Sunday, April 27, 2014

House Hunting International: Liang Edition

After requests from a few friends, we have decided to post 3 properties we viewed in the Netherlands and let you guys vote on which one we may have picked, much as you would while watching House Hunters International on HGTV.

First a little history brief and introduction to Eindhoven, Nederland. Eindhoven is located in the North Brabant province in the south of the Netherlands. The city population is 220,000 people. It is the 5th largest city in the Netherlands. It is located 56 feet above sealevel.
Eindhoven started in 1232 as the small town of Endehoven on the confluence of the Dommel and Gender streams. It remained a minor city until after the start of the industrial revolution. It boomed with the rise of lighting and electronics giant Philips, which was founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in Eindhoven in 1891. The technical industry advanced with car and truck manufacturing company, Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (DAF) and shifts in electronics and engineering.  Eindhoven saw signifant bombing during WWII.
In 2011, Eindhoven was named world's most intelligent community by Intelligent Community Forum. Today Eindhoven is now a capital of Dutch industrial design with the Design Academy Eindhoven. Dutch Design Week takes place every October. Eindhoven University of Technology is an incubator of technology startups. With 4 universities, Eindhoven has a large student population. It has a numerous bar scene and nightlife. Of the 5 major cities, Eindhoven has the highest percentage of green area with a few major parks. Eindhoven is known as the City of Light due to Philips and the Glow Festival in November.
30% of the population is of foreign descent. There are many other expats. The national language is Dutch, but most know English.

A few notes about the differences between housing in the Netherlands vs the US.
The first floor you enter on is called the ground floor. The second floor is the first floor. The third floor is the second floor. Often there is a ladder to access storage space in the pitched attic space.
Stairs. Stairs are steep and wind up tight spaces. Going down with a pregnant belly or stuff in your hands takes some getting used to.
Kitchens. They are smaller. Dutch refrigerators are half if not smaller than ours. There aren't pantries. There is usually less cupboard space. Microwaves don't come standard.
Bathrooms. Most homes only have one full bath. The ground floor has a small closet for the toilet and hand sink. The upper floor has a shower tub combo typically with a second toilet and sink.
Bedroom closets. They don't exist. Most people buy wardrobes. Some houses have built some in that they leave behind, but they never equate to our walk-in variety in the US.
Washers and dryers don't typically come with the house. We will need to buy some secondhand. Their dryers aren't as efficient here either. It takes an hour and a half to dry a load of clothes. Most laundry connections are located on the top floor.
Most homes have storage sheds to keep bikes. If there is a garage for the house, most still use it for storage and not for parking cars.

Our Needs:
2 bedrooms
Dogs allowed
Garden patio or yard

Our Wants:
Close to City Center
3 bedrooms
Terraced house or townhouse
Good sized kitchen
Modern look
Storage for bikes & stroller
No carpet
3 year lease

House #1:
Modern Apartment
Type: 3-room apartment
Location: Centre / Eindhoven
RESIDENCE FUTURA: located on the corner Leenderweg / Biesterweg in the center of Eindhoven .
Small "High Tech" newly built project consisting of 9 rental apartments equipped with an exceptionally high standard. All apartments are soft furnished and have a private, secure, covered parking on the 1st floor.
The apartments are located just steps away from shopping facilities, public transport, and a short distance from the city center, city park and the central station.

View from balcony on Biesterweg:
Views from Courtyard & storage units below:

Ground floor:
Elevator installation and car lift to 1st floor with the covered parking spaces.
2nd and 3rd floor:

Entrance hall with access to all rooms.
Separate toilet.
Storage room with washing machine and dryer. Heating system and mechanic ventilation.
Luxury bathroom with shower, 2nd toilet, sink and radiator.
Large bright living room with kitchen in a corner. Through a door access to the loggia or roof terrace. Luxury kitchen with granite countertops, dishwasher, oven / microwave, fridge , hob and hood.

