Note: Not in our budget
Well, friends it`s official. S and I are finally in the market to purchase our first home. We are fairly bursting with excitement to own our own piece of the city we love so much. We are currently looking in two very distinct 'hoods (read: the only two we can afford in Toronto...this city is NOT cheap) one is in the East and the other is in the West. We have ties in both areas, and although S and I both work East, getting from A to B is a relatively easy task. I am presently pulling for the Easterly neighborhood, but S isn't set on either in particular.
As many of you know, I am a researcher. I have been following the Toronto real estate market closely for about two years now...There are three things I know about this market for sure;
- There are not a lot of homes for sale
- There are many people who want to buy houses
- There is no "good time" or "bad time" to buy in T.O...it's always buying season here, and you need to act fast
With these things in mind, it's easy to see why a buyer absolutely HAS to be savvy when trying to procure a piece of real estate...Basically when you see the house you want, you make an offer semi-immediately and over-asking for good measure. Think Southern California circa 2006, lite of course.
So we begin our house-buying (and hopefully renovating) adventures. We are currently in "education mode," which essentially involves going to countless open-houses until we are comfortable enough to make an offer on a house on the spot. We will definitely keep you updated in terms of progress as we navigate these waters.
In terms of what we are looking for, we have lists (yes, listS haha!) Let's begin with the "Must -Haves," shall we?
- Structurally sound
- Freehold ownership (NO condo)
- Minimum semi-detached
- Forced air/HVAC system
- 2+ bedrooms
- 2+ bath
- Good schools in the area
- Not renovated
- Fully detached
- Central air
- New windows
- New wiring
As you can clearly see, our lists are neither extensive nor overtly specific. We know to overlook decor and furniture when house hunting...that's just good common sense.
You may think we're crazy for wanting an unrenovated home, but here in the T-Dizzle the trend appears to have been "buy a house, go to Home Depot, buy a bunch of crap for $200-$300 and put it up as quickly as possible while doing as much invisible damage as possible, then sell it for 50k more because it's RENOVATED!!!!!" Ugh! The LAST thing we want to deal with is some crazy DIY-er's hideous mess **aaaaaaand breathe, Alanna**
So, let the wild rumpus begin! Of course, we'll keep you posted!