Thursday, March 11, 2010

No longer virgins!

House hunting virgins!!

Well we did it!  We put our first offer in on a house here in Toronto.  I can’t even believe it still. I NEVER thought I would be able to afford a house in Toronto.  I NEVER thought I would have a baby in Toronto either, but you know that story. I digress.... Anyway, this family of 2 + 1 needs a home... so fast forward only a few short days after our first outing with our agent and I am sitting outside Mount Sinai hospital (I had a OB appointment right after) in our agents car,  signing documents that officially would put us into the running for the most adorable semi-detached house in the junction!!! I fell deeply in love with this house the moment I saw the listing from our agent. It was exactly the right blend of modern updates, original victorian character, combined with some fantastic country charm.  Within minutes, I had every corner of that house planned out in my head.  I even loved the paint colour in EVERY SINGLE ROOM. It made me feel like I wasn’t in Toronto. Not an inch of “slick” in site in this house.  It was like it was MADE for us.

But it wasn’t. Because they went with a higher offer. But they WANTED us to have it.  They loved our story. You know... big love, fast engagement, beautiful wedding, OOPS – we’re PREGNANT, house search.... small town girl loves wonderful country charm of house, perfect for their growing family (we have GREAT agents, they presented our offer with a whole story). Anyway, the story apparently made them cry. They would have sold the house to us on the spot and then Mr. & Mrs. 19% over asking came in... And what can you do?  Some people just have deeper pockets.   And when 19% means almost 80K, it trumps a love story.  Whatever.

Anyway... We’re a bit sad, but we were prepared for it. It’s Toronto, the market is hot, and while we most likely won’t be competing with THIRTEEN other offers every time (I hope to God), multiple offers is a reality of living here. And... as our agent did delicately put it, we will NEVER feel comfortable in this process. 

All that aside, I am so proud of us.  In one week, we met and developed a great relationship with some of the best real estate agents in this city (I am sure of it). We got out into the market and saw some houses quickly, fell in love with one... And then very quickly (as the pace of this market demands),  we spent 3 hours one night doing a budget to figure out how much we can afford when I am on mat leave, and managed to sort out our finances in 24 hours to produce a 20K registered cheque to deliver with our offer. Yeah – that happens in Toronto too. You show you have 5-15% of the asking price in the form of a certified cheque or bank draft so they know you’re financially secure and serious. CRAZY.

So we’re no longer house hunting virgins. Hahaha. Still property virgins, but having our first offer behind us feels good. It was exhilarating. And I only cried when happy things happened, not the bad.  So, hopefully the excitement will keep us rolling through the next few rejections until we find OUR house.

PS – if you need a FANTASTIC agent in Toronto. Get in touch. They came by recommendation by wonderful friends and we would eagerly pass them onto you too.

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