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Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Old Jul 9th 2004, 12:10 pm
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Default Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this as after three years in the States we finally purchased a home and ever since I have been terribly homesick for the UK, like the longevity and shackles of home ownership has triggered something inside me, like now, after three years of renting, the fact that I've bought a home it's just sunk in that this is all pretty permanent (even though it technically isn't).

I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same way after buying a house.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by obscuredbysound
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this as after three years in the States we finally purchased a home and ever since I have been terribly homesick for the UK, like the longevity and shackles of home ownership has triggered something inside me, like now, after three years of renting, the fact that I've bought a home it's just sunk in that this is all pretty permanent (even though it technically isn't).

I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same way after buying a house.
Maybe my experiences are a little premature but I've been in the US just over two years now and it was a coincidence but at the two year mark, we moved into our first house in May.

Since then, I've not felt any more homesick than before I owned my own home (not that I can say I feel that homesick these days).

However, there are things that I would like in my house that are found in the UK that aren't found in the US which you might consider a form of homesickness perhaps.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by obscuredbysound
Hi, I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced this as after three years in the States we finally purchased a home and ever since I have been terribly homesick for the UK, like the longevity and shackles of home ownership has triggered something inside me, like now, after three years of renting, the fact that I've bought a home it's just sunk in that this is all pretty permanent (even though it technically isn't).

I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same way after buying a house.
It's my observation that we Brits often seem to view houses as much more than bricks and mortar, whereas a lot of my American frineds view their houses as just a temporary place to hang their hats. This is never more apparent than when getting the mortgage: I got VERY strange looks when I was dumbfounded that they would give me a 30 year mortgage at 42 years old!!! The fact is that the average length of a "30 year mortgage" is around 6 or 7 years.
Also I think that actually buying your first house out here and settling down to the mortgage and utility payments does kind of psychologically mark the end of the "honeymoon" period. This is it - you've put down roots, changing your mind is a much bigger upheaval now etc. etc.

So, yes, we did feel the homesickness thing at around that time.

About the "things which we miss in houses in the UK" thing - we built our house (something we would never have afforded in the UK) and made the big mistake of just accepting that many things here are different and you couldn't really apply all you'd learnt from decades of home ownership in the UK. WRONG! The construction is a little different but we so wish that we'd simply held out for both design and construction - related items that we'd grown to like and trust in the UK and simply been looked at strangely and told "we don't do it like that" here!!!!!

Check out my website about the experience at
www.andy.smithers.name

Andy.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by AndySmithers
About the "things which we miss in houses in the UK" thing - we built our house (something we would never have afforded in the UK) and made the big mistake of just accepting that many things here are different and you couldn't really apply all you'd learnt from decades of home ownership in the UK. WRONG! The construction is a little different but we so wish that we'd simply held out for both design and construction - related items that we'd grown to like and trust in the UK and simply been looked at strangely and told "we don't do it like that" here!!!!!

Check out my website about the experience at
www.andy.smithers.name

Andy.
This is something we want to do in the future, build our own house. And yes it would have been something we couldn't have afforded in the UK - mores the pity. But, we are pretty adamant about having the same type of things we had there, that we liked of course, over here. We always joke about "European hinges" since we heard the term on a "This Old House" program, but its something I know we want. Along with other things.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by NC Penguin
However, there are things that I would like in my house that are found in the UK that aren't found in the US which you might consider a form of homesickness perhaps.
Let me state my ignorance then, and politely ask what are things found in UK houses that are not found here? Since I'm American, I've only ever lived in US houses (obviously) and I'm wondering what differences there could be - besides that fact that here you don't share a wall with your neighbor!
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:22 pm
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I beg to differ- obviously you've never lived on the east coast in a rowhouse.
Lots of houses share common walls here in the US. Mine did fir 12 years,m but me and my expat husband have just bought a house in the burbs (I hope *he* doesn't get homesick), where we have a single family home, a yard and parking (yay!!)

As far as differences- its "the little things" like they say in Pulp Fiction... the toilets flush differently. Windows are different- the latches, etc. More houses have plaster walls than drywall, etc, etc.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:24 pm
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by sunflwrgrl13
Let me state my ignorance then, and politely ask what are things found in UK houses that are not found here? Since I'm American, I've only ever lived in US houses (obviously) and I'm wondering what differences there could be - besides that fact that here you don't share a wall with your neighbor!
Well - a few of these will possible be regional, but:

1) Sockets (outlets they are called here) with SWITCHES (so you don't wreck the plug/outlet or pull the cable off when you want to turn off the light/tv/fan etc.)
2) Real wood doors (yes, you can get them here but they cost a fortune and "no-one puts in real wood doors, sir!"
3) Some colour on the wall! What is it with these painters who ask you what colour (singular) you want your house?!
4) "European" hinges on cabinet doors. ("European" seems to be synonymous with "someone's bothered to put in some design effort" round here!)
5) Fireplaces that won't melt if you burn anything other than wood.
6) Mantels that you don't need a step ladder to put up the family photos.

However I WOULD MISS the following if I went "home"
1) AC - until I get the electricity bill.
:scared:
2) Ceiling fans
3) Single storey houses!

