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Manderz Musings: Open House Hunting

Manderz Musings


Monday, January 26, 2009

Open House Hunting

Jason and I went on an open house drive after brunch this morning.  Well technically, brunch was followed by a trip to the mall for me to try on shoes, but since I didn't buy any (I plan on ordering some online though to get my colour preference now that I know they fit), it's not worth much of a mention.

So, back to open houses.  We decided to stop into a few houses, just to see what you really can get for you money.  Pictures on the MLS website just aren't very helpful.  The first house (a bungalow, ~1080 sq. ft., built 1970s) was in a great location.  And the list price was lower than we expected (aka potentially in our range).  It had a nice-sized lot, with a double heated garage out back – plenty of room for both our vehicles and storage.  Inside, the upstairs was in great condition, with the only real downside being the small bedrooms.  Even if we wanted to start knocking down walls, there wasn't much room for any real improvement.  The basement was pretty bad.  It looked like they threw a bunch of walls up just to get it suitable for renters.  Horrible design, complete waste of space.  Jason and I both agreed that we'd want to rip it all down and start over.  It did have a separate entrance though, so that was nice.

The realtor was great to talk with.  She answered all our questions (and then some), and seemed pretty honest.

We drove around to look at 7 or 8 more, but didn't go in as one look at the house was all it took to know it was out of our price range.  There was one that might have been affordable, however it was one of the ugliest houses we've ever seen.

The second house was amazing.  A 2-storey, ~1250 sq. ft, and built 2006.  It had a great main floor – open concept living room to eating area and kitchen with gorgeous dark-coloured laminate floors (that were continued upstairs and downstairs as well).  The second floor was interesting in that there was a hallway from the stairs to the hallway where the bedrooms were.  The 2 bedrooms were a nice size, and the master bedroom had plenty of room for bed, furniture, and maybe even a chair.  I loved the closet.  In the basement, it was really well planned.  No wasted space at all.  There was a living area, a gorgeous laundry room with cabinet-space, and a powder room.  The biggest downside to the house was the lack of true storage space – only a narrow room running under the stairs.  There was a deck off the eating area in the kitchen, and a decent yard.  No garage, only 'parking stalls' off the back alley.  However, many of the neighbours have them, so it would be entirely doable (and still have some yard leftover.  Price-wise it was cheaper than the other place too.

This realtor was also pretty great.  He had included mortgage pricing in the little info pack he gave us, which I thought was helpful.  After talking to us, he said he'd e-mail us some other listings within our price range.  And that he'd have no problems showing us any houses we'd be interested in, even if we don't plan on buying until the spring.  He followed up with that e-mail too, and there's a couple houses that look promising.  He also got his 'bank contact' to give us a call, and she's willing to help us look at the finance side of things now too.

It was interesting to see that Jason and I share many of the same opinions about what we want or don't want in a house.  Probably a good thing, and hopefully this will make our eventual decision a bit easier.

It's kind of scary to even be thinking about buying a house.  It seems like such a 'grown-up' thing to do.  Although I definitely would rather pay a mortgage than pay rent.

But I am staying up too late, for a third night in a row.  So I'm going to go get ready for bed.  Then I will sit in bed and study.  That's right, it is 'highly recommended' that I read the notes from a dental terminology course.  So I may as well start while I wait for sleep to come.  Bonne nuit!

Signature - Manderz


At January 26, 2009 at 8:11 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

I'm so excited for you! Its hard to believe that you're old enough to buy a house though! Good luck with the whole process!


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