Sometime at the end of 2010…
Sitting at my laptop one day, I decided to look into a website that a coworker of mine suggested I look into. She told me that she was hooked on it and if I enjoyed looking at houses that were for sale, then I would love it too. So, I typed in the website (www.mls.ca) and instantly found all types of houses for sale in my area, some of them houses I’ve walked by a million times, wondering what the interior looked like. I spent hours looking through types of houses, condos, duplexes, locations, lot sizes, prices, etc. After 3 hours, I figured it was probably time to get up and do something else, but the website had stirred something inside me. I knew deep down that I wanted my own house.
The beginning of 2011…
A few months later, I talked with my boyfriend, Chris, about it and he said that ever since he was little, all he ever wanted was to have a place to call his own. We went to the bank and met with a woman to see what price range we should be looking in and we came home with a good idea of what we should be able to afford. So, seeing as how we were on the same page, we decided to make a list of things we wanted and things we did not want in a house.
We did want…
- minumum 2 bedrooms
- a finished basement
- big rooms
- a layout suitable for our needs
- a front porch
- a back porch
- a big open kitchen
- an island in the kitchen
- the room sizes no smaller than a certain size we had in mind
We did NOT want…
- many small rooms
- an unfinished basement
- it to be far from where we grew up
- near a busy street
- it to need huge renovation
As soon as we had our list, Chris told me that as long as those requirements were met, he would be happy. He said he trusted that I would find the perfet home for us. So, I went back to www.mls.ca and started searching more in depth. Comparing prices, sizes, location, rooms, taxes, etc. I saved my favorite houses and showed them to Chris when I had the chance. The thing was…every house had something that we couldn’t live with. Mostly it was how small the master bedrooms were, or the kitchen was way too small. Those were things we were not willing to compromise.
One day, at the begnning of March, I had been on the website for only a few minutes when I came across a house that I had seen the month before. I remember it because I had been searching out of our price range for the fun of it and felt so discouraged when I saw it. This time, the price had been lowered, and was suddenly right in our range.
I checked the dimensions of the rooms and everything was perfect! It had the open kitchen, a front porch, a back porch (well, a deck really), a very open finished basement, and even a pool! From that moment I knew it. This was our home!
I showed the listing to Chris and he was impressed. He told me I should make an appointment for us to see the house. I e-mailed the real estate agent and she set up a day when we could go. When we got to the appointment, no one was home. I was angry. I had been looking forward to seeing it for a week and there was nobody home now? It boggled my mind. I called the real estate agent back and we scheduled another day.
When we walked in, it felt too good to be true. It was perfect. Maybe not for everyone, but certainly for us.
We made an offer on the house that was refused. The owner was selling it on her own, pretty much, so she called us back with a counteroffer. We declined. A week later she called us and brought the price down even more. She said that it would be the lowest she would go. We told her we had to check our finances.
Chris and I managed to scramble up the %20 downpayment we wanted to put on the house, so we made all the arrangments to buy. We signed papers, dealt with the bank, called a notary, and got the inspection done (of course!). It was probably the most stressful time of our lives. It was our first time buying a house, afterall. To top it off we did it without a real-estate agent. We did so much research and talked with so many people to make sure we did things right.
After a few sleepless nights, a couple of tears, and a lot of butterflies, we got the keys to our home on May 5th, 2011. Happy 25th birthday to me!
We had a housewarming party and birthday party that night. Amazingly enough, we slept incredibly well that night! We finally felt at home.