Monday, April 11, 2005

Home shopping

I've reviewed in detail easily a hundred listings; I've spent hours researching handfuls of them to find they don't meet our criteria. We've scouted out and snooped around at least a dozen places that we determined were not worth investigating further.

We whittled away at our list and visited over a dozen addresses, real estate agent holding our hands, only a couple of which we might consider a potential home.

None of them is perfect.

One of them comes close. Friday we visited a brand new 2-level condo apartment. While not perfect, it has a lot of things going for it. Its brand-new-ness is not to be slighted, being that our fixer-upperedness ability levels, enthusiasm notwithstanding, are limited to the occasional viewing of Trading Spaces, even though I did receive a drill for Christmas a couple years ago. Beyond the terrace is a tiny plot of land we could till and adorn. It's at the other end of the neighbourhood in which we currently live, which we love, in an area that is somewhat more residential. Within a three-block radius of its location are a primary school, a major-chain grocery store, a neighbourhood bar, a metro station, a deli, a park, an ice cream parlour, a pharmacy, and various retail establishments.

We're not in love with this place. But we can picture living there. It's sensible. We have reconciled ourselves to the fact that we cannot at this time afford our dream house, our forever home, and this is a practical alternative, for at least a few years. We slept on it. Then we slept on it again.

Yesterday, we called our agent. We'd like to make an offer.

It goes without saying that the process of a first home purchase is effing scary and fraught with emotion (am I a grown-up yet?). We wonder, have we seen enough in order to be making an informed decision? My sister recently purchased her second home, after visiting about a hundred places, forty or so with a sometimes frustrated agent; but she had the luxury of time and money. How many potential homes do you need to see before you feel ready? Are we really there yet?

I wanted to think things through, not make any rash decisions. If for all the time I took in mulling over the pros and cons the place were no longer available, so be it; it would be a sign. I would be a little disappointed, but not heart-broken. However, the more time that passes, the more I can picture it, the closer I am toward devastation if this were to slip away from us.

The offer is not yet official. Many phonecalls were had yesterday and they're sure to continue, starting any minute now. We are thrown back by the owner's (construction company) condition that financing be done through a particular institution. It may not be negotiable, and it may be a deal breaker.

I'm going to have a cigarette now.
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