Thursday, 9 April 2015
House Hunting Stress
We sold our duplex last week. It took two days...less than a week after we first contacted a real estate agent. The inspection is scheduled for Friday, then on Monday conditions will be removed and it will be official.
So we've been house hunting. Exciting! Fun! Stressful!
Oh my word, this is so stressful! This new house will be the one our kids remember. The one they call "home." It will likely be our forever home--for the next ten years anyway. Unlike last time, when I only had to wonder if I'd like the house for a few years, and had very little experience in houses to influence me (I've never yet lived in a real, detached house.)
The trouble is that, at our budget every house we like has major issues that are out of our control. My absolute favourite was a side-by-side split level in a little ravine neighbourhood (see pic) that was in absolute perfect condition and the use of space was exactly what I was looking for. That one had two serious problems. First, was the loud traffic noise from two major highways. Second, there was no school in that neighbourhood, and the closest school with open boundaries is already full for next year.
And then there's the newer one in a great neighbourhood, with beautiful upgraded finishes, and a main floor laundry that I loved. But it was listed in the very top range of our budget, and has no neighbourhood school.
Then there's the one we saw yesterday, in a great area for schools. We discovered the problems before we even walked into the house. It's the second house in from a busy corner with no parking allowed at the front of the house. Any guests would have to park at the back on the miniscule driveway or one very-muddy spot beside the garage and come in the back door (I have always hated that! Where I grew up it was very common for people to either only have a side door, or have a front door and never ever use it. The only other parking option would be to park down a small side road a block away, which I suspect is often full, making the walk to our front door even longer. I've always wanted a hospitable home. This home isn't very hospitable. The traffic noise, even from the busy intersection, wasn't that bad. Perhaps I could have wrapped my mind around the parking situation and lived with it. But the trouble is that I don't like the kitchen well enough to make that compromise. It's a bit small, and a bit cramped.
Then there was the one in my favourite neighbourhood, with excellent access to all three schools. I even liked the layout, although the pictures were really bland and the house had no personality. But that one had high voltage power lines running practically overhead. I probably would have overlooked that issue, but Kevin wasn't happy with that.
Oh, and the one in an older neighbourhood, well maintained but obviously being sold by the original owners (who like mint green). It was full of potential, but there were too many things that required too much work in that one (regrading the yard, tearing down the sunroom, possible crack in the foundation).
Are we being too picky? I don't think so. I'm not looking for perfection, by any means. My favourite house, the split level, had really dated country blue counters, and linoleum in the kitchen, neither of which I particularly liked. The house doesn't have to be pretty. I just really need a good location, and a layout I can work with. Kevin needs a house that doesn't need a lot of major work before it can feel like home.
We are going to see another tonight that I already think is too far south, and we will have to literally drive past the road to my kids' current school in order to get to the designated school for that area—trying to keep an open mind, can't you tell?
I'm fighting despair here! I've already given up my dream type of home (acreage) because I'm married to an accountant who already thinks his commute is too long. I really don't want to live in a home that's going to drive me crazy once the novelty wears off. 46 days and counting until we have to move out.