Home Tour: Move-In Edition

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 5, 2013

in Germany, life, moving

Once in a while I try to prove to myself that I’m capable of writing a blog post that’s just reporting the weather, so to speak. You know: Here’s what’s happening with me this week. Sorta Dear Diary, blog style.

But looking back through my posts, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been too successful. I’m too much of a fan of analysis and insight to just put things out there and not comment or wonder why.

So here is my attempt at just that.

Friday I picked up the keys to our permanent apartment. Sante was at Eurobike, so I wandered around with the realtor looking for damage.

Apparently, they’re pretty lax here. Stephan, our realtor, informed me that Switzerland was much more strict. Sidenote: We are an hour train ride to the border.

train freiburg

Cause that’s how we roll here.

Afterward I set up our Internet, which will take about ten days to get installed. We’ll have download speeds up to 50 Mbit for 23 €, which is ridiculous both in speed and cash. Comcast got us up to 20 Mbit for the equivalent of 37€.

I could’ve gotten 100 Mbit for around 30 bucks, but even the guy behind the counter said, “I’ve got 100 and I have no idea why. It’s so fast; I’d probably be fine with 50.”

At any rate, I’ll be blogging soon at warp speeds, which I’m excited about.

Monday rolled around and we got our “shipment.” Sante met the movers, while I cleaned our temporary apartment for his colleague, who is staying there until he moves into his place in October.

We rented it for two months because we were told it was tough to find a place here. Fortunately for us, we stumbled on to this gem right away, making our search a piece of cake.

Our home

We’re on the second floor, or as it’s called in Europe, the first floor. For whatever reason, the bottom floor doesn’t count. Or just counts as zero, I guess.

Of course we have a garage, which was a prerequisite for my bike-obsessed man. To his credit, he has other tools and does man stuff like hanging pictures and wiring lights. (More on that later.)

We’ve also got a nice little yard, or as they call it here in the King’s English, a garden. There’s also a little plot for a proper garden (what do they call that in the U.K.?), which I’m stoked on. The former tenant left me arugala, rosemary, mint, and laurels, among other things.

garden yard garage

One of our favorite things about this place is the amount of light there is everywhere. Even the entry way staircase has loads of windows.

German windows, by the way, are unbelievably cool. I know that’s a weird thing to say about windows, but seriously. They open in two different ways and as a coworker of Sante’s put it, “could withstand a nuclear blast.”

hallway windows

Now, part of the reason I’m writing this blog is to show my friends and family our place. I’ve had many requests for photos and I decided to oblige. But the fact is, folks, that we have only just moved in, which means our place isn’t neat and tidy.

That’s another reason I’m writing and showing off things as they are. I’ve been working hard on speaking my truth and allowing myself to write and speak uncensored.

I figured the perfectionist in me would freak out at the idea of showing the world our mess. And I was right. But I’ve been trying to do things that scare me a little lately, so here we go into messy, just-moved-in land!

When you walk in the door, you’re in sort of an alcove/foyer. As much as we would’ve liked an open floor plan, apparently it’s just not the norm here so we’re rolling with it.

alcove

The bathrooms are separated, which is nice for those of us who’d like to use the toilet when someone is showering. It also offers a little extra space in the bath area, which we need because there isn’t a linen closet.

In fact, there aren’t any closets. I heard a rumor that this is because home owners were once taxed on the number of rooms in a house and a closet counted as a room.

Whatever the reason, we have purchased several wardrobes; you’ll see the boxes littered around the house. Thank goodness we also have a cellar storage area.

The kitchen is the most put together room in the house so far, (duh) and for the most part I’m really happy with it. Lots of light, a dishwasher (that came in handy for washing everything that came out of boxes), and a convection oven. Oh lordy, the baker in me is sooooo excited! I’ve already made granola.

kitchen

We’ll definitely be making some adjustments as we get more settled. The sink is super low, and my back will not like too much crouching over that. There aren’t any cabinets, which I think could make it look a lot nicer and less cluttered.

But I feel like the last thing I should be doing is complaining because at least I have a kitchen. Apparently, when Germans move, they generally take their kitchens with them. I’m talking everything and the kitchen sink here. Also, rarely do they leave light fixtures. This would be why Sante is wiring six new lights in our home.

The previous tenant was moving to Switzerland where (gasp!) the kitchen stays in the house. She was upset to be leaving the refrigerator, which has a special cooling system that keeps veggies fresh for six weeks. (Would you eat a six week old cucumber? Me neither.) We paid her for the kitchen and I think we got a pretty good deal.

At any rate, an included cooking and cleaning area is not normal. Sante’s coworker spent 36 hours designing and building his kitchen. Thirty. Six. Hours. Why the Germans do this is beyond me. When I hear a reason, I will let you know.

Our bedroom is lovely, although we’re not 100 percent sure we’re going to stay here for one reason. On Monday nights there is a club nearby that hosts a popular event. Everyone walks between there and old town on our road.

The first night we slept here was not restful. We were both awake well after 3am. Not cool. We’re going to move the bed around and try again next week. If it’s still noisy, this will be the guest room. Not because we want our guests to have sleepless nights or anything, but when it comes down to it, you gotta take care of yourself first. Plus, how many Monday nights are we going to have guests?

our bedroom

The living room is hugemongous, and leads into my office, which I believe is one of the best rooms in the house. They call it an indoor balcony here; I’ve always called it a sunroom. Either way, the windows open wide and the view of the Black Forest is spectacular.

living room and sunroom black forest

And finally friends, for those of you that are coming to visit, here is the guest room, which will also serve as the workout room. It’s huge! One thing: The carpet feels like cow hide, which is nice and weird at the same time. It also led one of our friends to call it “cowpet,” which is such a clever and bad pun.

guest room black forest

I dig the different colored walls; they painted the kitchen as well. In fact, if you rent in Germany, it’s suggested that you paint certain rooms every few years. Like for instance, the bathroom is supposed to be painted every 3-5 years.

When it comes down to it, being a landlord in Germany seems pretty awesome because everyone takes care of the houses as if they owned them.

So that makes us wonder about buying property here. Both of us are pretty much on board as long as we love it after a couple of years of renting. But for now, we’re staying put in our new home and I’m excited about nesting and many more trips to IKEA.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Olivia September 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

Loved this post! I loved all the interesting little things that makes your home different from mine… just to name a few- the ridiculously low-priced internet (I’m jealous) and the first floor that I would call the second 🙂

So glad you decided to share! And welcome home.

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Ms. Becca September 18, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thanks for the comment Olivia and thanks for the welcome home 🙂 I think you are the first to say it!

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hula~la September 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I found your blog via Think Simple Now some time ago. I want to thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I have recently experienced a soul awakening, and I feel very happy. I am constantly evolving. The transformation of my physical self into a spiritual self is quite profound. Sending all good vibes your way. Aloha.

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Ms. Becca September 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hello hula~la! I’m so thrilled that you’re liking my blog and that you also enjoy Think Simple Now.

How wonderful about your soul awakening! It’s an exciting time, filled with evolution like you said. Isn’t it wonderful how we not only are evolving but are able to have the self-awareness to see it all coming about?

Thanks for the good vibes. Right back atcha! <3

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