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Large farm house in Portugal

House for sale in
Portugal - Aveiro

€ 167,500

Large farm house in Portugal

Located only 20 km from the beach!

This beautiful property is situated in Bustos, a small town situated in the plains of the Bairrada Region, Silver Coast, Portugal.

This is a large 5 bedroom house with 2 floors set amid farmlands.

The property consists of a house with a total of 462 m² on a land with 1,150 m².

The house includes a double garage with automatic gates, one large double height living rooms with fireplaces, 5 bedrooms with built in wardrobes, 4 bathrooms, another large double height room with oven and grill, storage, pantry and utility rooms, one large fitted kitchen, one rustic kitchen with open fireplace and 2 large mezzanines.

The house was built in 2003 with good quality finishes, it has double glazed windows.
The land has a water well.

The house is situated at the end of a cul-de-sac in an absolutely quiet a private location, and yet close to all amenities.

The beautiful white sandy beaches of the silver coast are only 20 km away; The property is also a short distance to Luso and Caramulo mountains, with their ancient forests, breathtaking views, and famous for the pure mineral water springs and baths; Curia with its turn of the century many hotels, golf club and baths; Aveiro the “Portuguese Venice” and Coimbra, the ancient and charming university city.

The area is connected to the two main Portuguese cities and international airports either by the A17 or the A1; Lisbon (230 kms) and Oporto (80 kms).

The Silver Coast of Portugal is stunningly beautiful with sandy beaches, rolling countryside dotted with traditional villages and world heritage sites.

People are very sociable and welcoming; everybody enjoys the pleasures of living outdoors, the beach and the slow paced lifestyle.

This is a great place to enjoy the good weather, fresh delicious food, good wine and many outdoor activities as well as all the modern trendy stuff.

If you think this property is the right one for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to arrange a viewing.

Luxury waterfront villa with swimming pool

House for sale in
Portugal - Aveiro

€ 2,300,000

Luxury waterfront villa with swimming pool

Prime residential location, along a quiet waterfront street

Unique modern contemporary villa situated on the Praia da Barra peninsula, Silver Coast, Portugal.

This is a stunning 2 storey 4 bedroom detached villa built to provide total luxury and comfort; designed to enjoy spectacular panoramic lagoon views.

The villa is located in a prime residential location, along a quiet waterfront street.

The villa is set on a large plot of land (1,231m²) (0.3 Acres), forming a L shaped volume with two storey’s around a south/East facing private paved area and garden with swimming pool and palm trees.

In the ground floor there is an indoors swimming pool that connects to the one outside, a large dinning/sitting room with double height over the dinning area, a large kitchen/breakfast area and two bedrooms. All the rooms connect directly to the paved area through large patio doors.

In the first floor there is a large living room with a complete glazed front to the patio and lagoon. The living room is connected to a large balcony from where one can enjoy the best panoramic views. There is also a large ensuite master bedroom, with bath and dressing room, a guest’s bedroom and a study with balcony.

The house has plenty of storage and utility areas as well as 6 bathrooms.

In the outbuilding there is a garage for two cars and a storage/wine cellar room.

The total area of the house in 596.45 m² (6,420 ft²) and the outbuilding is 64.42 m² (693 ft²).
The outdoor swimming pool is 44.83 m² (483 ft²) and the indoor swimming pool 14.59 m² (157 ft²).

The house was designed by a renowned architect, Luis Santiago Baptista; with a PHD in architecture and urban culture, professor, critic of architecture, curator and publisher.

The house was designed and built to the highest standards, with high quality finishes and fixtures throughout.
The house can be sold with all the furniture.

Praia da Barra peninsula is a well-known touristic destination with many hotels, restaurants and cafés. Shops, pharmacy, school, etc. are within walking distance. There is a marina across the lagoon, and on the ocean shore of the peninsula the beautiful white sandy beach that stretches for miles.

Praia da Barra is connected to Praia da Costa Nova known by it’s charming colorful stripy houses and over the bridge to Aveiro, the enchanting Portuguese Venice.

The area is connected to the two main Portuguese cities and international airports either by the A17 or the A1; Lisbon (260 kms) (160 miles) and Oporto (80 kms) (50 miles).

The Silver Coast of Portugal is stunningly beautiful with sandy beaches, turquoise sea, rolling countryside dotted with traditional villages and world heritage sites.

