Friday, November 5, 2010

My helper

A few months back I posted that I'd found my house. This was an apartment arranged through the University. The problem with it was that it is located in the middle of downtown Rotterdam, above a casino of all places. After seeing just how small it was (2 bedrooms + study), I decided that although this is our easiest option, it would not be the best.

Zoetermeer is a town located 15 miles north of Rotterdam. It's where my dad lives. And 3 of my cousins with their families. And my aunt and uncle. And the temple is there. And the ward has a lot of young families. And overall the town is very family friendly.

When I first started looking for a rental house there, options looked grim. Generally speaking, Dutch rental house are "kaal" (bare). When they say kaal, they MEAN kaal! Floors are concrete- no tile or carpet or wood. All light fixtures have been removed. The kitchen has a sink, and that's it! No oven. No stove. No microwave. No fridge. No freezer.
The philosophy behind this kaal method, is that renters won't want to have someone else's carpet, or kitchen. I don't know why anyone would rather do all that work and spend the money to practically renovate a rental house. Maybe if you plan to live in it for the next 20 years.....

My dad has been my front man. He has found us a great deal on a car, a 1989 Volkswagen Golf. At first it seemed smartest to forego a car altogether. A car will make things a little more complicated and expensive, but worth it nonetheless. Just imagine all the times our American friends come to visit (hint hint). We'll actually be able to join them on outings. Plus, public transportation can add up quickly and is less than ideal. With that being said, I still completely plan to use my bike 95% of the time. The car will be there for large semi-monthly grocery stock-ups. And for visiting far away relatives and friends. And maybe, just maybe for miserably rainy Sundays. Joe's main form of transportation will be a moped similar to this
I used to own of of these bad boys. And loved it! It saved me so much time over biking.

My dad also found the lead to the perfect house. It's currently for sale, but the owners don't want to have it sitting vacant. It comes with flooring, lighting, a fabulous kitchen, and even curtains! It's move in ready, reasonably priced, and right next door to my favorite cousin Talita's house. The only possible snag, is the fact that it is for sale. Were they to sell it, we might possibly have to move out. That would be bad. But I'm going to stay optimistic, and hope for the best. My dad just looked at the house today, and we need to work out the details, but I'm really hoping it will be ours for the next year.

The view
Living/Dining room, with heated tiled floors!
Kitchen with LARGE oven (for Dutch standards), microwave, dishwasher, and fridge. The only thing lacking is a freezer, but there's another solution for that.... (see below)

Master bedroom with huge built-in wardrobe. Most Dutch bedrooms have no closets whatsoever, so these wardrobes will save us from buying closets
Bathroom with a separate tub and shower! And the shower has a glass encasement! Very deluxe.
And the prize of all prizes: a laundry room!!!!!!!!!!
I can't say enough how happy I am about this. Most commonly, washing machines are located in the bathroom, and clothes are hung to dry. Hang drying clothes is something I refuse to do in "het koude kikkerland". It's hard enough with a dryer to keep up with all the mountains of dirty clothes. This little gem also has space for a small chest freezer. That will save me daily trips to the bakery.


wannabee free said...

Awesome!!! This is a beautiful house. Sounds like the perfect set-up. Hope you get to stay in it for a long time. How long will the schooling be?

Mark A said...

I am jealous of your adventure, but I have to say as I read your post it seems like your are approaching this too much as an American. You know "when in Rome..." Maybe you don't need (or want) a big car because there is great public transport. Maybe shucking it in a small apartment will help you live a simpler Dutchier lifestyle. And "having" to make a trip the beaker every day sounds like a pleasant fate indeed. Just food for thought.

Catherine M. said...

Just buy it!

Jessica said...

Mark- something I never wanted to hear: " you're acting too much like an American"

Catherine- just buy.... what?

Jessica said...

BTW... this house several hundred dollars cheaper to rent than the downtown apartment.

Nancy Sabina said...

That house looks so much better than that teeny tiny apartment! I hope it works out great for you.

Johnson Fam said...

It is beautiful. I hope you get it!

Wendy said...

wow NICE!

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