Monday, September 17, 2012

Housing review/Assessments

Yesterday was the open house for our townhouse.  We are told by our realtor that there were quite a few families and that they took his card.  (Hopefully that means someone will like it.) 

So since we had to be gone, we went to open houses in our area. We had 3 on the list and saw 4 in the 2 hours that we had. We currently have a 3 bedroom townhouse and need more space because we currently use one bedroom as an office. I would like the twins to have their own room, a guest room for the parents when they come so they don't have to sleep on the hide-a-bed/couch, and possibly a suite to rent. We would also like a yard and somewhere to park the car, other than the road.

 We decided to see what open houses were available in New Westminster for the afternoon.  We came up with 3.  The first one that we went to was a 4 bedroom house, built in 1958.  We were greeted warmly by the realtor, but there were so many people already in the house - a family had congregated in the basement, sitting on the couch with children running outside in the garden - that it deterred our experience of seeing the whole house.  The realtor had a couple in the kitchen and was explaining details so we didn't really explore the kitchen at all.
In the end, we hated this house because the layout wasn't the greatest.  The garden in the backyard was overgrown, meaning no place for the children to play, and the age of the house showed.  One room in the basement was huge and had been converted into a bedroom but there was a fireplace that was scary looking -- it looked like a big empty hole.

On our way back to the car, there was another open house 2 doors down.  It was a house that I have seen listed for the past few months and rejected because it looked too small.  OH MY... when we went in, we were horrified.  Even my laid back hubby was appalled.  The door was wide open so we went in. The first thing you see to the right is the dining room where the realtor was, and drywall/dust on the floors.  "Uh.. is this house under construction?" my husband asked.  Basically, the people had started renos and stopped halfway through.  It was appalling.  Sure the kitchen had a new granite (maybe) countertop, but the floor was vinyl and I could see it was not tacked down. Half painted in places, yellow foam/pus looking stuff around the pipes.  There was a suite downstairs but hubby was scared of the stairs. They didn't look safe.  I think that he would have refused even if he wasn't wearing a baby (carrier).  We did an about face, told the realtor "EW"  and our reasons why and left.  The realtor didn't even TRY to sell us on the "potential" of the house, another reason to be turned off.

So we drove to #3.  Promising, but basement ceilings were low, and well, the house looked like it had been built in the 50's.  Loved the Realtor though. He was friendly without being fake, and I would be likely to buy something from him. Just not this house. For starters, the YELLOW kitchen cabinets would need to be replaced, as they were original to the house (1952).  The previous owners had lived there for 50 years. Hubby was impressed by the 2 car garage.  We did NOT think there was that much space.  The yard had a funky slope and we would need to fence in the yard as the alley was right off the back.

For our final house, we left New Westminster and drove to East Burnaby to what looked like a kid friendly house.  There was enough toys in the yard. First off, there is a bulldozer and a large pile of dirt in front of the house that the city was doing something with.  Not sure what. This house was built in 1951.  All 5 bedrooms were on the main floor.  It just felt like grandma's house. The bedroom floors of 2 rooms were concrete-like with a thin area rug. The only saving prospect was the kitchen. It was open and bright.  The basement was unfinished, regardless of what the listing says.  It was all exposed ceiling, pipes with most things piled into the middle. The one car garage was where the family had stuffed everything.  The realtor was trying to sell me on the fact that the driveway still had room for 2 cars.

So with that, we went home to our empty house and wondered if ANYone had come because it was locked. The realtor had gone and other than a few things moved and first floor windows locked, there was no sign that anyone had been there.  So we will have open house every weekend for the next month I guess.  Luckily, we are going to be at my mother's for the first bit of October, so I don't care what he does then.  It is hard to keep the place clean with 2 kids roaming.  Baby boy has discovered that there is more area of the 1st floor to crawl to and has ended up in the kitchen and this morning has crawled to the stairs at least 3 times before I sequestered him in the playpen.  *Sigh*

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