People are very sociable and welcoming; everybody enjoys the pleasures of living outdoors, the beach and the sea front esplanades.

This is a great place to enjoy the good weather, fresh delicious food, good wine and many outdoor activities as well as all the modern trendy stuff.

If you think this property is the right one for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to arrange a viewing.

$10 million property development opportunity

Other Property for sale in
Australia - Queensland

€ 550,000

$10 million property development opportunity

Watch the video at https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ap1JbmEDC8Bbjy02kqjmqPgy0MLB

* 220 acre property
* Approved for development as 64-lot residential airpark
* All engineering studies and engineering plans completed
* Beautiful rural setting, close to town
* Includes 4 bedroom home plus office
* 850m private grass airstrip
* Existing 24 x 15m and 24 x 12m hangars
* Near historic Maryborough, Southeast Queensland, Australia

Contact Graeme Williams 0448 047382 / (07) 4129 4212
If calling from outside Australia +61 448 047382 / +61 7 4129 4212|
Or email gould@netvigator.com

2 bedroom chalet – river view

House for sale in
Portugal - Aveiro

€ 87,500

2 bedroom chalet – river view

The house is practically new,it was built with high standard

This is a beautiful well kept small property set in an idyllic location with river view.

This attractive property consists of a small two storey chalet on an elevated forested site being part of a small housing estate with seven similar dwellings.

The house has 2 bedrooms and a total habitable area of 90 m²; the site has 325 m².

In the ground floor there is a fitted kitchen, a dinning/sitting room and a bathroom; in the first floor there are two bedrooms and a balcony.

The house is practically new, and it was built with to the highest standards.

This lovely property is located in a well known leisure destination, in Sever do Vouga, along the Vouga River.

There is a fluvial beach with a bar just a two minutes walk down the street as well as many tourism infrastructures, cafés, bars and restaurants.

The “ciclovia de Paradela” is just a 3 minutes walk away, it is a beautiful scenic pedestrian way built in place of the old railway. It retains the old tunnels, bridges and train station (now converted into a coffee shop) and it is a very popular hiking destination.

The property is located on the outskirts of Sever do Vouga, a delightful town with all the necessary amenities.

The town has a good connection to some of the main motorways with direct access to Lisbon (265 km), Porto (70 km), the beaches (40 km), Aveiro (30 km), Viseu (55 km) and Spain (165 km).

Albergaria a Velha and Águeda, are two charming and lively towns nearby where one can find all the necessary amenities.

The Silver Coast of Portugal is stunningly beautiful with sandy beaches, turquoise sea, rolling countryside dotted with traditional villages and world heritage sites.

People are very sociable and welcoming; everybody enjoys the pleasures of living outdoors, the beach and the slow paced lifestyle.

This is a great place to enjoy the good weather, fresh delicious food, good wine and many outdoor activities as well as all the modern trendy stuff.

If you think this property is the right one for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to arrange a viewing.

Unique house in picturesque mountain town in Germany

House for sale in
Germany - Thüringen

€ 26,500

Unique house in picturesque mountain town in Germany

With some works it can turn out to be a truely unique home.

This property is a freehold for sale by the owner located in a quiet small street in Lauscha, Germany.
The property consists of a detached house to renovate, with 3 floors and attic on a sloped plot of land with 665 m².
The house was built in 1928. It is in need of modernization.

The house is accessible through a stairway.
In the ground floor there is a bathroom with bathtub (no toilet) and 2 roms that were used like basement rooms or small workshop.
The first floor has 3 rooms and a small room with hand wash basin. Halfway up to the second floor is a small room with toilet.
The second floor has a kitchen, living room and 2 bedrooms. The attic has one small bedroom, the rest is used as storage area.
Overall the house has a gross floor area of approx. 260m² and a living/usable area of approx. 204 m².

There is a small shed located beside the house. The land is very sloped. At the rear there are a few metal rods fixed in the ground possibly to attach clothes lines for drying laundry.
The ground floor walls and ceilings as well as the stairs up to the first floor are made of concrete.

The rest of the house is made in timber frame (“Fachwerk”) covered with natural slate. The roof is a rare lamella roof, also known as the "Zollinger roof". It is covered with bitumen shingles and both the tiles and the wood structure are in a good condition

Floors and stairs from the first floor upwards are made of wood.

All interior doors are original and can be beautifully restored. There is even some original furniture left in the property (please see photos for details).

