Buying a house is an ordeal.
Seriously, I'd rather take a full on panel interview for a psych job over this. Just imagine: I am someone that picks brains for a living... put yourself in a room full of professionals doing the same to you to see if you are "worthy". It's daunting, but peanuts compared to this house hunting thing. Throw in a root canal and a GYN exam and you're still not even close.
First you need to assemble your core team: real estate agent, mortgage broker, lawyer. If you're smart, you'll add house inspector to that list. Don't forget the insurance agent either. You'll also need all your ducks in a row, so expect to have to deal with oddball things like Revenue Canada if you're like me and your toddler ate your last notice of assessment.
Then you start looking. We've been regulars on MLS.ca for over two years now, so we thought we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for. Well we do, but apparently it doesn't exist that often in Brampton. We saw some pretty silly things: an entire yard covered over in deck, "finished basements" with bare concrete floors and some pretty...er... interesting decorating ideas. One of my favourites was lighting fixtures at eye level around the room. That's great for an interrogation chamber, but not so good if I want to hang out in my rec room and watch TV. Oh, and FYI, blobbing a paint-dipped sponge over a wall is NOT a good idea, ok? Especially when you cheap out and use a square one... that leaves square edges and random squirts here and there. It was like a horrific episode of CSI meets Spongebob for heaven's sake. Just say no, ok? Think of the little sponges...
Husband I went to 13 houses in two days. That in itself was pretty crazy, but we found one we liked. It was redone on the main level, had 4 bedrooms, a decent yard and a finished basement. Ok, so the basement was a 70's nightmare, but it could be dealt with. So could the little cosmetic-ish problems here and there. We signed papers, got the mortgage, got everything together and ready to go. We just had to go through the house inspection.
That was yesterday... Three solid hours of feeling my insides twist as I heard things such as "aluminum wiring" and "this vent goes nowhere" and that the a/c was old and full of freon and that the furnace had not been serviced in 10 years. To add insult to injury, the damn stove didn't work! Some people have a funny idea of what "in working order" means... in my world it doesn't mean "two out of four burners... and only the little ones, fatso."
I will say that the $400 bucks I spent on the inspection was worth the price of being able to walk away from $30, 000+ worth of repairs and upgrades. In the meantime however, it's back to the drawing board. I know our new home is out there, we just have to find it... and soon. Just watching my son blissfully roll around on the grass in our friend's yard yesterday was enough to break my heart and hammer that one home all over again.
Once again, amor fati. It's all good..