It’s been just over a month since we’ve moved to our new digs. So it’s high time that I tell you how we got here. Before we got to THE ONE, we spent quite a few months searching for a place for us and our peanut to call home. (Read about that here.)
Although many houses completely missed the mark along the way (ie: the house with the weed growing THROUGH the doormat) there were some close-but-no-cigar options for one reason or another.
For privacy’s sake I’ve given a nickname to all the houses that were good enough to make it into this post, and I’ve blurred the photos a-la confidential informant to protect the identity of the innocent homes.
The one that got away… sorta
The details: 3 +1 bedroom, 3 bath split-entry. Finished basement. Large deck.
- Good floor plan
- Oversized double-car garage
- Large addition to the back of the house
- Quiet street in mature neighbourhood (no sidewalk to shovel)
- Gleaming hardwood
- Separate dining room
- Some updates and some rooms that we could renovate to add value as owners
- The price – considerably under our budget
- The master ensuite was only a 2-piece. An extensive renovation would be required to add a shower (and remove the walk-in closet)
- The main bath (shower) would be used by us, our (future) kids and any visiting guests and overnight guests.
- The basement rec room wasn’t ideal for setting up a home theatre
- The side of the backyard was on a slope towards the house on the right, making it difficult to fence if we ever wanted to do that.
- The yard smelled like mothballs. (This was a major concern for husbandman).
The result: After a first viewing we thought it deserved a second walkthrough the next day. After the second walkthrough I was pretty enamoured with the place. I was starting to picture where we’d put our Christmas tree! I recognized that it did have some cons but I thought we’d be able to work through them. Husbandman agreed. We were all set to put in an offer on Father’s Day and even met our agent to draw up all the papers. That day, though, husbandman kept waffling and felt that there was something just not quite right about the house. The mothball smell perhaps?
When we arrived to sign papers we found out that we would be competing against two other offers. Between having to compete and the uneasy feeling R was getting we decided that in this case we wouldn’t fight for this one. And as I always say, “Doubt means don’t”.
There’s nothing wrong with it
- Good-sized principal rooms and bedrooms
- Open kitchen plan
- Well-maintained and not very old
- Good neighbourhood
- We know (and like) the neighbours who live right next door
- Double-car garage
- Not a mature neighbourhood – no grown trees.
- Fenced yard but still not very private to back neighbours
- Somewhat busy street. It’s on a major street in the subdivision.
- Builder’s box construction; not much character.
The result: It just didn’t feel like home to us. This house could be called “There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s nothing right with it”.
The details: 4 bedroom, 4 bath two-storey. Finished basement. Large deck.
- Quiet cul-de-sac location
- 4 large bedrooms. We saw many 4 bedroom houses that had 3 regular sized bedrooms and one closet-sized bedroom
- Great finished basement with wet bar.
- Spacious family room.
- Large composite deck.
- Hot tub.
- In-ground pool. (This was kind of a pro and a con but it was in good shape and didn’t take up the whole yard).
- A newly renovated, teeny, tiny, kitchen.
- No way to change the layout of the kitchen even if we wanted to renovate it.
- Price was at the very top of our budget.
The result: Since our search for a new place mostly centred on the fact that we’d like more space to work in our kitchen, the cramped layout of this kitchen was a deal-breaker for us. We didn’t want to pay full price for this house if we had to compromise on the kitchen. We thought we’d sleep on it for a week or so and if we were still thinking about it, give it another visit. On occasion swimming pools are a turn-off to potential buyers, so although we thought it might be a hot property, there was a chance that waiting a week would motivate the seller to negotiate on price. But the house was as good as we thought it was, and it sold in a multiple offer bid within a week. I’m not sad that we let this one go. I definitely didn’t want to pay more than asking price.
PS: This is where we saw the first “space shower” in the master bedroom ensuite.
Getting closer. Sorry what did you say?
- Fronts onto quiet court in mature neighbourhood.
- Large, nicely landscaped lot
- Great open-concept main floor layout.
- Double-car garage
- Good kitchen layout
- Bathrooms hadn’t been renovated in a while
- Older carpets in bedroom area
- House backed onto a very busy street and there was no sound barrier. You could hear the traffic from inside the house with the doors and windows closed!
The result: We felt like between the last house and this one, we were starting to get close to finding THE ONE. The noise in the backyard was a deal-breaker, though. Close, but no cigar.
And, we were right; we were getting closer. About a month passed and then we found THE ONE.