We offered 40 thousand over the asking price


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After the arrival of their third child, it was clear to Fleur that they needed a bigger home. But yeah, try to find that, in this housing market.

Floor (41) is married to Robert (43) and mother to Sophie (11) and Jeans (9) and Oliver (6):

“Honestly, I felt a little guilty. It didn’t feel good to me that my student debt was killing us in finding a bigger home. Because of that debt we couldn’t borrow what we needed for a more spacious home. So I started paying quickly. I did it through Working more hours – as a result I was earning an extra €500 a month. This whole amount went to DUO (Dienst Onderwijs, editor), plus the €200 I already paid anyway. I also used my vacation salary to make extra payments.

Fortunately, the children did not notice much, because I used the “extra” money for this and mainly took care of my own expenses. For example, I stopped ordering sushi and hardly ever buy any new clothes. We went on vacation that summer, and due to lockdown we weren’t able to take a flight often. Within a year I paid off the remaining 9,000 euros. And then the search for a new home can finally begin.

first house

Fourteen years ago, Robert and I bought our first home in Dordrecht. Charming 1920s house of three bedrooms, garden and walking distance from the center where we were – then still childless – can be found regularly. We paid €167,500 for the house, and I was so excited to spend so much money. However, we did it with confidence. Even if we had two kids, we could still live there just fine.

And that was true. We got Sophie first, then Janes. With two children, the house of eighty square meters was a little small, but it fit perfectly. Until our desire to have a third child came true six years ago. When Olivier came, we knew we had to give up. Sophie and Jeans already shared a room, and the third bedroom was my study. It is now a nursery school. And then it got really tight.

“Laundry is hanging on the stairs to dry or in the master bedroom. It has become really cramped”

Laundry is hung on the stairs to dry or in the master bedroom. We hardly had any storage space, only I could store things in the attic. So it was fully packed. I worked at the dining table and it was a special crime during Corona. Schools were closed, kids were homeschooling, and Robert and I were trying to work at the table. It was hot, which is an understatement. The lack of space is already starting to break us down.

to move the house

But even before Corona appeared, it was already clear that we were out of our house. Three years ago, Robert and I spoke to a mortgage advisor about our options. There was a nasty surprise waiting for us. You have accumulated student debts of more than 30 thousand euros during your master’s degree. This debt wasn’t an issue when we bought our first home, but the mortgage rules have obviously changed in the meantime. Suddenly the student’s debt was included in the calculation.

I’ve already paid off a lot, but for the mortgage application they looked at the original debt, so the full blow. As a result, the amount that we can borrow immediately decreased by half a ton. My courage failed me. I saw everyone moving around us, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible for us.

Read also – From city to city: “Making new friends is still a thing”

Bid

So I quickly started paying off student debt. After that was done within a year, Robert and I got back to our mortgage advisor and that conversation made us much happier. Not only were we able to borrow a lot because of low interest rates – we were just in time – and my debts disappeared, we also had surplus value to contribute due to the overheating housing market. We were able to borrow a lot more than we thought, a total of four and a half tons. Dumbfounded, Robert and I looked at each other. This made the search more realistic.

Our desires were clear: we wanted a spacious and bright house with four bedrooms, so that everyone would have their own room. Every day we looked at Funda. Then I noticed that we had to deal with it differently than when we bought our first home. If I saw something nice, I had to call right away to watch it. When I called a day later, I couldn’t even pass by. We looked at more than twenty homes. And since I was able to negotiate the price, that was completely out of the question now. It had to be bid.

“Where you used to be able to negotiate the price, that was completely out of the question now. Had to bid on it”

Robert and I have bid five times. The first time we offered 40,000 euros above the asking price. We thought it was a very good offer, but then we got a call from the broker saying someone else had offered another 20,000. I thought it was strange. We were bid four times in total. I always had high hopes, but we were still disappointed. Because I didn’t just do a show, I really had to love the house. It made me despair and wonder if it would ever work.

Inspection

We’ve already visited a house on this street before, and we loved the neighborhood. I saw a cute house online and because I wanted to act fast, I asked to watch it without consulting with Robert. Then I sent him the Funda link, but he wasn’t too excited. He thought the rooms were too cramped. However, we went to have a look, and when we entered it we immediately felt right. The living room was spacious, there were enough bedrooms and the neighborhood was kid friendly.

“The tension was the time after we made the show”

It should be our show by noon the next day. We offered 40,000 over the asking price. It was nerve-wracking, and at a quarter past twelve the moderator said, “Congratulations, your offer has been accepted.” Then I got a little hysterical. Finally we succeeded.

adult house

The kids were at first sad that we were moving, but they got even more excited when we promised them to stay at their old school. We moved a few months ago. We have a playground right outside the door, where they immediately communicated with the other kids. Now they are often abroad and about every day.

I love this growing home. I used to think this neighborhood was bourgeois, and now I’m thrilled. It’s nice to have space for two bedside tables, no washing machine in the kitchen and being able to work quietly at a desk instead of a crowded dining table. We will continue to live here now. Maybe Robert and I will move into smaller houses later, when the kids are out of the house. But now I’m really enjoying all the space.”

This article appears on Kek Mama 08-2022.

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