Daily Archives: 6 July 2006


Well. We looked at another house today. It’s the one we were sniffing around last night when the guy (Mr Fisher) invited us to look at his house. This one we’ll call the Mr Crouton house, because I can’t remember the owner’s name but it’s something like that. €239,000, plus 3.48% realtor’s commission, and it’s part of the same house-cluster as the Mr Fisher house, built at the same time, similar size etc.

So the Mr Fisher house, I really like it, and I kind of don’t want to admit to myself how much I like it, because I don’t want to be too disappointed if we don’t get it. At the same time, we had this viewing tonight, and another agent is going to get back to me on another house early next week, so I also had kind of a plenty-fish-in-sea feeling, you know?

Then we looked at the Mr Crouton house. Oh myGod, as DrBob says. It’s… just… ugh. Icky smell in the basement. Long, narrow brown kitchen, and we’d have to supply all the counters, cupboards and appliances ourselves. Lots of carpet (we hate carpet), totally filthy. A kachelofen, like in the Mr Fisher house, but not as conveniently located or as nice. Dining area? Downstairs from the kitchen, are you imagining the disaster-potential there? I just… um. I would probably settle for such a house, thinking oh well, every house needs a bit of work at first, if I hadn’t seen the Mr Fisher house. Now that I see what else is out there, I really really want the Mr Fisher house, so now I really will be disappointed if we don’t get it. DrBob says “I’ll call him,” and I’m like “Now? Howbout now?”

Oh heck, did I mention this? Because it’s biggish news. In addition to finishing a book, DrBob has a job interview in Berlin on the 17th. He wants to be a professor when he grows up, and competition is really fierce, so we’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed for this Berlin thing. So anyway, he’s under huge pressure right now, and I shouldn’t be pushing him. I know this. But I really, really want that house.

Song du jour of the day: The One, by Shakira. I’m sure the romance is just a metaphor and she’s really singing about a house.


Oh yeah. And after looking at the house yesterday, we went out for ice cream. Halfway home I notice that Ignatz has some ice cream on his nose, and I mention it to him.

He says, “I’m saving it for later.”

Two houses, serendipitously seen

We have an appointment this evening to look at a house I showed you in an earlier post (the little one. The giant ivy-covered fabulous one is already “reserved,” whatever that means). They don’t put the addresses on their site, but when I called she said it was on (um, let’s call it) Churchfield St, and we should just meet at the head of that street, okay? Okay.

Well, the street name and a picture of the house’s front is enough for me to find it, so we went up last night after dinner to take a look. And while we were sniffing around, asking eachother if this was the right house, a man working in a nearby yard asked us (in English) “You want to buy that house?” I asked if it was the one that’s for sale, and he said “Yes. I also have a house for sale, would you like to see?” And, like, whoa, kismet? Because he doesn’t even live there, he was just there doing basic maintenance stuff when we happened along.

So we got to go in and look at his house. Not listed with a realtor, which is good, as the buyer pays the commission here. And the guy seemed nice. And the house has this magical property of being bigger inside than outside. And I love the kitchen, and it has one of those wood-burning oven-thingies for warmth – well, additional warmth plus atmosphere, there’s also a regular gas-heating system – and a winter-garden…hang on, that’s not English… um, a glassed-in patio, so the plants can be happy in winter? It also has The Magic Word: built-in bookshelves. Ooooooo. And berries in the yard. The yard is tiny, but I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The kids love having a place to run around, but DrBob hates all the yardwork he has to do. The Sniglet loved the house to bits. Ignatz just wants to stay where we are right now. Forever.

Anyway. Cmhl was right, the house-hunt is a really exciting time, and I’m not sure I want it to be over yet. But I really, really like this house…

Oh right, and we also looked at another one. I think I mentioned that all the houses on this hill were built at the same time (1996 or so), and they’re all row houses with 3 units per building. So this is another house just like ours, only up the road a bit, in a quieter and less trafficky location. We went up there to sniff around, and the next-door neighbors just happened to be in their front yard, and they just happen to have a key, so they showed us around. I don’t think we’ll want to buy it, but what’s interesting about that house is that it’s quite similar to ours – in size, floorplan, materials, location, age, etc – and they want €259,000 for it, which gives us some idea as to what the owner of our house might ask, should he be willing to sell it to us. So now we know that not only can we afford this house, we would actually have money leftover to change the things we hate about it. Hmmm…

And I already used This Must Be the Place as a recent song du jour of the day, hm. So for today, how about XTC’s Mayor of Simpleton.