#projecthouse: almost, but not quite


How’s #projecthouse going, you might wonder if you’ve been following me for a while. I recently got a call from Slimmerkopen, a social initiative to buy a house in my region which I wrote about before. I have been placed on the reserve list several times and now one of those houses came back on the market.

I was called on a Tuesday for a viewing the following Monday. With a big ‘but’: there were still a few candidates ahead of me – she was not allowed to say how many – and if one of them decided to buy the house in the coming days before my viewing, my appointment for Monday would be canceled. I already felt a bit anxious, but I tried to keep my hopes up. After all, I was so close.

When it is your turn you may buy the property directly for the asking price and you don’t need to overbid. For people with one income these days, this is only way in this market. On Wednesday my phone stayed silent, but on Thursday it rang: a person ahead of me bought the house. Grrrr, again I’m so close but left with nothing.


I still put my personal letter in the mailboxes of houses in my region, and every now and then I get a response. Sweet reactions from people who say they feel for me and hope I will succeed. And then there’s some who offer their house of ‘only’ 400,000 or 450,000 euros. Very kind gesture, but that is already far above what I can afford.

With the current news about ASML that there is yet another – additional – 20,000 housing shortage and the prediction that locals will move away (LINK) because of the exorbitantly rising house prices, my situation is not getting any better. In my ideal world, both the cleaner and the CEO are my neighbors. I think a mix of people is the best for the city or village and for the level of empathy for one another. But this ideal is drifting further and further away. In fact, if I with a really good job can no longer afford a house here and have to move away, what will this city (and villages, same price or worse even already!) look like?

Now what?

I’m not sure how to take it from here either. I’m also seriously starting to wonder whether I can manage to buy a house before I turn 35 (April next year). In the past I didn’t even think about that, I expected to be settled for a long time by then already. But that turned out quite differently. But if it only works out on or after I turn 35, I pay 2 percent transfer tax. Now it’s 0 percent if I succeed before I’m 35. I’m starting to think that chance is very slim. That means another financial burden (for a house worth 325,000 that is 6,500 euros!) and therefore more delays or even fewer options to bid on.

I think Slimmerkopen is the only option in terms of price, but that’s a case of pure luck. As I wrote before: even with the ‘direct for sale’ homes I responded very quickly and I still ended up behind dozens of others on a reserve list. The draws they have besides ‘direct for sale’ I have never ever won in over seven (!) years. Long story short: it is not very likely that I can buy a house via Slimmerkopen (or at all) before April 2025.

Conclusion: I need a miracle. If you can do magic, let me know.



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