Category Archives: house hunting

My Number One Moving Tip

Between Handy Husband and I, we’ve lived in Oregon (a few different times), Washington, Canada, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Georgia and now Ireland.

We have enjoyed the luxury of being moved by moving companies, domestically and internationally.

We have loaded our stuff in a uHaul.

We have loaded our stuff in my dad’s cattle trailer. Don’t worry, he hosed the manure out.

Just think about that one for a minute.

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We have moved our stuff in the back of a car. Yes, a sectional does fit in a Toyota Venza. If you take 3 trips.

If anyone wants to question my moving credentials, I think I have the market cornered on all the ways one can move their stuff.

Just saying.

I don’t need to mention the cattle trailer again, do I? I didn’t think so.

My Number One Moving Tip:  Designate a Parts Box.

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I can’t take credit for this one. This tip came to me after my experience with moving companies and it’s been one I’ve incorporated into all our moves since.

What’s a Parts Box? A Parts Box is the one single place where all of the random parts and pieces for your furniture and pictures are placed. The only place.

If you unscrew a bed frame, the screws and other small pieces for the bed frame are grouped together, labeled and put in the Parts Box. Same things goes if you remove knobs on a dresser. Secure, label and put them in the Parts Box.

If you are moving a shelving unit with adjustable shelves, for the love of your sanity, take out those tiny silver pegs/pins and place them in your Parts Box.

When we take a large piece of decor off the wall, I always put the screws plus new anchors in a labeled baggie. That bag goes where? In the Parts Box.

The nails that I used to hang various pictures go in the Parts Box too. I’m all about reusing.

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When you unpack everything, it makes life so much simpler to have all of those miscellaneous parts and pieces in one place. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about the screws for your bed frame or adjustable pegs for your bookshelf getting lost. You don’t have to expend mental energy thinking, how did I hang this last time? Everything is there waiting for you.

I also use the Parts Box for any last minute finds when I’m doing a sweep of the house. Random pens, Lego figurines, electronics cords, etc. The movers missed a packet of taco seasoning in the pantry? It goes in the Parts Box too. Imagine how happy I was to find that packet in Ireland? Super, duper happy.

Guess what was for dinner that night? My favorite meal ever.

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Let’s face it. Moving, no matter how far you are going, is stressful. It doesn’t have to be miserable though. The hero of many of our moves has been the small, unassuming Parts Box.

I hope this tip helps you in future moves. Happy packing and unpacking!

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Moving to Ireland: The Great Purge

Handy Husband and I have moved A LOT. We are no stranger to packing up our stuff and moving across town, across the state, across country.

Moving across an ocean to a foreign country was new for us.

Bring. It. On.

The biggest warning you will get when moving to a European country from the United States is the homes are a lot different than what you are used to.

“A lot different” is code for smaller. Unless you are uber-wealthy, a typical European home is going to be a lot smaller than a typical home in the United States.

Americans must not heed The Warning because The Warning was repeated ad nauseam. You could almost hear the relocation person shaking his/her head over the phone like we were the umpteenth fools he/she had spoken with that day that wouldn’t heed The Warning.

Not us! Get our merit badge ready because this was the kind of challenge we thrived on. Purge half our stuff? No problem. Unless it’s my stuff. My stuff is really good. Let’s start with Handy Husband’s stuff. 😉

Selling our possessions on CraigsList or donating them became a part-time job. I started rotating my donation drop-offs to various locations after I got a “third time this week, huh?” comment.

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Here are some of the things we sold, donated or gave away.
Furniture: couches, dressers, recliners, tables, office chairs, bar stools, desks
Appliances: refrigerator, washer and dryer, wine fridge, freezer
Small Appliances: slow cooker, hair dryer, alarm clocks, vacuum, lamps, etc.
Tools: anything that plugged in, lawn mower, weed trimmers, extension cords, etc.
Fun stuff: kayaks, trampoline, clothes we didn’t wear often, treadmill, toys
Seasonal: wrapping paper, Christmas ornaments, wreaths, fake Christmas trees
Sentimental: my grandmother’s china, the hat I wore to my Mother’s funeral
Transportation: our car

Here’s what went in storage: my piano. Yes, I miss it. No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Here are some of the things we packed:
beds and nightstands
dining room set
outdoor table (which we are using as a desk)
a few side tables
dishes
computers, monitors, printer (the plugs can be switched out)
linens and bedding
home decor
bikes

I have to say. There isn’t one thing of Handy Husband’s I got rid of that I missed. It actually felt good to lighten our material load. Part of me thinks I could have been a little more ruthless, but then the kids wouldn’t have any toys. So there’s that.

