I never fully understood the Funda addiction of people who live well themselves. Why would you endlessly scroll through pictures of houses that you have no intention of buying anyway? It turns out that it is not only about the houses in the photo, but also about what the interiors reveal about the residents, whether or not by accident. Is it herringbone floor and concrete kitchen island people? Is the decoration boring beige or hysterically busy? Do the residents sleep together or in separate bedrooms? Do they have children? Pets? And why is there a vase of flowers at the foot of the bed in all houses? See, I get that then.
Looking inside the house and people is also the fun of all those TV programs in which people search, build, renovate and buy houses. Powned discovered an untapped part of the housing market, fantastic for fanatical Funda’ers and also interesting for people like me. Every Tuesday night you get in House for sale to see three amazing houses and to answer two basic questions: who lives there and why are they leaving?
The idea is good, the execution better. Who is that reporter who doesn’t miss anything, dares to ask everything and continues until she has completed a complete anamnesis of the residents? In Leeuwarden, Juurd and Julia opened the door of their mansion on Tuesday evening, which is for sale for four and a half tons. No pastel shades and neutral furnishings, one big fair of colors and stuff and then they had already packed a hundred moving boxes. In no time Juurd is sitting at the piano reciting his own work, he is a cabaret artist in the church. Julia appears to have been treated for breast cancer twice and shows which works of art her illness inspired her to create. We now also know that the couple is religious – the reporter has seen the lamp with Jesus image on the ceiling. We have also cried for a while, and then we are only on the ground floor.
Need for renewal
On to a house in Dalem, situated on a three-hectare plot with its own lake and beach. It should yield one and a half million. The family is about to leave for the Algarve in Portugal for a “beautiful new adventure,” says mother Ginny. The two children do not quite match their mother’s enthusiasm, they seem resigned to her need for renewal. Isn’t it sad to pull the children away from their environment, is the question. Away from their school, their friends, their lives. “I don’t experience it that way,” says mother. “We offer them something different scenery.”
And so she always waves away every possible disadvantage of the departure. “I experience it from myself,” she says, and she has loved changing schools and surroundings three times in three years. Like an accomplished psychologist, the reporter (who himself stays out of the picture, sometimes refreshingly) gently pushes this mother towards self-understanding. “I brainwash myself,” she says. “I am very good at making the negative positive.” Maybe, she finally capitulates, I’m kidding myself.
In the meantime, we have arrived in Leeuwarden on the top floor of Juurd and Julia. The bedroom is decorated in various shades of pink, with a soft pink floor covering to ensure a good night’s sleep. In the bathroom, the duo has gone wild with Mondrian colours. The camera’s eye falls on the shower curtain with colorful roller skates. “Something like that could have been chosen by a young child.” Do they have children? No. Did they want children? It was not given to them. To Julia: “Did you dream of becoming a mother?” Not so concrete, she replies. “What I saw before me was a full house.”
House for sale is not about houses, but about people.