For six long years, Jos and I have viewed many houses and apartments in order to move from where we live now. In that time, we continued all the work we have done in our current house thinking it would increase our pleasure here and hopefully be something a potential new owner would like too. I was convinced it was never going to happen! About six months ago, I said we needed to stop looking for a bungalow style house which we could not afford in the size we want or an apartment as we are not ready to go that route. We decided to look at some houses with garages that we could convert to a studio and later bedroom when my health is worse.
Next problem is I want to live in an older home with lots of character but Jos wants a new build that is well insulated and not a problem with noise from neighbors in the home. You see for those of you in other countries, Holland is a tiny country where land is a premium. We have to rob a bank to buy a free standing home in this area of the country or buy one that is falling apart. Now since Jos is not a DIY kind of guy, this was out of the question for him. We currently live in a row house which we love inside but cannot possibly create the extra space we want.
We finally found a house. Actually, we bid on this house a year ago and were flat out refused. It is a house in the same neighborhood we live in now and is only two streets away from here. It is 15 years old but needs work done to it as the owners have not kept it up while living there. And here it is...
We were busy arranging to buy this house (photo below) that is being built at this moment. It has a thatched roof and I feel in love with it the minute I saw it. It has a garage we can convert but is not large and cannot be extended. Jos was doing figures over the costs of this house and the one we bid on a year ago which was practical for us. He called the realtor and told him we had to know fast if they would reconsider if we increased our bid just slightly.
It was a matter for us of letting our hearts or our heads win. Heads won as the realtor called and said that they would now except the offer. They had just purchased a house themselves after three years of trying to sell this house, they wanted to move. (My friend Sonja will be relieved as she was concerned about the fire risk of thatch.)
The back view of the house shows how large it is! It is the size downstairs of many apartments here. It has a very large living room, a bedroom and a studio all on that level. My mother will now have her own floor with one large bedroom, bathroom and roof terrace when she visits. I can see her grinning from here. Best of all, it was in our budget even with all the work that needs done!
For our city, this house is on a large plot. For American standards, it is a tiny garden though. We have space to finally park both cars in our own driveway and a garden we are looking forward to getting started in.
Now comes the next phase. We must get this house up for sale. I am saying lots of prayers that we find a buyer quickly although we are prepared for it being 2 years for a sale. This type of house is not selling since the financial crisis started. They are a good deal for the money as this house is very spacious inside. This was one of the reasons we had difficulty in finding a new home that was the size we needed. But fingers crossed all the hard work on making this house a home will pull as a new buyers heartstrings.
I hope to be less quiet now that this is behind us. I have not been online to visit you all at your blogs. I am going to make an effort to get around to you all this week. Thanks for staying with me when I was not around as much!