I made pancakes this weekend and had to whisk the batter by hand since I got rid of my electric mixer and haven’t replaced it. That wasn’t the end of the world. My kids didn’t even notice their pancakes were a little lumpy. It did take me a little longer to cook a batch of pancakes because I no longer have an electric griddle and had to use a single pan. The horror! It sounds downright spoiled when I say it that way. And really, in the grand scheme of things, it is.

We were allotted a 40-foot container to have our household goods shipped to Ireland. I was 90% certain we wouldn’t fill the container after The Great Purge, but no one told me just how full the container ended up being. I only saw our stuff being loaded on a truck.

Sometimes my competitive streak comes out in weird ways. This was one of those times.

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Imagine me standing on my suburban Irish street doing a fist pump because when the movers opened the container, this is what I saw.

A half empty container!!

Oh, and that big box is my mattress. My sweet, sweet mattress that I missed so, so, so much. I cannot overstate how much I missed that mattress and a good night’s sleep.

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The container was only half full. Actually, that isn’t quite correct. It was a smidge over half full. Our household goods used up 1,100 cubic feet of space inside the 40-ft. container. To be half full, it would need to fit in a 20-ft. container, which has a capacity of 1,170 cubic feet. However, it is tricky to pack a container to maximum capacity with a mishmash of household goods, so closer to 1,000 cubic feet is more realistic.

My point is, if I was compelled to reduce our load by 100 cubic feet in order to fit in a 20-ft. container, I’m pretty sure I could have done it.

It was super interesting to see the container pull up in front of our house. We’d been explaining to the kids how our stuff would be shipped to Ireland, but I didn’t think they’d get to see the actual container.

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The seal on the container was broken by the movers when they parked in front of our house. This meant our container was not physically searched by Irish Customs, which is why we breezed through that process. Basically, as soon as the container was unloaded from the boat it was ready for transport to our house.

This is not the case with everyone. You need to be prepared (with receipts) to have your belongings questioned by Customs.

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You know that irrational feeling you get when your kid is on stage singing for the first time? They are probably dressed as a turnip in the school play and pick their nose the whole time, but you still get that lump in your throat and you wonder just how waterproof your mascara really is? Yeah. That totally happened to me when the Irish Relo truck with our container pulled up on a dreary Monday morning with all of my earthly possessions.

That container represented an end and a beginning.

We have been in a state of transition for several months. We’ve had a fantastic time visiting friends and family. We’ve enjoyed exploring a new country. Really, there hasn’t been a whole lot to complain about. But I was so ready to feel settled again. Ready to not be living out of a suitcase. Ready to get into a routine. Kids (and me apparently) need that. Ready to putter around my house. Ready to embrace our new life and adventure here. Ready to get on with it.

And so we have. This weekend we walked to the beach, rode bikes in the park and people, we hung some pictures! I’m sitting here on my comfy bed writing this post and reflecting that it truly has been a happy day.

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Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #3

If you’ve been following along on our house hunting adventures in Ireland, then you’ll know that House #1 and House #2 were a big, fat bust.

I hate to spoil the surprise, but if we are connected on Instagram or you ran into my dad, then you already know “third times a charm” is now my favorite phrase ever.

House #3 is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath semi-detached home located in a small coastal village about 30 minutes south of Dublin. Semi-detached is just a fancy way of saying it’s actually attached on one side and thus a duplex.

This home was built in 1966 and thankfully has had some updates since that glorious decade.

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The house itself is located on a quiet street and the neighborhood backs up to a large park. From the house it’s about a 10-minute walk to the train station or a 2-minute walk to the bus stop.

I’m going to have to talk more about doors at some point because the Irish seem to love their front doors. (Here’s an article about The Doors of Dublin.)

The windows and hardware of this front door make my heart go pitter-patter. The front door key is an old-fashioned looking, skeleton-type key. Be still my heart.

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Let’s go inside, shall we?

This is one portion of the home’s foyer, which is actually pretty large. I’ve had homes in the U.S. with no foyer, so I appreciate the space.

I’ve only been in a dozen or so homes in Ireland, but so far, all the carpet I’ve seen is low-pile, kind of like a Berber-esque carpet.

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To the left of the entry is a bedroom or what we will use as an office. It has a connected bathroom that has not been updated.

It’s not terrible though – especially if you like the color peach.
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To the right of the foyer is the living room, which runs the width of the house. It’s a long narrow room with a wood stove dividing the space in half.

