Shortly after returning from vacation in Bali, where my wife and I eloped, we further shocked our friends and family by announcing we bought a house. We had been looking for a house in the super-hot Toronto market for a few months. And like most eager house hunters we dutifully scoured mls.ca, hoping to uncover that mis-priced bargain, or the ugly duckling that we could turn in to a beautiful swan. At last after losing multiple bidding wars, expanding our search area, decreasing our search criteria, and dragging our poor real estate agent everywhere from Etobicoke to Riverdale, we finally found a house that we'll love, in a neighbourhood that we love.
When we first set out looking for houses, we wanted an older fully detached house with lots of character in an established neighbourhood, where we could walk to shops and cafes. But when we factored in the cost of renovations, and the real price at which homes transacted, we soon realized we would have to revise our criteria to realistically afford a house that we loved. What we were not willing to sacrifice was location and character. What we ended up with is a three storey "Victorian" (or "Bay-n-gable" to be more accurate) semi-detached house, dating from the late 1800's, in Roncesvalles Village (a neighbourhood in Toronto's west end). From our new house it will be a short walk to the cafes and shops along Roncesvalles, or the Antique stores along West Queen West. Our transaction doesn't close for a few months, so we'll have all winter to think of how we're going to renovate. And when we begin renovating, we hope to document our journey in this little blog, and possibly be a resource for other home owners going through their own renovations.