For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you already know that Peter and I have embarked on the most adultiest adult thing ever - buying a house. I have to ask, why is it so damn difficult?! Sorry, I just had to get that out.
We initially started the process looking at houses in a lower price range. Now, some of you are probably laughing hysterically at your screens reading that, but we legitimately thought it would be a reasonable range for us to find something nice in the Oshawa/Clarington, Ont., area. WE WERE SO WRONG! From baseboard heating to slanting houses, we saw anything and everything that would make you say no to a potential home. Now, you might be asking, "Woman, you are being too picky! What do you want from a house?"
That's a great question - what do we actually want from a house? After much consideration, we came up with our Love It or List It-esque must-haves list:
- Three bedrooms - One for use to sleep in, one to be used as an office and the final one to be a guest room for when Peter's family comes to visit.
- A basement - You may have noticed I didn't specify that it has to be finished. We are completely open to the idea of finishing it ourselves. Kind of like our first DIY project. However, while most houses have a basement, the tricky part comes in when it comes to Peter. The question we are stuck asking ourselves is, "Will he fit?!" The man is 6'5" tall. We had some pretty comical moments already with him in basements, so if we find the house, he needs to fit in it.
- No baseboard heating - We've learned from the experts that having a house with baseboard heating will cost us a lot during the winter months. Living in Canada, our winters can be something wicked, so we need to make sure that we aren't spending hundreds of dollars on heating when we could be spending a fraction of the price on a house that has forced air.
- A backyard - We may not have kids, but we will soon have two dogs and they need a place of their own to play and be free. Looking for a place with a backyard that is either already fenced or can be fenced after purchase has been a lot harder than we thought. Some of the townhouses have maintenance fees and state that we can't fence off our area. So they are automatically cut from the list.
- No maintenance fees - Why are these even a thing?! I mean, I get it, but it feels like you are renting the property you own. While I appreciate all the maintenance work will be covered by these fees, not having the ability to, let's say, BUILD A FENCE, is just irksome. As you can see, the fence thing really grinds my gears (a Family Guy reference for any of you that are fans).
- A nice area - We don't think it's too much to ask to live in an area that we feel safe in, right?
OK, so now the must-have list is done - notice something? Yup, our initial price range doesn't get us our must-haves. So, after careful consideration and budgeting our expenses, we decided to up the search to a higher price point. And my, oh my, how the houses suddenly fit our list. The issue is, the houses also fit everyone else's lists. So, now we are in a crazy house-hunting extravaganza that consists of numerous house viewings and sadness when a house we like is sold before we can see it.
So far, we have seen about nine houses, with six others selling before we even had a chance to take a peak. I know, I know, this is all part of the "buying a house journey" but, damn people, how do you not feel deflated from the "journey" after a while?! I do, however, feel lucky to not be in a rush to find a place. That's definitely a stressor we don't need while we are looking.
So we persevere and make a list of new homes we want to take a look at and hope for the best. Stay tuned to the blog for more updates on our house-hunting adventures and, hopefully, the purchase of our first home!
Until next time...