Even in the very early days of our relationship, David and I talked about houses and the housing markets where we lived. We would open up Realtor and compare houses and prices and our tastes in what we like and where we could see ourselves living. When he moved to town we started checking out open houses on the weekends… Usually on Sundays just because that’s when we seem to have time.
We’re nowhere near ready to buy a house yet, but it has been fun to daydream and also to get a real feel for the market and for our tastes and expectations. Hopefully all of this will help us in time when we are actually in a position to buy.
We have seen houses at several different price points and levels of repair, and have tried to focus our outings on houses that are “within our budget”. I use quotes there since right now our budget is actually nada :-)
There are some town houses near us that are free holds and within walking distance to a grocery store, a park, a school, and other great things. We have really been focusing on these and watching that market most closely. They’re not too old, not too expensive, and in a good location. We’ve been thinking that by 2015 or 2016 if we use my RSPs we might be able to buy here.
Today, however, we went out and were looking at houses with slightly different eyes. My mom will be coming home from the hospital soon, and while my sister and her husband are her primary caregivers right now, they have been thinking and talking about moving to Hamilton as it is a better location for both of them to be able to get to work and it is a cheaper market than here. If and when they move Mom will be staying in Georgetown… The question is where? David and I have discussed it and we would be willing – and of my mom’s kids we would probably be the best equipped – to take care of her. We understand that it won’t always be easy, and it’s not exactly the “newlywed life” you think you’d have. But that’s life!
So, we went looking at the townhouses today, with this piece of reality in the backs of our minds. As we left the second house in this subdivision, I turned to David and said that the problem was that there is nowhere on the main floor to put a room for Mom.
My old list of must haves was 2 floors and a garage. But if we wanted 2 floors, a garage, and room for my mom it’s suddenly a good $150 000 out of our price range. And that sucks!
So, David and I did something I didn’t think I’d do. I suggested we look at a bungalow in the subdivision where I grew up. The first one we went into had 3 bedrooms and 1 washroom as well as a finished basement. It had a beautiful back yard, a fireplace, nice sized and updated kitchen, a bay window in the living room and a nice big porch, and was in total move in ready condition. Ohhh I could have seen us living there with Mom! And it was only about $20-30 thousand above our limit! Better than I had expected! The next one we went in was on a comparable size lot, but was a corner unit, and in terrible condition! And they were asking about $40 000 MORE for it! The real estate agent asked us for some feedback and we did not hesitate to tell her that the place was overpriced in comparison to the other one we saw. We ended the day with 2 houses totally outside our budget. One was double our budget and the other was over by about half.
I really don’t know where David and I will live when we get married. I have no idea when or where or what kind of house we will end up getting, but it is interesting how reality has changed our daydreams.