One of the things I appreciate most about this home are the gigantic windows. I’m basking in all of the natural light. The curtains might not look special in this photo, but the landlord appreciates quality and these are really well-made, high quality curtains.

That bookshelf is not built in, but it is secured to the wall with brackets. You know I want to move it, right? Handy Husband just shakes his head. It would “breathe” better if it was scooted over to the other side of the doorway. However, I’m guessing it was a beast to secure to the wall and therefore the space behind it hasn’t been painted in awhile. That could be bad.

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Moving on. If you were back in the foyer and walked straight ahead, you’d be in the dining room.

It also has a little fireplace. At this point we don’t plan on using the fireplaces, but we will see. I’m not a huge fan of the mess they create.

In case you are wondering, this home is the antithesis of open concept. Every room has a door or two. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the practical reason every room can be closed off is for energy efficiency. In a home that is heated with radiators or wood heat, you can pick and choose which areas you want to heat in the winter.

Speaking of doors, I brought all of my over-the-door hooks with me from Georgia. I knew I would be moving into a smaller home with less storage, so anywhere I could sneak in extra functionality would be good.

Smart thinking, right? I’d like to think so. Using the ol’ brains, I am.

Wrong.

I made a completely erroneous assumption. I assumed door depth was a fairly standard thing. Not so. These doors are thicker than any door I’ve had the pleasure of hanging hooks on. Only one of my hooks fits (very tightly), but the door won’t close. GAH!

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Let’s continue on with the tour.

Part of the kitchen is shown below. The cabinet on the far left is the refrigerator. I’ve always wanted a concealed refrigerator! Thankfully, it’s a little bit bigger than the refrigerator in our temporary home.

This home does have a separate washer and dryer. Yay! The washer is located in the kitchen. The dryer is outside in a shed, which isn’t as terrible as it sounds. It’s all a matter of perspective. Our last home in Georgia was built in the 1960s too and the laundry room was located off the carport. I’m used to traipsing outside to do laundry.

I’m thankful for the dryer! I’ve used it a couple of times, but on nice days I’m channeling my modern-day Laura Ingalls Wilder and drying clothes on the line. There’s nothing like a crunchy bath towel to give you a little extra exfoliation!

There is also a small freezer in that same shed and I’m very thankful for that because I made a batch of strawberry freezer jam this week. And all was right in my world.

Also, my cookie sheets just barely fit in that cute oven. As in, one cookie sheet is the entire size of the cooking rack. These are the small, but important details that the “Congratulations! You’re Moving to Ireland” books don’t mention.

By the way, the number one thing I’m Googling lately is fahrenheit to celsius conversion.

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Up the stairs on the second floor are 3 bedrooms. We moved a king, queen and twin bed and miraculously, all of them fit.

There is also a bathroom upstairs. This home does not have a bathtub in either bathroom, which I find a little odd. I didn’t realize it until after we signed the lease that the upstairs bathroom has no mirror. Between no outlets and no mirrors, I think the homebuilder made his point.

Vanity has no place here! Do your business and get out! Or something like that.

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I really hate to finish this post off with a picture of an open toilet. (That’s probably the one Facebook is going to pull into its feed though.)

So here’s a picture of the kids playing in the backyard.

It’s a legit backyard! Probably one of the nicer backyards we’ve had. This is a perk of moving a little ways out of Dublin.

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I’m actually surprised we ended up with this home. Here’s the thing about Handy Husband and me. I’m the frugal one when it comes to everything except where we live. Handy Husband is the opposite. This home didn’t max out our price range, but it was closer to the top than any of the other houses. I thought the home suited our needs especially because it was unfurnished, but I was prepared to walk away. It was Handy Husband that pounced on this house. The man can still surprise me!

After viewing the home with the realtor, we had to come back a second time to meet with the owners before we could secure the lease. I used every trick in my parenting toolbox to impress upon my children the importance of them not acting like wild hyenas during this meeting.

I have to say, I have never been so graciously welcomed to a home or area as I was by these landlords. Once again, human kindness was overflowing. Their generosity of spirit really blew me away. I kind of felt like hugging them and I’m not a hugger! Plus, I’m pretty sure there’s an unwritten law about not hugging your landlord. Awkward!

When the other homes we viewed didn’t “feel” right to me, I think it was because we were meant to find this place and I’m so happy we did.

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Moving to Ireland: Temporary House, Floor 2

After Monday’s awe-inspiring pictures of where we stayed while we searched for a permanent Irish residence, I didn’t want to leave you hanging over the weekend without showing the 2nd floor of this home. You’re welcome.

