Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Location, location, location....for your grandkids.

Fascinating aspect about living in a village.

You see, a lot of people here are still living in the self-same houses that their grandparents lived in, and their grandparents before them.  This leads to a rather different attitude to real estate.

The idea to renovating with an eye to resale value is simply bizarre.  Indeed we have been, lightly, ridiculed for the idea of considering this.  Upon mentioning the possibility that we might someday sell the house people have done double-takes;  they have looked at us with stunned expressions and mentioned that our kids and grandkids would most certainly like to live there.   They have looked at us and said that doing one construction idea over another would be a good idea for when our kids are living there with their kids.  They have let fly spontaneous loud and scornful snorts and guffaws. They have looked hurt.   We have, largely stopped mentioning this possibility.

We have discovered something of a cultural gap.

I have personally moved over 25 times, I think, and lived in 4 different countries, albeit for short periods in some of them.  The longest I have ever lived in one place, I believe, is around 10 years.

Cultural gap indeed.


J.G. said...

Wow. Clearly a house is not an "investment vehicle" over there.

Word verification: "Mospolod" (a person who moves frequently, perhaps?)

Beth said...

Apparently, your (our) way of regarding real estate, our homes and our families is an affront to their values – and you understand that. It’s unfortunate that they’re not able to understand your way of thinking. Gotta have a tough hide living there and being subjected to the ridicule. Keep your eye on the prize - your future home – for however long you live in it!

Lynda said...

This 'one horse town' is a bit similar.. my MIL lives in the house her father built.. and she is 82..she often likes to say the only way she is leaving is feet first in a wooden box.

I have also moved 26 times in my life...we are soul sistas! 16 of those moves have been since meeting Mr Dear Husband. I don't think I feel 'at home' anywhere anymore.

Australia has gone real estate mad... it is all about renovation/resale etc. Big house big cars and private schools. Here in Germany, some of the wealthiest people I know still live in the little condo style homes they bought when they first got married, with no intention of ever leaving.

hulagirlatheart said...

I can totally relate to this as I grew up in small town where some folks live on property that's been in their families for several generations. When my parents moved from the home I grew up in, I was terribly sad, even though I hadn't lived in that house for several years. It's a fascinating cultural phenomenon.

swenglishexpat said...

So I guess the property market is not moving much? The German property market is nothing like the one in the UK, where people constantly talk about the property ladder. You start at the bottom rung and work your way up, it's a lifetime ambition.
Not so in Germany, where you don't buy property as an investment.

Interesting cultural differences indeed!

oreneta said...

JG, yeah, house as investment....I imagine that the idea does exist here somewhere, but we are in a pretty old fashioned little corner.

Beth, the hide is pretty tough on the whole. No worries.

Hey Soul sistah...I think your moves have been rather more exotic than mine....but it is different isn't it. Interesting that your town is much the same....

Hula, and yours,

Swenglish, and yours too.

Maybe I'm the oddball.

kate said...

Can I play the devil's advocate here and say that from what I've seen of the pictures of this house, it is/will be absolutely stunning-- maybe you could just rent it out and then it would still be available for the kids if they ever felt the desire to revisit their catalan roots? Somehow the fact that it is a house with real character would make it harder for me to imagine leaving it behind (says the one who is now living in a cookie-cutter townhouse and misses the early Victorian she spent the first part of her youth in...)

Anonymous said...

what, you don't buy a house and keep it every time you move places? Shocking.

oreneta said...

Kate...I have no way of knowing what the heck is going to go on in my life. Good to plan though.

ElP, THAT is the problem!!!!!