Tuesday, April 17, 2012

House Hunting Internationally

Greetings from marvelous, magnificent, magical…wet, windy, wintery Aberdeen, Scotland! Day two of house hunting is done. We’ve seen a total of nine houses so far, and have narrowed those down to two choices. Tomorrow we plan to see a few more in the morning, and then use to afternoon to have a second viewing of any houses still under consideration.
On our first afternoon of searching, we saw three houses and it was set up perfectly like an episode of House Hunters International. One house was in the city, one in the country, and one was a compromise in the suburbs. It definitely gave us an example of the three lifestyle options in Aberdeen and got us picturing ourselves in each. Ultimately, I think we’ve decided that a life in the country would be beautiful, but a bit too isolated.

So now we are looking for our next home either in the burbs or the city. The first apartment we saw was heartbreaking because it was the absolute perfect house. It was in the western part of town, 2 blocks from Jon’s office, had beautiful historical character, a walk in closet (!), and a dream kitchen, but it had absolutely no yard. By far it’s been our favorite house, but a yard is just non-negotiable with two dogs, mainly because I’m lazy and don’t want to have to walk them every time they want to go out to potty.
If we can find a similar property with garden access, we would definitely be interested, so our relator is working hard to find something suitable. The problem with many of these historic homes is that they understandably don’t allow pets, so there isn’t much available to choose from.
The suburban area we’re mainly focusing on is Cults. The homes in this area have historical features and often have a large yard (with amazing views!). The village is just outside of Aberdeen, and with public transportation Jonathan could still get by without a car, though he’d rather have a car if he can't actually walk to work. For me, it’s ideal because it’s walking distance to several shops and running trails.
During her reign as Queen, Victoria built a railway through Aberdeen that has since been turned into a jogging trail. Two of the houses we’ve looked at in Cults actually have access to this trail through the backyard gate. It would be wonderful to let the dogs play and then be able to open the back gate to take them for a jog along the river. That’s the Scotland I’ve been dreaming about!
So what’s the downside? Very small rooms that will hardly fit Scottish sized furniture, much less American sized. Also, this is a highly sought after area that goes a bit past our budget.  
Another suburb we’ve looked at is Kingswells. It’s a bit farther out, but right on the main road to the office, so the commute isn’t bad. We’d definitely need two cars, but the rent is well within our budget so that’s not a big deal. It looks more like an American suburb, and the houses are newer meaning they don’t have as much character, but the rooms are decently sized.

Currently, this house in Kingswells is our backup in case we can’t find anything in West End or Cults that’s feasible. The other house still on our list is in Cults but is 200 pounds over our monthly budget.
We already agreed that the only way we’ll go over our max budget is if we can get by with one car. Though it’s too far for Jon to walk, it would be feasible for him to bus, bike, or carpool to work from this house. We’ve still got a few to look at tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted.
It’s been an exhausting 48 hours. Time for a good run and then a nice bubble bath at the hotel.

What a tub! If only I could find a house with one of these…


  1. Living in the burbs has its charm, but the city can be good too. Do you mind if I ask which one did you choose? Well, based on your post, I think you have a variety of good residences to choose from. Whether it is on the suburbs or the city, the important thing is you love the house that you will choose.

  2. I agree with you Armandina! It doesn’t matter where you decide to live. What matters most is that you’ll love and enjoy the house you’re gonna purchase. You have to make sure that after you buy it, you won’t regret it. :)) Well, you wouldn’t be settle for something if you didn’t love it in the first place, right? ;)

  3. Like you, it’s very ideal for me to purchase a house that is in a good location and is very accessible as well. I want one that is near a school, market, church, and other shops that I might frequently visit. It’s less hassle for me, right? I really hope that you got the house that is perfect for you! :D