10.23.2007

I died and went to…

On my second to last day in Germany, Roswitha took me by one of those homes that is known to be available only through word-of-mouth and, then, only to a select few.

Twenty-five miles from the industrial city of Mannheim lay one of the most beautiful areas of Rhineland-Pfalz--the wine country. While you can take the autobahn to quickly get to point A or B, Roswitha chose the ride along the narrow and winding street called the Weinstrausse, or wine street, of Southern Germany, which showcases the region. As you drive, rolling hills of vineyard after vineyard hide old, quaint villages until you almost happen upon them. Every couple miles you come to a new little town, and just as quickly you leave it.

It was in one of these small villages, Roswitha showed me a house that dates back to 1000 A.D. The architect who worked 10 years updating the house met us at the door. His 80-year-old parents, who actually own the property, joined him. In the sweetest and most approachable of ways, I was being interviewed.

“I met Roswitha and trusted her instincts instantly,” the architect explained. “I asked her to keep this house in mind, if she found a client that might be good for it.”

I was the first client Rositha had ever brought to see this house. And now I wish she hadn’t.

Stepping from the courtyard into the main foyer is like stepping forward through time. Even though the original rock serves as decorative wall throughout, everything on the inside is thoroughly modern, like something out of an archictural digest.

Just to honor this family’s privacy, I will only post a couple photographs. These photos don't do the home justice, anyway, but hopefully you'll get an idea. Some features include a huge tub that slides out to be centered under a sky roof (so that someone can appreciate the stars while they bathe), windows that automatically adjust depending on the weather, spiral staircases made of galanized steel, a loft bedroom, and marble tile flooring from Italy. I was so mesmorized by the interior; I had to take a second tour just to understand the layout.

As much as I liked the place, I could tell the family also liked me. By the end of the visit, I was sharing photos of Charlie and Max, and they were sharing photos of the restoration process.

I only wish I had known what the rental costs of the unit was before I fell in love with it--$3300 dollars a month, which included all the utilities, the closets, kitchen, bathroom fixtures light fixtures (normally you have to buy all of these items yourself. Apartments in Germany come completely bare).

If I were looking to buy a home, than I’d be willing to spend this sort of money. But for a rental--for something that I will get no return on my money-- I cannot fathom it. Besides, my house still hasn’t sold and we run the risk of having to support two households in the next 6 months. I need to be practical. Max and I don’t want to be house poor, especially when we need the cash for all our future travels in Europe, right?

Needless to say, every other apartment has paled in comparison to the home on the Winestrausse. And just to heighten my sense of longing, the architect sent me a lovely note via e-mail this evening.

"The meeting this afternoon with Mrs Roswitha and you was very nice, really!

After you showed me the picture from your husband and your little dog, my parents and me had a really good feeling, that we could give the house to you without some problems - if you want to...

You are very natural and sympathic and your husband seems to be the same way..."


They want me; I want the house. Roswitha thinks the family will come down on the rent.

But really, what are the chances???

10 comments:

Me said...

A: How much can they come down to make it worth your while?

B: she is right. No GERMAN would pay that much rent. They are totally taking advantage of "foreigners". i have seen this in abundance when my wasband and i moved from the US to Germany for a year. He was in the US military and we would get these lists and look at houses and the landlords knew what the housing allowances were and woudl CHARGE. My family in Germany were all saying "No German would pay that much rent"

So trust me, the rent is insane. While the landlords might be super nice and love you guys, they also know that they will never rent this at such cost to a German.

Awesome house, I totally understand! It's impossible not to compare.

AmyD said...

You don't know until you ask...

The place looks and sounds amazing - good luck in negotiations!!

sandra said...

Oh my gosh, that place looks amazing!

Sara said...

And what are the chances you'd find that gorgous canary diamond, too? Some things are just fate, my dear. Good luck!

kenju said...

Make them an offer, Diane, and low-ball it. All they can do is say no; or maybe they'll counter with a slightly higher price and you can haggle a little.

M said...

the house looks absolutely gorgeous! I sympathise about looking at houses that are awesome - the ones in your price range always seem so crappy by comparison.

Beth said...

Sounds like a dream house!

running42k said...

That place sounds amazing and from those pictures, wow!

Just a trumpet player said...

Blame the whole karma on Murphy's Law and drink a couple of Martinis ; the other options might not seem as bad after all...

Don't get discourage. You will find something and make the perfect home out of it.

mollymcmo said...

that place looks amazing!
when am i coming for a visit????

m