We're moving to the province of Drenthe.
As you can see from the map on the left, the province of Utrecht is one of the most densely populated areas in the Netherlands (after Zuid Holland and Noord Holland). We've lived in Utrecht all of our lives and we've had it pretty damn good. Our houses in Nieuwegein and Utrecht (the city) were both comfortable and they suited our needs. And living in the city we always had the benefit of all kinds of shops and facilities nearby.
Now that I'm nearing my thirties and Dana's joined our family things look different though. We want to have a nice, big house that'll last us at least ten years (and possibly a second child). Since we'll be living off of my wages alone said house needs to be affordable, leaving us enough money for food, upkeep and savings. And since housing prices in the deep red provinces on the map suck we've decided to try our luck elsewhere.
Flevoland (the island in the middle) doesn't offer us much interesting because I particularly dislike the cities over there. Housing is a bit more affordable than elsewhere, but it doesn't help much that Almere is atrociously ugly :/ And since we've always like the countryside of Friesland and Drenthe, we've decided to move to the latter!
We've been browsing Funda for a few days now and even when limiting our search to the southwest of Drenthe there's more than two hundred houses to pick from! Houses within our budget that is... Right now we're eyeballing a house that's close to my in-laws, close to an Intercity railway station and close to both schools and a forest. It's about 130m2, has five rooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen looks alright, as do the two yards and the terrace. All of that rings in at around 190k, which is only 40k more than what we paid for our 80m2, first floor apartment.
Unfortunately there are a few downsides to living in Drenthe, the largest being the distance I need to travel for my daily commute. By moving further east I'm limiting the area that I can work in quite a bit. Quite severely actually, since most of the really big IT jobs are in the outmost west of the Netherlands. One could say that Amsterdam and Utrecht are about as far west as I could go to find jobs, while the west coast is my current limit. Oh well...
The other downside is that we'd be moving further away from all of our friends (except you Kaijuu, you'd be right around the corner!) and our family. But then again, the house'll be big enough to have a guest room, so hey! ^_^
It's a pretty big decision to make, but I do believe it's a good one.
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