To BUY or NOT to BUY

My Autovilla has been parked in the underground parking area under the Milpark Building in Milnerton, for nearly 25 years.

Since 2002, when I left South-Africa, my Autovilla has not moved.

Over the years… every now and then, I get an email from the Milpark management, someone is interested in buying the Autovilla, and they provide me with contact details.

Most times, I just ignored these emails.

It can only be someone who also has a vehicle stored there, in the Milpark underground parking too. There are, maybe 100 or more vehicles, of all sorts, parked there… Many like my Autovilla for years and decades. I know, that when I was visiting the underground parking area… I always look around to see what other caravans and cars are stored there.

A few times over the years, I was so strapped for cash that sometime, I had trouble paying the rent…and was almost tempted to sell the Autovilla.

I mean everything has a price…and if the price is right…who knows.

My good meaning friends, here in Glasgow, more than once said to me “why don’t you just sell the Autovilla?” and my standard answer has always been “One day, I would like to be burred with the Autovilla”

It is pure and simple a “love affair”. Nothing rational about it.

It is an “affair” of the heart, not of the head.

BUT… as I mentioned, a few times, my financial situation was soooo bad… that I seriosly considered selling the Autovilla.

So I start email communication with a potential buyer…and I am honest, and say that I am only selling because I am in financial difficulties… and if the price is right…who knows… I may say yes.

So I ask them to come up with a number… what it is that the “Villa” is worth to them, and they usually mention a number, close to a number you can find “Jurgens Autovillas” for sale on Gumtree”. And I would say… this is a fair Gumtee Price… but what about all the years of storage that I paid….I’d like to get that money back too…and since 2002… and THAT is were the email negotiations STOP… FULL-STOP.

And if you read the Home page… this is why Ursulla and myself were literally rolling on the floor with laughter, when I mentioned to her the few near misses, which almost led me to sell the Autovilla.

Its all in the numbers my friends… I never really wanted to think about the big number…enough for me that I am paying and paying., and paying… for storage… and have not regretted it ever ,and not ONE BIT.

Some women spend more than the monthly rent I pay for the Autovilla, on having their hair done… I don’t.

So when Ursulla and I talked about it on the phone, I asked Ursulla who runs the Milpark office, and has been there since day one…so we know each other for a very long time…how much does she thinks I paid over the years… so this is what she said to me…

On average I paid 600 ZAR (+-35 $) per month. (400 at the beginning now 800 ZAR).

I left South Africa in 2002, 18 years ago.. so the math is simple

600 x 12 x 18 = 129,600 ZAR (+- 7,749 $)

I never had to calculate that number, or wanted to do it. I would just say to the potential buyer, I’d like to get back my investment of safe storage..since 2002, .and because they pay rent too… they do the numbers in their head… and THANK GOD, they ALL disappeared into thin air.


Each time I received a name of an “interested” buyer.. I would google them… mostly rather wealthy individuals…after a bargain…

And I mean really wealthy… last one was from the Kloof area near Durban, A real estate agent. So I say to him, I had a friend and a neighbor by the name of Peter Amm, who has a big estate in the Kloof area, and I am asking if he knows him… oh yes he says… his wife goes to Pilates classes together with PETER AMM, and that is when I learned about what my friend has built, since I last spoken to him, a million years ago.

If not for the Autovilla, I would not have known… what my “good crazy” neighbor Peter Amm, has built for himself., on his magnificent estate, which I have visited once…many many years ago. And back then, Peter said, one day I will build myself a palace, right here. And HE DID.


Peter Amm used to be my neighbor and friend when I just arrived in South Africa 1986, and have rented the no. 6 Glen Beach, Beach Bungalow, right on the beach, in Camps Bay.

If you would like to know, who this amazing Peter Amm is, check out his AMAZULU PALACE, and google his name as well.

His house in the below picture is the Cathedral like building, next door to my beach bungalow. Only the Glen and a little bridge between us. .

It is ALSO because of Peter Amm, that when, after 3 years, 1989, my rental agreement on the Beach Bungalow expired, and the owners wanted the beach bungalow for themselves, that I went on, to buying the most stunning property in the southern hemisphere.

Peter Amm, being an amazing architect and an award winning landscape architect too… I asked Peter, for his opinion, and asked him to come along with me and look at no 1 Military Road at the edge of Chapmans Peak Drive, and overlooking Chapman’s Peak Drive and the whole of the Bay of Hout Bay. sheltered from the South Easterly wind too. People in the know, know what it means..

Peter came along, it was my second viewing, his first, and he said to me, after a split second:

“If you don’t buy it, I will”… Talk about peer pressure…

And I bought it instantly. And that became my second Home in South Africa.

I sold everything I owned, a Flat in Frankfurt, got rid of all the mortgages, and paid cash for my beautiful new home at the edge of Chapmans’ Peak Drive.

At that time, there were only 3 or 4 residential buildings on the whole mountain side. Very secluded. No one ever ventured into Military Road. I used to leave the house unlocked and the double garage door that led into the kitchen wide open… Anyone could have just walked in… no one ever did.

What I have circled in red below, was all Pine Forest… all gone now.

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