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Friday, July 14, 2017

Is the grass really greener on the other side?

Whether it’s a house, a car, jewelry or something else, just about everyone is familiar with the saying … what I like I can’t afford, what I can afford I don’t like. I find this particularly true in my search for a new home.

I’ve seen about 100 condos online and have visited 3. To say that it’s not going very well is putting it mildly.

Last week I saw a very nice place. The condo had a luxurious white kitchen, a modern bathroom, beautiful wooden floors and big walls. I called the agent, but by the time an appointment could be made for a viewing, the unit was sold. I could have kicked myself. Such a beautiful place, for such a good price and reasonable maintenance fees. I was so angry, I could have scared a snake.

As luck would have it though, three days later another unit became available in the same building. The unit was not as nice, but for the asking price we could easily install a new kitchen, bathroom, and floors and make it to our liking. I called the agent and arrangements were made to visit the building the next day.

The first disappointment was the location. The intersection was Jane and Finch, an area known for its high crime rate. The second disappointment was the building. OMG I looked up at the façade I thought … I can’t possibly live here. As for the unit … I was quicker out than in. It was just terrible.

Suddenly I didn’t feel so bad about missing the first unit in that same building, just one floor below.

The second unit that I visited was in a rundown building, but the unit itself was beautiful, completely redone and modernized. I loved it, but unfortunately, it was too small.

The third I saw online yesterday, loved it on sight, called the agent and an appointment was made for 5:00 p.m. This time, I hit the jackpot. The neighborhood was nice, the building was nice with a charming garden, and the unit itself … hmmm, very, very nice. But, you might think … yeah, there was a but. Again, the place was too small. 

When pictures of properties are taken to publish online, they are taken with a fisheye lens. While they give a nice view of the various rooms, the view is distorted and makes the rooms appear bigger as what they actually are.

Other than too small, the place was also rather dark. The windows weren’t big enough to light up the living room. So it was a no go.

This morning I came across another nice unit. A stacked condo of 1200 square feet for a very good price. Too good to be true actually. As I clicked through the pictures I couldn’t find fault though. The kitchen had nice white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, a renovated bathroom, good floors, large walls and a large balcony.

Before requesting a viewing I did some research online and found out that no less than 17 units were sold in that building in 2016 and 7 units were sold between January and June 2017.  For a building with under 50 units, those numbers were alarming high.

I soon found out why. Several units had reported bedbugs. Well, that’s all I needed to know. No matter how cheap or how beautiful a unit is if there’s mention of bedbugs I run like hell.

I'll keep on looking, but I very much fear that I won’t find anything. None of the units are as big as where I live now, none of the balconies are as big, none of them have the view my unit has, and none of them are in a location where a supermarket, a bowling alley, and public transportation are within walking distance.

So perhaps the grass isn’t greener on the other side.

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