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Thursday
Jul072011

No millionaires, unfortunately

It´s Thursday! That means it´s soon the weekend! On Saturday we will go back to the house and start working on the garden and hopefully we will be allowed to start painting the walls inside the house. It is all very, ahem, colorful and I want it all white for a start. We´re still in the annoying state of "buying the house" because in Germany, after the contract is signed, it will still take about 4-8 weeks until the money can be transferred and the house finally belongs to you. So until then, the house is still not ours technically and we´ll have to ask for permission for everything we do. Annoying, yes?

The picture above shows the huge room that we´ll turn into a holiday apartment/space for visiting friends & family. When we thought about what we wanted our new house to be, this was pretty much on top of the list: To have a space for visiting family and friends. I love that I can invite my mom for a few weeks over the Summer and she´ll have her own apartment! Also, we hope to make some money with it as a holiday rental... because when you just bought a house, money doesn´t hurt.

Speaking about money. You all probably think we must be millionaires to be able to afford such a house. Rest assured, we are not. Real estate in Brandenburg (the area surrounding Berlin) is very inexpensive. This huge, refurbished house costs less than my friend just paid for a small 1-bedroom apartment in the suburbs of Munich. However, yes, Brandenburg is not for everyone. But this is a topic for another post.

Also, I think some of you may be irritated that we bought a refurbished house instead of a fixer-upper. I always imagined us buying a fixer-upper because I was - and am - not willing to pay for the terrible things people do to their houses when they "modernize" them. However, this house has been refurbished with great care and taste.  Apart from a few questionable color choices and the style of one of the bathrooms there´s nothing I would have done differently. Also, I have renovated three apartments/houses with my own hands over the past 8 years, and I´m sick of it. I´m very happy to be able to just move in. Which we´ll do in August! I can´t wait.

Sunday
Jul032011

Wow, it´s huge!

It´s the first thing people say when we show them pictures. Why yes, it is huge! Look at this picture, it´s hilarious. Thats me! I´m a very tall girl! And look how tiny I seem. (Also, I look like I have knock knees, which I can assure you I actually don´t).

The house has about 270 square meters of living space, 120 downstairs and 150 upstairs. Ready for some floor plan action?

Here´s downstairs. When you enter the hallway ("Flur"), the dining room/kitchen is on the right hand side and the living room on the left. The dining room ("Esszimmer") and the kitchen ("Küche") is more ore less one giant room which I love. Also the kitchen is North facing and not the brightest room (yes there are challenges too, actually quite a few- we´ll get to that!) but it gets lots of light from the huge South-facing windows in the dining room. The living room ("Wohnzimmer") is a lovely bright room. And then there´s another North-facing room ("weiteres Zimmer") which is a bit odd as it used to be two rooms and still looks like it (see? challenges!). It has the best views of the garden though! Some day, when we win the lottery, this will be a library/music room (I want a piano so badly!). Last but not least there´s a small guest bathroom under the stairs.

Upstairs! There used to be only one room upstairs, the one with the access to the balcony. Everything else used to be attic/storage space and has been converted only 6 years ago when the entire house has been renovated. We´ll turn the balcony room ("Gästezimmer") into our office. Next to it is a lovely big room ("Kind I") which will be our bedroom. Then there´s a small room ("Kind II") which will be our walk in closet (almost no storage spaces in this house - challenge!). There are two rather spacious bathrooms. And then there´s a huge huge loft space ("Eltern"). It´s a wonderful room with great light. The plan is to cut off this room and one of the bathrooms and convert the space into a holiday apartment with a separate access.

Whew. You´re right, it´s huge! I hope we won´t get lost in it!

Thursday
Jun302011

Yeah, about that house.

So that was sort of a cliffhanger, yes? I´m sorry. Turns out buying a house means a lot of work (and stress, and worries), and if you add quite a lot of work-work to that, and travelling for work, and a lingering cold, you´ll find yourself in a position where you just don´t want to log into your blog at 11pm when the day is finally, finally over.

Having said that, here we are. With a few more pictures, but not really of the house. Because you know what? I really only have a few very bad snapshots of the interior which I took during the viewings. Good thing we have the keys to the house now which means we don´t need to traipse around it and act like burglars any more! We can legally enter the house! So yesterday, we went. And when I turned on my camera, I realized I had forgotten to bring my memory card.

So that was that.

By the way, this is the view of the church of the village. The pretty, pretty church that is standing across from our house basically.

This is the view from our balcony. See, the house is located right at the village square and all the houses there form kind of a circle around the church (which is hidden behind the trees in this picture). Isn´t this pretty? At first we were looking for a free standing house with no neighbours at all, but this? I can take it.

This is part of the garden and the backside of the house. You´ll notice that we´ll have a lot of work to do in this garden. It´s pretty, ahem, wild? But then again, it has four plum trees, so all is good. This is a dream come true for me. I always imagined myself making jam with plums from my own garden. Also, we have a small walled-in garden. With a sizeable barn in it! Ha.

And a stream! Running through our garden! I can´t even begin to tell you how much I love this. (Until it floods our basement.)

Right, and here is a sneak peek at the interior of the house. What you see here is the living room and behind that the hallway and behind that the dining room. (A dining room! Hyperventilation.) It´s the only ok-ish picture I have and the one I kept staring for hours during this whole buying process, because, you know: Old wood floors. Crazy-beautiful old wooden doors. A wood stove. 3,50 meter high ceilings. It will all be worth it in the end.

Tuesday
Jun142011

In a very big house in the country

So, we are buying a house. This house. It´s an old farm in the country from 1909. My mom says two of my grandparents were born in 1909 and that this is a good sign.

And yes, it is as big as it looks. So big that I´m embarrassed to tell you how big exactly and that we´ll rent out a holiday apartment. Y´all come visit?

Also, it has a huge (huge!) garden with lots of old trees. And with a little stream running through it. No I´m not kidding you. However, you know what a big garden means, right? Chickens! A dog!

What is more, it´s in the cutest village. The cutest I have ever seen, I swear. We fell in love with the village first and then with the house (which does not mean that we are not in love with the house. We totally are).

There´s even a secret lake in the woods nearby! (Supposedly. We haven´t found the lake yet. I guess that´s what "secret" is about.)

We´ll sign the contract next week if everything goes well (fingers crossed!). I´ll show you more pics soon. 

You guys, we´re actually buying a house! I still can´t believe it.

PS: This caused a bit of confusion: We´re not leaving Berlin. Or at least not the area. The house is in the south of Berlin near the Spreewald area. We´ll commute to our jobs. Until we find that gold pot.

Thursday
Jun092011

I am still here. Are you? 

Hi! I´m sorry for the radio silence. Things got a bit out of hand here, in many ways.

BUT. I promise I´m back for good. I have a lot to tell you, Internet. Good things. Big things. Things that will provide a lot of content. Watch this space next week for the big announcement.

In the meantime, please enjoy these two pictures from my recent short trip to the Cotswolds. This is a rather lovely spot, guys. I really liked it there. Except I was so exhausted that I slept almost all the time. They do have comfy beds in the Cotswolds!

I´ll be back. Next week. For reals.