The windows have simple glass on wood frames; most of the windows are in a good condition. There is one new double-glazed window in the former children playroom located on the first floor.

Formerly, the house had gas heating in some rooms, there is no certainty if it is functional or not.

Some walls in the ground floor are wet.
Plumbing and electricity might be a bit outdated and will need to be checked once the services are turned on again.

Overall the house is structurally sound, and it preserves most of the original features.

With some works this property can turn out to be a beautiful unique home.

The property has all services available; water, gas, electricity, sewage connection and phone. All those services are currently switched off.

Cars can be parked at the end of the street free of charge. There might be the possibility to rent a garage just beside the property.

The nearest train station is called “Lauscha (Thür)” located approx. 20 minutes walking distance and the nearest grocery store approx. 10 minutes walking distance from the house.

Lauscha is located in the mountain range of the “Thüringer Schiefergebirge”. The picturesque town is famous for its glassblowing and is nestled into the steep valley of a river just below the ridge of the mountain chain, the well-known “Rennsteig”.

Beside great places for skiing and hiking, it has all ingredients for a great holiday destination:

Just to mention a few…

2.5 km from the property
Outdoor swimming pool with water slide: http://erlebnisbad-lauscha.de

3 km from the property
Museum of Glass Art: https://www.glasmuseum-lauscha.de/

4km from the property
summer-toboggan run: https://www.sommerrodelbahn-ernstthal.de/

The nearest international airport is in Nürnberg, about 1:50 hour away. The biggest airport of Germany in Frankfurt is 3 hours away.
This is a great chance to acquire a cheap property with lots of potential.
All aspects of the purchase process will be prepared by an English speaking notary in Germany appointed by the buyer.

The costs related to the transfer of ownership are:
The property transfer tax: 6.5% of the purchase price (1,787.5 Euro)
Notary's and Land Registry's fees (around 900 Euro).

You are welcome to make an offer.
For more information or to arrange a viewing please send us an enquiry or call Ruben on 0049 152 031 57125

Stylish 2 level apartment in Ravda, 150 m to the beach

Apartment for sale in
Bulgaria - Burgas

€ 34,990

Stylish 2 level apartment in Ravda, 150 m to the beach

Stylish 2 level apartment in Ravda, 150 m to the beach
The property is part of newly-built residential building having some of the features of Art Nouveau architectural style, such as arches and curved forms, floral motifs, asymmetrical shapes.

The construction works have been finalized in 2012 and the property has Act 16 – permission to use and live in the building. On site facilities include:

- Swimming-pool with children’s part;

- Parking;

- Lift;

- Full time security.

The property is perfect to use as a holiday home or for permanent residence.

Total living area is 51.11 sq.m. The apartment is situated on the 4//5 floor and comprises of:

- Level 1 – open-plan kitchen with lounge, bathroom/WC; terrace;

- Level 2 – one bedroom with a balcony.

The apartment is for sale completely furnished and equipped to an excellent standard. There is air-condition on the first level. It offers cozy atmosphere and could be ideal holiday home for people who look an escape from the big city and enjoy the sea.

Location:

The property is situated on a quiet street in Ravda - a coastal village 6 km south from the biggest sea resort – Sunny beach. The place offers lovely sandy beaches, variety of shopping facilities, restaurants and bars, services to guarantee a pleasant stay for the tourists.

The nearest beach is within 150 m, the center of the village is 50 m away and the Aqua park is 1,5 km away.

What's new?

If you're looking to buy properties abroad you came to the right place. Here is the latest real estate that is listed abroad. Set a search alert and never miss out on the best deals ever again. You will be notified as soon as the next property that matches your search criteria is added. See the complete list of properties for sale or see the latest property ads below.

