Where do you live?

As in – what kind of place? A house? An apartment? Did you love your place at first sight?

Why am I asking all these questions you wonder?

I want to buy my own place. And there are two possibilities – I can buy a small apartment with a rather large outdoor terrace (balcony) or I can buy a house with a small garden.

They are the same price and about what I can afford. The apartment has a nice view on the river and the house is in a relatively quiet street. The house has slightly bigger rooms, but has a small living room. The flat is a 2 bed flat but the smallest bedroom is very small. They are both about 10-15 years old.

I would really love to return to the town where I was born, and that’s where those two options are.

The thing is – I can’t really make my mind up about it. I think it’s secretely because I haven’t really fallen in love with either of them as what I would really want is an old (ish) town house with built in atmosphere. (= most probably too expensive for me)

So here is my question – how did you pick your place? And did you love it at first sight? What would you do if you were me?

14 thoughts to “Where do you live?”

  1. i moved from zoetermeer to nijmegen (because of love :-)

    we looked at several houses, the one we are living in now wasn’t love at first sight, but visiting it again made me see what a great house it was. it is two under one roof with a really large garden. i still can sit in my living room and tell myself what a great house we live in…

  2. We are in our sixth property. There is a tale to tell on most of them but each one had “something” we liked although I can’t honestly say I “fell” for any of them completely except perhaps one (which turned out to be the biggest mistake becaus of an evil neighbour)! Certainly our current house of eight years was a compromise as we were looking for a place with an annexe for my mother. Now she is gone and one of oursons has left home we really don’t need such a big house so may move in the next year or so but this time I really want “the” one which in my case mean a period property but whether my husband agrees is another thing!;)

    Can’t advise you really except that the house probably sounds a better bet but then again a river view….

  3. I moved from Skovvejen (Close to Østbanetorvet in Århus) out of necessity when we had children. Was very sad to move. We moved to a flat in Højbjerg, and I was not happy with that at all – too far from the center, not a nice neighbourhood, no atmosphere etc and I thought it was a matter of months before we would move again. But it has now been 4 years and I love it here. It’s like living in a village, everybody know each other and you feel like people care for each other. I think we will only move if one of us finds a great job in another part of the country.
    Anyway – I would no longer base my decision on love at first sight. In my experience a place can grow on you. With that said I guess I would go for the place with a garden.

  4. I think you want an nice apartment. Houses are more for families I think. When you are alone I think will feel lonely in a house. But perhaps that’s just me…

    I live in a small apartment in Århus :-) I ‘m taking care of the city now that you have left it. Are you still listening to some Danish music. And are you still making post cards.

    The post cards were very cute and fun :-)

  5. The main question is: will you be using the garden and do you have the time to maintain it? If not, then the apartment is the best choice.
    Miriam and I live in a small house with a garden and we always complain about the weeds in it.

  6. In the summer of 2006, we decided that we would start looking for a place of our own. No more rent, but something with a mortgage! :-)

    I was 100% sure that, after having lived in apartments (without elevators, mind you) for over 10 years, I wanted a house. Something modern. With a bath. And a garden.
    No more neighbours around us, no more carrying groceries up several stairs, no more tiny bathrooms and small balconies. Hurrah!

    We ended up buying an apartment. Built in 1955. With a walk-in closet a.k.a. as bathroom – or, more appropriately, shower room. And two tiny balconies.
    The good thing about living on the 4th (and top) floor is that there are no neighbours living above us. The bad thing about living on the 4th (and top) floor is that we have to carry our groceries up eight (yes, 8!) stairs. Not to mention family and friends who come in and have to sit down and catch their breath before being able to say hello. ;-)

    The reason I didn’t stick to my plan? As soon as we entered this apartment, we thought: wow! This is where we want to live!

    However, I assure you that our next home will be a house. Something modern. With a bath. And a garden. ;-)

    Good luck with your decision! Nobody can decide what suits you best, so go for the place that you think you can REALLY call home. :-)

  7. We moved to our house (which we are sharing with another family) when our 2nd child was born. It is an older house, built in 1954, and my husband and I immediately felt at home when we first visited. Although it is not very well isolated, one of the bathrooms is evidence of bad craftsmanship, and it is located at the main road of the village, we did never regret our decision. It is a fortunate place, you have the impression that former inhabitants must have been very happy here, too.

    Well, but that doesn’t really help with your decision, does it? Both places sound nice to me. Did you meet your possible future neighbours yet? Don’t you have a gut feeling? Would you regret it if the place was taken by somebody else before you could say “Yes”? Dear me! Just follow your heart…

  8. @all: Thank you for all your lovely answers!

    @Jacob – yes I still listen to Danish music. I have just reconnected my old external harddisk filled with tv-2 (and many many more) and still love the songs. I intend to get back to making postcards!

    On the house front – I think I like the apartment with river view better. And the balcony is large enough to have lots of pots with flowers/plants on it.

    The real estate guy however said that a house with garden would be easier to sell in the future so I am still chickening about it! :)

  9. My search for another place to live took me years. And than I found it! A 70m2 big (some people think it’s small, but not me!) real house, with a tiny ‘garden’. Why I did buy this one, instead of all the other houses and appartments I saw? Well, this one just felt right. And after two years, I know I did the right thing! (Moved within Haarlem from Rozenprieel to Leidsebuurt)

  10. Go with your instinct! I found my house, took a tour with the real estate agent and decided to buy it before we were through the entire house. It’s been wonderful and perfect for me (even if it’s a little too big–we build houses big here in the States). I think the river and a small balcony sounds lovely. I have a small creek that runs through my backyard and I love sitting in the backyard at night and listening to the crickets and the frogs. It’s so peaceful.
    If the apartment feels right, go for it!

  11. If you have ‘green fingers’, then you’d love a garden. Or some plants on your balcony :-)
    Living in a big city, I am perfectly happy with my apartment. If I want to sit outside, there’s always the park or a terrace.
    That said, I think you should also check out the neighbourhood. Does it make you feel like you could feel at home there? Is it close to a train/bus station, cinema, theater, etc?

  12. For the many places I have lived there are no real common traits. Sometimes circumstances decided for me where my bed was, sometimes I decided where to live.
    I had a view from a window seeing people from a frog perspective, on other times I had a birds eye view. Sometimes I lived alone, sometimes with at least one other person.
    Sometimes I had pets, yes, actually most of my life.
    Having a garden I could enter barefoot, avoiding to step on slugs early autumn mornings, watching beetles and spiders going about their business, watching blue tits making there nest, that’s for me the best way to live. My choice would be an easy one:-)
    Whatever choice you make, you can always follow the events next spring at this site:

  13. Volg je eigen gevoel: neem het appartement! Je koopt het huis tenslotte om zelf in te wonen, niet om het door te verkopen. Dat is van later zorg. En makelaars hebben ook niet altijd de wijsheid in pacht hoor. Als jij het er leuk vindt, ben je vast niet de enige.

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