As a kid growing up in the small town of Haarzuilens, some of my fondest memories are of sleep-overs at friends who lived in this house. They lived right on the edge of the wooded park that was home to a French baron’s folie castle and even though we had a big garden too, their’s was bigger and bordered the derelict green house and nursery complex of the estate. It was like growing up in a children’s book.
Recently, long after my friends and I all went to college, moved out and set up camp as far as Northern America in the case of one of us. my friends inherited the house and put it up for sale. In a tough market, in a credit crunched society where banks don’t like to extend loans for renovations. And it’s just that what this house needs. Their dad didn’t take very good care of it, but through the damaged gutter, the stained exposed brick and the worn-out kitchen and bathroom, I still see that wonderful home I know from my youth. It needs some good old TLC and it will make a great family home.
After the house was on the market for over a year and only one person came to view it, I offered one of my friends to help with sprucing the place up a bit. A house with a bit of decorating lures people in more than an empty one. So one particularly sunny afternoon we set off to a local thrift store where the people were kind enough to lend us whatever furniture we wanted and went to work. I am quite pleased with the result!
As there was no budget, and timings are tight, we had to make do with what we could find. If time nor money were a restriction I probably would have suggested to paint the exposed brick and kitchen cabinets, but understandably, my friend wanted to avoid spending a lot of money and time. So we were limited to furniture and accessories. Remember, this all came from one place, and was selected and put in, in a matter of a few hours.
The town is wonderful with two decent restaurants, one doubling as a community pub. Both Amsterdam and Utrecht are easy to commute to with both Vleuten and Breukelen connected to train links and the highway at 5 minutes driving. I can highly recommend checking it out. And do me favour. Restore the house to its former glory when you buy it and cook me a steak breakfast there one sunday…
Check out the listing here.