Maisonette in Saronis - Athens Riviera
Greece
Attiki
€ 220,000
Villa on Corfu 120 qm + 40 qm Veranda
Greece
Kerkira
€ 210,000
Truly Amazing, Stylish And Modern Four Bedroom Residence
Ireland
Cork
€ 550,000
House with 5 bedrooms and large plot in Larnaca, Livadia
Cyprus
Larnaca
€ 850,000
Sea view new 2 bedroom apartment in Larnaca, Mackenzie Beach
Cyprus
Larnaca
€ 325
Modern house 3 bedrooms in Aradippou Larnaca
Cyprus
Larnaca
€ 400,000
Semidetached house 3 bedrooms with mature garden Larnaca
Cyprus
Larnaca
€ 159,000
House in Romania
Romania
Timis
€ 58,000
Sale of new apartment - Tivat, Casa Montenegro
Montenegro
Tivat
€ 84,500
Sale of apartments - Casa Montenegro Project
Montenegro
Tivat
€ 84,500
Newly built 2+1 apartment for sale in Istanbul
Turkey
Istanbul
€ 29,000
Smokes & Gifts
Australia
Victoria
€ 15,705,000
A five-star hotel in Valencia.
Spain
Comunidad Valenciana
€ 70,000,000
Hotel
Greece
Preveza
€ 700,000
Building plot in Mikros Valtos, Corinth, Greece
Greece
Korinthia
€ 35,000
6 BED fully renovated house, 160 sq.m., in Vetrino (Varna)
Bulgaria
Varna
€ 48,990

Our property blog

The latest articles covering various topics about buying and selling your property.

house with swimming pool for sale

House with swimming pool for sale – find cheap holiday homes

Are you looking to buy a nice property in the sun? Then it must come with a swimming pool, right?

When buying a second home many people are looking for that nice holiday feel: Palm trees, beach, cocktails by the pool… as well as peace and quiet, where you can just relax and unwind.

It all depends on your budget…

…you might think. But hold on. Of course, if you have the money you go for the full package: the best real estate in the best location. But only very few people are in that position.

If you are like most, you will probably invest some time on research to get the best bargain. By making some research in Portugal we found out that the local buyers are very different from foreign buyers. For example: A house in in a remote village does not look very appealing for locals, they must do a lot of travelling to go to work, bring the kids to school or to make shop.

Foreign buyers on the other hand love to be in a quiet spot where they can totally relax and forget their busy lives back home.

For foreign buyers this can mean cheaper deals if they look in remote areas.

For real estate agents this means more clients if they offer those properties specifically to foreign clients.

Now, but what about the swimming pool?

On our website you can search only for houses with swimming pool. Just hit the “show more filter criteria” link and you can tick the swimming pool box under extras. You can sort the results to see the cheapest first. This will give you an idea of what is available.

You can just use this link, too:

https://www.propertyandmoreproperty.com/houses-swimming-pool

If there is nothing that you like, don´t give up, good deals go fast! You can create a search alert (yes, including the swimming pool) to be the first to be informed when the next comes up.

And remember, you can always look at real estate without swimming pool that have a good size land and add one yourself. Depending on local prices it might be cheaper than you thought.

Happy swimming!

landlord shows house - rental income

Can you be a landlord? How to generate rental income

Have you recently bought an investment property? Or are you downsizing and debating what to do with your family home now that it is no longer needed as your family has dispersed? Many people in this situation employ the services of a management company who will prepare the property, advertise it, vet perspective renters, collect rent and take are of repairs. Of course they do this in exchange for a percentage of the rental income that the property generates.  This can range from a set yearly nominal fee to a full months rent per calendar year or more.

If you want to get into this business yourself without a management company, it’s important to be savvy and smart.

First of all, get to know all the local laws that apply. If the property needs renovating or remodeling, make sure all the work is above board and that you get the appropriate certificates to show that you are following regulations on everything to do with electrical, fire etc. This could save you some major headaches down the line. If you are changing the use of a property then even more paperwork and certification will be required.

When it comes to the type of renovations you do, also take a look at the neighbourhood to help you decide what should be done. You do not want your property to make the whole street look bad. But you also do not need to install gold-plated taps unless your property is in Beverly Hills. Stay in keeping with the area. If it’s not an essential upgrade and it won’t increase the amount of rent you can charge, think carefully before taking on extra expenses.

When it comes to setting the rent, you can take clues from looking at similar properties in the area. It’s important to get the rent at a level that is appropriate – reasonably affordable but not so cheap that people wonder what’s wrong with the place. Rent is your income. If the property is an apartment in an urban area, you might expect a higher turnover in tenants. With this in mind your forecasts should allow for occupancy for 10 full months per year only. In more rural settings, it can be more difficult to find a tenant but there should be less of a turnover. A good rule of thumb is to allow 12.5% of the annual rental income toward repairs and required upgrades.

Set up easy and clearly defined ways for your tenant to pay their rent.

