After our first foray into house hunting went so well, we decided to try out a couple more... We went and saw another house a couple of blocks away that was an old duplex. It was on sale for $265,000 and it's listing had the exciting words of 'original built-ins' and a 'great opportunity'! I can only say this about the house, it did have built-ins and the exterior was in okay repair. What I can also tell you, is there was crack on the kitchen table and the renters dog peed on me. FACT.
Once again, the most disturbing thing about all this, we weren't totally deterred. We actually calculated how much it would take to make this place liveable (roughly $100,000). It was only when our realtor told us they were firm on price we talked away. Let's count our blessings!
Since the neighborhood we lived in was 'hip' and 'up-and-coming' we actually found it really difficult to see houses in our price range. Several houses were put on the market and sold before we even got in the door. This seemed unimaginable, everywhere we looked and listened people were talking about how bad the economy was and yet these houses were selling in 2-3 days. It was really discouraging and in many ways intensified our need to find a house-- if the market was this quick now... what about in a year or so? I think this is how they get you.
So, we spent a Saturday a little further a field looking at houses in the Alberta neighborhood. These were a series on small little houses with little personality and a huge lack of yard. Until... we saw this one. Personality was NOT lacking in this house. It was a cute tudor on a pretty nice block. I was excited when we pulled up. At first the inside was bad, but appeared to be fixable. There were original 'features' and nice 'hardwoods' but then again the bathroom was completely caved in and the upstairs made no sense, sure there was potential. But, we made the mistake of going in the basement. Seriously, America is hiding some freaky stuff in their basements! This basement appeared to be a sex den. Complete with curtained off raised beds, shag carpeting everywhere, leather walls and mirrors, lots of mirrors. I was just glad I had on high heels so I was about 2 inches off the carpet. phew.
The night after this search Josh and I had a long conversation about how much of a fixer-upper we wanted. We would need to be able to live in it while working on it... we would like to be able to sleep at night, we would need a working bathroom and a kitchen. We decided we needed to look for houses in a little better shape, o yeah and we had about 30 days to sign a contract before the house buyer credit expired... pressure?