Wednesday, August 16, 2006

To buy or build

So, remember all the information that I collected about building a house? The German and I visited pieces of land. We went to trades shows and were completely overwhelmed by roof tiles. A German bank clerk told me that I don't count. Well all of that was for nothing.

A quick trip down memory lane . . . in April we decided to build a house and buy land from the city. The city told us that we could buy the land in July or August and start building in September. Don't worry; we will contact you when you can sign the contract. Great. So we waited . . .

In June the German (rightly so) started to get worried. In July he drove by the land, and there was a rapsfeld (canola flower field?). Hmm. Two weeks ago we went back to the city.

Overpaid city official: "Yes, seems that the people selling us the land were having some difficulties. It has all been sorted, though, and we are preparing the lots now."

Frustrated possible home owner: "So when can I build?"

Official: "Well . . . the contracts can be signed in November and you could start in December."

Angry possible home owner: "But the building company won't start then. They said not until March. By then the value added tax will have increased, and the house will be like 8000 Euro more expensive than we planned!"

Official: "Yes, I know it is frustrating. What can you do?"

Not build a house for one thing. So, the German and I started to explore other options last week. We went to a real-estate agent who showed us a few houses, one of which was pretty nice (and the price even nicer!). Today we signed something like a letter of intent to buy a house so that paper work can get started.

The house is HUGE! It has two floors and a complete basement. Also, the lot is really nice and because the trees are older, none of the neighbors can see into our house. (I was going to post pictures by Blogger is acting stupid and will not let me. Maybe I can post them later.)

There are some disadvantages though. The house is 40 years old. The bathrooms and kitchen must be completely torn out and renovated. Also, all the floors have to be re-carpeted and new windows installed.

Suddenly, I feel like a grown up. However, it is like I am being pushed kicking and screaming into adulthood. On Sunday, some of the German's family laughed when we told them about the house. "Well, Claire you have one year left until you are 30. You have a job and now maybe a house. All you need is to get pregnant and everything will be good to go" (wink, wink).

I have single friends of mine who complain about how frustrated they are by society's expectations that they get married. However, if you are married, you are faced with a complete different set of expectations. It is always something, isn't it?

But for now, I am about to become a homeowner. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of those Time Life Books about house renovations? “She who lays tiles” is soon to be my new name.


Karl said...

A full basement! That's awesome. You'll be glad you have the extra space.

The Big Finn said...

I'm impressed with your energy and enthusiasm. We HAD a big house in the Chicago suburbs, and it was a TON of work. We haven't owned a house for six years, and I've loved every minute of it.
That being said...home renovation can be a lot of fun!

Carrie said...

Yeah! Homeownership! Sometimes I wish I lived in an apt so I would't have to cut the grass, paint the house, keep the lawn looking half-way decent, etc...and then I remember Radford and the neighbors being so close and the paper-thin walls.....ew. You and the German will have to have "naked time" once a day in the new house.

Hey- hope you don't close during the wedding week!


Dixie said...

Hope it all goes very smoothly!

hexe said...

How exciting! Yes, buying a home does make you feel like a grown up. Having kids just makes you old - take it from someone who knows :)