(You can read all about the first floor here.)

Let’s climb the stairs to the second floor. Ask me how many times the kids took that stair turn too fast? Go ahead. Ask.

Once each.

Alright, my son might have done it twice, but his danger streak runs a mile wide.

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This townhouse is a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home.

At the top of the stairs you can turn right to the bathroom and one of the bedrooms. Or you can turn left into the other bedroom, where I’m standing to get this delightful photo.

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I’ll turn around now and show you this bedroom which had a double bed. You know what’s nice about a double bed? If you are 5′ 9″ tall, your feet hang off the end of the bed when you sleep.

That’s right. Keeps your feet nice and cool at night. What’s not to love about that?

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Now, the reason this bed is made so nicely is because I didn’t make the bed. My absolute favorite and not favorite thing about corporate housing is the cleaning company that came in once a week and shined the place up. They changed the sheets and even took away the dirty towels and left all new ones. It was a little bit like hotel living.

I only say it is not my favorite thing because I have an irrational need to clean before the cleaning company comes. The first week they came, I didn’t know they were coming and the breakfast dishes were still in the sink. I also happened to still be in my pajamas with my hair looking a little like this.

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My hair can stand straight up without any product. What’s your superpower?

Needless to say, it’s less traumatic for everyone involved if I clean my own house.

Speaking of not scaring the cleaners getting ready in the morning, the “master” bedroom had a small vanity table too. I have yet to be in an Irish bathroom that has any electrical outlets. Just think about how that would affect your morning routine.

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Speaking of the bathroom. Want to see? Look below…

There’s a little heater on the wall to the right.

The cupboard housed linens and the hot water heater.

This bathroom also had a skylight over the shower that you could open by pulling on a cord that was on a pulley system. I guess if you left the window open and it rained, you could have a shower courtesy of Mother Nature.

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I used to work in the homebuilding industry and we never ever in a million years would build a home – even a small home – where there wasn’t a bathroom on every floor. I can’t tell you the number of times someone looked at a set of house plans and asked, “where’s the powder room going to go?” It’s a luxury that your guests don’t have to see the bathroom where you shower and get ready.

Let’s take a closer look at the shower. Don’t worry – it’s clean – thanks to the awesome cleaning ladies.

There is a start/stop button to turn the shower on or off. It worked pretty well! I have seen one shower with hardware and functionality that you’d expect in the United States. The others are some variation on this set-up.

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The second bedroom is where the kids were supposed to sleep. The property management company set it up with two twin beds for our kids.

I tried sleeping on the very hard, double bed with my feet hanging off for two nights. Two long, jet-lagged nights. It was almost funny when every time Handy Husband rolled over he hit his head on the nightstand. Almost.

Eventually, I decided that no matter how much I missed Handy Husband, I missed sleeping even more. We ended up playing musical beds. The kids took turns sharing the double bed with daddy. I folded up a duvet cover to give more cushion to one of the twin beds and slept on that.

There was that one night where I woke up with a kiddo in my twin bed, but I’d prefer not to remember that back ache.

I will say, the closet systems were robust in this house. The built-ins went all the way to the ceilings, which were 9-ft tall. No, I’m not going to open the doors for you because that’s where I had to cram all of our earthly possessions so the cleaning crew could vacuum. It’s not pretty inside.

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This type of corporate housing is set up to be short term. You can stay for as long as you want, but the per night rate is expensive. In Dublin, if we had to foot the bill ourselves to live in this townhouse, it would have been approximately $5,000 per month. Ouch! I’m hoping Handy Husband’s company negotiated a better corporate rate than what we were quoted to extend our stay past the 30-day mark.

Also, this type of housing varies in the length of notice you have to give before you move out. We had to give 14 days notice. Some were as short as 7 days. Happily, we signed a lease on a permanent home exactly 14 days before our lease was up. That meant we did not have to pay any extra to live in this home that I was so thankful for, yet really did not like.

 

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Moving to Ireland: Temporary Home, Floor 1

Moving to a foreign country is exciting and full of adventure.

It is also full of paperwork and more paperwork.

You need paperwork to enter the country. More paperwork to stay in the country. More paperwork to open a bank account. And so on.

Needless to say, the powers-that-be want to be certain that you really want to live there.

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While all of that resolve testing is underway, you need a place to stay until you are legally able to lease a home.

