No, my emails to House Hunters International weren’t answered. And actually, an expat I met during our go-see had just (as in the last few weeks) been filmed for HHI in Aberdeen- so doubt they would want another one. (But I was able to learn just how much of a crock that show really is anyway…)
During our weeklong go-see we had two days with a native to help show us rental properties. He personally had not lined up said rentals, but a company in London did that hires him to take us around. The first day was AWFUL. I mean awful in every sense of the word. It was gray and raining (after a beautiful 1st day), we saw 3 rentals, each a little better than the one before, but each so awful you couldn’t pay me to live there. The 2 other rentals we were supposed to look at were taken out from under us before we could even make our way to them. I was so upset that we barely slept that night (thank you xanax for giving me those few precious hours), started to question whether this was really the right thing to do, and were already talking about how long it was until we could move someplace else/planning coping strategies of travel and trips home.
Thankfully, the second day was much better. Again, 1-2 places originally on our schedule called en route and said they were under offer already so we wouldn’t be able to see them, but thankfully, we had anticipated this and had additionally scheduled some properties we found on our own. Deciding to find our own properties came about in my fit of tears and deeming that a) Aberdeen is unlivable and b) the outside London company did not have a clue of the city or worked hard enough for me….I was determined to prove I could find my own home and it would be better than the options someone else, who wasn’t physically in this city, could find for me. The first place was old and charming (aside from the kitchen), in a great neighborhood, with a cute yard. Amazing fireplaces. Unfortunately, I don’t think ANY of our furniture would have fit through the door. Possibly our mattress (without box spring) was even too wide.
The second place was a rehabbed cottage. It was furnished and had a fairly open floor plan with lots of light. 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms & 1 powder room, 1 office. Good location, but no yard (as the owner decked over the back yard completely), small kitchen with a decent but not great fridge, with a washer AND dryer. Lots of sliding glass doors, skylights, and big bay windows letting in loads of light, but over budget.
The third place was further out, alongside Hazelhead Park and right next to a riding center. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The one bedroom on the main floor was large and would serve as a bedroom and office. It had a great kitchen- but an awful stove, great fridge and 2 extra freezers, as well as the washer and dryer in the garage empty garage. The bedrooms upstairs were huge, but very dated (blue carpet, blue wardrobes). It had on a cute itty, bitty yard and loads of storage. But it was quite dark and cool inside the house, and this was in July.
We saw 2-3 other places that day as well. All of them definitely livable, but in undesirable locations or just not as good as the first 3. It was really down to house 2 and 3. I really struggled because I liked the idea of an actual yard (small as it was) for Stella and the being close to horseback riding,, as well as all the loads of storage and large fridge and freeze…. but I didn’t like being so far away from conveniences and the gross carpet upstairs, but then again, it was under budget. We decided to put in both offers, to the cottage asking for £75 reduction in monthly rent, and if that didn’t work out, then we’d live in the house by Hazlehead.
Surprisingly, the cottage accepted our offer. We were the only people to see the house and scooped it up quickly. I am sure there are going to be a few hiccups, and it’s not our dream home. But I think we made the right decision. I feel a lot better about moving.