Tuesday, November 29, 2011

more on moving home

Moving home to most of us is one of the most stressful in our part of life….that means BIG changes. Social circle, school, job, kid’s activities etc. But I still consider myself lucky to move just down the block, thus only small changes. We have preserved almost everything like kid’s school, social circle, activities, my husband’s office which is an hour and a 15 minutes drive stays the same. It makes our home moving uncomplicated because we have anticipated almost everything since it’s not a question of changing world of work or company. From choosing the place where to live although we have considered looking somewhere which is completely out from the town we’re in. The packing which I started 6 months before the D day. Along with de-cluttering helped me to unburden all the old stuffs and could finally bid goodbye to them. My kids were really cooperative while de-cluttering their toys and that’s less job for me.

A big turmoil that is as we often stressed out thinking if things will get inside the house depending how wide the windows and doors are. Trying to gauge whether stuffs will fit in. I was surprise that moving went very smoothly, unfussy and stress-free. A stroke of luck, we have 3 entrance to new abode so we have choices where to get ahead of our stuffs. Having an easier access is something vital in a house. Grateful to many friends who came to spare free time to help us move our stuffs. And to my so called “second family” in my second home who kept my two big kids during the move. While I look after my baby and continue doing my last packing. Moving stuffs came very handy despite of our massive canapés. Friends were very supportive from A to Z. Moving turned out perfectly well.

grateful too all of them

a friend who brought his own company truck to make the move faster

Just to give you a brief hisrotry of home, it was built during the 1950’s and it is called “La Village de Picheney” . During that time there was an aluminium factory in that district. The employer built 12 houses for his of employees with families. The factory has been closed since 1988, if I am not mistaken. And so houses were sold from one person to another. According to the old owner we are the 4th holder of this house so that’s one good thing as we can see house is taken care of.. Our home is just fit for a brood of 5. The house is very functional, we have 3 big rooms, 2 toilets, bathroom, laundry area, big salon, a veranda, a garage, a garden enough to enjoy a nice meal during good season and a stock area. Plus we have a very rich apricot tree.

our new home

About our location and setting, home has an easy access to local community such as “Maison de Quartier“, commercial areas but we are still isolated from the heart of busy stores. Accessible to highway, transportation, football field and parks. Parking is very easy except if one of the neighbour celebrates and have visitor then it could be a bit harder. And since we love trekking we have a nice trek to do right on our nose. We haven’t explore it yet as we are still into fixing, arranging and improving our new abode. Along with juggling to manage three kids, activities, and errands.

So dear bloggers, sorry I cannot visit you or haven’t got enough time to update my blog but I am still here. I know, I am a bore!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

step by step

Buying a house is not like buying a pair of shoes that if it doesn’t fit you right you could bring them back to the store. It’s the major and vital financial decision in life. It could be lengthy, complex, exciting and stressful… name it ! It’s a maze of legal work, bidding, opting for a good mortgage arrangement. Most importantly finding the right home of your choice. More than anything else, financial situation is important to purchase a house. However, being emotionally & mentally prepared are also the keys to start an important project and seek for a home you can really afford. With all the aforementioned, now I can say we are ready !

I then started to check real estate magazines and internet for houses, apartments or even lands for sale in our district & neighboring cities. Our house hunting didn’t take long as we personally opted for direct selling. First, we needed to look at our budget that will fit into our financial condition. Second, real estate is costly so our friend who is an agent/owner recommended us to wait until the housing prices plunge. Third, we still have 4 years mortgage to complete the payment of this flat (but that’s another story) to keep or sell. Those are many reasons why we have waited to squeezed in for the meantime but not for so long.

Plus, we have already rubbed off the idea of buying from real estate agencies, reality is to keep us away from over exuberant cost as housing market still seems pretty bleak. I was surprised that the whole process only took us a year to finalize everything from searching for the perfect home in the right neighborhood, to verify our financial means, to moving and settling in.

Thanks to our financial consultant all is being scrutinized from bank statements to appraisal, financial budget and calculating future monthly mortgage. Plus, we asked if it’s possible to keep the flat as an investment without out having to worry about financial stability if we have them both. We make sure our credit history is as clean as a crystal water. Good news, we were pretty much able to pay the rest of the credit to make this flat ours. Finally, a good benefit that will help us keep a good eye on fixed asset or long term investment..

We are tremendously grateful for some professional help that we received from my husband’s childhood friends :

Guillaume - Real Estate Agent, from guiding us the entire procedure so as to avoid some of the most frequent risks, the pros and cons of home-buying. He will also take care of this flat to look for a renter.

