"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life taking a new road...

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!


Elizabethd said...

What good news! It looks lovely. My friend here from Amsterdam has often told me how difficult it is to find a house with garden in the city.
I will be praying that your house sells quickly.

Dutchquiltster said...

Wat een geweldig nieuws Heidi,eindelijk iets naar jullie zin.De kaarsjes die ik nu opsteek zijn voor de verkoop van jullie oude huis.Speek je nog.
Knuffel Joke.

Sonja said...

Gefeliciteerd! Wat geweldig! Gaan we er straks even langs? En vrijstaand? Super! Wanneer ga je verhuizen? LOL!

Saskia said...

Zo zie je maar weer, de aanhouder wint.
Super leuk! en gelukkig blijven jullie lekker dicht in de buurt.
Is er genoeg ruimte voor alle quiltdames elke maand??

The Dutchess said...

Geweldig huis!!! Ik wens je veel geluk..

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, congratulations on the purchase of your home and I hope yours sells quickly. Your new home is just lovely, the garden is delightful and I hope you will be veyr happy there and also post updates of the work you do. Well done and I wish you many years of happiness there...Ann ~ Australia.

Enjoy the Seasons said...

Hallo Heidi,
Ziet er een heel mooi en ruim huis uit. Ook de tuin is gezellig zo te zien. Veel plezier ermee!
Groeten Vroni

Rhonda said...

how nice! very pretty new home for you.
And I hope it all goes smoothly.

Elly said...

Wat een prachtig huis en mooie ruime tuin. Gefeliciteerd hoor. Na het zien van de foto's snap ik waarom jullie gisteren zo enthousiast waren :) Je moeder moet nu maar snel komen, maar niet in de periode september.oktober!
Groetjes en hugs

Ellie said...

Your new garden area is pretty! I am sure you are very excited. My husband and I have been having some of the same situations because of the job and housing market here.So for now we garden where we are planted! Looking forward to more pics of your new home. Jan

Kaaren said...

I understand the heart and head analogy because we are going through the same scenario right now with looking for a new house. We currently live in a new build which, although lovely and is virtually maintenance free, is just not me. We have an offer on a 1840 stone home but are second in line si I'm not too optimistic.

I just know that you and Jos will make this house your home as well and that you will be happy there. Please remember to take before and after pictures so we can share in your journey.

Congratulations and my your current home sell quickly!

Susan in SC said...

What a pretty blue house! I just love it. I know you and Jos will be happy there. I hope your house you will sell quickly.

Joni said...

Congrats and I hope your current house sells quickly. I can't wait to see the new one.

Nancy said...

Ok, I am already planning my next trip so I can have my own floor and roof top terrace, (the best part), cool. I love the studio you will have. At last you will have a room with a lot of windows, therefore good lighting. I would think you wouldn't want to leave it.
Now, I don't know if it is only me, but some of the pictures are not showing.
Love you and glad you finally found the right house.
Love you, Mom

hazel c UK said...

Hi Heidi, I am so thrilled for you knowing that you have wanted to move for a long time and do hope everything goes to plan, the house and garden look lovely and I am sure you will make it into a lovely unique home like the one you are going to leave.
Love Hazel (UK)

Linda said...

Heidi...what exiciting news! Your new home looks and sounds wonderful...your Mom is going to love her suite especially the terrace. I hope things move quickly for you. hugs, Linda

p.s. I was not able to see a couple of your pictures...darn...L

I had to laugh when I did my wv darne...came up

Jenny said...

Your new house looks lovely, and the garden will bring you much joy.
I am really happy for you that you have found what you were looking for. I know that you will make your new house a happy, comfortable home in no time. :) On one of the samplers that I love the saying says " A house becomes a home when there is love inside "
How wonderful that you have this in your home now and will carry it over to your new house! I will be looking forward to all the updates!
Hope your house sells quickly.
I am sure your mom will be looking forward to her visits. :)
Hugs Heidi!

Simple Home said...

