House Hunting

Hey y'all.  Sorry it's been quiet over here lately!  The last month has been busy and I haven't carved out very much time dedicated to writing here.  After my last post Justin told me I needed to write something else besides another Cameron update because people don't want to read 7 Cameron updates in a row.  ;)  I agree, but Cameron updates are quick and easy to write compared to other topics, so I basically just put the whole thing on hold.

In the meantime I've been spending all my spare time searching for a new place for us to live.  Right now our home is a fully furnished, 3 bedroom apartment located on the second floor (that's American speak, Bruneians call it the first floor) above shophouses.  So we share a parking lot with a bunch of shops and directly below us is a carpet store.

Our current apartment's front balcony, complete with the carpet and wallpaper store's neon signage :)
This apartment has been a perfect fit for us over the last year and a half, but we are coming up on the end of our lease and before we re-signed here we decided to check out what else is on the market for rent to see if we could find a place that's located closer to the gym, has a little more space, and is in a neighborhood with its own yard so the kids can run around and play outside more easily than me having to drive them 15 minutes to a park.  We were also hopefully looking for a place that could save us some money on rent too, since many of our friends have told us we pay too much for a shophouse apartment and we should be able to find a rental house for the same price.

Many Bruneian businesses seem to favor running a facebook page rather than a website, so that affects the house hunting game quite a bit because some realty agencies don't have websites or do but don't keep their postings very current.  Realty agencies in general also work differently than in America-- the buyer/renter doesn't pay for a realtor's services as far as I know, and you don't really search for places, even rental houses, without one since they are the only real way to get accurate information about current listings.  Our friend, Elle, helped us (amazingly nice of her!) get in touch with a bunch of realtors and we've both viewed houses all over the place looking for the right one.

We found one we liked, and then the deal fell through and I was pretty disappointed.  Then a few days later we found another we were really excited about and after a few days of negotiations with our current landlord and the homeowner via the realtor we reached an agreement and signed the lease a few days ago.  It is a 3 bedroom stilt house, about the same size as our current apartment but has a huge yard and is in a neighborhood closer to the gym.  We're set to move July 1!

(Stilt houses are fairly common here and were built in the past to protect homes from flooding during the rainy season.  Now the extensive drainage system prevents most floods, but new stilt houses are still built today, according to our realtor, because they are less expensive than 2 story houses, but provide the potential for expansion by finishing the ground floor in the future.) 

So now that the house hunt is over, I can get back to spending some of the boys' nap times writing here.  That is, after I figure out what to fill this new house with (we need to buy furniture) and pack up our apartment and get it ready to move.  And I will be blogging during nap time if and only if I don't need a nap myself first.  (Pretty sure I took 2, maybe 3 naps while the boys were sleeping during the past two weeks?!)  On second thought, don't get your hopes up.  But I will be back again at some point, hopefully soon! :)


  1. Wow! Super cute house! So glad you guys found something you like-- with a yard too! :) love you guys so much!

  2. That’s beautiful big house! It's good to know that after some negotiations with the realtors, you ended up finding the best house for your family. I'm looking forward to see your updates about moving in and furnishing your new house. Congratulations, Nicole! Have a great day!

    Winfred Herrington @ Sold Team

  3. Sorry to hear that your plans did not work out as expected. I know the feeling when you have your heart set on a property and things fall through. It is really discouraging. My husband and I are also looking at the moment and so I know the feeling. Please keep posting, love reading your work. Thank you again. Regards.

    Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate

  4. I am glad you are finishes searching. That was always my least favorite part. We have to move every 5 years because of work contracts. And selling and buying houses is always the worst part. The last two places we have lived, we just rented because of how the real estate market was doing. We are thinking about buying again.

    Veronica Perry @ Team Robinson Inc.