Sunday, September 26, 2010


We bought a house!

It all began just over a week and a half ago. Well, that's not entirely true. We started looking at houses before we even moved here. But just over a week and a half ago we met with our realtor for the first time. The first house she told us about, on our first meeting, sounded wonderful to all of us. It had just been listed that day and she was excited to show it to us, however, another agent had already put an offer on it! So, not wanting to be disappointed, we didn't go see it. We talked about some other houses we were interested in, and thought we'd start looking at some with the realtor on the following Saturday. She called the following day and said that the realtor had been offered a counter offer, and had not accepted it, so the house was still available. However, the seller would not be showing the house for another three days because she had some family there and was finding it too stressful to deal with at the time. So we decided we would go see the house on the Friday (the night before we had planned to "start" our search with our realtor). Then we heard that they would be presenting offers between 6 and 7 that Friday evening. So we would see the house shortly after 5, and if we were interested, would have to present an offer immediately (no sleeping on it!)

So we went to see the house on Friday. And we both loved it! It's not an open concept, but has a lovely, spacious feel to it! All of the rooms are such a nice size and there are cathedral ceilings! The basement is bright (relatively), and more than half of it is unfinished. The woman had it professional decorated 30-some years ago and it still looks pretty good, apart from years of her smoking leaving stains in the carpet and on the walls. The back yard is quite large, and it's in a really nice neighbourhood. It has a huge laundry room downstairs that I could really see doubling as my "sewing/craft" room, with lots of storage space and bright light. There are three bedrooms upstairs, and two and a half bathrooms in the house.
We decided we liked it enough to put in an offer, even if it meant we had competition. The house was definitly priced right, and we thought (realtor included) a little low for it's condition and location. So we were prepared to pay a little more than they were asking, we felt we could be competitive. We rushed to the realtor's office, wrote up our offer for three thousand dollars more than asking, downed coffees for dinner, and then drove to the retirement residence where the lady was living so our realtor could present the offer herself. Ian and I waited in the car for a nearly agonizing 20 or so minutes. Maybe longer. It felt like a long time.

Our realtor was going to go in there and sell us a newly married young couple who had just relocated to the Falls, and were hoping to settle down and start a family. She told us that she was going to make the lady think that the sun shone out of Ian's butt (which of course it does!) She was also going to offer our services to dispose of anything she couldn't handle, or didn't have time for. We would be more than willing to take any furniture or other items she had no need for, we would even pay for them. She came back and told us that the seller was "as smart as a whip!" and also that all her furniture was taken care of - it was to be auctioned off in Toronto. Our realtor also told the woman that we were outside if she wanted to meet us. She said there was no need for that.
So we waited. In the car. In the parking lot. Of a retirement residence. Shifts changed. We waited. Finally the seller's realtor emerged and rambled about having been unable to locate the van we were in "around the corner".. WELL!? He says "well your's wasn't the highest offer, but for our purposes it's the one we're going to work with." So does that mean... You mean..?! We got it?!?! Wait, there are some changes. The chest freezer is broken. The water tank is owned, not rented. Closing Oct. 29th (not the 15th we'd requested). That's all?! Of course we agreed!

We had seven days then to get our mortgage secured, seek insurance, and have the house inspected.

The following Sunday we went back to the house with Ian's parents. We found evidence of a water leak in the foundation at the front of the house. The house inspector said it may simply have been due to bad grading and eavestroughs draining directly down into the weeping tile (which we can easily fix). Also said many of the outlets aren't grounded. We should have the trees and hedges trimmed away from the house. We should install bathroom fans. That was the worst of it I think. We called a few basement waterproofing companies. One quoted us $1500 to fix the basement. Another quoted $2500.

Insurance people finally called back. We got some quotes. Our mortgage company called and said we'd been approved.
We made an amendment to the deal asking for $1500 off the purchase price, to help us pay for the cost of fixing the foundation wall. She accepted, and apparently said she felt so badly about it that she may be leaving us some furniture after all!
We have a house! We absolutely can not wait to move in, and my mind is constantly racing with ideas for renovating and decorating!!

None of the furnishings in the following pictures are ours at this point. You can pretty much tell what will definitly be auctioned off!

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