Online is often simplest and gives you automatic records with your bank. Don’t allow arrears to build up.  You are the landlord and have the right to demand the agreed rent. However, don’t be unreasonable. Communication is key in this situation and, whilst you may need the intervention of some legal entity, this should be a last resort that follows personal engagement. If your tenant goes into arrears and does not engage with you, check the law and begin eviction proceedings as soon as is legal whilst still attempting resolution.

Finding the right tenant is of course crucial to your rental income.

The first thing to do is market the property. Get some good photographs and write a comprehensive description for an online post. You might decide to arrange an afternoon of open house or set up individual showings with interested people. To make sure you’re not wasting your time, you can also put a short questionnaire online. Like this you will have essential information about them before setting up the viewing. Doing this initial stage by email and online is a big time-saver compared to doing it in person or on the phone.

rent your house

In the US, you will of course check credit ratings of every perspective tenant. A score of 600 or below is considered bad. In Europe, we rely more heavily on references. Look for references from their previous landlord and employer. Get a copy of their legal ID and their national identity number. Meet them personally. Find out how many people they are planning on bringing to live with them. Have a proper legal rental contract for you both to sign, and give them a copy (free templates are available online for this). Have clear rules about smoking and pets, and put this in writing in the contract.

If you personally live nearby your rental property, it’s easier to keep an eye on it and make sure it’s being cared for appropriately.  Of course you should not turn up unannounced or go snooping around when they aren’t home. You must respect their privacy. If you live further away, you might consider employing someone locally. If the property has a garden, having a local gardener to visit regularly will help to keep it looking well without relying on the tenant’s efforts. You will definitely need a local handyman you can call when repairs are required.

It is worth keeping the property in good condition.

In most countries expenses on repairs, cleaning and maintenance are all allowable as claims against your rental income to reduce the amount of tax you will have to pay on your income. So keep good records of these expenses. Your tenant will also appreciate living in a place that is well maintained and where they have a landlord who responds promptly to repair requests.

You can list your real estate on www.listproperty4free.com – start working on your rental income today.

post real estate listings for free

Use our website to post real estate listings for free

No matter if you are a private seller or a real estate agent you are probably always happy to know another online platform to post real estate listings for free.

In this article, we like to show you quickly some of the features we offer when you list your real estate ad on www.listproperty4free.com.

Can I upload Images with my real estate ad?
Yes – you can upload up to 100 Images with your free ad.

Can I set the location of my real estate ad (Mapping Functionality)?
Yes, this is one of the main features of our website. You can set the location of your property. As a result it will show the location in your ad as well as showing your property on the map on our homepage.

Can I link to outside sites?
No. We currently do not support links to other websites. Rather, if you sign up as a real estate agent you kinda have your own page within our website. This will show like this:

www.listproperty4free.com/properties-by-agent/your-name

Am I required to create an account?
Yes. You will need to create an account to be able to post your real estate ad for free but there are no strings attached. Therefore, you can easily delete your account anytime you wish and all your data will be deleted.

Are there Special Promotion Options?
Yes, you can book extra features with your ad but this is not free of charge. Please see our pricing page for more details.

Can I post an international ad?
Yes, it does not matter where your property is located. It can be anywhere in the world.

What are you waiting for? Post real estate listings for free for thousands of new possible buyers or tenants on www.listproperty4free.com.

property for rent

Property for rent in Europe and all over the World

We are happy to announce that now you are also able to list  property for rent on our website.

Discover real estate for rent in Europe. You can do so easily by using our map feature to find the location that suits you best: Property for rent in Europe or wherever you want.

Why do we offer to list rental ads now?

Initially we focused just on for sale ads. We were interested especially to make it easier for possible buyers to find cheap properties for sale and to make the “hot spots” visible on the map. Users liked this very much; we can see that our section for properties below 20,000 EUR is still the best visited page from all sections we have available.

After a while some users started to list rental ads as well. As the rental price is usually below 20,000 EUR it started to mess up our cheap property for sale page. This got increasingly annoying for everybody who was looking to buy a bargain.

So, what to do?

After thinking back and forth we decided: Why not keep everybody happy? We keep the rental ads but give them their own space. So, that’s what we did. Now you are able to list or search rental ads as well. It might be still a bit edgy as originally our site was not designed for rental ads but we will see where it goes.