Two bedrooms also provided with luxurious soft furnishing!
3rd floor balcony:
Map Location:
1.8km / 6 min bike ride to DAF office
13.9km / 16 min drive to Cummins Helmond office

Assigned parking
Views of cityscape
Near big park

No garden access
Smaller space
No grills allowed on patio

House #2:
Large Garden House

Ground floor:
Entrance hall with wardrobe, cupboard, parquet flooring, tiled toilet and staircase. 
Spacious living room with fireplace with marble fireplace, lots of light, durable flooring (2007) and extension at the rear with sliding doors. 

The kitchen has a modern kitchen (2004) with tiled floor, attractive five burner gas hob, extractor, fridge, microwave, dishwasher and granite counter and through a cozy breakfast bar separated from the living. 
The beautiful windows offer beautiful view of the garden and very bright. From the kitchen is the practical utility room with tiled floor, sink unit, central heating combi boiler (2009) and washing machine. 
The extra deep garage (10 meters) from the pantry is accessible and has electricity and sink.

First floor:
Bedroom1: located at the rear with sliding doors to balcony. 
Spacious bedroom 2 located at the rear with wardrobe space. 
Bedroom 3 on the front of cupboards and sink. 
Tiled bathroom with bath, washbasin, toilet and tilt window. 
Bedroom 4 located on the front with tilt window.
On the northwest, privacy bidder, backyard with rich vegetation, lawn, nice terrace and garden shed.

Map Location:
3.4 km / 10 min bike ride to DAF office
10.1 km / 11 min drive to Cummins Helmond office

Huge green yard
Garage with driveway
Quiet neighborhood
Closest to Joe's Helmond office

Navy carpeting on 1st floor
Farther from city center

House #3:
Pre-war Character House

A magnificent 4 bedroom house situated the heart of vondelkwartier, benefiting from total refurbishment to a high standard, en suite facilities, open-plan design, lovely styling throughout, modern fittings and fixtures and substantial living space with a nice garden. The property comprises 2 reception rooms, dining room, kitchen, conservatory, 4 bedrooms one further bathrooms, storage vault and the garden.
Prinsenhof is a highly desirable address, with playing field across the street, quiet environment but walking distance to city centre and very near international school. Approximately 2 km.
approx 490 m3
Area: approx 155 m2
Entrance hall with access to the living area.
U-shaped living area that is divided into three parts, namely, living room / kitchen and dining room:
Located on the front living room with sliding doors to the terrace.

At the rear dining area with large closet and door to the patio garden. The entire backside is through a beautiful accordion door.

On two sides established luxury and modern high gloss white kitchen.
The kitchen is equipped with a bright worktop with sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, stainless steel extractor fan and ample closet space.

Portal with stairs to first floor.
Luxury and modern toilet with wall closet, and sink.
Landing with access to all rooms on the first floor.
Big sleeping room at the front, with walk in cupboard.

Located on the rear small bedroom / baby room.
Spacious, luxurious and modern bathroom with bath (thermostat), shower (thermostatic), double sink, toilet and radiator.

Balcony with skylight above kitchen patio below and overlooking back garden patio & storage shed.

Landing with access to all rooms on the second floor.
On the back bedroom 3.

Located on the front large bedroom 4.

Large storage room with c.v. combi boiler (Intergas), mechanical ventilation unit and plumbing for a washing machine.
Map Location:
3.2 km / 12 min bike ride to DAF office
14.2 km / 19 min drive to Cummins Helmond office

Original features like hardwood floors in living space & stain glass windows
Patio extends indoor outdoor connection
Closest to City Center

Parking-free for all, a search for free spots daily near city center
2nd bedroom on 1st floor is small and can only function as a baby room
No grass or planted area for the dog in the patio

So which will it be?
House #1 Modern Apartment (Biesterweg)

House #2 Large Garden House (Keucheniushof)
House #3 Pre-War Character House (Prinsenhof)

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