Local Heart, Global Soul

October 12, 2019

Like Hidden Table Extensions…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE HAGUE / DEN HAAG/ s'GRAVENHAGE,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It started when we bought a house in Christchurch, New Zealand almost twenty years ago.

It was a small house on a decent sized piece of land, but more importantly in several school zones that parents would fight over to get in to.

In New Zealand you have to have permanent residence inside the zone allotted to a school before your child(ren) can attend that school.

Priority is given to kids who have an older sibling already at that school and a few “out of zone” spaces are reserved for kids out of zone. We already knew that one year there were 1800 applications for just 16 “out of zone” places, so needless to say, competition to get into the zone is fierce.

Property prices within popular zones command far larger than normal and in the end it’s all about “location, location, location“.

Himself and I got lucky all those years ago and snapped up this little house for  NZD 195,000.– at auction. The earthquakes in Christchurch hardly touched our small place,  the liquefaction stopped literally a few houses away from it, we have a heap of small repairs but over-all we fared well. Then came the hard part of owning a property 16,000 km from where you live: the creeping up of small repairs that at a certain stage are fast becoming big repairs. We decided to sell up with the house “as is” and let someone else take care of the big renovation is was long overdue for.

The scarcity of “quakeproof” houses close to the city also drove up house prices so when we put it onto the market we knew there would probably be some interest but not that we would sell it in two days for the asking price. Our buyer needed a bit longer than that to sort his mortgage and in the meantime we got additional offers over the asking price but ok, we had accepted the first guy so c’est la vie. We now had NZD 443, 000.– in our pockets and with banks paying almost nothing in interest, thought that the Savings account was in this case, not  actually a wise idea.

We paid off a massive chunk of mortgage on our Dutch home, put something aside for the kids University costs, then made a “needs”/”Wish” list for our home in the Netherlands. Much like a table that has secret compartments underneath to hid the extension sections, all sorts of ideas started to come out of the woodwork… and the “needs” list grew as fast as the “wish” list did…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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