As a conclusion we can only say that we are happy that you like our website and use it. We know it is not perfect but we like to keep you happy and always appreciate your feedback.

house for sale - autumn

Your house for sale in autumn – how to get ahead PART 2

When you are preparing your house for sale, you have worked hard to get the place looking pristine.

You have arranged all the ornaments to just the right angle and have the cushions plumped just so. Your house for sale is ready. But this is the time to relax the rules. Let your prospective buyers sit, walk (with shoes on if they whish – if this is not too extreme for you), and set their mug down where they like. If you are hovering in the background with a critical eyebrow-raise and a cloth to wipe up water rings from the coffee table, they may get the impression that you are not quite ready to hand over the keys to your precious home.

Of course, this means that you do have to run around cleaning up and plumping cushions again after each visitor leaves. When the next people arrive, they need to be made feel special and don’t need to be reminded by dirty cups in the sink that they are just one in a string of people (hopefully) coming to view the place.

Another hosting trick that can put you ahead of the game is to learn a little about prospective buyers before they arrive.

This can give you an idea of what to talk about and what might be especially appealing to them about your home or its location. If you learn that their mother tongue is different to yours, you should learn a few words in their language. This really helps a person to feel appreciated. The key ones are obviously “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye”. If you can manage “Would you like a drink?” that would be very special.

It can also be helpful to know a little bit about their cultural background. Some cultures love to talk and chat, others respect silence. Of course, individuals are individual, but you can be prepared so that you don’t seem disappointed or offended if your efforts at small talk are not reciprocated.

It is challenging to sell at this time of the year but these few simple tips can give you an advantage.

Be ready with the kettle on for tea and hot chocolate or, if you’re feeling really brave, even some mulled wine!

sell your house in autumn

Selling your house in autumn – how to get ahead PART 1

It’s getting cold outside and the children have settled back into a new school year;

perhaps not the optimum time for upping sticks and moving house. Property tends to move slowly as the weather worsens since people feel less inclined to go to viewings and it’s more difficult to see the potential of a beautiful south-facing garden through the dreariness. For many people also a move may involve new schools, a difficult task when the kids are already settled into their existing one. So how can you get an advantage with the people who do want to get unpacked into a new home before Christmas?

When it’s cold outside, you need to make sure your home is warm and cosy on the inside. Have the fire lighting and the heating on.  Place a good mat by the front door to control the wet footprints and an umbrella stand to catch the drips. Make sure you have plenty of soft furnishings to make the rooms feel more warm and inviting. Get a big shaggy rug for the sitting room and an extra throw for the sofa. And as always…. ensure there is something baking in the oven!

When it’s dark outside, get it bright inside.

Let in as much light as possible by opening the blinds. Make sure the windows are clean and the low sunshine really shows up any dirt. Turn on all the lights and get some lamps to brighten up any dark corners. You don’t want people squinting to see inside the storage areas either – some strip lights under the kitchen cabinets and inside closets can really help. Mirrors are also helpful in making a place feel bright and airy. Whilst these things may cost a bit it really can make all the difference and the money spent may seem negligible when compared to the overall sale price of the house.

If you have a garden, it can be difficult to make it shine at this time of the year.

But there is no reason you cannot keep it clean and tidy. Sweep the leaves and clear away any deadwood. If there is snow in your part of the world, make sure the footpath is kept clear. You don’t have anything flowering in the garden this time of year (which you can by getting some winter bedding)? Buy a nice colourful pot with something flowering in it to have by the door to give potential buyers the idea that the garden can be beautiful too.

If you are showing people around the house yourself, it is vital to hone your hosting skills. You need to make people feel relaxed and comfortable, as if it is already their own home. Be ready with drinks and snacks and give them space and freedom to roam around at their own pace.

To be continued tomorrow…

most expensive cities

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? PART 2

This is the reality of city life.

You’re doing well if you have laundry facilities in your apartment building. You really have it made when you have a washer and dryer in your apartment. Life is different here. You carry your shopping home by hand rather than load a week’s worth into the back of your car in a spacious car park. An elevator is definitely a bonus when you’re living a few floors up. I never knew what the term ‘walk-up’ meant before living in New York city. It is a nice way of saying your building does not have an elevator and if you live on the 5th floor…. well let’s just say you will have strong calves!

After looking at numerous apartments in the city, we visited an open house just a short drive away. It made me feel a little ill. The contrast was stark. Here was a monstrosity of a house.

