#projecthouse: viewings = 2, trust = -2


A small update on #projecthuis. Of course I’ve completed my ‘letter distribution’ for this week again. Another fifty letters are delivered to homeowners. I also had two viewings. And yes, one of those two concerned ’the house’ from my previous blog. Be sure to read that if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, the outcome of that viewing was less favorable than I previously hoped for.

Through a buying agent I have access to a system in which you see houses shortly before they appear on Funda. As a result, you can often respond a little faster and therefore have a better chance to get a viewing (this sounds so bad now that I’m writing this down. Needing to use (expensive) tricks to be allowed to view a house in the first place). Last week the dreaded thing happened: the house of the recently deceased lady where I delivered a letter popped up as to be listed on Funda.

Within the budget

I already feared the consequences: a house that’s on sale for 295,000 euros: a guarantee for an overbidding battlefield. Especially in this neighborhood. It was Friday evening when the message arrived in my mailbox, so I couldn’t call, but I immediately sent an email. The advertisement tekst read in capital letters: ‘will not be sold to an investor. The new owner has to live there himself!’ That gave me a little bit of hope, but it also means little when there are so many first-time buyers who want a house just like me. However, the same sales’ ad contained information that made me even more concerned: the house had no heating, no hot water facility and a lot of asbestos. On Monday I got a call: I was selected for a viewing. Together with dozens of other people, of course. But of course I said yes.

An extra chance

Shortly before the viewing I received an email; a comparable house had become available from the same owner (both were rental houses that would now be sold) and everyone who was registered for ‘my house’ was also allowed to look at this other house before or after the viewing. This was a slightly smaller one, but with heating, hot water and again a large portion of asbestos.

When I arrived at the house, it felt strange to be standing inside there after my project. I only had a few minutes with the real estate agent before the next interested party presented themselves, but my thoughts mainly alternated between ‘what would that deceased lady think of my letter project’ and ‘oh my dear lord, so much needs to be done here’. And before you move in, because besides the fact that this house is not sustainable at all, it is also just a dirty house that you completely have to strip.


One of the ‘cozy’ bedrooms ideal for a classic taste (I could write a dictionary of estate agent euphemisms by now…) with the airy asbestos hole where the gas heater used to be.

Overbidding by 75,000 euros?!

A quick calculation made me realize that I needed to invest at least 100,000 euros to make it livable. That makes the price already 395,000 euros. I ask the real estate agent if he has any idea how much I would have to outbid on a house like this. The understandable reply: “You never know that in advance”. I felt a ‘but’ coming. “But I recently sold a house that was outbid by 75,000 euros.” My breathing stopped for a moment. 75,000 euros. Extra. On top. What kind of crazy world is this?!

The agent gave me a form to fill out and send in if I wanted to bid. I slept on it another night, but quickly realized that this is simply not possible. 295,000 + 100,000 + say 75,000 = 470,000. I can’t get that as a mortgage by myself, and I don’t have it laying on the shelf. And if I did, would I actually dare to spend it on this compact old terraced house? I increasingly wonder whether this is the peak now? Isn’t the market going to collapse like it did in 2008? Or is that an illusion to happen ever again and bring prices down severly? How high will people continue to outbid?

And now what?

I emailed the broker thanking him for the opportunity to get a viewing, but unfortunately I simply cannot afford this with everything that needs to be added. I soon received a response wishing me good luck of that we may meet again. Will we? My trust in this process really dropped for a moment… Even if someone grants me their house for the registered value, there are really only a handful of houses in and around Eindhoven that I could afford as a single person. And I even have a good income as a single person, go figure. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I will continue to work hard on my project, success does not come by itself…

Tips? huisjevoorbridget@gmail.com

#projecthouse blog 1

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