When Katrine and Morten Winther Korsgaard had children, they began to outgrow their apartment in Copenhagen. After visiting numerous cities in east Jutland in search of their dream home, they finally found it in the centre of Vejle, where they also enjoy the city's many cultural experiences.
It was a cold day in December. From one of the first-floor rooms in Katrine and Morten Winther Korsgaard’s house, you can see a smattering of snow atop the forest trees. The pair had taken over the villa a few days earlier, and now discovered a view so magical and beautiful that it made the hairs on their arms stand up.
“Right there we had a moment of calm. We thought, this is crazy,” Morten says with a smile, looking at his wife who nods in agreement.
He and Katrine sit at the long table in the middle of the three connecting rooms, which are painted different colours to give them each their own style. Their children, August and Esther, sit in their high chairs eating rye bread and mackerel. Various toys are spread across the floor, while in one of the rooms a cartoon movie is playing on a TV.
It’s just another morning in an ordinary household in Vejle. But for the new homeowners, everyday life feels far from ordinary. They bought their house in the residential area behind Koldingvej in the autumn of 2022. Today, they’re still enjoying everyday life with lots of space and a child-friendly garden just outside the paned patio door.
“We've got everything we dreamed of in this house,” Katrine says, before rising to fetch a cloth for August's mackerel-covered cheeks.
The houses were garbage compared to the price
Katrine and Morten lived in Copenhagen for a number of years, where they studied and eventually found good jobs. They were lucky enough to get their hands on a cooperative apartment on Amager, where both of their children were born. With around 100 square meters, the apartment wasn’t lacking space. Yet, they couldn’t help but ponder: Should they invest in a home of their own? And should it be slightly larger than the apartment?
Morten and Katrine met with their bank, who told them they could borrow DKK 3.8 million to buy a house. At first, this was a slightly discouraging message.
“We couldn't afford a house on Amager, where even a mediocre house costs seven million. So we took a trip to Køge, but the houses we could afford were garbage compared to the price. Then there’s the 45-minute commute into Copenhagen,” says Morten.
With such high prices, the couple turned to east Jutland. A move to the mainland would also mean they would be closer to Morten’s parents in Aarhus and Katrine’s in Vejle. In the beginning, they were most attracted to Aarhus, but the house prices were less attractive. It was possible to find a good house in a suburb, such as Hasselager, but the distance to the centre of Aarhus was a real concern.
Morten and Katrine agreed to look for houses close to a vibrant city centre, such as Ry, Skanderborg and Silkeborg. At first, Vejle wasn’t on their radar, as Katrine hadn’t really intended to go back. Along the way, though, she changed her mind:
“Vejle has changed over the years. And I’ve also changed, so I was ready to live here again,” she says, while Morten adds:
“It also meant that we would have Katrine's parents close by.”
The children are flourishing in their new life in Vejle
Now Morten and Katrine are the proud owners of a large, red, two-storey house with a glazed tiled roof, heated garage, spa in the basement, and a grapevine and apple trees in the garden. Most importantly, there’s plenty of room for the family and also for guests visiting from Copenhagen.
“When we tell our friends from Copenhagen that we bought this house for 3.5 million, they don't know whether to laugh or cry. Most people assume we gave twice as much for it. Some of them are seriously considering whether they should also move over here,” says Morten, who, like Katrine, can feel the move has been good for them. She sums it up like this:
“Vejle has given us everything we ever wanted. We can see the children flourishing. They’ve got a garden they can play in, and they see my parents a lot during the week. They come by and babysit them, so Morten and I can go to the cinema. And when it comes to our economy, we have breathing space as we’re not financed up to the hilt.”
Katrine has many quiet mornings with the children, as she works at home four out of five days. She has kept her job as curator for a company in Copenhagen, travelling over every Tuesday. “It's easy with the high-speed train from Vejle”, remarks Katrine. Morten has started a new job as a landscape architect at Rambøll in Vejle. He’s settled in well and enjoys his work and new colleagues.
Vejle offers lots of cultural experiences and is full of life
On weekends, the family likes to take a stroll through the town with the pram. They go to the library to enjoy the children's section, and have been to the design market in Spinderihallerne. One day, they took a friend visiting from Hamburg to the pastry shop in Den Smidtske Gård. She was just as impressed with the cosy atmosphere as Morten and Katrine.
“The town is cosy and the pedestrian street is so beautiful with its view right up to the windmill. We say to Esther: “That’s where we live.” We just think it’s so cool to have so many cultural offerings and so much life close by,” says Morten, who can't think of anything he misses about Copenhagen. And yet:
“I could do with some more takeaway options, but that’s just a luxury and not something that would stop me buying a house,” he says with a laugh. Like Katrine, he finds the pace in Vejle is a little slower than in Copenhagen. They both enjoy it:
“Moving over here has brought a sense of calm. And it fits really well with where we are in life.”
Translated by Tony Langford (Influentsy ApS)