House Hunters International, part one

25 Sep

I’m a huge (aka unhealthily obsessed) fan of the show House Hunters International. I really think those couples ought to give me a call before deciding which house to buy. And do you notice that no one ever buys a house and ends up hating it? How is that possible?

We’ve been scoping out houses to rent in our UK destination for a couple of months. You know, something small and typical, like this:

We’re doing our best with Primelocation and Rightmove, but if moving to Kansas and renting a house sight unseen has taught me anything, it is that one should never ever rent a house sight unseen.  (Moving to Kansas is a whole other blog.)  Figuring out the British lingo for renting houses is also a bit baffling.  Why is everyone obsessed with double glazed panes?  What could it mean that a house is ‘deceptively spacious’?  Why are there sinks in carpeted bedrooms? Terraced homes, reception rooms, houses to ‘let’, the PCM, calculating dimensions in meters, it’s all close to familiar but just unfamiliar enough to be daunting.

In just a week, we’ll start looking at houses in person. Stay tuned on this topic.


10 Responses to “House Hunters International, part one”

  1. Jeanne September 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Having just been to England and stayed in a lot of different B&Bs, I think the obsession with those double-glazed panes is about how a damp chill settles into houses over there.

    • Monique September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      You mean when Julie sings that “The rain may never fall till after sundown. By eight, the morning fog must disappear” the lyricist was just making it up? Never say so! =)

  2. ambermccann September 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I’m following with rapt delight. And, for the record (OH NO! I’m going to ruin it for you), all the purchasers on HH have already purchased a house before ever filming the show.

    • Monique September 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      I know, I saw the episode where the house from “On Rue Tatin” was featured and I was like “Wha-? Susan Loomis is not selling her house.” Burst the bubble of delight, just a little.

  3. Cynthia September 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    “double-glazed panes” really, truly make a difference in comfort in your home over there, esp. considering the high price of heating. “deceptively spacious” means it looks tiny but you’ll find enough room (which is common). sinks appear in strange places, and many bathrooms are carpeted!!! yuk. and you need to know that you’d better leave the carpet in *pristine* condition or else expect to pay for “damage” – what we call “normal wear & tear” over here. you may pay a % of the total replacement cost, based on expected lifetime of the carpet, so that should be specified in the contract. also be careful about parking spots, as if they’re not mentioned there really may not be any, and they don’t have to fit an american-sized car to qualify ;). get the base to help you w/rental and contracts!!! they know the ins & outs. staying in a hotel or b&b for a few weeks is really nice, actually, and you can’t move in to a house until your stuff arrives anyway, which date you have no control over (& so should not stress about). makes it feel like a vacay!

    • Monique October 2, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      I will make sure to be awake and attentive when looking at the rental contract — good to know all this hard won info. Our housing officer is *amazing* so I feel in good hands, and it’s true, our temp housing is so nice it’s temping to just stay here … =)

  4. Viv September 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    I’m so glad you are writing a blog. A person can write a book when moving to a new country. So much to learn! I’m so interested because you are doing what I did, but in reverse. Write away on this & other things – we are listening 🙂

    • Monique October 2, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      I can only hope to adjust here as gracefully as you have done there, Viv!

  5. Sarah September 30, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I see all the England-savy have replied. I have a half double-glazed, half single-pane house, and lets just say we spend a lot of time in the double-glazed portion in the winter, and a lot of time in the single-pane in the summer. My house really was deceptively spacious, and I don’t mean it was tiny. But it’s over 100 years old. I do have to sometimes remind myself that I won’t live here forever, but then sometimes I have to remind myself I don’t GET to live here forever. Catch-22? I have no doubt you will find a home away from home, and I’m not just talking about your house. 😉

    • Monique October 2, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      lol ‘deceptively spacious’ is too hilarious. Your house sounds wonderful, when am I coming to visit?? =)

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