Friday, October 3, 2008

home is where the heart is

Today I am having a weird day.

the bad things- traffic, my aching back/jackass doctor, insurance bullshit etc, having yet to overcome the fact that is Friday (TGIF).

It's Jenner's birthday, aka, the worlds most calming woman, therefore it calls for passive, heart-warming celebration.

Wait, am I an adult? "passive celebration"? Perhaps. actually, yes. Which brings me to my next point:

I may or may not be looking at houses next week.

no, not to rent.

to buy.


don't gasp just yet: I am not likely to buy a house any time soon. (student loan will make sure of that.) But am I ready to start exploring the market. With a friend who is a real estate agent, why not?

crunching the numbers, realistically, if my credit was better I probably could buy a house right now. I pay about $700/month in rent (including my storage locker) and mortgage on a $150,000 home is about 800/month. Add a tenant and a roommate to the mix, and I could technically be making money. But I don't want 100% financing, so alas, I peek at my options with minimal intention to buy.

Andrew, my "not actually" real estate agent specializes in income properties and "fixer-uppers" (flips). Which is ideally what I would be looking for. I couldn't afford my dream house any time soon if I tried, and I need something to build upon so I could add value to the home. and of course, I want to make it my own. If it has good bones and everything functions perfectly, I could live with things being dated as i improve the home room by room.

So, as the experts suggest, the first thing I need to do is really sit back and think about what I would want in a home.

-Income property. (Needs a flat or basement apartment.) Nothing I have to finish myself. I wouldn't mind doing minor improvements but generally speaking, this part needs to be move-in ready. I need someone to start putting money in the bank asap. The best part is that I know I would be able to rent friends no problem, which is ideal because I trust them the most.

-Location. Needs to be located in either Halifax or Dartmouth otherwise I would have to rent to someone I don't know which I am not comfortable with.

-Needs to be located close to a bus route so my tenant has accessible transit.

-2 or 3 bedrooms. preferably 3 but this may be ambitious.

-At least 1.5 baths aside from the apartment

-Hardwood floors, but I could be flexible with well-maintained carpet in the bedrooms. It can even be carpeted throughout if there is original hardwood underneath which I could reveal.

-Decent sized yard

-large closet in the master bedroom

-Bright, eat-in kitchen

-It has to be in good condition as far as plumbing/electrical/foundation/windows/roof goes. Any upgrades I would do would have to be cosmetic.

Some things that I would love but am willing to be flexible about in a first home are a working fireplace (looks good and is cheap heating), and a mud room and/or sun room. That has always been a dream of mine.

This sounds like a lot, but realistically I am not asking a lot. Considering my connections within the design community and my master craftsmen father, I could really fix anything dated for a decent budget. I just need it to be structurally sound.

I had a goal of paying off my student loan and buying a house within 5 years, but I have worked really hard this year and I think I can be honest with myself in bumping that goal to 2 years. 3 years max. Maybe sooner.

Karma baby, Karma.



angela said...

this is so amazing
i really hope you do it

i think your goal is fully realistic, and i know you can do it, because you want to.

i cannot wait till the day that you find a place to call your home you own xx

i wish i could have as amazing a goal as that, but my goal will have to be stretched to about 3 years probably.. shit is expensive over here xx

Annabelle Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

that last comment was me! sorry! i just wanted to say that i think your dream is totally attainable, and if anyone can make it happen its you! I can't wait to see how amazing you will make your little house!

Eleanor Magpie said...

Wow, pal, if anyone can do this, you can.
I'm in no position myself to be buying a house right now, but the idea has still wormed its way into my heart. So many of the things on your wish list match my own, like a sunroom, a fireplace and hardwood floors.
What's encouraging is that a house is often more realistic than many realize. Seg's pal Simon just bought a house in Oakville a month or two ago (Oakville! $$$$!) But with roommates, he's made it affordable for himself.