As a Realtor, I find it hard not to fixate on real estate in certain cities that we visit. Amsterdam was one of those places.
Stunning, varied architecture lines every canal as people from almost every walk of life flood the streets. People are expressing themselves in so many different ways and the consistent strength of the real estate market has a regenerative quality.
As I glanced into luxurious canal house windows, and traversed cobbled streets lined with gabled facades, I was convinced Amsterdam could keep a real estate addict’s attention for a lifetime. There is cutting edge modern design juxtaposed with timeless windmills once used to pump water from lower ground to dry out the landscape.
Feeling good about my real estate research in Amsterdam, I piled the family into the car and we headed to a smaller town in the Netherlands to visit some friends we had met during our time in Rome.
It wasn’t until we spent the evening with new friends, that I realized everything I had learned that day about market trends, absorption rates, and average sales prices, paled in comparison to what I now know.
As the stamppot made from aardappels (potatoes), wortels (carrots), pompoen (pumpkin) with bacon and cream came steaming to the table, I knew we were in for a treat. It was accompanied by incredible dark rich gravy soaked meatballs with a side of tart applesauce.
As these dishes were served, I felt overwhelming gratitude to this family for opening their home to us and for teaching us about life in Holland in a way that I was completely blind to walking around the city collecting facts.
Over stroopwafeltaart (treacle-waffle cake), and mugs of tea, Colleen and I practiced Dutch pronunciation and the kids ran upstairs communicating without words in ways only kids can.
All day I had been looking at the outside of the homes and their price tags and statistics. This moment reminded me why I love real estate. I realized, sitting around this family table, that home is something that is built from the inside out.