Monday, 11 June 2007

"Freestanding" - Johnboy, 1993

(Click on the image for a larger version.)

John and I made an interesting observation recently, as we continue the process of settling into our new home. (The fact that neither of our cars is yet in the garage is a sign of how many boxes are still sitting in there!)

Here in the UK, our house is referred to as a "detached" house. In other words, it's a free-standing, single-family house -- it's not connected to another dwelling. (Fellow American-in-the-UK blogger Belle With a Bite wrote about the various housing descriptions in Britain in the midst of this blog entry, as she and her British husband begin their own process of buying a home. I hope she doesn't mind my linking her post here...I'm being lazy again!)

I told John that I haven't lived in a free-standing house since 1974. That was in Houston. Since then, in chronological order, I've lived in a duplex, an apartment, a condo, a series of two high-rise apartments (NYC and then Houston), a sort-of townhouse, another apartment (briefly, when I first moved to Oxford), and finally in the end-of-building "cottage" in the barn conversion (in our Oxfordshire village) that I was leasing when John and I got married. In fact, of all of those, the only one on that list that I didn't rent was the condo in Houston. That condo was my only (and dreadful) experience owning real estate myself.

But even more interesting is that, until now, John had never lived in a free-standing house in his entire life! His interesting assortment of previous dwellings even includes a stint in a houseboat on the Thames in London! But neither as a kid nor as an adult has he ever lived in a detached house.

So that makes our recent move into a home of our own -- as a couple -- even more special than we'd even realized!


PS After posting this blog entry, I received the following e-mail from John's mum:

Hello Janet
Have just read your blog on your "detached house", but didn't know how to fill in the comment page! Tell John he has lived in a detached house! He was 1 year old and we lived for 4 months in a detached cottage in Peaslake, Surrey before we moved to Crawley. Just to put the record straight!
Love to you both


At 13 June, 2007 12:48 , Blogger Amanda said...

thanks for the link to my site. :) And, I really appreciate your comment on my site about buying a home and our adoption process ;) Great to hear from a fellow american in the UK :)

Take care and I will be back for more reading :)
aka Belle With A Bite

At 13 June, 2007 18:43 , Blogger Gnightgirl said...

And the house I bought 3 years ago is the only time I've NOT lived in a free-standing house. It's called a zero-lot line house, is still considered a house, it's just connected to another house. Most people refer to it as a condo, but legally, it's not.

At 16 June, 2007 15:52 , Blogger Andrew said...

People put cars in their garages? But then where would they store all the crap?

(We don't have a garage now, and boy do we miss it) :-)

At 17 June, 2007 14:18 , Blogger Milky Bar Kid said...

I use my garage to keep my car in. I found it a useful place to store it out of the UK weather. Quite a novel idea, me thinks. ha ha! I see John and you both don't have car registration plates attached. I guess it stops people stealing your car's identity that is all the "in" thing to do in Britain right now. Only joking, of course, but you know that.

At 18 June, 2007 21:51 , Blogger Nancy said...

First, congrats on the house!

Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a nice message =)

Houses, moving ... I have bought/sold 6 houses and 1 condo in the past 12 years, my current is up for sale now!

All have been "detached" ('cept the condo) ... and I swear, my next one will be my last .... maybe *wink*

At 22 June, 2007 18:04 , Blogger lynneguist said...

Hi, I've also done the 'detached'/'semi-detached'/'terraced' house thing on my blog. If you're interested, it's here.


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