Monday, May 25, 2009

oy vey

you remember how when you're growing up your parents were always "working on the house" and complaining about what a burden you, your siblings, the house, the yard, etc. were? and you were always like, "gimme a break mum/dads/grandparents, etc. being a grownup is fun! now fork over an extra $10 so i can buy big league chew and another ride on the perilous, creaky, chiropractor's nightmare of a "ride" sitting outside of the grocery store, coated in lead paint [if you're lucky]!"

being a grownup ISN'T fun. houses are a giant, sucky, wet-wool-blanket-in-the-dead-of-summer albatross around your neck and tied to your shoes (i know exactly what i did with that metaphor and i stand by it.) which is the long way of saying that the home inspection was VERY revealing. in the "bank account hemorrhage" sense of revealing. goodness.

i was pretty proud of me and the dotytron though. we went in armed with tape measures, a note book of handwritten questions, and pages of questions photocopied from mike holmes' "holmes inspection" book which we had both read. we basically took a crash course so that we felt pretty confident and knowledgeable going in. while we may not be experts at soffits and fascia, we have an idea of what they're about and what they do. we took a zillion pictures and went over the place with a fine-toothed comb. the house inspector commended us for being realistic and not starry eyed and totally in love with the place and we both felt really in control of the situation and not afraid to ask questions and get answers when we didn't understand stuff. all in all, it was pretty cool, as far as learning experiences go.

we also get two more visits to the house (if we go ahead with the deal) which is probably when i'll have more work people coming through to give us quotes and whatnot.

the long and short of it is: you're always in for more than you bargained for and the start up costs are EXPENSIVE. land transfer tax, lawyer fees (thankfully - hopefully? - waived for me), moving costs, house insurance, the list goes on and on. you really have to be on top of your shiz unless you buy something brand new and move-in ready. condos are looking pretty amazing right now.

but then...but then you meet your (potential) neighbours (as we did) and you see that they're all young couples with a wee babe or two (also, curiously, on our street, there's THREE couples that are asian wife, white husband - so we kind of fit the profile) and people know each other and the park is right there and it's a lovely, tree-lined, dead end street.

so we've put in a new offer...we'll see how it goes! i'm not holding my breath. if it falls through, we're feeling good that we had a great learning experience and that there's another house around the corner! plus, we don't HAVE to move. not in the least. we can sit on our fat little weirdo butts and maybe wait until the dotytron makes more than $12/year and then get a giant lovely castle that's ACTUALLY move in ready instead of a giant gaping whole that eats your money. we're also pretty okay with the fact that we'd rather do things right and take care of the big things (ie. HVAC, roof, electrical) before focusing on fun things like paint, furniture, trim, lighting fixtures, etc. we want to do it right and give lil' ugmo a fighting chance at being okay.

to that end, i'm no longer looking at any of the home decor blogs in my reader. that way lies madness. the same was true of wedding blogs. JUST DON'T DO IT! you'll drive yourself to distraction if you look at what mimsy and poppy are doing out in the hamptons or what typographer xander is doing in portland. it's redonkulous!

tonight for dinner we had seared salmon with tartar sauce, sweet potato and russet latkes with sour cream, and steamed then sautéed fiddlehead ferns.

we know so much more now that if we have to look at houses again, we won't be like 99% of the other n00b alley first time homebuyers who see something moderately well staged and then go buckwild bidding it up. the words of the day my friend, are: fair market value. that being said, you're ALWAYS getting ripped off. don't ever forget it. also, my final words before i trundle off to bed for some well deserved shut-eye: your realtor is not your friend. BE WARY! it's annoying! it's galling to have to decode every response, emotional nuance, statement, sentence. it's also tiring.

i'm exhausted. to bed i go, says i.


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