As you might know, I bought a condo. The other day I was looking back on the timeline of buying the place and from the time it took to start looking, to the time I was putting an offer on a place, it was about two weeks.
That seems crazy to me. I went in with expectations that it would take at least a few months.
The best part of the whole thing was that I went into the experience armed with a ton of knowledge on house hunting based on my love of a little TV show called House Hunters.
I made a bunch of jokes, even before I thought I would buy a place, about wish lists and painting, crown molding and appliances. Once I made the decision to buy, I handed over my wish list to my realtor and we began our search.
By the way, that wish list consisted of the following things: 1+ bedroom(s), in-suite laundry and a dishwasher.
Within an hour of sending my initial wish list and finding out there was only like seven options in the city with in-suite laundry, I removed it from the list. Luckily, the place I ended up buying was one of the initial seven and my washer/dryer is my pride and joy. AND I OWN A DISHWASHER. This makes me so happy, I don’t think people understand. No place I’ve lived in but my parent’s house and where I’m living at my brother’s has had a dishwasher. Dishwashers are a luxury when you live in apartments.
In basically the most rare thing ever in House Hunters, I got my full wish list. It would be better if it were closer to work, but I just got news this week that my office is moving to another office that is a 15 minute walk from me this fall.
After getting a bunch of listings to say yay, nay or maybe to, we went out to explore some places. In all, I looked at about 15 places. Some were immediate no’s, like this one that’s been on the market forever and the realtor or owner haven’t figured out that maybe they should do even the lightest of cleaning to make the place presentable:
I figured I’d make this a blog version of House Hunters. Let’s look at my top 3 picks, in order of how I viewed them and spoiler alert, you’ll know mid-episode which one I choose.
I immediately loved the natural light in this place. The balcony was smaller and overlooked the parking lot, but it was the only place I saw with great light.
And although this one was almost outside of the area that I wanted to live, I still liked the neighbourhood (lots of cafes and coffee shops, which is very important to me).
The living room is big and let me just say to owners and realtors, make sure you decorate your place nicely. I’ve learned that is most important tip for realtors/owners. Stage your home when you’re selling! It was incredibly hard for me to imagine how I could live in a place when there was no furniture or in places where it was cluttered or had the esthetic of a dorm room you’d see in the movies. I gravitated towards places that were decorated nicely and cleaned, they weren’t necessarily how I would decorate but it gave me a better understanding of how I would arrange things or what could fit.
Anyways, back to this place. If it came down to it on House Hunters, this would be in the top two. The biggest let down was that the kitchen and bathroom would need updating eventually and since this was near the top of my budget, that was a strike against the place. I mean the countertops weren’t even granite! The bedroom was smaller than some of the other places, but fairly average.
House #1 became known as “if the house I want gets sold and I can’t find anything else, I’ll take it because I love the living room.”
(Spoiler alert: I own this place)
I fell in love with this one from the moment I saw the listing online. It was recently renovated, a complete gutting of the old place and then put on the market. One might say this place belongs on Flip or Flop rather than House Hunters.
Here’s a few of the before pictures I found online
Thank you to the kind soul that went in and fixed this place up.
I had no chill about my love of this place, they couldn’t even make an episode around me without making the editors work some serious overtime. I walked in and basically said, this is it. The only downer was when my realtor said that the California ceiling was one of the worst she’d seen. I mean, it’s not the best but it didn’t bother me. Also, she’s probably seen hundreds. I was just excited that the ceilings aren’t popcorn.
Confession: I didn’t care if I had granite countertops. I know they’re like the holy grail of House Hunters, I just wasn’t actively seeking them out. I may have not even noticed my place had granite countertops in the kitchen until after my offer was accepted and someone else pointed them out to me.
The balcony here is big, so I’ll be able to put a small bbq and a few planters, as well as some chairs and a small table. The view isn’t the best, but I can survive.
This was a last minute posting that we decided to look at before taking a second look at House #2.
It had a shared swimming pool in the building without having crazy high condo fees, but (and I’m kinda ashamed to admit this one because I scream at the TV when someone does this) I hated the wall colours. HEAR ME OUT. They were beige and there is very few colours on this planet I hate more than beige. It’s so boring, it’s like dirty dishwater, you can try to spice things up with some art or furniture, but under it all you still have beige. And I know, you can paint. Except in this one the kitchen opened to the living room and dining area, so you’d be painting the whole place the new colour, but the kitchen had brown and beige backsplash so you have to stick within the same colour family. Plus the floors were brown. Blah.
Also, I suck at painting. I’m too impatient so I end up starting off fine but by the time I get half an hour into the job I want to hurry up and finish and do a rushed job where paint falls onto the carpet (because I did a shitty job putting a drop cloth/plastic down) and onto places that aren’t supposed to be painted.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have anxiety about making choices. So choosing a paint colour would be impossible, plus it would delay my moving in time. Plus I loved my place more, so why am I bothering with this argument.
In the end, I picked House #2 and it was actually the second place I visited.
Admittedly, during my personal episode of House Hunters I did a few other things that drive me crazy while watching. Just know that I was totally able to justify these things in the moment:
- I walked on to the balcony of a few places and said how they’d be perfect to have a drink (let’s be real, drinks) on in the summer.
- I’m sure I drove my realtor, Jodi, crazy with comments about House Hunters, in which I basically just kept saying “I know this is cliche House Hunters, but….”
- I was the one who insisted we look at places closer to my budget, or above, and Jodi thankfully reined me in
- Multiple places were considered, despite failings and super high condo fees, because they had a pool, sauna and gym.
I’m kind of sad to be done with the house hunting process so quickly, I loved going in and looking at places, and yes I did snoop in cupboards and closets. But move in day is less than two weeks away! I’m so excited to get in there, decorate (slowly…) and show the place off.