Handy Husband’s employer provided temporary accommodations for our family while we searched for a permanent Irish residence. The company assisting us with the relocation, Irish Relo, gave us three choices of homes available when we would be arriving. We selected the one that would work best for our family.

It wasn’t the fanciest or the biggest, but it was the most family-friendly. That’s key for us!

The home is located in area called Donnybrook, which is relatively close to Dublin’s City Centre. It also happens to be very close to a whole slew of foreign embassies. My kids have played with children from Israel, Poland and France just because they were also in the area temporarily. Mission: Global Citizen is well underway.

Now let’s get down to what you really came to see today – pictures.

This is the dining area of our temporary home. Looking down the hallway to the right is the front door with a cool stained glass window.

By the way, much to my surprise, there weren’t any coat hooks in this home, so we made due with doors and backs of chairs.
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Right off the entry is a doorway to the kitchen. If you’ve ever wanted to shut the door on your kitchen, well, this home might be your soulmate.

I will point out three things about this kitchen.

1) The refrigerator is the size of our wine fridge back home. I’m not sure if that says more about this kitchen or more about… oh, never mind.

2) There’s a red switch on the wall. Do you see it? That switch needs to be turned on in order for the cooker (aka the stove) to work. It’s a safety switch of sorts. That tidbit would have been really helpful to know when we visited during Spring Break.

3. There’s a half carton of eggs on top of the microwave. Eggs are not refrigerated in Ireland – not even in the store. I picked these up on the shelf next to the spaghetti sauce. Eggs aren’t cheaper here, but they are gorgeous, organic-tasting brown eggs like you pay extra for in the United States.

Wait. I feel the need to make one additional point about this kitchen in case you think I’ve lost my ever loving mind during this move. (The move isn’t over, so it still might happen. Ha!) There was no cabinet space left for food, so most everything we bought that didn’t need to be refrigerated ended up on the counter. Yes, it made me feel 10 degrees of twitchy.

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Let’s move back to the living area. Walk four and a half steps this way. Good! You’re there!

If you were sitting at the dining table in that first picture and turned your head, this is what you would see.

A child coloring in a living room. A very brown living room. This house takes neutral to a whole new level. I’ve come to the realization that neutral is fine, peaceful even, as long as it has personality. This home has zero personality, but I give it points for being functional.

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Through that door is the smidgen of outdoor space that has definitely come in handy when I yell at least once an hour “everybody go outside and play!”

Around the corner from this home, but still inside the neighborhood is a large green space. I’m not sure who was thrilled more – me or the kids – when I decided they could play over there without my direct supervision. Little do they know I can hear the rattle of their scooters with the windows open.

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The last space on the first floor of this home can be found under the stairs! That’s where the owner tucked the washer/dryer combo.

There are two irons because Handy Husband bought one when he first arrived. That’s right, ladies! He knows how to iron. That’s why I snatched him up!

The washer/dryer combo is an awesome idea. This one just doesn’t dry clothes very efficiently. I’ve heard this complaint from other people who’ve used these machines too. It’s better just to hang the clothes to dry.

This appliance is also a lot smaller than what you might be used to in the United States. It can adequately clean approximately 4 pairs of underwear at a time. I’m only halfway joking. In all actuality, it can clean maybe one and a half outfits at a time. I can’t tell you how thrilled this makes me.

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Sarcasm aside, I am so happy we chose to be in this little home instead of in a high-rise building. Finding ways to keep your kids occupied when all of their stuff is packed away in a shipping container is a lot easier when they can run outside and play.

Stay tuned for pictures of the 2nd floor. They are riveting.

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Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #2

To recap: We moved to Ireland. We need to find a place to live before our household belongings arrive on the slow boat.

Ready. Set. Freak Out!

The first house we viewed was in the town of Raheny. The second home we viewed was located much farther north in a college town called Maynooth. This quaint village is home to St. Patrick’s College and Maynooth University.

maynooth-harbor(Mayooth Harbour with train station in the background.)

People. I big, fat LOVED Maynooth. I was ready to settle down with my afternoon tea and my new Irish accent and make that place my home.

Maynooth is about 40 minutes via train from Dublin’s City Centre. The landscape is definitely more rural and a lot how I pictured Ireland would be in my mind.

Approximately 12,000 people live in Maynooth. After living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, where the population is one gajillion people and they are all on the interstate at the same stinking time, 12,000 sounded like a refreshingly small number.

maynooth-park(Park right across from train station in Maynooth.)

