Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House Hunting Adventures of Tjeerd and Nina

Yeah, I know how tiring struggle it is to search for a house in Holland. I listened hunting stories from Olja; later I have witnessed many such attempts of my bosses Margriet&Age.. And now; for the last 5-6 months I have been reading the adventures of Tjeerd and Nina via their blogs.

The common things in all those house-hunting adventures were:
  1. tens of houses are checked from inside or outside before you can find "the one".
  2. after a certain point, the hunters get into a desparate mood: "we will never be able to buy a house" they say to colleagues, friends.
  3. If there are more than one hunters for the same house, bidding is used to choose one of them. The one with highest bid gets the house. There is always a case where the hunters get depressed to lose a loved-house because of their lower bidding offer.
  4. The checked houses always have something to be fixed & repaired. So, while making a bidding you have to also take into account the additional expenses you will make for such repairings etc.
  5. "it must be in a central place; but rather must have a yard with some green stuff" is one of the very popular initial requirements for the dream-house.
  6. You must be in contact with one or several realtors during the hunting, asking for appointments to see the house.
  7. Construction inspector is another guy with a must-contact. (S)he will inspect the house of interest and inform you on how much to spend in order to fix the things.
What I did was to scan Nina's and Tjeerd's blogs to exemplify those common things. This would be a nice tutorial for the expats of Holland who wants to buy a house, I thought.

(The complete house-hunting adventure of Nina-Tjeerd is available through Nina's own blog: MyLife... Start from this page from the post at the bottom of the page; and proceed upwards and then by clicking to "next posts".)

1. "Yet another house to be seen" mood
  • "This was the seventh house we viewed on the inside, out of the 25 houses we viewed from the outside. I think three more to go, so the tenth house will be it! :)" says Nina in her post titled "House 7".
2. "We will never make it" desparate mood
  • "Tjeerd thinks we will never find a house we both like and that is still available when we find out about the house. " says Nina in her post titled "And SOLD again...".
  • "Since several months we are looking around for houses just outside the city. Some houses are sold within a week, other houses are for sale for over six months. But every time when we call a realtor to make an appointment to view a house, we got the answer: “We just sold that house yesterday".
    I am not kidding, it’s every time! " complaints Nina in her post titled "Where's the crisis?" Read the whole post to learn about their funny idea on making money out of this experience :D
  • "We hope that the woman can’t get the mortgage for this house of course. This may sound evil, but it’s our only hope." says Tjeerd in her post titled "Househunting: too late part two", a post he made after they learned that the house they were interested in was sold to one other hunter.
3. "Oo dear house, don't leave us..Our bidding was not that bad" mood
  • "Unfortunately, the seller of the house didn’t like our condition about the construction technique, so he chose the other couple and they will get the house. Of course, it’s a pity that we didn’t get this house, because we really liked it" says Nina on her post titled "the house we didn't get"
  • "Now a colleague of Nina has won the bid on the house. A big pity that we didn’t get the house, because there were actually no negative things about the house (location, inside et cetera)." says Tjeerd on his post titled "Next"
4. "The cost for the things to be fixed is amazing :-( " mood
  • "But the house belonged to an old lady and there are many things that has to be fixed or renewed. " says Nina on her post "House hunting 2: Maarn".
  • "all the windows and window frames need to be renewed! And the draining in the kitchen isn’t connected to the sewage system yet. So the costs we did calculate for this house will be doubled! And that’s really way too much." is from Nina's another post: "House hunting goes on".
5. "We want a dream house" mood
Hmm, there is no post I found to be quoted for this mood :). But I remember our chats with Tjeerd last year. I know he wants a green place, and Nina wants a central place. So, the source is: personal communication :)

6. "Oo those realtor guys!!" mood
  • Nina talks about the "Realtor World" with a surprised-angry mood: "It’s a world we can’t see from the inside, so we just have to believe what the people in this world tell us. And that’s hard, because the news they tell us isn’t very believable." she writes.
  • "Tomorrow it’s “Open Houses Day”: many houses that are for sale open their doors, and you can visit these houses without making an appointment". says Nina on "House sold" post, feeling happy that they do not have to deal with any realtors..
  • "I sent an e-mail to the realtor to confirm the appointment, just to be sure. I got an automatic reply from him. It said: "I don’t work as a realtor anymore". What!?" says Nina, very surprised on her post "Realtor Mystery".
7. "Construction inspectors" mood
  • "Well, we know which contractor we will definitely not hire for the modernisation if we buy a house. Why not? They promised us to give a costs calculation last Friday in the afternoon, or else definitely last Monday. We didn’t hear anything " says Nina on a post titled "Waiting, waiting, waiting!"
  • "This contractor advertises with being the cheapest, but that can’t be true. We found out that it’s cheaper to hire a carpenter, an electrician and a plumber, instead of a contractor who arranges everything for you." says she on her othe post: "Contractor and Realtor"
The Happy End
Yup, they have finally managed to get a house few weeks ago, afterd facing with bankrupt realtors, dying owners and some other adventures. You can read how they are happy about this via Nina's post "Our new house" and Tjeerd's post "Our new house"

They even have a new blog for the new house www.dorpsstraat52.nl.


Nina said...

Hi Tunahan,
I really like the log you wrote about house hunting in Holland. It sure isn't easy :) It's great how you found quotes from our blogs to explain the different kinds of mood. When I read your log, all the moods came back to me, but I read it with a smile. The last six months were a big adventure and we will never forget all the trouble we went through. But now we finally found a house! So the house hunting trouble is over. Now the mortgage, insurance and renovation troubles start :) But I think we will manage it, and there is one positive thought: we always have some stories to tell!
Thanks for the log,

tunahan said...

Hoi Nina,
The thing is, it was really really fun for me to read your and Tjeerd's adventures through your blogs, and to get familiar to the every details of the dutch way of buying a house.
It is always good to know how the things happen in different cultures/countries. So, you deserve a "thanks" for sharing it..

~Lopa said...

hahaha very nice....funny and quite realistic post ;)

seen it, done it... hehehe
Saw 22 houses and settled for one...

On of friends have seen countless houses... finally bid for one, and lost it ! So now back to step 1.
Tiring and frustrating at times!

tunahan said...

:) Lopa, so you were also house-hunting once!
I am sure your friends will manage to find "the one" since I do not know any exception yet :)

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