My house hunting may be over. I have an accepted offer on a house, the financing is secured, insurability is almost there (one glitch to be overcome), and the building inspection just happened. My inspector is grumpy and negative-minded when it comes to this sort of thing, but he OK'ed it. Besides which, I like the house and the more I see of it the more I like it. What's not to like, it's my old house.
I used to own this house, I lived in it for six years and then rented it out for another eleven before selling it to the current owners. They bought the place at a bargain basement price because eleven years of rental and lousy property management had taken its toll on the house. They put a lot of work into restoring and improving it, had three babies while living there and finally moved out because it was just big enough for a family of four but not for a family of five. They rented it out for another five years before I offered to buy it back from them.
I think I have already described my first visit to the house, on my second visit the current owner happened to drop by and gave me and the real estate agent a bit of a tour of the place, showing off all the work he had done on it. A lot of it was behind-the-scenes invisible work, rewiring and replumbing and insulating and even rebuilding the roof. The obvious stuff was the hardwood flooring and thermal pane windows and finished basement, the second bathroom and the wood stove chimney. Less obvious was the wiring for sound of the basement rec room (it's home theatre-ready), and fixing the basement leak. Not to mention the plum tree, the grape arbour, the gooseberry and quince bushes, and flowering shrubs and perennials in the front and back yards. After his tour I felt like I really was getting a bargain.
There are a couple of down sides to this house. One is that I won't be here for the closing date, and the other is that the owner has lined up tenants to move in before the closing date and to stay for an as-yet-unspecified amount of time. I am aiming for them to be out next spring, but I suspect they will want to stay longer and I am not sure yet of the legal requirements here for such things. So buying this house is a little anti-climactic, I won't be able to walk into an empty house on closing day and say, Mine!
On the other hand. It feels good. I look forward to moving in. I have all winter to pack up and arrange moving details, one more winter of weaving and woodcarving classes, and all the other things Toronto has to offer.