A lot has happened since I wrote my last blog post back in February. I’ve been working, I started running, and we bought a home. Busy with the necessities of everyday life, I let some of my habits – especially those I consider to be self-indulgent – slide. Moving and settling in always takes more time and effort than intended. So, I stopped blogging. But now it’s time for a comeback.
Yes, we decided to purchase real estate here in Denmark. For several reasons.
One is that renting is painfully expensive here. Our monthly rent for a house in a town outside of Copenhagen far exceeded what we are now paying for our own place inside the city.
The second reason is that renting in Denmark doesn’t make for a very stable life. Of course, there is plenty of housing that can be rented indefinitely, but that housing isn’t always available to foreigners and especially not if you own pets as we do. We can’t live in an apartment with a hyperactive boxer. Houses for rent are almost exclusively sublet, available only for a limited amount of time. Our lease was coming to an end at the place where we were living and we didn’t want to get ourselves into another temporary situation.
And the final and truest reason (the others were practical, but heart wants what it wants) was that we decided that since we want to stay in Denmark we should buy sooner rather than later. The monthly payment now is mostly to ourselves, into our own equity (our mortgage loan is at 1.5%). Continuing to rent seemed like a waste of money, and since we knew that we wanted to stay here forever, it seemed like the smart choice to make.
Now, when I say we bought “a home” I mean that we bought half of a house. It’s an old villa from 1892 that is located close enough to the city center to make for a pleasant walk. It has a garden and a parking space. We live in the downstairs apartment with our very own garden that we don’t share and then the rest of the house that we do share. This means that we must make all our house based decisions with the neighbors upstairs. It’s like a co-op but with only two families.
This type of a villa lejlighed is a common option for people like us, who want to live in a house, but can’t necessarily afford an entire one to ourselves. Somehow, this seems almost unheard of back in the States. Do people do this? Do they buy houses with other families? It seems like a great solution though. Especially for these old villas that seem far too big for an average family.
And although the entire villa where we now live still has less square footage than our house back in Seattle, it seems like it’s a far more reasonable solution. It makes me a little sick thinking of how much unused, unutilized room we used to have.
Yes, we’re staying. Are we Danish now? No, and we never will be. But that’s okay. Everytime I come back to Copenhagen from a trip abroad I feel like I’m coming home. At this point, I’d find it nearly impossible to leave.