If you don’t know by now, last week I published my new Kindle eBook, How to Buy a House, Using Apps, Maps and Location Based Services.
This link will tell you more about what’s in the book for you and how it can help you with your research, but I thought I’d share the Prologue with you, which sort of sets the scene for what life was like when the neighborhood changed after I bought my first house. The rest of the book isn’t like this at all, but I think it might help you understand some of the reasons why you might want to do a bit more due diligence using Location Based Services, maps and apps.
It’s 2AM and I leap out of bed, grab the Fijian souvenir skull crusher club from under the bed, ready to deal with an intruder in the house.
I race into my 3 year old daughter’s bedroom next to ours, adrenalin pumping through my veins. I vaguely see something on the floor. My heart tries to beat its way out of my chest and I’m angry.
I step further into the room and the person crouching on the floor sits up. It’s my daughter who had fallen out of the bed in her sleep.
Flashback: 6 weeks earlier.
I glance out of the kitchen window. It’s around 6PM on a workday evening and I see a darkly clad body and legs disappear across the fence into my neighbor’s property. Then, gliding like a parcour artist, another body clad in jeans and a dark hoodie races across my Kiwi quarter acre section and hand holding the top of my 2 meter wooden fence leaps over, disappearing into the night.
5 weeks earlier
I’m about to mow the lawn and see a couple of plastic bags on the grass. They have brown lumps of goo in them that smell like a strong adhesive. I know where they came from. One of the family members of 10 children whose parents live next door has joined a couple of his brothers in jail and the grandparents are babysitting his teenage kids.
The kids are into huffing, getting high by sniffing glue, holding the plastic bags to their noses to get high. I’ve been throwing the bags back over the fence.
4 weeks earlier
I collect the latest neighborly gift of glue bags and go next door to speak to the family about them. I assume the grandparents don’t know about the huffing. I don’t want to do this! It’s a bit scary, but I can’t risk my one and three year old daughters playing in the garden and finding glue bags.
At first the kids who open the door tell me their grandmother isn’t home. They give me the evil eye as she comes to the door and asks what I want. I explain who I am and what the situation is. She listens, thanks me reluctantly for letting her know and shuts the door.
3 weeks earlier
Every second night or so, just as we’re getting to sleep, the window of our neighbor’s house directly over the fence facing our bedroom window opens and up starts All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix at full bore. In between tracks we hear loud remarks that are full of racist expletives which I don’t need to share here.
2 weeks earlier
We come home on a Sunday evening after a nice roast dinner with my in-laws and sense something is not right. Our German shepherd who we left inside hasn’t come to the door to meet us. I look around and find her cowering in the corner of our bedroom. The room has been trashed and what was left behind is covered in broken glass from a smashed window.
They didn’t get much; we suspect that we disturbed them when we came home and then scarped. We call the police, who say they can’t come till the next morning. We feel violated.
I take the next couple of days off work, buy a security alarm kit with lots of sensors for the windows and doors and a very loud alarm which we test many times, mostly to warn anyone who might think to come back and finish what they started that the stakes have gone up.
Our happy family home isn’t any more.
Have you had a similar experience? I welcome comments. You can preview the book here or download a sample. Remember, you don’t have to own a Kindle, the app is free. Know anyone who is thinking of buying a house. Please let them know about this book. You cold be doing them a bigger favor than your realize.