Thursday, December 02, 2004

Buying a house in Toronto - Part III

As we returned to the city from our weekend getaway, we decided to take another route and do a drive by on the semi to get a better feel for the surrounding neighbourhood. Turns out, there were several more houses for sale in the general area. When our Agent called us the following afternoon, they had already looked at eight other homes that were listed. "Zero for Eight" -- all weren't even worth looking at. So we gave our agent the list of additional homes we looked at, and they went to work trying to set up appointments. Since the houses were in the same neighbourhood, we'd start at the semi and go from there. The asking price for the semi was higher than the farm house, but after taking a long second look, Lori didn't want to look any further. Although slightly smaller in size, it would not require any rennovations whatsoever and it had a spacious garage connected to a shared laneway. So we stopped, and decided to find a place to talk about it. We somehow found ourselves at the scummiest coffee shop in the seediest area. The working girls and drug dealers turned tricks while we sat inside and talked. We found out later that a new shopping mall with a more reputable coffee shop had plenty of room only a few blocks in the other direction. Oddly enough it didn't bother us. After some long discussions, my reservations with the place were put to bed, and we decided to put in an offer. It's funny how my negatives about the house seemed to disappear when we spoke of putting the offer in nearly 18K below their asking price. In Toronto, most of the houses sell well over the asking price, and that's mainly because of bidding wars, etc. However, this time of year is the best time to look mainly because no one wants to look / move / sell during Christmas, and in some cases, the market drops dead around Christmas and starts to pick up again around February. Once February rolls around, the prices start to inflate dramatically. So it was now or never. We put together the offer, listing all the items that would be included and excluded in the house, and any addtional conditions we could think of. Then we had to initial the documents in about a zillion places. We took a risk and decided to make our offer below asking price, and so that the seller wouldn't get pissed off, we took the appliances out of the offer. ... we were sold, but the question on would the seller agree to our conditions?