Evening with Agent M

After an awesome weekend away where we actually finished our Christmas shopping, James and I met with our awesome real estate agent to go through some houses. We had hoped on going through a house that we liked a few months ago. It’s been on the market for awhile and I was hoping we could go back through one more time. As we were away, I had to log on in our hotel and send a list of houses to our agent on the weekend. Narrowed it down to five.

Hespeler – 3 houses – one of which ended up sold
Galt – 2 houses – and the one we liked has an offer pending

Ultimately it was the worst news I could hear. It almost made me want to turn back and just not go look at all. I had high hopes that this would be the house as it was the only one we really went into and saw ourselves living there and being happy for a really long time. I could see us completely raising kids there and being very happy. Even with a slightly low ceiling in part of the basement.

So with the two houses out – it left us with three.

House number one, on a slightly busy street, but managable. In the neighbourhood we initially thought was our ideal. Big two storey older home but with two bathrooms. Oddly enough – it had two kitchens too and both were old and needed replaced. The layout was a little strange but it had original hard wood floors. The yard was absolutely huge and had two great old trees and an old fashioned lamp post in the middle of it. Strangely though – within about four minutes we were out of the house and done. We didn’t want to be there and didn’t want to live there. It’s a great house for someone, just not us.

House number two was in another area of Hespeler, just around the corner from another house that I fell in love with during the summer when we weren’t really looking to buy. The house was new, which meant less problems for a few years. It had a finished basement and really good sized rooms – but there were two major problems. #1 – the back yard was very tiny and irregularily shaped – came to almost a point. Pretty much could have a patio table and a small piece of grass and the backyard is full. Never could host the Beer Olympics out there! Issue #2 – the kitchen/dining area was very tiny. It was compact and functional, but only could stand one person in the kitchen and probably not even that if the oven door or fridge door were open. It was too bad because the house was in really good shape. Oh well – we moved on.

The third house was back in Galt – the same house that my mother thought we should be more seriously considering over the other house we liked but had foundation issues. A tall two storey brick house with a private drive and garage and a good sized yard. From the outside it checked all the boxes. Inside the rooms are all a really good size, and there is a room in the basement that is mostly finished – which leads me to think playroom for the kids. The kitchen is really big too – but there are problems. Bathrooms all will need work done – including a pink bathtub upstairs. (What is with the pink bathroom furniture lately???) And the kitchen cabinets seem to be the original with coat upon coat of paint on them. We could live with that, but when you go up the stairs and through all the bedrooms you see the same recurring theme – painted wood panneling. And one room even has writing under the paint that you could clearly make out. “Sklyer I love your one wheeled house” and “Green is great” and a big “exit” sign painted on the top of the door but now covered with a very thin coat of paint. All the doors upstairs need replaced, all of the upstairs hardwood needs some serious work too.

If we’d be willing to put in the work, and the money to do it, we could really make that house shine. Problem is – it’s a the very top of our budget. You get a good return on the kitchen and bathroom, but the rest of it would involve ripping out walls and making some changes.

I think we are starting to see that we don’t want a fixer upper, at least not a major one. We knew that, but now it’s pretty much been cemented. Our realtor now knows that we need to have a good sized kitchen and we need lots of outlets for us to be able to have all of our crazy technology.

And still – my mind goes back to the other house we liked – the one with an offer. Our awesome agent has already marked on her calendar to follow up the day before the deal is to be cemented. She’s going to stay on top of it to let us know. Brought up the “if it was meant to be it will be.” This is something my mother has used many times to describe relationships. It’s so true. Our agent said that it happens many times where an offer will come in and people will say “well I guess it wasn’t meant to be” and she says “just wait and see” and sure enough the deal falls through and the couple that she’s dealing with ends up with the house. Not that we are thinking that would happen, but it is a possibility.

One thing we’ve learned from all this – if we like something we need to go see it and act on it right away or the house will slip through our fingers.

And with that – we will take a break for awhile and only go see if something really interests us (or that other house comes up.) We should pick back up come January when it is expected that more houses end up on the market than are on it now. It’s time to enjoy the holidays and so we shall!

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