Jan 142009

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Its a waste of a blog post really but just wanted to record somewhere for posterity that I am going to miss living in Klecken and this house.

When we first came to Klecken I expected to hate it, I am really a townie, so somewhere as small as Klecken was incredibly off putting but its been great. Sadly we are now only here till middle / end of May.

I am going to miss this house mostly because of its size & feeling of openness in the living / dining area. Basically its huge & once you get used to it, its hard to give up. I need to see if we still have the square meterage for this house as I can’t remember it off the top of my head. Its great for the kids to be able to tear about, (used too) drive a Bobby car inside & build huge Brio train tracks. Admittedly the downside of a large house is there is a damn sight more to vacuum / clean.

I don’t want to leave now, but with having to move because the landlord wants to come and live in his house again, and given that we don’t have a car (nor want a car) then living in somewhere like Buchholz is our best option.

More on this later, plus some photo’s from in and around Klecken once they’ve been sorted 🙂 (Partly holding off on iPhoto 09)

Update, found these two old pics on Flickr of the house in Klecken from when we moved in.

This is the “front” of the house, coming up from the carport. The front door is actually on the side of the building towards the back.

Our new house

This pic is after our stuff had arrived, and we had started to unpack. Thats Toby BTW, who would have been 14 months old at the time. This pic should give you some sense of the size of the living area. (Hard to call it a room)

Chaos reigns

Jan 102009

For those not aware, our tenancy on this house runs out at the end of May and the Landlord wants to move back in. He’s been working for Hapag in its Florida offices for the last few years and it worked out well for us when we first arrived that we could move out to the country and not have to pay the excessive Hamburg rents (well not excessive compared to many in the UK).

So this has left us looking for the last few months for somewhere to live and trying to work out what we want from a house. Things are a little more complicated here because you are commited for much longer than in the UK regarding early repayment penalties. Basically typically it tends to be 10 years, opposed to the UK which is often 2 or 3 (well it was). One quirk is that when buying in the UK, the seller pays the estate agent fees, here we would have to and the % for it varies (though a number seem to hover around 6.25% of the price).

These are the 4 that are really top of the list of those that we have seen so far, 3 of them are only really contenders in my mind but two of those have yet to be seen by Roberta & they suffer from being far out from the center of Buchholz.

So the order in my mind, based on criteria rather than heart, are:


This first one is the best fit BUT not my fav. I can’t put my finger on way but while I can understand and agree with all the pluses of this house it just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t love it. Some of the pluses for us are that its basically in the centre of town (well 5-10 minute walk away), short walk to the train for Bob, has a spacious guest room and bathroom in the cellar and a fair price. Including cellar its 170 square meters for €175000


This one is my favourite, when I was driving up to it with my parent in laws a few days ago I initially liked the feel of the area. Very green & the roads where quiet and basically all the houses around seemed to have children that lived there; a great thing for Toby & Mareike. Going in this place felt right, I love it and can picture us living there. It does have its problems though (nothing cosmetic though, no work needed): the plot of land its on is tiny and your garden is overlooked by the house right next door (really close), there is no guest room at present though we could add one of the really rather large cellar. Great if you have a car, otherwise its 20 minutes walk (fine), or bus BUT bear in mind that buses stop at 2pm on Saturday in Buchholz and there is no service on Sunday (unless its the rare Sundays where shops open). Normally it would go for about €239000, its currently €189000 because the owners are getting divorced and need to sell the place. Minor aside, we managed to work out where this house was using Google Maps before we knew where it was.


Not a lot to say on this one, we (parent in laws, kids & me) saw this one after the one above. Its nice, smaller plot of land but has a real garden which isn’t overlooked. House is quirky and cool because of it, especially the top floor studio. Cellar is naff, its only a half cellar but would suit some of our needs. Guests could go into the first floor with kids 🙂 Kitchen is great, lots of space, work surface & storage. The downside of this house is that its even further than the above house from town, talking 3.6km I believe. Again yes there is a fairly frequent bus but come Sat afternoon / Sunday we’d be stuck with walking / cycling. One thing is that it would be very close to the new supermarket in the industrial estate which is about 1.5km away. This is up for €169000


This is the final one I will do for the moment, on paper it looks great. The house is big, the garden has tons of space and its detached. It has some issues though, the bathroom would need to be ripped out before we could move in so that is extra work / money / organisation and we might have to redo the kitchen as well. The decretive order isn’t ideal either, really we (that is parent in laws & me, Bob disagrees a bit) would need to redo most of the papering & ceiling tiling and some other things. There are some decent sized rooms and the price is good €169500 but not good enough in my mind.

NOTE: Regarding the links, to see bigger version of the pics click on the Bilder tab and if there are floor plans click on the Grundrisse tab. Some word translations:


Kaufpreis: The selling price
Zimmer: number of rooms
Wohnfläche: the amount of living space
Nutzfläche: the size of the cellar
Grundstücksfläche: the amount of land the house is built on
Anzahl Badezimmer: number of bathrooms
Anzahl Schlafzimmer: number of bedrooms
Zustand: the condition of the house
Baujahr: the year it was built

For the living space, that generally does not include the size of the cellar, though for the top house they have added it.

Jan 052009

Been trying to remember some of my old email signatures. The only 2 I remember so far are:

“Clarity comes from reading and with it understanding”

“Lifes a joke, question is who’s the butt?”

The former was me trying to be profound (I think, who knows now it was from nearly 15 years ago) though I do think it’s true. If you truly read something and consider it then it will become clear and you will gain understanding.

The later I still hold to be true, life is like a giant joke at times, the question at any moment is who is the butt of that joke. Often it’s felt like me, with all the things that have happened in my life 🙂

Jan 022009

Smokey, originally uploaded by tarasis.

The black lump at the top of the slide there is one of our four cats,

Toby had told me the cat was climbing up and I assumed he was joking.
Thankfully I managed to catch a snap before she jumped down.

The white is a mix of snow and frost. Very cold here at the moment.

I should add that our cats normally follow us to the park, its only a short distance away but generally the whole time we are there the cats will also be there (usually Blackie & Smokey, sometimes Tabs … I don’t think Marmalade has been there with us yet). They are a little clingy 🙂

Jan 012009

Had planned something else for posting but that will have to wait for now.

Instead, Happy New Year to all the read or come across this blog.

I hope that 2009 brings the things you hope for.

and if anyone happens to have a spare couple of grand, give it to me please 🙂 I’d love to go to WWDC this year in SF.


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