Friday, December 25, 2009

December a month in review!!!

So what has been going on the Eastern Canadian home front?. December was an incredibly busy month for Chris and I. We began looking at some property at the start of the month, we found an awesome historical home in Glace bay. It was a 5 bedroom, 3 level, 1.5 bathroom home located downtown. The price tag was $43,900. It had a sweet claw foot tub, as well as a fireplace. The downside, its currently occupied by some of the worst white trash tenants I have ever seen who are essentially running the home into the ground with their filth and disregard for the property. Despite the tenants it was SO tempting to buy and restore that home to its former 1920-1930's glory, but with a new baby on the way this spring it may have been a bit more work than we could reasonably handle.

The next home on our list was a small two bedroom located downtown Sydney, only a block and half away form the shopping district and the animation studio Chris occasionally picks up contracts from. We went by during the day and it seemed to be in a good state of repair from the outside, the street seemed pretty quiet and the price was $49,900. So we assumed the higher price tag for a smaller home may indicate it was a higher quality building.....WRONG!!!. The space was ridiculously tiny and the basement was so damp and dank it was growing a cotton candy style mold/ salt buildup from the floors. I swear to god in 50 more years the basement will be growing its own stalagmites. To top it off the building across the street which during the day looked like a quiet apartment or office building is actually a pretty loud and rowdy bar during the evening. So this home was a NO!!!!. The third was a horrible little crack shack located directly beside a busy stone quarry....needless to say we decided to skip even looking inside this one. Following the crack shack was a little two bedroom home sitting on almost an acre of lawn!, someone had taken the time to fully renovate the interior with new flooring, fresh drywall and paint. The downside.....the house had somehow buckled in the middle so the downstairs floors were a bit like a fun house with an odd slant, which actually made me dizzy when I walked from the kitchen to the living room. Also it relied on a septic tank rather than municipal water.

About a week later we lined up 4 homes in a row to view on a single day priced between $42,000-$60,000. The first one in Glace bay (only a block away from my boss) was a two level apartment building. The downstairs was an empty two bedroom unit with a decent amount of space, maybe slightly larger than the basement suite we are occupying now. It was still fully above ground!, and the perk was an older single woman living in the unit up stairs paying $600.00 in rent each month. It was only a two block walk to the major grocery stores. The unit itself needed a few repairs (rewiring of the kitchen/ new appliances/ new windows in a few rooms). A few more downsides were the lack of storage and a creepy little stone cross in the garden beside the house hinting at maybe a little pet grave :(.

The next home was a well built older home just outside of town a bit, it was a two bedroom bungalow style home, with a newly renovated unfinished basement. The catch it was at he highest point in our budget and the interior was beyond 1970's style grandma. I mean bright red shag rugs and wacky 70's ceramic tile 3/4 of the way up the kitchen walls, also strangely one bedroom had no closet but there was a bedroom style closet in the bathroom?????? weird!.

The next home was on a quite street close to a park, it was a small two level, three bedroom home. The downstairs was pretty clean and clear the walls were all a fresh white, the floors were an ugly department store style linoleum. The upstairs rooms were a bit outdated, wood laminate walls and gross 1950's style powder blue bathroom fixtures. The basement was unfinished but overall pretty clean. The plus side newer looking appliances and awesome old school hot water radiators. Other than a bit of ugly that could be fixed up over the next few years we had no real complaints about this house. The price~ $54,900.

The last home we looked at was HUGE!!!!!! It was a 6 bedroom two and a half bathroom monster home priced at $59,900!!. Apparently it had been used as a senior citizen care facility, so there were some old walkers and bed pans sitting around in one the rooms. The upstairs hallway had a huge ballet style rail all the way down the hall. The massive space was freezing!!!. As it was no longer occupied the owners shut the heat right down to next to nothing. As we here on the east coast have to pay for oil heating I couldn't imagine the cost to keep this thing warm, especially seeing as it would only be me, Chris a baby and two tiny dogs. Also the thought of living in a home that many elderly persons may have died in left a concern of ghosts in the back of my mind. So needless to say despite the fact the home was huge! and could have been easily made functional for us, it just had a bit of a creep out factor I don't think I would have wanted to deal with.

So that afternoon we decided that house number three would suite our needs nicely and we decided to put in an offer on the home pending inspection and insurance. We then spent ten days in a frenzy trying to arrange a home inspection/ land survey/ finalising bank approval/ getting insurance approval and getting all these things done before the lawyers office closed down for the holidays. We wrote in our offer to keep the appliances and the window coverings and offered about $2000.00 less than asking. They agreed to these terms but then after our inspection we learned we had to have the oil tank replaced and the electric upgraded to get insurance, so the seller replaced the oil tank and took an additional $1000.00 off the home price so we could get the electrical upgraded. So while we will have to pay for our months rent this January anyhow we decided to move our things over slowly and let the electrician in to make repairs while we could still comfortably live in our current apartment. Also my NEW dad (step is such an ugly word) said when he comes out to visit he will help us fix up the bathroom and check out the heating system, which will be a HUGE help!!!. I know Chris will enjoy learning some tips and tricks from him while he is here.

So now that a home is in our cards we need to accumulate some furniture, as we moved here with only the luggage we could get on the plane. My mom bought us a new bed and Chris's mom helped us with our down payment and closing costs on the house. We just bought a nice love seat and have a big comfy chair in a sage green that matches. The rest will be what we can find on Kijiji for a reasonable price. Our first few projects will be to fix up the babies room at least and to get the living room a bit more livable!. The best part! My family sent us a gift card for a video camera for Christmas and then Chris's family actually sent us a video camera so we can now use our gift card towards a new flat screen t.v for the house. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! Thanks everyone for all your help!!!. I think Chris and I truly lucked out in the great family department, I cant wait for everyone to come out and visit us this summer to meet the baby!!!.

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