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.

I'd love to hear what you have to say

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