Such exciting news! Thanks for showing us the pictures too. Your new house looks wonderful. I love all the greenery too (something we don't see enough of here in the desert). I'll be praying that your house sells quickly. I haven't been online much either, our weather has just been too nice, and we've been enjoying being outside again.

Tammy said...

OH HEIDI! I'm so happy for you, what a lovely house!
Prayers and good thoughts being sent your way for a quick sell!

Ginny said...

I don't envy you packing up and moving, having done that myself just over five years ago. But it sounds like this new house is going to be perfect for you, just as our new home (mostly) is for us. You have thought about future needs, and that is always important! I hope you'll share lots of pictures of your new home as your settle in and make it your own!

Linda said...


How will it work? Will you move into the new house while waiting to sell yours - or wait for yours to sell and the move? And will the other house still be there? All very different than here in the U.S.

I was thinking the thatched roofed one was nice too - but I thought about the fact that it could affect your allergies... not sure... but that was a thought I had.

Linda in VA

onlymehere said...

This is wonderful news! I think it's adorable and think it's so sweet that you have a suite just for your mom! The terrace would be a fantastic addition for her to. I pray too that you may find a buyer quickly. How soon do you think you'll be moving? So much work for you. I hope you have good friends to help make the transition/move easier.

Rhondi said...

Hi Heidi
Your new home looks great. I'm glad for you that you'll have more space and I love the garden you have. I'll be praying that you can sell your old home quickly.
Hugs, Rhondi

Carolien said...

Hello dear Heidi,

I am catching up, 'walking far behind', but here I am again. Your new house looks fab, I love the last pictures with the garden etc. You will finally have some space!!! If you need any help, please call ... How did your mother react when she heard of it? Having your own balcony in your daughter's house is really something, don't you think? ;)))
Well, I am glad for you and keep my fingers crossed for a quick sale.

Big hugs, Carolien

Amy Marie said...

Congratulations! Exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. You only live one life, so act now and enjoy it!

Tracy said...

Terrific news, Heidi... and I do hope your sale goes quickly. You new place is wonderful--love the garden! Wishing you happy days are you dream about your move... HAPPY EASTER :o) ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Oh, I am so very happy for you and Jos. What a spectacular house. I love it, and it looks huge to me. I'm guessing the work to be done is inside, because the outside looks good.

Will keep you in my prayers that your home will sell quickly. What about renting? We are considering renting our condo out, as the real estate market in San Diego is better, but not for selling.


DonnaTN said...

Congratulations on your new home! I can't wait to see how you make it your own. You have such a great sense for decorating, both inside and out! I'll keep a good thought that your present home sells quickly.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news about your new house! As you know, I've lived in The Netherlands for four years way back when....and so I know exactly what you mean about having so much space or lack of. Congrats!! I loved those thatch roof homes and always worried about the fireworks on New Years!

Anonymous said...

Hello Heidi,

I just stopped by to wish you a Happy Easter and I read your exciting news. Your new home is going to be wonderful and it has a lovely garden for you to get working on. I hope that your own sale goes through smoothly.

Take care,

Marie x

Margaret said...

Wonderful news Heidi. Congratulations to you and Jos. Loads of room which is so great!! Hope your house sells quickly so you can move on to this next phase. You both deserve it.

hugs, Margaret

Siobhán said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so, so happy for you!! I remember awhile ago that you had mentioned wanting a new house... I am so glad that this is working out for you. I imagine that your house will show well for potential buyers because you've made it so homey and inviting. Fingers and toes crossed for you for a quick sale.

kiquilter said...

I am new to blogging, and just stumbled across your lovely blog. What a pleasant experience! Your new home is wonderful, though your "old" home is delightful. You have a talent for decorating and photography, not to mention a warm and friendly writing style! I enjoyed hearing about Cranberry Cottage. We spend the summer in our cottage on an island in Lake Erie, Kelleys Island. I too love to quilt, read (a good book I recently read is The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein) garden, and enjoy the lazy summer days, though it's still very cool here. The best of luck in selling your house quickly.