We bought a house!
On August 2nd I posted something about feeling called to move to one of Saskatoon’s inner city neighbourhoods. Yesterday our most recent offer was accepted on a nice little house. I went for lunch with a friend of mine and he gave me some tips on looking for houses. I started looking just to see what was out there. One place interested me. The house seemed very workable and quite inexpensive but not everyone in the family was impressed with it. We kept looking and we saw some terrible looking houses. I was surprised to see how many people wouldn’t bother to clean up their house before people would see it. A lot of houses would be worth 10 or 15 thousand dollars more if they would just put some cheap vinyl siding and exterior insulation on them.
We looked at MLS listings and Saskhouses.com listings. I was very willing to buy a home privately. Even though MLS would probably have access to far more cash their web stuff is terrible. The search is clunky and the pictures are small and terrible. In think the compression is turned up way too high. It makes a home with nice exterior look like it has worn out wood siding. A lot of realtors have their own websites and that are linked to from the MLS listing but no one links directly to their version of the house listing. You have to go and search again. It was frustrating. I found most realtor websites frustrating as well but some of them had more information or better photos.
Saskhouses.com has a great interface and the photos look great. This made a big difference because the good houses looked so much better on Saskhouses.com. In our searching I did find some of the downsides to private internet listings. I went in to one house that listed the bedrooms as 12×12 and they were more like 8×9. I don’t know if the guy selling the house was lazy or lying but misrepresenting your house in the listing is a pretty good way to tell a potential buyer they can’t trust you. A realtor isn’t going to risk mispresenting a house on the listing.
It feels good to buy a house. Already the Home Depot has so much more meaning to me. Ooooooh wouldn’t that be cool…ooooooh wouldn’t that be nice. I haven’t had time to blog because things are very busy with school starting at Bethany, and another client is moving to a new location as well as some other urgent projects. Once I make it too September things should calm down a bit.