It all started 17 years ago, life's circumstances bought Gunter to a place that required him to move into a 1-bedroom unit, you see his precious wife passed away and although his new place was brand new and very comfortable, it was a difficult change.
Gunter started to really enjoy the area and the location of his new home and eventually became very happy there and having moved many times over his lifetime even from another country, stability was very important to him. He loved his community and being elderly having a milk bar next door, great neighbours and easy access to public transport Gunter was set.
One day after so long the landlord decided to sell his investment property (Gunter’s beloved home) although he understood that he is a tenant and the possibility of having to move was real, when it did happen Gunter was taken aback, now 84 years old, he wondered how he would not only physically handle the move but also how would he adjust to somewhere new, how would he make new friends, how would he find another place?
We met this lovely chap when we personally went to visit him to explain the process and what we required of him, he was very distraught and our hearts went out to him. We instantly fell in love with this elderly gentleman and assured him in every way we could that although we could not guarantee it, we would try to get an investor to purchase the property or assist him in every possible way to make the change if necessary. We told him there was no way he would be out on the street which was his fear, being homeless.
Gunter was very appreciative, understanding and cooperative, at every open he greeted the potential purchasers with a smile and told them how lovely it was to live in the unit, still after they all left the eyes said it all, he would put on a brave face sometimes but mostly tell us how worried he was, every time we assured him and we could see his expression begin to relax, until the next time, we could see the concern grow through the week. It can be very difficult for older people that tend to be homebodies to keep perspective when they don't have anyone to encourage them regularly so we would visit him multiple times a week and take his calls daily.
As part of the selling process agents keep in contact with tenants and call to make sure everything is still ok for the open and just to remind them, we didn't think this was good enough so we would visit, have a quick chat about the open then sit with him and listen to all his stories and boy did he have some interesting ones over 84 years. We discovered that he loved to write and we felt so blessed that he trusted us enough to allow us to take his writings home. As we read we got to know him more, the way he wrote about and took note of the simplest things that he the saw and experienced showed us his humble heart. As we got to know him, we understood his current struggles more and more. We became even more determined to help and encourage him, it became our goal to make sure he knew he was valued by us.
After a couple of opens it became a little too much, the uncertainty was getting to this lovely man and we found ourselves spending more and more time with him in person and on the phone as we had assured him he could call anytime. After the last open we could tell he was spent, as we gave him his favourite chocolate, that he was convinced had cured him of a heart problem he had & we believed him, a new pair of warm socks and some other treats, he lit up the room with a smile and we talked some more about things that were on his mind. We decided it was time to put an end to his worry and really let him know that he would be ok, we weren't going to leave until he felt better.
The open was between 1 and 1:30pm, the people came & left and another elderly gentleman loved the house and wanted to buy it for himself to live in, we didn't want to tell Gunter about his offer until it was accepted, we weren't very happy but it is our obligation to present all offers to the vendor. We waved the potential purchaser goodbye and wondered how it would all go from here, we knew that something good always comes from these seemingly difficult situations in life if we just had the courage to see things that way but today was not the day we were going to have that talk again, not until we knew. We needed to be wise and choose our time.
It became 3pm, we were still at Gunter’s, we didn't feel like going home even though we'd had a busy day, this man was our friend, we treated him like we would our own parent and we knew he felt that, he made us feel like we were like his children too. That afternoon Gunter did a title dance for us, he told us about his childhood in Germany, stories about Hitler and how as a young child he thought it would be great to be one of his soldiers until his mum scolded him for it and explained what kind of a man he was. The stories of war and loss were sad, the courage and tenacity of this man to move to this country and work hard to raise his family bought tears to our eyes. It was getting time to leave when we heard a knock on the door. Some people from the eastern suburbs had been house hunting and happened to see the flag still up on the board which indicated an open house, the only reason it was still up was because we were still there, the poem finished hours ago. Two ladies a mother and daughter had a look and loved the property, not only that they were investors and they loved Gunter!!!
We were ecstatic! We couldn't believe what had just happened, wow!
They put in an offer and Gunter could not wait until we got an answer from the landlord, he was so taken aback that he couldn't believe it, felt it was too good to be true do for the next couple of days he worried and worried no matter what we said.
This story has a very happy ending, the offer was accepted and Gunter was hoping for a 12-month lease, but we could negotiate a 5-year lease for him, after all he always said he wanted to live there for the rest of his life, we said we hoped it would be longer than 5 years, but we'd cross that path when we came to it. Both new Landlord and Tenant satisfied, we were over the moon.
What a blessing to see an old man’s face change from fear and worry to joy, relief and gratitude.
This is why we love real estate. It's the people, it's their lives. We made a good friend and he will remain in our hearts and in our lives.
We are so powerful in each other's lives if we choose to be, Gunter thinks he was blessed but we are the ones that got the privilege to bless him. It's an honour for someone to trust you, to become vulnerable and to allow you into their lives and we are so grateful that he did.
For those looking to cure their heart conditions, Gunter’s secret cure is Dark chocolate......but it's got to be 85% Cocoa 😉