Moving Apartments

About a month ago, Tracy and I moved from our apartment in Groningen to Leeuwarden. I’ve lived in Groningen for about fifteen years, and have been working in Leeuwarden for about eight of those. That’s involved three to four hours of commute every workday for so long. Working from home for a few months due to COVID-19 had really shown me how much time I’d been spending in buses and trains, and how much time of the day I was losing. So, after a while of browsing apartments, we made the jump.

The distance from Groningen to Leeuwarden in the Netherlands. It’s not too bad by car, but by public transportation it’s easily 1.5–2hrs per day.

A few months back, we realized it was time for a move. The extra time I had from working from home, together with deteriorating conditions in our old apartment were prime drivers to indicate we were ready for a move. Sadly, over the past two ears, the living conditions in our old apartment gradually deteriorated. As old neighbors moved out, and newer people moved in, the place got more and more littered, and increasingly often we experienced noise nuisances from new arrivals. So, we decide to move closer to my work. It would save time, and hopefully wouldn’t even cost much more.

Tracy, fortunately, is a master house-hunter. She loves looking through house listings, critiqueing places, and has a keen eye for locations with promise. We’d been looking for perhaps a month or two, but nothing exactly had caught our eye. Suddenly, though, she has a number one pick among about five apartments that both of us got really excited about. It had nearly all the points we would want: close to Leeuwarden and work, near shops, larger space, cost near our old rent plus the monthly commute budget—it was almost perfect. The only downside is that there is no lift to the apartment, so Tracy would have to use the stairs every time; quite a chore with her knee injury.

As soon as we saw it, we called the real estate office, only to be met with disappointment: they were already talking to a renter! With a a quick “Oh, we can put you on the list” dismissal, that was the end of the story. So, we looked for second best. We were looking at two or three other options when, two weeks later, we got a call out of nowhere: were we still interested in that apartment? They were willing to arrange a viewing, because the other person hadn’t filed the correct papers just yet. So, with clear disclaimers that there were no guarantees, and they were only going to show us the apartment which amounted to no promise at all, we jumped at the chance.

Before you know it, the other person never contacted them again, and we jumped at the chance as soon as we could. It took a couple of weeks of dealing with documentation (getting bank statement, employer declarations, the usual), we signed the contract at the start of June. Three days later, we were moving all our things into the apartment and have been living there since.

We still haven’t unpacked all the boxes—a true tradition of moving houses—and still have a lot of things to set up, but we’re finally near the point that we feel comfortable in the new place. That did come with quite a few obstacles, let me tell you. I’ll make a number of posts to talk about some of the struggles we ran into, and probably some to talk about Leeuwarden and settling in here. So, keep an eye out in the coming weeks.

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