Yesterday morning, I met our real estate agent in front of an empty house: my first visit! I had chosen this property (and 2 others) from browsing the real estate data base and I was excited to begin visiting. My agent unlocked a key box and let us in. It was empty and I felt a little intimidated by the reality of our situation. So many factors seemed important and yet it was just us there. I was half-hoping there would be a note in the door telling us whether it was our future house of not!
In my perspective, since I am looking to make over seriously the place we’ll be buying, I was looking for signs of degradation. I didn’t mind so much the multiple and disconnected additions to the house over the years as I knew they wouldn’t be staying. The basement’s ceiling was uncomfortably low and the foundation seemed aging. Overall, the house was 1000 square feet and the yard another 1500 square feet – that’s regular for a home but large for a yard. Yet, it looked smaller than what we have here and I felt a little disappointed (my country dreams subtly passing at the back of my mind). I was a little perplex about the house, not sure whether it would be a good investment. (We could have it inspected to help us in our decision, and we’ll do if we find a house that stops our heart. But I don’t feel this is the case there.) But one thing I was sure of: I didn’t like the neighbourhood 😦 I want to move into the city and this was a quiet neighborhood. Too bad, I was half expecting this from looking at a map. But the big success of the visit was that we had the experience for the first time! It allows me to learn from it and improve my “technique” for the next time.
And that second time happened about 45 minutes later. That house (a few streets apart, so basically the same neighborhood) was inhabited and the owner gave us a tour of the place. She clearly loved her home and wanted a fair price for it. By the end of the visit, I was ready to embrace this sweet place. It was the cold air outside and the surprised look of my agent when I gave her my impressions that brought me back to my spirits: that was such a non-sense home! I didn’t want to live in it as it is, and we would have to litterally reverse the house + yard setup to make it coherent. I shook my head, what was I thinking?!
I headed for home and took the rest of the day to let those two visit decant in my mind. Later that evening, I sent my comments and impressions to my agent as she had asked me to do. It was a great exercice and I’m happy to have done it. I now know better what I am looking for & what are the challenges and process of visiting a property. We’re going to visit a duplex this week and I’m looking forward to this next training experience in real estate shopping!