Monday, May 17, 2010

House-Hunting: Starting from scratch

Well, the other couple has decided they're not ready to commit to anything since they still have some months before they get married, so we're scrapping the duplex idea. Back to square one!

I hate house-hunting. You spend so much time and money and still come up empty handed. I'm ready to pitch a tent.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Dream Duplex :o)

OK, these are all the photos I can get up at the moment (spotty Internet connection). So basically the house still needs all the fixtures (sinks, lights, etc.) and the walls need painting and the floors need tiling. So it will look a lot prettier in the end than what it is in these photos.

This is the living room. Will be a little bit of a squeeze to get a dining room table and couch and buffet and all in there, but I think it can work.

This is the big bedroom. Big enough

This is the bathroom. It's pretty small. They still need to add a sink and a shower head. I guess the room will get pretty wet when you shower (note the hole on the floor on the right). I'm assuming it will all get tiled.

This is the kitchen. It's pretty tight quarters but I think we can swing it.

House-hunting in Congo Day #365

I realized the other day that it has been a year since Espérance and I starting praying for a house! God has not left us homeless; au contraire, we have had some good times these past 7 months of marriage. But we’re STILL praying to find a house to settle in!

The other day we happened across a real estate agent (so to speak…the system is different here…it’s a bit like in the US, only really confusing, if not chaotic…) who wanted to show us a house he was sure we would like. What really sealed it for me was it apparently was 2 houses being built on the same lot which was funny because my colleague Angi and I have started joking (and praying) that we would find a duplex so we could live together when she gets married at the end of the year to her DR Congolese fiancé (the Ameri-Congo club is growing! Sorry, we’re very elite so you probably can’t join). Well, this house he was sure we would like I was able to eliminate after looking at it for about 3 seconds. It was lovely when we walked in since it’s brand new, but the so called “modern kitchen” only had enough space for a sink and counter top (guess the fridge and stove would go in the living room!) and in order to take a shower in the bathroom I’m pretty sure I would have actually had to be standing on top of the toilet. No thanks.

I was really regretting the $20 I had paid to the realtor as we went to look at another house with him today. But much to my surprise, he showed us something very interesting! Our dream of a duplex apparently was not so far-fetched after all. There is one being built by a Congolese Parisian lady and they have offered it to us at a reasonable price! The dimensions are smaller than I was hoping for, especially for the kitchen, but could work out with some careful planning. The most amazing part is there is an underground water tank and a pump, so I would have water flowing in my house!!!!!!!!!!!! This is more than I had hoped for. It’s a bit further out than the other house we had looked at, but is on good accessible roads and is maybe a 10 minute walk from a bus stop that would take me to my work. There’s a place to park my car and there’s already a good sized wall all around. There’s no place for planting trees or grass, but we could always install planters and pots to grow vegetables and flowers. There was power when we were there so that’s a good sign.

The fact that it is unfinished is GREAT for 3 reasons: 1) We can have it made to our specifications, 2) We’ll be the first people to live in it, and 3) Hopefully the owner will be ok with finishing Angi’s side more slowly (it needs even more work that our side) so that it can be done just in time for her wedding and she won’t have to pay rent until then. This is practically miraculous if it works out because who would have thought we could find a duplex with both sides available and the possibility of delaying Angi’s move for over 6 months?!

Please pray for Angi and Rémy and Espérance and I to make the right decision! We need to get back to the owner asap (Monday?) because houses go very quickly. If Angi and Rémy are undecided or decide not to take it, it will be hard for Espérance and I because we need to know who would end up living next to us. It’s a hard decision because it’s not PERFECT, but it’s close enough to what we’re looking for that it’s not easy to turn it down either. What do you think?!!

I'll try to get some pics up soon...