A couple of days ago while I was on the Realtor website (I go on there a lot) I got… bored looking at the same few houses that might be in our price range where I live. As I mentioned, I go on there a lot, and I keep the search pretty much the same: Freehold property, 2+ bedrooms, 1+ bathrooms, priced up to $275,000.
When we bought our house thirteen years ago, it was the most expensive house we looked at, and over our budget by about $5,000. We put our offer in at a few houses before this one, but they were selling fast at the time. Our house: 3+1 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, fireplace, carport, deck, view, full finished basement, freehold property. We paid about $160,000 and within months had a call from a Realtor asking us to sell as people wanted this neighbourhood specifically. The price then (less than six months later)? $250,000. We didn’t sell, obviously.
Now, however, I might have six properties come up with my search, and none of them are anywhere near what our house is: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 750 square feet, half our yard size, no basement, no carport, most have no fireplace or wood stove, maybe built in the late 40s or early 50s (ours is 1980 and 1149 square feet on each level.)
So the same few houses come up, and the cost is high (we wouldn’t be saving much after Realtor fees, transfer taxes, and all other expenses included in moving) and none of them are quite what I am looking for… not that we are planning on selling, but if we were, I like to be prepared.
I expanded my search. I do that sometimes. The thing is, though, that housing in BC is expensive, and in the entire province there isn’t much available in our price range (pretty bad considering, as I said, our house was the best of all we looked at when we were buying, and we looked at many.) Often if BC doesn’t work, I turn to Ontario – that is where my family lives. Only the hydro prices in Ontario are astronomical, and I know we couldn’t afford to live there, even if (in some areas, not really close to my family) houses might be cheaper.
I would say, “I spent the day…” but I didn’t really, for it was cleaning day, and I was quite busy around this activity – but I was interested, and so did spend a fair bit of time on the activity.
My search was Canada wide. Not that we could move, really – for my husbands family, friends, and life are here. He needs that support, even if I don’t have it so much (that isn’t his fault; I moved here before I met him.) In order to not be overwhelmed with the results, I tightened my search: Freehold (always – I have too many pets to live in a strata, plus the fees are too much) 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, garage, fireplace (I would say wood stove, but that isn’t an option), acreage.
I was surprised to see 89 results in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised, but some of those houses were beautiful! Not that I ever considered living in the maritime, but my sister in law has family there (so they have gone there to visit, though in the nearly 17 years I have lived here, they have never come here – even for my wedding.) My younger brother has a friend there, that he (and my mom) have gone to visit a few times. And the housing is cheap… mostly because there isn’t much work there, I assume.
The houses though! All day I kept going back to them. Such inspiration! You see, I really did like my job at the motel, only it was overwhelming, and I couldn’t deal with… the ‘difficult’ people. They would put me into a full panic attack, as would the amount of work I always had to do.
Several of these houses said they would be suitable for a Bed and Breakfast. I couldn’t run a bed and breakfast; I haven’t the personality – but perhaps I would do well with some long term rentals, or something like a very small motel, or… something. There are things I could do, that are even related to work I have done – if only I had the opportunity. But I would have to live where I worked. That is an essential for me.
I really did love the character of many of those houses. I loved the properties, and the space, and some had spectacular views of the ocean.
The entire day, I never made it past $150,000 in price, there were so many houses for less. We could buy there and have a lot left over… of course, we couldn’t move there… there is my husband with his supports, and there is my son, who would lose his disability if he left BC… I couldn’t go, but I can dream, and it really was inspiring to look at those houses.