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Home buying is stressful

Kingston real estate

Have you ever thought about buying a house? I mean, have you seriously ever thought of buying a house? Or have you bought a house? Because any advice would be greatly appreciated at this time in my life!

Just five years ago, I would have said you were crazy if you thought I could become one of those A-list members they call home owners. I couldn’t fathom the thought. Student and credit card debts were abundant and the only nutritional value to my dinner for years was an itty bitty dollop of canned tomato sauce added to my cheap store brand pasta. Besides, only responsible and respectable people owned homes.

Times have changed since then. I’ve worked my way out of debt the regular hard way by getting a paying job and paying down those debts. The days of crazy collector calls are all but a faint memory. Today, I’m actually honestly thinking about and slowly working up to buying a house.

Why is it so scary?! Every time I think about home ownership, I get elated and a bit nauseous. Am I responsible enough to own a home? If the roof caved in, would I know what to do? If the basement flooded, how do I bail myself out? Please tell me I’m not the only one who worries about these things.

The fact is I’m very early in the house buying stages. I just filled out a random pre-approval application for a mortgage. It’s scary how much homes cost! To my surprise and delight, I was approved. I have the PDF file saved to both my work and home computer desktops. I cried when I received the approval. Damn, this is an emotional rollercoaster ride!

There is one piece of advice I can share to those who are thinking of buying their first home. You should attend a first time home buyer’s seminar. Honestly, it isn’t as scary as you may think. These seminars normally consist of mortgage specialists, realtors (they aren’t as scary as I thought), lawyers, home inspectors, CMHC professionals, insurance people, and first time home buyers. Some of these first timers had their parents with them making a little certain drag queen feel extra old. I found the seminar very informative especially the presentation from the CMHC professional.

Through the grapevine, I’ve been told of another first time home buyer’s and seller’s seminar taking place soon. If you are seriously thinking of home ownership or maybe selling your home (for real cheap to a nice and friendly drag queen), sign up for the seminar! There are no fees. It will be at the Isabel Turner Library (Cat Centre) on Wednesday, April 15th at 7pm. The organizers are asking that you RSVP as seating is limited. Call Martin Spilchen at 613-539-2100 or Cindy Ioannidis (friends call her Cindy I) at 613-328-9781.

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Tyffanie Morgan

Tyffanie Morgan has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. As the city's one and only drag queen, Tyffanie Morgan's contributions to Kingstonist revolve around the local LGBTQ scene and activism. Tyffanie also offers commentary regarding pedestrian rights, public transit, and neighbourhood politics. Learn more about Tyffanie...

4 thoughts on “Home buying is stressful

  • April 9, 2009 at 11:26 am
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    We purchased our first house less than a year ago, and it has been quite the ride. You sort of figure things out as you go, from making an offer, to the home inspection, and then comes the renos and projects after the fact. We’ve yet to have a flood, or a leak (knock on wood), while the worst thing that broken was a hinge on the gate outside (easily fixable). My advice would be to try and enjoy the process, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

  • April 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm
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    We bought our first home last summer too. It went pretty smoothly I think! It’s an older home, 60+ years, but that’s part of the charm and a major reason for why we bought it.

    Your home inspector will take care of any concerns you have regarding upcoming major work required. Home inspectors are your friend. I’d highly recommend not letting your agent pick one for you. I recommend going with Cam Allen of All-Tech. My real estate agent joked with me that agents never recommend Cam because he *will* tell you to walk away from the purchase immediately instead of just politely warning you there might be a tiny bit of mold. And to his credit after recommending my friend use him he did that very thing. 30mins into a 2hr inspection Cam stopped my friend and said ‘listen, we can continue, but you don’t want to buy this house so we should stop now’. And on top of that gave my friend a credit towards the next inspection.

  • April 10, 2009 at 5:53 am
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    Things to keep in mind:

    1. Don't get emotionally attached to a prospective house – be prepared to lose to a better offer or walk from a higher counter offer – bidding wars only help the agent;

    2. Use a different agent than the one representing the seller;

    3. Get a good home inspection report and be prepared to factor in repair costs into your offer….

    cheers, junior

  • April 12, 2009 at 10:46 am
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    Not all of us agents are as bad as the reputation would have it. Yes I got into the business as I was screwed over by my agent and didn’t want the same thing to happen to others but quite a few of us are honest and sincere people.

    We do receive a commission, yes, but our commission is just like a paycheque to everyone else.

    I love the job I do and love helping people looking to buy find that perfect home. No house is “perfect” and that is why we have our home inspectors to point out any deficiencies and let the buyer make an informed decision. I had clients that purchased a 100 year old house in the fruit belt for $140,000. Mr Allen was then home inspector and he pointed out quite a few deficiencies that kind of scared my clients and they weren’t sure anymore. We brought in the professionals, plumbers, electricians etc and the professionals gave a different outlook on the situation. Yes there was galvanized piping in the house, to be expected in a 100 year old home, do you run from the deal? Maybe, but there are also SOLUTIONS to the problem. What I am saying is that this was a single detached 100 year old home being bought for $140,000 of course there is going to be issues. Inform the seller and let him/her make the decision.

    Registered Realtors are highly educated and trained in the home buying and selling process. We hold a legitamate license and are suppose to uphold a strict code of ethics.

    One suggestion, before hiring a realtor, do a background check on http://www.reco.on.ca

    Thanks for reading my response, I do get frustrated with the reputation that I get associated with because to my job. But I do love my job and I love helping others find that perfect home. I is the biggest purchase one will ever make. If any of you are thinking of buying or selling please come to the seminar.

    Thanks again,

    Cindy

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