Moved to Oud West

Our apartment was fine but we wanted more natural light and the financial benefits of ownership. So we bought our first property in Amsterdam and moved to a ridiculously-vibrant neighborhood that somehow we hadn’t really known.

The house comprised the 4th and 5th floors of a small late-19th-century building on one of the early suburban canals. Besides the neighborhood being in the early stages of gentrification, another reason we could afford it was the lower floor was in rough shape so it didn’t present well. We had the floors replaced, concealed many exposed heating pipes, replaced a terrible sink, and painted a lot of off-white and exposed plywood on the top floor with a light grey.

The kitchen was Ikea and a bit too large, but worked well. The place was quite charming and really full of light.

Unfortunately, the other owners in the building could never agree to spend money for upgrades, which softened our enthusiasm to keep investing. And the vibrancy of the neighborhood felt like a liability when the pandemic began.