It had a dramatic double stairway in the front entrance hall leading up to a balcony and then an upper mezzanine decked out with wing chairs and windows looking out over the lawn and trees. There were four or five sitting rooms. A massive deck at the back had a full outdoor kitchen and space to seat about 40 people. There was a lawn and a pool. The basement could fit about three New York City apartments in it. The house was so big that the realtor showing us around couldn’t even find the entrance to the basement! The master bedroom was just ridiculous with a Jacuzzi bath, balcony and walk-in closets. I actually think the master bedroom had walk-in bedrooms off it…that’s how ridiculous this place was!

So what do you look for when you want a new place to live?

A washing machine in your own kitchen or a home that can double as a wedding venue? Or just the simple pleasure of a place to take off dirty boots and hang your jacket when you come in from an afternoon’s gardening?

The city is a crazy place where people pay high prices for small spaces crammed together in high-rise buildings. But as our friend put it – if you are living in the city and spending time in your apartment, you’re doing it wrong. City life needs to be lived in the parks and cafes and bowling alleys of the city – not in your small pokey apartment, whether or not you have your own personal washing machine.

country vs city

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? PART 1

What do you look for in a place to live?

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? I think location, location, location is definitely near the top of the list no matter your circumstances or situation.

But I was recently made rudely aware of how the rest of the list may differ wildly for different areas not so far from each other.

In Ireland (my home for much of my life), I think people are concerned about light. We love open plan kitchens, garden and a spare bedroom/office. A separate utility room is a handy thing to have too. We want south-facing gardens and lots of windows to bring in light. There is a very popular TV show in Ireland which involves an architect travelling around our country and placing big glass boxes (rooms) onto the back of people’s properties to create a ‘wonderful sense of light and space’. In a country where it is so often cloudy it is not a surprise that we crave light so much. Also we typically prefer to have a games room than a garage, as we are not usually plagued by extreme weather. Generally, we can get much of our list if we are willing to pay as we are not a densely packed country.

We were recently looking at apartments in New York City.

Now this is a completely different beast. The right location is still a priority consideration – how far is the subway? Being close to transport links is essential for city life. But no longer are we thinking about spare beds and TV rooms. The new questions are about washing machines and storage space. It had never occurred to me before spending time in New York that you might have to bring your dirty clothes in a bag down the street to a Laundromat. Or that I’d be using my suitcases that I’ve previously stored empty in the attic as a box to keep my towels in because I don’t have enough space in the cupboards.

Another thing that was new to me was the idea of building amenities. When you have so many people living on top of each other, each building becomes its own mini neighborhood. And many provide their own services. Some offer just a small fitness center. Others have beautiful roof decks with grilling stations, swimming pools, basketball courts and one of the most popular toys– golf simulators. You can potentially also find libraries, poker tables, arcade games, cinema rooms and even a climbing wall. All without leaving your building. Of course you pay handsomely for these facilities. It could be up to $200 per month in prime Manhattan locations for the privilege of being able to scale a climbing wall before breakfast.

To be continued tomorrow…

hook

Go on – give a hook.

It’s the first thing I look for when I come into a house or a hotel room – the simple hook.

I like to hang my jacket on a hook. Nobody wants to have piles of coats loaded on the banister or on the bed in the guest room or taking up valuable space on the sofa. And perhaps I’m lazy but I don’t want to have to take out a hangar to hang it up properly every time I come in.

Hooks are also bathroom essentials.

I don’t know how many hotels have the towels beautifully folded or rolled beside the sink. But what do you do with a towel after you’ve dried your hands on it? You can’t roll it back up and put it back where it was. You need a hook! I’ve resorted to hanging towels over the edge of the sink, over the shower rail, on the cupboard door. None of these are satisfactory solutions, however. And who has the time to hang a dressing gown properly inside the wardrobe and take space away from dresses and shirts that need this treatment? A hook is the only answer.

And hooks are not just for coats and towels. They are for keys and aprons, jewelry and mops, utensils and handbags, dog leads and oven gloves. So if you want to make your life a little more organized and your guests a little more comfortable, invest in a few hooks. I stay in a lot of Airbnb’s and I am sure the presence of hooks has been a major contributing factor to a good review for these properties! Anyway, whether you are a house maker or a host it’s a simple upgrade, which will be much appreciated. Go on – give a hook!