Friday, April 21, 2017

New Home 2017

We are finally ready to openly say our upcoming moving plans...
Joe's original work contract in the Netherlands was for 3 years until mid-May 2017 after which he would be looking into finding his next role within his company. He started at a manufacturing plant in Rocky Mount, NC (1 hour from Raleigh) for 2.5 years, then onto the marine division in Charleston, SC for 4.5 years after we were married. Next we made a big move to Washington in the Pacific Northwest for a resident engineer position for 3 years with PACCAR, Cummins' biggest customer. Today's role is again working on the emissions program for their customer, PACCAR, who owns the European trucking manufacturer, DAF, in Eindhoven. We have officially been granted a contract extension to June 2018. We will have 1 more year living in the Netherlands. The catch is we are still moving. The 1932 pre-war home we have been renting, contract is up and the owners are returning home from their expat assignment in China. 
The rental market in Eindhoven is very surprising. We visited in mid-April 2011 to pick out our home to move into mid-May. A few of the homes we had found online in February were gone by the time we came to view them. The funny thing is we ended up knowing many of the other expats that moved into those homes mere months before us. We could not have been happier with the home we ended up getting though. It was top on our favorite list before actually viewing it. In 2011, we did a House Hunters International blog post to see if everyone could accurately pick our favorite. http://jackieandjoeliang.blogspot.nl/2014/04/house-hunting-international-liang.html The funny thing is there was an actual House Hunters International episode shot in Eindhoven since we moved here! http://www.hgtv.com/shows/house-hunters-international/episodes/opportunity-in-eindhoven Our American friends George and Jessica debuted their new home purchase on the reality TV show. The modern apartment in our blog post is actually above the Albert Heijn (local grocery store) that is closest to our new home.

The requirements:
  • 3+ bedroom
  • dog allowed
  • garden patio for Chance and kids
  • 120 square meters minimum to ensure we still can fit all our stuff
  • 1525 euro/month

Wants:
  • close to DAF (bikeable)
  • close to city center (walkable preferable)
  • older home with character preferable
  • 4 bedrooms so we still have room for guests
  • parking
  • unfurnished

I had intended to do a similar post with 3 houses making you all guess which one we picked, but that will not be the case. We knew clearly what we wanted this time and the inventory was extremely low, especially near the city center. Thursday March 16 Jackie biked by to see some nice home options we found in Stratum only to discover our #1 favorite was no longer listed and our #2 favorite had a sold sign out front. Friday March 17 Joe found the listing for our home, this time close to the center. Sunday we discussed it and requested the rental agency to get us in to see it ASAP. We had a viewing Tuesday afternoon. We knew not to wait to make a decision. This will be our new home!
The exterior

Living Room with large windows with blinds

Dining Room 

Kitchen with dual bin sink, built-in dishwasher, 4 burner stove with exhaust fan, oven, and built-in fridge/freezer below the oven 

Half Bath with tiny Dutch sink & toilet 
Stair from ground floor entry to middle floor

Bathroom with dual sink, bathtub, round window, toilet and shower

Brooklyn's Bedroom with brown & pink curtains & chandelier

Master Bedroom

Caleb's Bedroom with red & white checkered curtains 
Garden/back yard/patio



A garage! And we have become true Dutch. We will park our expensive car out on the street out front and use the garage (black door on right) to store all our bikes, strollers, and outdoor gear. 
Stair from middle floor to top floor

Laundry
Guest Bedroom 


Pros: 


  • bike ride to DAF 1.5km 5min drive & 5min bike ride!
  • drive to Cummins Helmond Automotive Campus 12km 15min drive
  • close to center 25min walk to shopping, 30min walk to train station
  • Highly sought-after Het Witte Dorp (The White Village) neighborhood
  • playground down the street
  • 600m to local Albert Heijn which is bigger than our current local grocery shop
  • 140 square meters with 4 bedrooms and garage should fit all our stuff
Negatives/Cons:
  • No full-size refrigerator. No freezer.
  • Smaller bathroom.
  • No wardrobes. Will need to come up with different methods to hang out clothes. 
  • Back windows overlook the St. Joris cemetery (sort of creepy to some people). 
  • Grass in the back yard. Will still need to make a specific "spot" for Chance to go so the yard is still kid-friendly to play in
  • Street parking is free so could be harder to find a parking spot near the house all the time.
  • Open tread stairs to the 2nd floor. Scary with a timid dog and little ones. Thankfully will normally only need to go up for laundry.
  • Brooklyn's peuterspeelzaal (preschool) is 25min walk or 6min bike ride.
  • David Lloyd gym where Jackie and the kids are members 15min 7.9km drive or 22min 6.2km bike ride

Tuindorp de Burgh by architect W.M. Dudok from 1937-1939 is a modernism styled garden city. There are 265 homes of various sizes in 1 design. The whitewashed brick walls are its signature. There is a concrete cover over the asymmetrical bay windows with a bright colored door (yellow in our case, blue in several other areas). There are large steel framed windows and a round window in the front bathroom. 
Our home was built in 1993-1994 in the same spirit as the original Bouwfonds, here called 'Inbohuizen'. 
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