Xavier - The Architect, who helped us to check the house’s condition like public safety and building codes. What to avoid and to get rid of some little things that are useless and gives us some pretty good ideas for future repairs.

Jérémy - The Notary who takes care of all the legal works such as signature witnessing, deposition, confirmation of acknowledgment, oaths and affirmation and to journalize everything.

That’s what I call team work! After several months of visits we finally found a home that suits our taste especially our budget. In no time, we will move to our new home and things will be more easier and comfortable for everyone. I can’t wait to be home soon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

room sharing : a good delimma

Our first born child (a boy) was the motivation why we bought the apartment of two bedrooms since November 2002. After 2 years and 4 months to be exact, I gave birth to our second child (a girl) and we are still living in that same apartment of 65 sq. meters. It is located in the city but off from busy streets. My husband wanted us to move to a bigger place after having a baby girl. He was thinking there wouldn’t be enough space for them. Told him why not share a room besides they are still young? I said to him kids of not the same sex in the same room is not bad at all. Siblings are suppose to share whatever things they have and sharing a room is one of them. It promotes a closer sibling rapport. They would learn, develop and adapt themselves in different situations along the way. I was joking about it too, that he married a Filipina and so we should live like an authentic Filipino family. I do not see anything wrong with it. I grew up with my brother and sister in the same room and it was a no big deal. We liked it all together even if we fought over something. It was a joke but it is true! Sharing spaces is part of a Filipino way of family life. Of course, there’s always an exception if you belong to a rich family then you’ll have your own private room. Apparently, he agreed with my point of view and we didn’t move since then.

April 2010, I gave birth to our third child ( just for the record it’s an unexpected or should I say "SURPRISED" pregnancy). And we are still living in that same 65 sq. meters flat with our three kids sharing one room and we are all happy. We choose to wait a little bit to move to a bigger place as we don’t want to be in a haste. We both don't like rushing to get things done! Most especially we do not want to buy a house because of pressure that we get mostly from our entourage.

Certainly, I admit that family is growing therefore we absolutely need a bigger space as the flat starts to be small for a brood of five. I admit, sometimes staying at home all day in that small flat is a bit tedious. But we are getting used to it, it’s just a matter of finding interesting stuffs to do to forget about the space problem. Good thing, we love outdoor activities and so during weekends we are mostly out and enjoying.. Active children need activities throughout their free time. During bad weather we still manage to do other indoor activities like playing chess, drawing, assembling puzzle and sometimes playing Nintendo DS (but this has a limit). We also have a big garage in the basement’s residence and they get to rollerblade and bike there. We also found a new sports that kids love so much and during bad weather you will find them there. Of course, they also watch television, some cartoons and interesting documentary about dinosaurs, natures and animals and all about earth. They love that kind of program.

On the other hand, we are perfectly aware of the upside and downside of room sharing. My son who is an 8 years old urgently needs his own space to do his homework. Otherwise,he couldn’t concentrate because my daughters could be noisy sometimes while playing. Above all, he is growing and the only boy, thus, privacy matters could make sharing principally complicated. Honestly, I am proud to say they never really squabble because they share a room but it’s more of fighting over a toy or asking who will arrange the mess. Obviously, they both do the tiding up….no choice they only have one room. That’s one advantage of room sharing! We discussed all about these pros and cons, and it motivated us much more to buy a house with a bigger space for our children to value privacy and solitude. Besides, they already know the importance of cooperation and sharing, to negotiate and compromise.

For eight years, we are fortunate to have lived in this flat as it is near a public park and not buildings & commercial zone. Grateful that we are not confronted of dirty streets, noisy stores and not having to struggle to find a parking space. Plus, we have a superb terrace just enough to stay and enjoy a fine day and gaze upon the verdant green cliffs, trees and plants right on our nose. Nice neighbours, there may be one or two bad apples but not everyone. I will surely miss this flat !

the view from our flat

Friday, February 11, 2011

mon voisin est un grand malade

Ca faisait un bail je n’ai pas écrit en Français et c’est drôle de me retrouver devant mon ordinateur taper, fouiller et rectifier les mots en Français. Déjà pour pouvoir mettre à jour mon blog c’est assez difficile mais bon c’est comme ça. Il m'a fallu beaucoup de temps, déclic et de courage pour me lancer….et tiens, me voilà ressuscité !

