Home or House hunting?
Hectic times here! Hectic.
Operation Sweden is in full swing, along with every Christmas event you can think of, plus a work trip to Manila to add to the mistletoe madness.
During the last few weeks, we have been solely focussed on buying a home in Sweden. Turns out, buying property/getting a bank loan approval/attending open houses, whilst you are not in the country nor a resident of said country, is pretty stressful business.
Every day included hot debates coupled with a seesaw of undecidedness. Do we try to find a dream home right from the start? What level of renovation could we handle now we both had full-time jobs? How ‘small’ are we prepared to go to remain in Stockholm central?
THEY WANT HOW MUCH FOR THAT??????? Prices are on a comparative level to Sydney – absolutely eye watering! And since we have been living in Sydney, Stockholm property prices have risen by 20%.
There was much debate in our household about the likelihood of us finding our ‘dream’ home, whilst being on the other side of the planet. Was that even feasible to aim for? Shouldn’t we just get a ‘good-enough-for-now’ place that we could use as a base, so we could continue to search once we were actually in the city?
On the ‘good-enough-for-now’ to ‘lets-stay-here-for-a-bloody-long-time’ scale, I was much more on the side of trying to find a more permanent solution. I couldn’t bare the idea of another pending move and more upheaval for the family.
We both agreed, we weren’t looking for a house, we were looking for a home. THE SEARCH WOULD CONTINUE.
As the days and weeks ticked on, the pressure to find somewhere to live mounted. And mounted. Towards the end, there was even talk that my ‘must-have’ list was unrealistic:
- Must have an open fireplace
- Must have a bath
- Must not have other houses too close, or with an open view of our backyard
- Must have forest views
- Must be in walking distance to public transport, preferably trains
- Must have a city feel, but also feel like we are living in the countryside
- Must have room for a piano
- Must have an office space for me
- Must have options of a guest room
- Must be close to the city centre
- Must be close to beautiful lakes and national parks
- Must be in our budget
- Must have a good floorplan
- Must have room for chickens
We would be stalking the property market and sharing our finds with each other on a daily basis. I would often be heard saying, ‘well yes, it’s nice … but I can’t see where my chickens would go?’. TSH would then mention the fact that I haven’t been able to keep a herb garden alive, but I would remind him that our children seem to be thriving, so I was confident in my skills.
For the most part, we were very in sync with the style of home we wanted, although at times, we both had differing ideas.
An example of things I’d send to TSH:
And he would send me this:
So far we have sent friends and relatives to numerous open houses all around Stockholm. With my positive spirit, I’ve sent our best friends to check out:
- a cabin in the woods that was not connected to town water and would have been fine, size wise, if we left our 3 children in Sydney.
- a house further south of Stockholm, thats main feature was an outdoor pool. Oskar asked what we would do with it for the 50 weeks of the year we would not be able to use it. I told him that the kids would love an ice rink.
In the end, the northern lights aligned and we finally found a home. Chickens or not? Find out soon….