As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, my husband and I squeezed in a quick housing trip to our new city last week. After losing out on a house my first night there (before my husband even arrived!), we weren’t too hopeful of finding anything else we liked.
We saw about ten houses over two days. Some were fine, some weren’t to our liking, but nothing was just right. There were two that we kept coming back to in our minds though that we could see as maybe’s:
House #1 – cute little house on a beautiful street in a really desirable neighbourhood. It was an older house that had been tastefully renovated, except for the unfinished basement, but there was only one bathroom, and we wanted at least two. However, the main problem was that it was just a bit further from work than we wanted to be (including a longer walk to public transportation than we’d like). The house had been on the market for a while, and was on the lower end of our budget.
House #2 – renovated to the nines, in a super modern fashion. Closer to work and public transit, but neighbourhood not as nice. This was a classic case of over-renovating for the neighbourhood. The price had recently dropped, though was still too high (both in terms of our budget and in relation to the neighbourhood), but we kept considering putting in a low ball offer to see if they would bite. The owner was there while we were going through the house, and she seemed, well, a touch insane so we thought it may be worth pitching a lowball offer. While we were considering the house, I did have pangs of whether the house would be child friendly. It was very open and lofty, and I wasn’t sure how you’d be able to block off all the various staircases if need be (not to mention that it would totally ruin the “cool” vibe in there!).
The next morning both houses were still on our mind, and we had a slate of five more houses to see.
The first house was decent – similar to house #1 from the day before. Also a bit further from work, but good access to public transit. The second house was one that we almost didn’t put on our list, because it was at the top of our price range, and did not have one of the critical things we were looking for: onsite parking. But it was in one of our top areas (very leafy quiet neighbourhood, walking distance to work for both of us, good access to public transportation, and within 10 minute walk of tons of restaurants, cafes and shops), so it got top points for all of our location criteria. While the house did not have great curb appeal, the pictures of the inside that we saw online were stunning.
In the end, two things convinced us to see the house. First, it was the only house listed for sale in that neighbourhood, and second we realized that parking would be an issue for most houses in that area. So either we had to give on the area (which we weren’t willing to do), or give on parking (which we grudgingly agreed to). We figured we may as well see the house, and it could form a comparative price point for us when other listings came up in that area.
The house was even nicer in person than in the pictures we’d seen. It was a good size for us, and the renovations were beautifully done and completely to our liking. While most of the houses we’d been looking at did not have much of a yard, this house had a huge yard. Even though it was right in the city, once you were in the yard, it felt like you were in the middle of a forest, or somewhere equally peaceful.
We saw a few more houses that day, but had already made up our mind on this house. Thankfully there was no bidding war this time, and we got the house!