I can now happily announce that we have a house and a garden again! We haven’t moved in yet, have no furniture, not even a kitchen yet, but we have the keys, have started renovating, and today we went there just to sit in the garden and have a gin and tonic, because our own garden is so much nicer than where we rent.
This thing with buying a house didn’t go as planned, because it turned out that it’s impossible to get a mortgage as a foreigner, which limits the options VERY much. My husband was about to buy a house here 20 years ago, and didn’t have a problem, but obviously they have changed the rules since then.
We were better off than many, because we had leftovers from our house sale in Sweden, and could buy a cheaper house with cash. This is a great thing actually! Think of it.. being mortgage free and still have a house of your own. Fantastic!
The disadvantage is that we had to buy a quite small house that needs a lot of work. But the area is lovely, the views are lovely, the location is spot on, and the garden has lots of potential. The fact that we need to do a lot of work is in fact something good – we’ll have the kind of kitchen we want, we’ll have nice fresh rooms although they’re small. The bathroom solution isn’t great but once we’ve fixed it up, we can live with it. For me, having to do renovations can be good because otherwise you may wait too long. When we finally renovated our house in Sweden before selling it, I really regretted not doing it earlier! The result was so fabulous.. but at least I learned something, and I especially learned how I want my house to look like.
With a small house we’ll also be basically forced to give away more stuff and get more into the minimalistic mindset.. this is a good thing. There are challenges but if we just have the same goal in mind and work together, this will be a lovely house.
I’ll let you follow our house transformation eventually but for now… this is our view from the kitchen window.
What about the spot for morning coffee or book reading?
The garden is totally blank. Nothing planted whatsoever, except a hedge, and some ivy on the wall facing the road. That wall is incredibly ugly, so we plan to plant more ivy and other things to hide it..
This is the corner where I’ll start my planting spree. I plan to make it a bee & insect promoting area, with an insect hotel on the tree, and on the ground I’ll build a pile of soil where I’ll plant something that will attract bees. I’m hoping the existing hole will be large enough for smaller perennials. That apparently dead area goes all the way down the garden, and I’ll try to do something similar all the way down if possible.
Our garden continues all the way down to the shed (which is the neighbours’ shed), and we also have a spot to the left of the trees, where you see an ugly fence (which is actually made from old pallets – these will be gone asap and replaced by a hedge of rose shrubs).
Regarding this house, I’m really worried we won’t be able to keep it tidy looking because of the small size and lack of storage areas (we need to build a shed for that). I’m very badly affected by clutter, if I want a good life I simply can’t have clutter around me. This worries me – and I’m totally dedicated to a life that is a war on clutter. But we’re planning to design all rooms so that there’s nowhere that invites to piling clutter, and I try to think more of the possibilities and ideas to make it a good relaxing space.
I want to believe that a small house actually makes life easier – you get around everywhere to clean easily, less areas to keep tidy, not having to climb stairs, you have less space to store things you don’t need which means you probably don’t get things you don’t need. You will actually USE all rooms regularly. In Sweden we had a huge house and we didn’t even use all the rooms! That feels crazy now…
THIS is the real start of our new life – having a house of our own again, and making it a good living space.