Historical House Hunting in England

Last week we were able to go look at houses to find a place to live for the next couple of years. We had looked online and communicated with our agent about what we were hoping to find.  We had narrowed down our list and our agent had 10 showings lined up. She picked us up and loaded all 6 of us into her car. It was a very full day and many of the houses were a blur by the end of the day. I was trying to take pictures to share and to remember. I am sharing a few of our favorites that we will NOT be living in. Just a note that all of our house hunting was coordinated through a corporate relocation company and they have been a huge help.

The first house we looked at was The Cottage. It was one of the first properties I found online when we started looking. It was built in 1490! You read that right. This house is older than pretty much anything in the US. This house has 4 bedrooms and a huge yard. It had character for days and I loved it. It was a fantastic way to start off our house hunting. My Harry Potter obsessed daughter was in love with this property.

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This was the main reception room, look at the size of the fireplace! Also of note, how low the ceilings were. dsc_0034

The old well that was in the backyard. So much charm!

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All of the bedrooms had closets, not always a given in Europe. These closets were not standard by any means, but they would have worked nicely. The cabinet on the right holds a washer and dryer.

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Here is the garden, Malachi was having fun exploring.

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Every turn had something special, but we still had 9 more houses to see, so I snapped this last photo of the garden and set off for the car.

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This is the garage for the cottage, you had to enter through the neighbor’s drive way. It was a bit odd, but lots of great storage space.dsc_0053

The next house dated back to 1750. The house had a unique layout, but had been updated very well over the years.

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We ended up calling this house the chandelier house, can you guess why?

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This was the sink in the large and functional laundry room.

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Here is the kitchen, very nice, with an extra oven in the dining room. It sounds a little odd, but it worked.

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I love the interesting details that we found in these old houses. These light switches were in the master bedroom. dsc_0067

Of all the newer homes this one was one of my favorites. Unfortunately it was right on a busy and loud road.

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This house looked old, but was actually a newer build. There were some really neat features to this house, but for some reason it just didn’t feel right.dsc_0102

This house was a very new building built in a Tudor style. The craftsmanship was amazing and the attention to detail was remarkable. Again it was on a very buy road and had a very small backyard.  But look at those beams and that chandelier!dsc_0153

This was another very nice house, a more recent build with historic touches. Look at that yard, with a playhouse! The kitchen in this house was brand new, had never been cooked in. It was a very nice house for sure. In the US one of the first things you can find out about a house is what year it was built. For the historic homes I knew the age, but when I asked about the rest of the houses none of the agents had any idea. It is funny how I am used to having that piece of information, it tells you a lot about a house and what you can expect.

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We had a lot of really great choices as you can see here. Viewing The Cottage was kind of like going to a museum.  We had a great day with our agent and we were able to get a feel for the area that we will be living in. The day was quite an adventure with this whole crew, but I did bring snacks which always helps.  I hope you enjoyed this virtual house hunting trip with me.

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By the end of the day our choice was obvious. I will be sharing more about our home, if you want to see some sneak peeks visit my Instagram @brocantetreasures.

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Settling In

Every international move we have made has been a little different. When we moved to Norway the company leased the house for us and had it furnished and ready to move into. We spent one night in a hotel and then we moved straight to our home for the next 9 months.

When we moved to Paris we only had a short flight from Oslo, and we moved into an apartment we found on AirBNB. The apartment was in the city and was only an okay experience.

So far our experience in England has been very pleasant. We picked our temporary housing this time based on a few pictures on the internet and the general area of the property. We were able to get from the airport to our apartment relatively easily. A peek inside our apartment, I love all of the details.

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The kitchen was stocked with enough food for dinner and breakfast so we didn’t have to go shopping until today. I am loving all of the fall foliage, but I am glad I am not responsible for cleaning up after all of these beautiful old trees.

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I know this picture is a little dark of my kiddos, but the sky was so gorgeous. I was starting to get worried that I wasn’t going to see the sun at all today, a huge adjustment coming from Houston, Texas, but the sun came through for me.

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And this is the view of the back of our rental property. We only have a small apartment in this building, but we are loving having such a huge lawn to enjoy. The building dates back to 1892 and has just the right amount of character and convenience.

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Is anyone surprised I have started treasure hunting? We went out to get some groceries and a coffee pot and I found this pair of vintage brown transfer ware plates. I love these pieces so much and they will always have a special place in my collection since they were my first purchases.

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House Hunting in England

We are continuing on our adventure to England. This week the packers and movers came, our house is empty, it has been cleaned and will be going on the market next week. We got all of our pets to their new/temporary homes, dealt with one minor car accident (everyone is okay), sold 2 vehicles, said good bye to lots of friends, and packed 11 suitcases to take with us.

Here is a photo from my trip to England in September. I think the weather is going to be just a little bit different when we get there this time. I have my umbrella and our jackets within easy reach for when we land.

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The next step is to get on a plane, with 4 children under the age of 10. Thankfully our kiddos are good travelers and we have a direct flight. Next week we will be house hunting in England! We receive a considerable about of assistance with this process through my husband’s company and I am always thankful for the local experts we get to the work with. We have already been in touch with several different people in the house hunting process and I can’t wait to get on the ground. We will be renting a home for our stay in England, but it is amazing how different the process is in each different country.

This is a property that we won’t be looking at because of the location (too far from the school), but isn’t she pretty!

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If you have ever wanted to look at real estate in England the two best sites are http://www.zoopla.co.uk and http://www.rightmove.co.uk.  There are some amazing homes available and I am looking forward to seeing them in person. I will be taking pictures as we go and sharing some of the more interesting properties we get to look at.

See you on the other side of the pond! Cheers!

Happy Veterans Day!

Veterans Day is such a special day, a day that holds so many memories for our family. My father and mother both were in the Air Force, both of my brothers were in the Navy, and my amazing husband was in the Army for 5 years. We have so many other friends and family that have and are still serving our nation and I am in awe of the sacrifices made for our country.

Here are a few of our memories that run through my mind when I think back to Jon’s time in the military.

This was the day Jon deployed for the first time. We had been married for 16 months and Jon was getting ready to leave for a year.

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Here we are in Florence during his R&R. We spent 15 days traveling around Italy together after his first 9 month stretch in Iraq. He had to leave and finish up 3 more months before he got to come home. This trip to Italy was AMAZING and cemented our love of traveling together. italy-2006-1320-florence-duomo

At the Welcome Home ball shortly after Jon came home.cameron-brooks2-007

Just one year later we were getting ready for his second deployment. This time around we had Addison. It was so much harder for Jon to say good bye to Addie.dsc_0026

We said good bye to Jon for 15 months this time. We did get to see him for R&R, but 15 months was a long time. A lot happens in the life of a little girl during 15 months, her first Christmas, her 1st birthday, her first steps, her second Christmas. I am thankful for the support system I had during that time. dsc_0170091

And here we are at the welcome home ceremony! This was one of the BEST days of my life. Having Jon home was

Shortly after this Jon left the Army and went into the civilian world. Our life has been crazy since we left the Army with more babies and plenty of moving, but at least we get to do it together.

I wouldn’t trade our time in the Army for anything though. I am so proud of what Jon did to protect our country and the friends we made are still like family to this day.

I am thankful for everyone that is still serving and sacrificing for our country. Enjoy your Veterans Day.

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