Martin and I are looking for an apartment/house to move into in the Niederrhein area.
We live in Nordrhine-Westfalen (NRW), which is the north-west state on the border of Netherlands and Belgium. Martin works deep in the Niederrhein, which is more north, and I work in the Rhineland area which is south (in the Cologne and Düsseldorf region).
Everyday we commute 35-40km in opposite directions, but soon that will be a thing of the past as we commit to changing our lifestyles for the better.
Normally, I have to stay working in the Rhineland area of NRW because that’s where all the international jobs are. But, since I will be freelancing soon, I’ll be able to work from home!!
We’re so excited to move and to get rid of our commutes. We just have to find a place to live now, which is a big pain in the @ss.
Ideally we would like to be within walking or biking distance from Martin’s workplace. In immobilienscout, we type in his work address and search within a 5km range.
At first we were only considering renting, but since it’s hard to find something suitable, we are also thinking of buying a flat. Then over the weekend, we visited my friend in the Netherlands and fell in love with her house and house-living. So now we are also opening our search up to buying a house! (renting a house is pretty expensive and difficult to find in the area we want, we’ve found)
Typically we have been very confused folk about [a lot of things!] but especially when it comes to where to live and what to live in; from dauercamping to renovating an Altbau. We are all over the map, the reason being that we are so so so different personality-wise and background wise. I hail from Toronto, and Martin is from the most rural area of east Germany where you can see wild pigs running through the fields (true story!). So what we tend to look for/how we feel comfortable in a place differs by a lot.
Since moving to Germany though, I’ve shed my big city identity and now have a much stronger appreciation for nature and small town (maybe even rural!) living. It’s pretty nice not being directly in a big city. Less rush, less spending, closer to nature, and more space. We want peace and simplicity. What a big city has to offer is less important to me now.
The more time I spend in Niederrhein, the more I like it. It’s really fantastic for biking, with flat lands and extensive bike trails. We love biking, so this area matches how we want our new lifestyles to be.
We’re planning to move in mid-November, and hopefully I’ll have some good pics to post about our house hunt soon.
Something fun to note: a big difference between house hunting in Toronto and Niederrhein (maybe Germany in general) is that it seems to be a plus in Germany that a space was renovated in the 80’s or 90’s. Like look! you don’t need to do anything since it was renovated a mere 20-30 years ago! Whereas in Toronto and the GTA, this would be something that the potential buyer should overlook, because clearly it’s a gut job.