Ce n'est pas dans ma nature de me plaindre, mais aujourd’hui laissez- moi me plaindre bon sang ! Je vais vous dire pourquoi ? Mon voisin d’en bas m’énerve car le dernier fois il me demandé de me garer comme il l'aurait souhaité. Moi, je n’ai pas hésiter de le faire autant. Oui, je me tais car j’avoue ça m’a énervée et puis il y avait mes enfants avec moi. Je ne voudrai pas avoir la dispute et me causer plus de problème car ça sera plus mon voisin dans pas longtemps, hélas ! J’ai toujours respecter les consignes dans la résidence, car il est vrai qu'il est très important d'avoir de bons rapports avec les voisins. Mais alors là, je n’ai pas envie d’avoir une relations amical avec cet homme. Lui, qui se gare toujours juste devant le bâtiment sur un marquage jaune au niveau de l’entrée et il s'est permis de faire une réflexion. J'ai faillit lui dire que le marquage jaune au sol ne sert pas à grand-chose si tout le monde se gare comme vous. Mais bon, je n’ai pas osé de lui dire, j’ai préférée me taire.

cet homme se gare la !

et moi je me gare juste ici en respectant le marquage au sol

En revanche, pour se faire remarquer et quand je trouve l’occasion je me gare à proximité de l’entrée…je le fait ! J’en suis carrément sûre qu’il ne va pas aimer, je m’en fou ! C’est pour lui montre que j’ai tout les droits de me garer où je veux non en respectant lau même temps le marquage au sol? Et si la prochaine fois il me fait des réflexions, je vais lui faire comprendre. Si quelqu'un veut être respecté par les autres, il le faut une vie digne de respect en comportant ainsi, mais malheureusement ce n'est pas son cas.

Translation :

It's been ages I have not written in French and it's funny to find myself in front my computer typing, searching and correcting words in French. To be able to update my blog is already quite difficult but it's like that. It took me a long time, to click and courage to start myself. ... and hey, here I am risen!

It's not in my nature to complain, but today let me complain, dammit! I'll tell you why? My downstairs neighbor annoys me because the last time he asked me to park my car as he wished. Me, I did not hesitate to do so. Yes, I admit it made me angry but I didn't say anything because my children were with me. I would not want any hassle and cause me more problems because it will be my neighbor not for so long, alas! I always follow the instructions in the residence because it is true that it is very important to have good relations with neighbors. But then, I do not want to have friendly relations with that man. He, who always parks in front of the building on a yellow mark in front of the entrance and he allowed himself to give me instructions. I almost tell him that the yellow mark on the ground is useless if everyone parks like you. But hey, I did not dare to tell him I prefer to keep quiet.

However, to get noticed and when I find the opportunity to park, I park near the entrance not in front... I will! I am totally sure he won't like it, I don't care! It is to show him that I have every rights to park wherever I want right and respecting at the same time the lines? And if next time he'll call my attention, I'll make him understand. If someone wants to be respected by others, it takes a life worthy of respect, but unfortunately this is not his case.

Monday, January 03, 2011

way too late post

Exploring the neighbourhood regions is also interesting. The South of France has its exquisite scenery, with good food and great weather. Of course the French Riviera and Gorges du Verdon represents a lot of tourists every year. Municipalities like Orange, Arles, Ardèche, Aix-en Provence are a must sees. Big cities like Marseille, Toulon and Alpes Maritime, are a great sites to visit. The Provence is dotted with lovely little towns. Since our drama queen is asking for a visit, my family of five never says no.

Summer is not complete and won’t be a perfect getaway without having to sunbathe, getting to swim either in a pool, beach and lake. We went to spend the half of the day at Lac St. Cassien (Lake St. Cassien) with Makis. It is one of the tourist spots in the Alpes Maritime. A lovely dike of 66 metres high and produced to have an artificial lake. It is a 5 kms long, placed in water during the 1966 and it’s located near the highway which is only 12 km west of Cannes. There are lots of exciting water based leisure like boating, canoeing, fishing. There are also affordable restaurants & pizzeria to choose from.

Afraid that parking would be difficult as there were lots of tourist we went there as early as we could around 10 in the morning (well not too early). Luckily, we found a parking slot just beside the lake. We have rented a deckchair with sunshade to at least protect us from the sun especially for my Chiara. Only Makis loves sunbathing while I start to detest it meaning I didn’t even go for a swim. Just by being with my family, a friend and the sound of natural running water would always bring simple pleasure in my life. The kids have enjoyed swimming at the lake with their father. While I and Makis enjoyed catching up, looking at those tourist wondering how they could keep up their silhouette after pregnancy. How teenagers look like an adult compared to us who’s nearly our 40’s lol !

We have also visited the neighbouring village named Cabris which is 10 minutes by car from Makis's place. It was a nice short stroll into Cabris. Picture taking is a must as the village is undeniably beautiful! We have enjoyed the warm welcome of the Maravels, good cooking of Makis what else razz ! Thank you again Makis & Alex and until our next visit to your new home !