My new friend Nytol

We recently gave our notice to our landlord. We must and will be out of our Toronto apartment for September 1, 2013. Which means we must and will either buy a house or rent a place in Simcoe County sometime this summer. Blimey. This is really happening.

Or is it?

A few months ago, thinking about houses at bedtime (silk curtains, granite countertops and hardwood floors… mmmmmm) would send me first into a pleasant haze, then straight to sleep. Now, thinking about houses at bedtime induces me to take Nytol — an effective drug recently added to my pharmaceutical lexicon.

We just can’t seem to agree on what house to buy. What I love, he doesn’t. What he loves is ugly. And after ten years of renting, we just don’t want to rent anymore.

Which is why I’m moving (temporarily, I hope) into my teenhood bedroom at my mom’s Midland house in a week. From that tiny “terracotta”-painted (i.e. poo brown) shrine to my youth, I can help with my sister Alicia’s engagement party, volunteer, job hunt, go to the beach, hang out with my avó, and drive around like a crazy person in search of “for rent” and “for sale by owner” signs. My amazing mother will feed me and do my laundry.

This is my mom's house. Beautiful, but can it hold three grown women?

This is my mom’s house. Beautiful, but can it hold three grown women?

Mom, I love you. Thank you for being a regular reader of this blog. But I’m a bit scared of living with you and Geneviève. Three women, one bathroom. Plus it’s been ten years since I lived with a parent.

I started packing today and it’s harder than I thought. Just how many bags does one need for an indefinite stay in a small, storagely-challenged room?

I say indefinite stay, but there is a ray of hope in the vast gloom of this house hunt. JF and I recently set a drop dead date. On July 22, we will either make an offer on this house in Coldwater (which we both love — we would just prefer Elmvale) or choose a house to rent.

House in Coldwater that we both love. If only it was in Elmvale.

House in Coldwater that we both love. If only it was in Elmvale.

We’ve committed. Crossed our hearts. Pinky swore. But whether we will actually be able to make a decision on July 22 remains to be seen.

What I know for sure is that for the next few months, I will have a foot in both worlds. JF will be working away in Toronto while I try to start building our new life in Simcoe County.

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House Hunting — Not for the Faint of Heart

Holy. Choosing a house is hard.

Our quest for the perfect home has now spanned four weeks, bazillions of google street view searches, and at least 25 in-person showings across about a dozen towns. Tobias has been earning his keep.

With guidance from our trusty real estate agent, we have bravely picked through yards strewn with debris, held our breath through homes that reek of cat pee, ducked into dark crawlspaces, and faced angry barking dogs.

Lately I’ve been spending more time with my new friend realtor.ca than with any of my human friends. Or JF, for that matter.

Remember our tale of two houses? Well, multiply that by three. We have:

–       The pretty house in Elmvale that’s too expensive (my Elmvale house from post 2)

–       The four floor, six bedroom mansion in Midland that’s too big

–       The lovely home in Coldwater that’s too far

–       The run-down house in Elmvale that has potential (JF’s Elmvale house from post 2)

–       The farmhouse in Hillsdale that doesn’t have a working kitchen or insulation

–       The expensive Midland house with good resale value, but only two bedrooms

This house has six bedrooms, four floors, and a butler's staircase. Crazytown.

This house has six bedrooms, four floors, and a butler’s staircase. Crazytown.

None of these houses are perfect. Not a single one.  And we have come within inches of making offers on them all.

This whole thing is rather complicated because much as JF and I have a similar vision for our future lifestyle, we can’t seem to agree on two important things: location and house style. I favour Midland and red brick victorians. He wants Horseshoe Valley Road and a “well maintained old person’s house” (his words). We may as well want different continents.

Woe is me.

What I’m trying to focus on tonight is this: whatever house we choose, we will make it a great home. We will love it, live in it, beautify it, host dinner parties in it, and be happy. Because that’s just our M.O.

But golly, do I ever wish we would get to the finish line, already.