When I moved to Central Ontario a year ago, I moved in with some friends for a while until I knew what I was doing. At the time, it was up in the air whether perhaps my son might move here.. or my daughter.. or my boyfriend. So for 6 months I lived in someone’s basement while I sorted things out.
My daughter decided that she was going to move up here and go to Georgian for a year! Yay! I started thinking about getting my own place… Then June came, and Fernando let me know that he would not be moving to Barrie…in fact, we would no longer be seeing one another. I was crushed at the time (no worries, we are friends now and things are good.. ) but.. life goes on.
I needed a place for my daughter and I to live.. So I started househunting. Before I could buy a house I needed to get the financing and they told me I was good to go. Got myself a real estate agent and started looking. I wanted 3 bedrooms, a fenced yard, finished basement (if possible) and central air. In ONE DAY the daughter and I looked at 15 houses within my price range.. most of which could easily be used as suitable location shoots for “COPS” or perhaps an episode of CSI involving dirty drug use and hookers.
As a single woman buying a house alone, my housing budget was on the lower end, however, not hideous. However, some of the houses we looked at were. The first bunch we looked at were “conveniently located close to Georgian College”. Uh huh. We looked at places that had been obvious student rentals.. yeah, not so much. Great for the daughter to get to class each day, however…. I was looking for neighbours who’d like to get together for the occasional barbeque, not nightly keggers. Aside from that, these houses were great.. if you enjoy living in a place that smells of stale beer and smokes and has obvious vomit stains on the carpeting. Good times.
We proceeded into some other neighbourhoods to try our luck and saw a vast assortment of vacant properties. On the plus side, immediate occupancy. On the minus side, much cleaning and reno would need to be done. One of my favourites was a house COMPLETELY decorated in wood panelling that had been owned for 20 years by a Catholic priest. Priests have no sense of decor. Just so you know.
We walked up to one house that still had an eviction notice on the door. As someone who’s previously worked in housing, I should have known better than to even set foot inside. We walked into a place that OBVIOUSLY was not going to be my new home, but we had to continue the tour ….. you know, kind of like when you run across an accident and you just can’t turn away…..
The house had the distinct aroma of a downtown transit shelter…. urine, smokes, barf.. delightful. The large fist shaped hole in the wall was a nice touch, and the stains on the carpet courtesy of dog feces really added to the ambience. The oven fan barely dangling by a wire from the kitchen cupboards was “artsy” to say the least…. and complimented the missing cupboard doors and broken banister. However, the piece de resistance was the basement … not only was it not “finished” (unless you count some carpet remnants thrown on the floor…).. it was.. how do you say in English..? … a shit hole. It looked like something one might see in the Saw movies (minus the gratuitous bloody mess…). There was a “door” leading to what one might call a “workshop” area…. please note the use of the “quotes” which is indicative of me using a term loosely….
The “door” .. or rather, what remained of it.. had once had a very large lock upon it which had mostly been pried off by a crowbar.. the bottom of the door had been broken off so that there was really only the top portion of the door left. Hanging from the ceiling were many electrical wires… and there were a lot of shelves in the workshop …. can you say “grow op”?
It was a little grey sided house that’s was completely renovated.. new kitchen, fresh paint, finished basement, fenced yard.. a deck….central air.. everything on my check list. The living room was Red!! (Red is my favourite colour..) We toured the house.. it was little, but it was a decent size for me, the daughter, the son (on occcasion) and Mocha the Wonderdog. We looked at it twice in the same day…. then put in an offer. By 11:00pm that night I had bought a house.
Then the fun part (that is sarcasm.) Although I was originally told I had financing, I unfortunately discovered that my credit rating sucked large ass. I had had financial troubles several years before and everything had been paid at the time.. yet, it was still on my credit record. People, trust me. Go get a credit check RIGHT NOW. Believe me, someone told me to a year before and I did not. It took weeks of calls, faxes, emails, etc to get it straightened out. It was hideous. Seriously, let me be your warning…. check your credit!
Once I got the financial worked out, and had to re-offer….. it was done. I was going to be a homeowner! I was very excited. I moved in August 22nd…. loaded in all my stuff from the storage unit, my friend’s place, all my new stuff. Didn’t have really much to do to it other than paint a couple of rooms and unpack. The previous owners left it in immaculate condition.
I love my little house.
So, that is the downside of all that is currently going on in my life. This is a super cute house. New roof, new AC, new flooring…. what’s not to love? It’s been a drag that my first venture into home ownership has been so tumultuous…. but it’s been good as well. I knew when I walked into this place it was “my” house. Even if it’s only supposed to be for a little while. I love the red living room, my sexy red bedroom.. the super cozy rec room.. my pretty little kitchen.. the LAUGH signs that I collect hanging on the walls. I will miss this house, however, I know there are going to be other houses, other homes…
The other day, the previous owner stopped by to see if there was any mail and have a chat. I hadn’t met him before, just his wife.. so he felt compelled to tell me everything he had done to the house.. wanted to see any changes I’d made… (hint of the day.. before taking someone on tour of your house, make sure you have not left your bra on the floor of the rec room. I’m just sayin….) It was obvious that he’d really enjoyed this house. Just as I love it. But he then went on about his new house and how awesome it was.
As much as I will be sad to leave this, my first house, I’ve come to realize that part of the reason I love it so much is the things I put in it. My pictures, my things.. my childrens’ things.. it is a very very very fine house. However, now I have to sell it….. But it’s okay, because even though I’ve only been here a short while, I’ve still made some good memories. We had a great Christmas here.. some kickass parties.. some fun times on the party-o. But we will move forward. And we’ll have other homes, and make them OUR house.. and make new memories.
NOW … if I could just make a sale!!
Life: Trying to sell my house. Help me St. Joseph!
Love: Love this house… and… that is the extent of my love life pretty much. Thank you for asking.
Pants: I embark this week on a new phase in weight loss which I will be blogging about at http://2girlsdieting.blogspot.com.