Metro reporter Robyn Young will be taking readers on a whirlwind tour of the trials and tribulations of buying her first home. Check back every week for her accounts.
I’m beginning to realize that house hunting is a lot like dating: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
My first time out for viewings with my agent, we visit a huge cross-section of places in hopes of narrowing down what I’m looking for.
We look at a selection of condos in the “Upper Beach” area, in addition to a house and a loft in Leslieville.
I come to the conclusion that the “hard loft” or authentic loft is not quite my style with the pipes, columns and polished concrete floors. I also discover that the condos in the upper beaches are much smaller than they appear online and seem very cookie cutter and boxy. And the house is … well … just a little depressing with a slanted second floor, old, dirty carpeting and a sad looking family staring at us solemnly as we wander from room to room.
I’d had high hopes for these places after seeing their photos online, but they came smashing down the minute we walked in the door and I go home feeling a little defeated.
The next week, the perfect little house pops up in my property matches. It’s in exactly the area I want to be: Close to Queen Street and on the way to The Beach but without the expense of living in The Beach.
It’s lovely with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, completely renovated with dark hardwood floors and kitchen cabinetry and has a beautiful little backyard and new patio. It’s tiny but perfect and I can’t believe I’ve found my dream home my second week of looking.
When I email my agent about the property that weekend she says it’s already been sold and all my hopes are dashed. But on Monday, she calls back saying the sale fell through on financing and she’s booked us a viewing for Wednesday evening.
I’m already planning backyard barbecues and finally hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family.
On viewing day everything checks out on the inside as well. My agent, who grew up with a family in the construction business, is even impressed with the quality of the reno and gives it the thumbs up.
“I want it!” I say confidently after a quick tour through. Surprised by my enthusiasm, my agent laughs a bit and then says, “Really?”
“Yes, I want it,” I repeat.
“Okay, let’s get on it then, this will probably go fast,” she says.
“Do you have about $10,000 for a deposit ready?”
This is something I didn’t realize I’d need right away, but I do some quick figuring in my head and decide that yes, I could probably pull that together pretty quickly.
My heart is racing as she dials the number of the realtor responsible for the home and a million things are running through my mind at once: Should I call my mom? Can I really afford this? What am I doing? Will my sister like it? Have my parents gotten rid of their old lawn mower yet?
“It’s been sold conditionally,” my agent says apologetically.
It doesn’t quite sink in, because I’m still in the middle of thinking about what colour couch I’ll get and where I can get the best deals on patio furniture.
I knew it was too good to be true, I think to myself.
My agent gives the realtor a lecture for allowing viewings to continue when he knows the place is sold and he gives a lame excuse explaining they were waiting for the cheque, which arrived that afternoon.
We spend the rest of the evening unenthusiastically looking at places that I have no interest in. “Well, it just wasn’t meant to be; something better will come up,” my agent says.
I guess this is all part of the game.