I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to share today’s news with you. We’re starting out on an amazing new adventure and it’s completely life-changing in almost every possible way. If you follow us over on Instagram, you’ll already know what I’m on about…
We’ve bought a house!
But not just any house, we bought our dream home that’s beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s epic.
Obviously, it’s not all as straightforward as it sounds and I have to admit that we’ve completely ignored our own advice and plans to be able to live in such an amazing house.
We’d planned on being mortgage-free (or as close to it as possible), we’d planned on having almost no debts, we’d planned on living somewhere smaller than our apartment in Berlin and we’d planned on keeping money left over for renovating our home straight away.
Instead, we’ve blown the budget, have a horrendous mortgage, almost no money to do the renovations and live in a house that’s way too large for us in a city where we know no one.
Will it all be worth it?
I honestly have no idea. Have we lost our minds? Quite possibly, but we really couldn’t be more excited about the adventure ahead. Our original house-buying plans might have derailed slightly but who can blame us when our new dining & living room looks like this…
If you’ve been following our journey for a while, you’ll know that we’re complete suckers for older properties and period details and this house has them in abundance. There are fireplaces everywhere, there are high ceilings with decorative plaster, there are huge sliding doors between the living and dining room and there’s a gorgeous parquet floor on the ground floor, too.
We can’t wait to get stuck in and start the renovations even if it means that we’ll be living in complete chaos for the next few years.
As always, we’ll be doing as much of the work as possible ourselves. The house has enormous potential and, if we were just out to make a profit and were sensible, we’d probably split the house into apartments (each of which would still be roughly the size of our Edwardian semi in Manchester). That would all be too sensible though and we can’t bring ourselves to rip out all of the features that make this house so special.
We have a rough idea of the changes and improvements we’d like to make and have already started working on some more detailed plans. Having said that, we would like to get a better feel for the place before we make any final decisions.
There’s no getting around the fact that we’ve taken on a huge challenge. Renovating this house is going to push us to our absolute limits both in terms of the amount of work we have to tackle and budgeting for everything that has to be done.
Before we can start to tackle any of the projects that will make this house prettier and a nicer place to live, we will have to get less exciting projects out of the way.
I’m pretty sure that our heating is on its last legs and, whilst we have a new fuse box, a lot of the sockets and bits of cable that I could see don’t look in the best of condition either.
Safety is definitely our main priority, so we’ll be having all sorts of checks carried out to make sure that our chimneys are safe to use, that our heating will keep us warm through the winter and that we won’t accidentally electrocute ourselves when using any of the sockets.
Oh, and the fact that there’s no balustrade leading up to the first floor landing isn’t exactly ideal given how steep the staircases in old Dutch properties are!
Having said all of that, we think that it’s perfectly livable as it is, well, it will be as soon as we’ve installed some sort of kitchen!
After all of the checks and probably replacing our heating, our priorities differ slightly and we’re still trying to agree on what to do next.
Jan would like our small living room at the front of the house completed first so that we have somewhere to retreat to and hide away from the rest of the building site. The whole house is a bit icky at the moment which is why I would like to get one of the bathrooms updated so that I have a nice and clean space to shower after a long day of DIY.
Here are a few fun facts & numbers about our new home.
On every level, this house is more than we could have ever hoped for but, as you can probably imagine, there are a few challenges we have to face, one of which is the huge amount of work it needs. But we’re up for the challenge and there will be a LOT to share!
As much as it’s daunting to be tackling a full-on renovation in a country where we don’t yet speak the language, we equally can’t wait to get this project started. We have so many ideas for this house and we hope you join us on our new adventure!
What would your first priority be? A cosy living room to retreat to or a bathroom where you don’t feel icky and are happy to get clean?