.

Today has been cloudy and wet. We are grateful for the rain. Mike played golf. I stayed home.

#708 of my 1000 thanks  – clean house! I sacrificed gym and the golf and cleaned the house.

Job 12:12-13

Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days. With God are wisdom and might; He has counsel and understanding.

These are the days.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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