Monday, August 21, 2017

Finding Our Home

finding our home
We have had our home for just over a month now and things are finally starting to come together. We finally having dining room chairs in the house and have moved the patio chairs back outside, our fireplace arrived a few days ago and I have almost chosen curtains for the living room and dining room. Everyone says the finishing touches always take the longest, and I can now confirm that they are right! 

When we decided to start looking for a house last winter we started the process like most people do now-a-days: we started shopping online. I looked at hundreds of properties, dreamed about what it might be like to live in a mansion, contemplated the adventure of a fixer upper and had a ball looking through all the houses available.

Eventually I snapped out of the dreamland I was living in and starting looking at properties that were more realistic for our budget and that only needed a renovation that we could conceivably take on (i.e. a very small one!). I seemed to end up on the Keller Williams site quite often based on the houses that were appealing to me and so I signed up for notifications from Charlie Vienneau's website so that I would get an email when new listings came on the market. To my surprise I received an email from Charlie the next day letting me know that if I was interested in a house he could help me as a buyer and could show me all listings (unless they were exclusive) and was not limited to showing only his listings.

I don't know about you, but before receiving this email I had no idea I could use a realtor (and for free I might add!) to help me find a house! I felt relieved and figured we had nothing to lose so why not give Charlie an idea of what we were looking for and see what he could find for us.
finding our home
About a week later we met with Charlie - he gave us printouts of all the houses that met our criteria which included a bit more information than what is provided online. Online you do not typically see the monthly electricity bill, heating bill or property taxes but this information was all provided in the printouts. I loved this since it gave us the true overall picture of what our monthly costs would be in any of the houses we were considering. In true Jenna fashion I made up a spreadsheet to compare the numbers and was glad I did! Just because a house was more expensive didn't always make it a bad deal if the less expensive house had a much higher property tax bill or electricity expenses. It was certainly an exercise worth doing.

On a side note for a minute... you might be wondering how we chose Charlie? It wasn't because of his initial email that we chose him although that did have something to do with it. I knew Charlie's daughters when I was in high school and knew of Charlie as a real-estate agent but didn't know him well. Kind of one of those people that I would say hi to, but not be 100% sure if he knew who I was. So the honest truth is that I thought he would be perfect since he has a good reputation and I kind of knew him, but not well enough that if it didn't go well it would be awkward to end up hating each other. Thankfully, it turned out quite the opposite and the experience was extremely good!

Back to the house hunting...

We narrowed down the houses to 5 that we wanted to see. Charlie lined up visits to all 5 of them (and even a 6th we added at the last minute) on a Saturday morning. For anyone that has ever organized events before or tried to line up meetings you can appreciate how much time and effort we saved by having Charlie line up the visits with all of the other realtors and homeowners! Only 1 out of the 6 houses we visited that day was one of Charlie's listings so there was quite a bit of coordination behind the scenes that we didn't have to worry about. All we had to do was show up at house #1 at 11am. It was kind of like being on Property Brothers, haha.

In the end we went back to the house we ended up buying 1 more time and visited a 7th property that was listed after our initial house hunting Saturday before making our offer. Charlie was essential in advising us in what we should and should not ask for in our offer, what we should expect the seller to agree to or what would be crazy of us to ask for as well as guiding us on what he felt would be a fair price offer for us to begin with. In the end, it was pretty obvious that he knew what he was doing since our offer was accepted within 24 hours without any changes to what we had asked for!

When you are looking 
for your next house: 
I would strongly recommend using a realtor! They know the area better than you do, they have an idea of the neighbourhood (and even in the neighbours in some cases!) and as a buyer you are not paying anything extra to have them work for you - it's really a win win.

Last, but certainly not least the Mr., Little Dude and I would like to thank Charlie for working around our crazy schedules - meeting us at his office on a Sunday morning and doing house tours at 9:00pm. Charlie's flexibility and commitment to helping us find the home that suited us the best was second to none. We never once felt rushed or pressured - we were encouraged through the entire process to take our time, get the feeling, and think about any of the houses as long as we wanted. Having Charlie as a realtor truly made buying our first home a great experience.

My shoes for that: Miss L Fire "Home Sweet Home" shoes
finding our home


Buying or selling a house?! Give Charlie a call 
he would be delighted to help you :)

Charlie and I had so much fun working together we decided why stop once the house closed - a special thank you for sponsoring this post and helping me share my story with other home buyers. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.




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