Much to our children’s delight, our realtor arranged for a taxi to drive us from the train station to view the property, which was a “terraced” home on 3 levels. These terraced homes are what Americans would commonly refer to as townhomes. You own the little patch of land under your home, but your home is connected to 3 or 4 other homes in a big block.

House #2 was the most modern home we’d seen to date (roughly 10 years old) and a great example of how newer construction in Dublin has mostly embraced the concept of an open floorpan.

The owner of the house was still living there and I didn’t feel like I could discreetly sneak away to snap photos while she showed as around. If she didn’t see me taking photos, her 3-year-old definitely would have ratted me out. 3-year-olds have no mute button. At all.

Since there were multiple homes (with the same floorplan) available in this neighborhood, I grabbed a few of those photos to give you an idea of what we saw. Please sit back and enjoy this fictionalized tale based on a real encounter.

Here’s an example of the kitchen in these terraced homes.

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Not too shabby! This is a HUGE kitchen in Ireland and arguably for many homes in the United States too. It was definitely modern and streamlined. Yet, the washer and dryer were still in the kitchen. I can’t decide if this common occurrence in Irish homes is brilliant or horrific. It does take multi-tasking to new heights though.

The living room opened into a dining area and the kitchen was just off to the right of that space. The home we viewed had hardwoods in the living room, which was a big plus. Carpet makes me twitch.

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Perhaps what endeared me most to the home was the green space outside.

When we pulled up in our taxi a large group of neighborhood kids was outside playing soccer/football on the lawn.

This was one of those “hope springs eternal” moments for me. The neighborhood was overrun with kids, which meant plenty of opportunities for my kids to make friends. Yay!

While I intellectually know this move will benefit our children in the long run, I still feel mom guilt over ripping them away from all of their friends back home. Again.

8f1a8a24-7b70-4c52-b932-a03617fb88a3_l(Yes, this picture is older. The trees have leaves now.)

Well, was 2 our lucky number? Nope. House #2 ended up being snatched up by someone else before we’d even left town. Between an influx of foreign workers and a housing shortage, the process of leasing a home in Ireland is very competitive. While I don’t think we’ve experienced it, there is definitely some discrimination at work. Plus, the policy of “first applied, first considered” is only followed when convenient.

I definitely wasn’t happy that I was going to have to take my afternoon tea and Irish accent elsewhere, but it was probably for the best. Our first and second choice of schools in the area were all full. I’ll have to tell you all about the school situation in another post. It’s a doozy!

Stay tuned for my report on House #3.

P.S. I don’t really have a new Irish accent. Yet. 

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Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #1

This is our mission: find a house in Ireland to rent ASAP.

For those of you who are curious about corporate moves, they come with a variety of benefits. These benefits vary based on your company, where you are going and your negotiations.

For this international move, Handy Husband’s company pays for us to live in temporary housing for 30 days. They also pay a realtor to show us 15 different properties. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t find a home within that amount of showings. No one here, so far, has needed more than that to find a place. *knock on wood*

Two days after the kids and I arrived in Dublin we started looking at houses.

House #1 was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath in a coastal town called Raheny (pronounced Ruh-heenee). Raheny is a suburb slightly north of Dublin that dates back to 570 AD. The textured wallpaper under that cream paint was almost that old.

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Most homes in Ireland’s metropolitan areas, from what I’ve seen, are attached to another home(s). House #1 is what Americans would refer to as a duplex. The Irish refer to it as semi-detached.

Pros of House #1:
garage (single car, manual opening door)
separate washer and dryer (located in garage instead of kitchen)
close to work
close to large park and bay
unfurnished

Cons of House #1:
everything else

I joke! In many regards, the house was a blank slate, which is good when it comes to decorating.

irish-house-4(living area #2 – right next to and separated by a wall from living area #1)

The master bedroom, like most bedrooms in Ireland, featured built-in closets. The white cupboard to the right is called a hot press. A hot press is a cupboard that houses the water heater.
irish-house-2

The biggest issue I had with the house, besides the lack of kitchen functionality, was that it was completely chopped up into little rooms. In my opinion, the downstairs would have been 100% better if a couple of walls were knocked down. Unfortunately, that sort of thing is frowned upon when you are renting. Oh well.

My son’s favorite part of the home was this creepy little shed in the backyard. I’m seriously questioning his judgment now…

By the way, lawns are called gardens in Ireland. I’m not sure what gardens are called.

irish-house-1
I fully expect we will move into a small home – that’s normal for Ireland and most of Europe. Small homes don’t have to feel claustrophobic though and this one did.

I was happy to head back out into the rain for more house hunting. Stay tuned for updates!

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