So, I have to say, I am officially not a fan of house hunting. I thought I would be. I watch all those shows on HGTV where couples prance about exotic locals and choose between three houses and inevitably pick the wrong one.
"YOU CAN'T BUY A HOUSE BASED ON PAINT COLOUR KAREN!" I scream at the TV, eating Kraft Dinner directly from the pot, wearing my day pajamas. "God, get it together."
So obviously, with my expertise and enthusiasm, I thought this would be a breeze. We would see three houses, we would pick the one that was CLEARLY THE BEST, and move in to start our renovations (that would be done on time and on budget, because we would have a contingency plan. You always need a contingency plan, according to my research. Read: HGTV). Then we would pull up the carpet, find hardwood floors that just need a little polish, take down a wall and find exposed brick, and we go merrily into our privileged urban lifestyle with little to no resistance.
We did have the extra little challenge of buying a house sight unseen. In fact, we still haven't actually seen it IRL. My mom, who had very strong opinions about things like: everything, would give us the side-eye every time we said we had to do a virtual tour.
"I don't know how you can do this without being in the house," she'd say. "I just need the feel of it you know?"
To be honest, no. I didn't know. We also booked our wedding venue sight unseen, and it was spectacular. Like, I continually pictured Kate Middleton showing up there with Prince William and they would invite us to eat with them (though it would all be very hush hush, no selfies of course) and we would become best friends and she would let me borrow her tiaras. It was that nice. Having families living in two wildly different sections of the country had us used to trusting those around us to help us make good, educated decisions.
That or we are just straight up crazy.
So anyway, we did all the things. We did the virtual tours. My husband Greg had a detailed Excel spreadsheet including things like price per square foot, neighbourhood comps, interest rates, blah blah blah, and we put in an offer.
We didn't get it.
Then another offer. That one was straight-up rejected. I mean it was only $100,000 below asking, I have no idea what they were so uptight about. TAKE OUR MONEY AND BE GRATEFUL KAREN.
Finally we put in an offer on a beautiful house that had it's very own courtyard. I'm not kidding. This house was made for me. It would be perfect for entertaining Will and Kate. But of course, other people recognized that and there were multiple offers and it sold for $50,000 over asking. All this in a town where the real estate market is supposedly "depressed".
So when this house came on the market at around 1pm one Friday afternoon, we had seen it by 4pm, and had an offer in at 7pm. We were not messing around. After a bit of bantering with the sellers, it was ours! To be clear, it's very dated and... not pretty. Luckily, being the renovation expert that I am (again, thanks HGTV!) there are clearly going to be no issues in figuring everything out and making it look exactly how we want it to.[ngg src="galleries" ids="1" sortorder="30,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29" display="basic_slideshow" gallery_width="940" gallery_height="528.75"]
So here it is. This is what we're renovating, along with our contractor/designer/organizer/renovator Sheri Bruno of Get it Together.
We'll be posting before and after videos of each stage in the process once we've actually, you know, seen the house in person. Because we haven't yet. But it's got good bones right? Possession happens September 19! Get ready to start screaming at me from your phones when I inevitably go over budget or pick the wrong paint colour.