When you talk to this loving couple, a kind of calm comes over you. They don’t seem to worry easily, have a positive and optimistic attitude and actually like everything. But moving became a thing. They lived in a super nice apartment in the middle of Amsterdam and wanted to move on. Stop renting and invest in a house with a beautiful floor and skirting boards. But like anyone who would prefer to stay in the capital, that was not for them.
They were selected for new construction projects, house prices quickly skyrocketed and for many viewing moments they were even excluded. In the end, the choice was made to leave the city. But, where to? Making the decision yourself was still quite difficult. It all didn’t work and they kept muddling on.
Making the most of it
And then sweet Millie is born. With a little one you suddenly get different needs and the apartment was now really too small. with all his klus-skills Robin built a small room behind the kitchen, but it was no longer ideal. Washing dishes when the little one was sleeping, having a drink with friends, opening and closing the fridge. whole ‘normal’ things suddenly made a lot of noise.
Buying Without Watching became the solution for this young family. The first episode from last season gave them a glimmer of hope. There a house in Haarlem was bought for a budget that ‘okay’ was and they wanted to.
Participating, how exciting is that?
Of course we also asked Robin & Francis how they experienced it, what they encountered and especially if they are still so happy.
Robin: “We saw participating in this program as an adventure. It is of course very double because no matter how sober we are, you do give your money to a stranger. That is very exciting, but there was also relief. You know you’re going to get a house now and Alex is going to tie the knot for us.”
Francis: “I actually found every moment exciting. From signing at the notary to passing on your housing wishes. You only get one moment for that and you want to do it right right away. Afterwards you always wonder whether it came across well and whether they know well enough what we are looking for. Do they see through it and see what really makes us happy?”
Anyone who has seen the episode saw that the couple came with a whole stack of notes on which all their do’s and don’ts could be seen. A fun way to showcase what they did and didn’t want in their new place. Francis: “We just unpacked and for us these were very realistic wishes, not hard requirements. They all came out eventually.”
To live in bussum was a no go
What does not really come up in the episode, but does come up in the interview, is the concession conversation with Alex. Francis: “You know they are coming for the interview, but we were still disappointed and had to think a lot over the weekend.”
“We felt we had indicated so many places where we could and wanted to live and yet we had to expand the area. That felt very bad. We suddenly had to think about Hoofddorp and we didn’t want that. We deliberately did not specify that location.”
“During the treasure hunt we drove through Bussum and that has stayed with us for a long time. We had indicated the place, but I preferred not to live there. It felt a bit like a b-choice. That was a gut feeling and I felt that tension very much until the unveiling.”
And then it’s D-day
One thing was certain, the new house should not actually be in Bussum. Fortunately for the lovely family it was Hilversum. The place where many Amsterdammers go and where the couple already has several friends. They are super happy with it! But what was it like, that moment of delivery and afterwards?
Robin laughs: “It was actually a stressful day. You are super happy with the house and that you saw it, but it was late afternoon. When everyone had left, we immediately had to go back to Amsterdam in the car to pick up Millie. We didn’t really know what to say the whole car ride than ‘Wow’. It was so surreal that we suddenly had a house that was completely finished.”
Francis: “Yes, it was mainly a lot of stress. We sold our old sofa that day from the other house and it felt like a race against time. Only later did we enjoy it and take it in completely. It really felt very unreal. A bit like going on holiday and your suitcase has been left behind at Schiphol.”
“Fun fact; we hadn’t taken any time off and had to go back to work the next day. That’s very strange because you don’t have anything at home yet. In the morning I quickly went to get bread and had to cycle to the supermarket with Google Maps. We hadn’t seen anything else of the neighborhood yet. That’s such a strange feeling, you live in your new house but don’t know anything else.
Robin: “You are still exploring the house all week. You have those moments when you think “Oh that goes well together” on “huh this is suddenly the bathroom”. We are also positively surprised. It’s more a ‘city’ than we thought. We sometimes say jokingly; if Uber Eats runs there then you’re still good and that is the case here.
It’s just not possible anymore to get a coffee around the corner. You miss that from Amsterdam. So we bought ourselves a good coffee machine with an orange jug!”
Orange top, orange top
Yes, that orange, it had to come back in the house. Robin loves color. Lots of color and preferably; Orange. That’s just his favorite shade. Francis, on the other hand, thinks a color is perfectly fine, but it has to be in balance. She really didn’t like a completely orange kitchen, for example.
When the door in the new house finally opened, it was a true color mecca for Robin. Roos was able to let go to a certain extent, but also allowed all of Francis’ wishes to come back.
Francis: “To be honest, if we had done everything ourselves, Robin would never have won the orange. But the result now is really striking and fun. There is really a lot of color in the house, we would never have done that ourselves.”
Not everyone can say that they have neon lamps in the living room. Fantastic for a party and perfect within Robin’s color theme!
The sofa was also a very striking item in the room. Francis: “We would never have chosen the sofa in that shape and color ourselves, but it fits in completely and is so cool. We would also have done the countertop differently. It’s quite intense, but we’re really happy with it.
Everything fits together and those neon lights never go away. They really remind us of Buy Without Looking. I even go every week to get orange roses because they were also in the house at the unveiling.”
The whole house was finished, except for the attic. At that time the budget was unfortunately completely exhausted and that is logical. The house has been completely tackled and completely renovated. The two don’t mind at all that they still have to work on their own.
Francis: “Shortly after the completion we were in the hardware store because I wanted to buy a container for under the washing machine. It felt so strange that your whole house was completely renovated, but that you have not been to the hardware store once yourself.”
And so it was high time. They recently started work on the attic. Robin: “We thought it would be a good idea to get started with that. We wanted to sand the beams in the hope that very nice specimens would emerge.
We are only both of it ‘we see something and just do it, without thinking too much’. So we got to work while the computer keyboards, a rug, moving boxes, etc. were all still there. We thought it would all work out. That went a bit differently. In the end we even rented a giant vacuum cleaner. Whoops!”
Oh well, luckily the program covered most of the house, Robin is very good at building walls and you are never too old to learn.
And, will they stay a little longer?
“Yes!” They both cried in unison. It will only get better in the neighborhood where they now live. Quite a few elderly people still live there, but they move more and more often and younger couples return.
Francis: “I can’t wait for a neighborhood drinks app. I think I will initiate that immediately.” Robin: ”It is a place that we are far from growing out of and where we would like to stay for a while longer. And how cool is it that you walk out the door and find yourself in the woods. Fantastic!”
Francis: “we are just very happy!” to which Robin adds to her: “all boxes have been filled in.”