Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Highlights from our house hunting trip (a super long ramble about a year ago)

(4.5 months pregnant (I know, I was tiny)) 

Read on if you want to see pictures of houses we didn't buy, and hear about the stress of buying a house and moving and having a baby and starting a new job all at once.

Technically, this all started in April 2013. In April I was halfway through my pregnancy, and I was thinking/worrying about childcare. I was working in three clinics, doing overnights twice a month, driving for hours and hours and hours every week. I had a sitter lined up in one of the towns I worked in, but nothing in the town we lived, and nothing in Twillingate, the tiny fishing village where it is impossible to find childcare. I was stressed. Jon was also stressed, and frequently perusing the job bank in the province, just out of curiosity. When he came upon a clinic that would take both of us, and would require only 10 minutes of driving a day, and would have us home by 5:05 every night, he signed us up for an interview. I was so not into it. My thoughts were: I'm pregnant! We can't move! My doctor is here! We did the interview, discussed for hours and hours, told our boss we were done, and signed a new contract. I was even more stressed. The new job meant we would have to be apart for the last few months of my pregnancy, and it meant moving, leaving my closest friend, etc.

So we booked an appointment with the first realtor that comes up when you google Clarenville realty, and we started looking at houses. Renting was not an option for us because it was $3000 a month for a basic 2-bed 2-bath apartment here. Insane. I told the realtor that we wanted to buy a house that very day. I told him we had no time to mess around. He was like, no one buys a house the first day they start looking. I was like, no, show us something cool.

This one was apparently a really good deal, and would be snapped up within days if we weren't quick. I wasn't loving the intense decor. 

This one was cool, and it had that sweet sparkly light, but it was a corner lot, and had a huge garage where a backyard belonged.

This one was a brand new split entry one minute from our work. We made an offer, but it had been sold hours before.

This one was my favorite. The green room would have been Cohen's. But. It had an ancient sawmill right behind it that was super rusty and hideous, complete with piles of rotting wood everywhere, and piles of old snowmobile parts. The realtor told us we would never sell it later due to the sawmill, which the owner refused to clean up.  We live down the road from this one now, and the people who bought it put up a fence, and it looks seriously lovely.

This one, we almost bought because it looked like the owners were really cool and young, with similar interests as us. Haha. Such a good reason to buy a house. The bikes alone kept Jon interested for a while.

This is the same house. I loved the artwork on the walls, the plants. Ya know, stuff that doesn't come with a house when you buy it.  And there was only one bathroom, which was a no-go for me.

This is the house we bought. I thought it was so ugly, a huge red box.

This one was a fixer upper. Apparently this house was  top-of-the-line, super modern at some point in time. I guess black appliances have had their day in the sun. And floral wallpapered backsplashes, and tiled counters.

Same house. Sweet walk-through cushion-floored bathroom that leads to a carpeted padded bar area. You just cannot go wrong with all that.

Same house. This was a big selling feature. You chuck wood into it and get heat. Thanks, but no. This particular property also boasted two random buildings in the backyard. The realtor didn't have a key for them, but they would make a good...what? He couldn't think of any examples. Also, the master bedroom had a sink but no toilet or shower.

We saw a lot more houses than that. We never found one that we were really into, so Jon and I just said, we'll take that red one. It was brand new and it had two bathrooms. So that is why last summer at around this time Jon was painting the walls of our brand new house while I was nursing a newborn.  And that's why we are so looking forward to this year's vacation, which we are starting on Thursday. We are heading to Cavendish beach on PEI, and we won't be doing any painting, house-hunting, or breastfeeding. I am pumped.


  1. I can only imagine how challenging it is to find the perfect house, let alone do it in a day. House hunting usually takes some time, but you bought your new house within a day! I’m sure the renovations are making that red house feel a lot more like home. Hope you could host a house tour one time. How are you now? :)

    Amos Daniel

  2. It’s not as bad as you think. It's just a little peculiar, which is nothing a bit of renovation can’t fix. You mentioned something about painting the walls last summer; I’m sure that made a difference. Anyway, how does it look like now? I hope the paints and some decors here and there did the trick to make you feel more comfortable about the house.

    Willard Evans @ Wow Homes

  3. That’s probably one of the shortest house hunting trip in the history. Haha! Well, none of you were very picky in the first place, so that obviously eased up the process. The house you picked wasn’t as awful as you put it. After all, it’s brand new; that means you won’t be in for a major repair or have hidden damages which some second-hand houses may come with. And it leaves you a free reign on how you plan to set it up when you settle in. So good luck, and have a great day!

    Devin Newton @ Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

  4. House hunting when you're pregnant is torture. My husband and I moved for work when I was eight months pregnant, so I feel your pain. It was also July in North Carolina, and let me tell you, I was not a happy camper. I like the green bedroom house too. But I'm sure you're happy with the red box now.

    Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate


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