Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How'd we do?

We got the house! Detached. Across from a park. In a great family neighbourhood.
We're leaving the hip hood with bars and restaurants a stone's throw away. And moving on east to mature trees, lots of kids and a great school.
Now what about the actual house - the bricks and mortar? Well, all in all we did pretty well.

We got almost everything on our lists!

I'll bold the ones we got right.

Must Haves

3 bedrooms

2 bathrooms

Finished basement

Grassy backyard

Deck or patio area

Living room 10+ feet

Parking - would consider street parking but only if pressed

Storage space of some kind

If renovated kitchen, ample cupboard space and lots of counter space (island preferred)

Front entry way with room to remove shoes etc with coat hook area or closet

Big renos like electrical, plumbing, windows, roof and basement already completed

A small percentage of brown/beige 'unchangeable without great cost' tile

Hardwood ( pee pee cats)

Nice to Haves

Laundry sink

Painted wood

Modern design touches

Big closets



Ability to use some basement space for office

A nod to character (original glass or floor) without character with a capital C


Eat in kitchen

Walk in shower

Front porch


All in all we did pretty well. Let me go back to the must have's. We did make a few compromises...

First-the backyard is landscaped. Pretty. Well-kept. But not grass. Now we do have a HUGE grassy park across the street so there's grass in close proximity and there is room back there to create a grassy area and have a great patio area - plus there's a deck off the second floor so there is outdoor space in spades.

Next, the kitchen is lovely, but there are far fewer cabinets than we're used to. But, there is a huge island that is all storage - and this gives tons of work surface so it works out. We're planning to set aside some space in the basement for kitchen overflow storage so it should be a-ok.

The last issue is one that we thought was small but it grew as we dug a little deeper into the situation. And the walls. The electrical isn't quite as done as we had thought. So we will be rewiring the house. By we, I mean the electrician that our fab agents helped us find. We are far from handy and had no idea where to start. Thankfully our agents have some experience in this department and go way above and beyond so we have quotes, a company we're happy with, a solid start date and a seriously manageable reno.

Now on top of our must have's we also checked off a huge number of nice to have's. I believe it's these things that really make the house. We figured the ensuite was never going to happen in our neighbourhood choices and budget so it comes as no surprise that didn't make the cut. But to get the deck, garage, modern finish and more made the deal even sweeter. And to top it off, because we got a great house at the lower end of what the market will hold, we can invest in things like renovating to add a walk in shower in the basement bath, a gas hook-up for the bbq and more without risking losing our investment.

And in terms of the eat-in kitchen? Well the island does have a breakfast bar that opens into the dining room so that one gets half points.

All in all we were able to find pretty much everything we wanted, only a couple of things we didn't want for a great price. What's more - we got the help we needed to take care of the things that caught us by surprise so we weren't left with a bad taste in our mouths.

So now, all we have to do is sell our house. Time to roll up our sleeves and get our house in ship shape. Which doesn't sound too bad, but will likely take us about a month given that we're both about three steps away from a hoarding intervention.
Oh - and we only have 5 days.

Wish us luck!

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