Oh, and by the way, not everyone in England lives in a terraced shoe-box, you know!
Andy.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by sunflwrgrl13
Let me state my ignorance then, and politely ask what are things found in UK houses that are not found here? Since I'm American, I've only ever lived in US houses (obviously) and I'm wondering what differences there could be - besides that fact that here you don't share a wall with your neighbor!
As I live in a neighbourhood where a few new houses are being built, I have observed a few things:-

1) The 'foundations' of a house are virtually non-existent! They seemed to excavate a couple of feet and pour concrete into the hole. In the UK the houses have 6 or more feet of brick foundations (at least in the houses I have lived in.)

2) The majority of UK houses are brick-built, with cavity walls. Here the houses are made of stud partitions with vinyl siding nailed on. Some of them have part-brick or rock, and a few are completely brick-built, but in this neighbourhood that is rare.

3) The roofs on the UK houses are more solid, with roofing tiles. Here the roof (looking at my neighbour's roof as I type) appear to be made of pieces of rubber mat, like the kind of roofing felt I used to nail onto my shed in London.

4) As many houses in the UK are older - Victorian era, 1930's, etc., they just seem to be more solidly built than the houses here. It could be that modern houses in the UK are built similarly to those here, but I can't say, as I haven't lived in anything newer than 1930's.


The disadvantages of older UK houses are also numerous

1) Not as energy-efficient;

2) No built-in closets;

3) All are the same in one street;

4) Expensive to repair;

5) Expensive to heat;

and yes sunflwrgrl, they are joined to the neighbours' houses, which can be noisy and crowded.

Debbie
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by sunflwrgrl13
Let me state my ignorance then, and politely ask what are things found in UK houses that are not found here? Since I'm American, I've only ever lived in US houses (obviously) and I'm wondering what differences there could be - besides that fact that here you don't share a wall with your neighbor!
Lace curtains that don't reach to the floor are commonplace in the UK. The only lace curtains I've ever seen in the US drape down to the floor and they are pretty pricy.

A friend of mine had to get family from the UK to send her British style lace curtains.

Also, I haven't noticed the flexible curtain rods (for the lace curtains), that are another thing common in the UK.

Another observation is that Americans really like mini blinds but I don't like them at all.

Not everyone in the US lives in a single family home (i.e. detached home). Condominiums, duplexes, triplexes and town homes are all found in the SE part of the US.

Clearly, you've never been to the UK 'cos there's single family homes in the UK too. The UK may be a small country but that doesn't mean we all live side by side!
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by sunflwrgrl13
Let me state my ignorance then, and politely ask what are things found in UK houses that are not found here? Since I'm American, I've only ever lived in US houses (obviously) and I'm wondering what differences there could be - besides that fact that here you don't share a wall with your neighbor!
Also, many thousands of British houses are made of brick and don't have vinyl siding (I don't think I've ever seen a British house with vinyl siding actually).

From a safety point of view, all British plugs, unless I'm mistaken, contain a fuse, unlike American plugs...

It's also quite common to see shower where the height of the shower head is adjustable (it moves vertically along a rail).

Just another few differences between British and American homes.
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Old Jul 9th 2004, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by NC Penguin

It's also quite common to see shower where the height of the shower head is adjustable (it moves vertically along a rail).
Get a "European" style rain head adjustable shower and pull out the "ecological" flow restrictor.

Lovely!!!!

Andy.
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Old Jul 10th 2004, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by NC Penguin
Another observation is that Americans really like mini blinds but I don't like them at all.
Me too! Tacky and horrible is all I can say. This comes from the women that had those horrible things in her house about 9 years ago and thought she liked them.
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Old Jul 10th 2004, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Home Ownership and Homesickness Link??

Originally posted by AmerLisa
Me too! Tacky and horrible is all I can say. This comes from the women that had those horrible things in her house about 9 years ago and thought she liked them.
They're grim, but nothing like as hideous as net curtains ("lace"?). Yuk Yuk Yuk. What's wrong with actually looking out of your windows for goodness' sake?

Regarding the homesickness, everyone is different but most people get it at some time or another, no matter how keen they were to move away. In my opinion, it's generally triggered by something that was very dear to you in the UK and you suddenly realise is very different now.

I am lucky in that I've hardly felt homesick, but the worst I've felt was when I watched Love Actually at the cinema. I became acutely aware that I missed the British humour and British TV (I had no idea how much I enjoyed it until it was gone) -I missed seeing scenery that I've known since birth on the box, I missed no adverts, I missed the accents not sounding like someone scraping their nails down a blackboard (I no longer watch TV, which is why y'all have to suffer me ) . I have nothing to go back for, but it made me wistful.
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Old Jul 10th 2004, 3:21 am
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A trip back might remind you of all the things you did not like, there is a tendency to reflect only on the positive.

Like service in bar/restaurant etc

Prices, especially petrol

Claustraphopic surroundings

etc etc

US building standards are different, I would rather a new US Code built house that a Barrett special, in many ways US standards are stricter.

The electricity standards are weird, I get the impression that it is just too late to change it.

Timber frame construction could work in the UK, 20 years or so ago they tried it but crapped it so now it is a no no to most buyers.

We bought within 2 months of my arrival. Comparing my flat for a house with 5x the space, triple garage, hot tub, 3 acres, mountain views blah blah blah is a bit of a no brainer.

You will always miss whatever was best elsewhere, thats life, unless you win the lottery.
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