Sunday, February 28, 2010

House Hunting In Fort McMurray

As I mentioned in my last post, Lisa and I had headed into Fort McMurray early Friday morning. For the past while we had been discussing an eventual move into town for a plethora of reasons. Aside from saving on the 200+ km we put on the odometer every time we head in, living in town would allow us to take fuller advantage of all the place has to offer. Other than the fact that my current job keeps me in Janvier, the big obstacle was just how crazy the housing market in Fort McMurray is. A radio station we listen to quite often here even has a little advertising spot that goes something like this: "Fort McMurray, home of half-a-million dollar trailers.......and 103.7FM." The only other markets I can think of where housing is so crazy expensive are Iqaluit and of course Vancouver. Compared to what I'm used to seeing in Ontario, the prices here seem a tad over-inflated. (Stories of rents as high as $4000/month for a detached house are not exaggerations.) This is understandable considering how much of a boom town the place is but clearly, some of the places for sale here are pretty underwhelming. Clearly if we were going to find a decent place without breaking the bank we had our work cut out for us.

Slowly, Lisa put together a short-list of 6-7 options and so we set out to see them Friday. Most of the houses lay in an area of the city known as Thickwood. While originally this area was high on our list of areas to live in, we soon discovered that it might just be a little beyond our budget. Some determined digging though landed us 4-5 places that seemed within the realm of possibility. A couple of places that piqued my interest turned out to be a little disappointing when viewed in person. As the day wore on, it seemed like we weren't going to find anything that stood out and that we would be left with some tough choices. The last place we were scheduled to see was actually a place Lisa had shown we and I was fervently hoping it wouldn't disappoint. We had driven by it the week before and I had like what I had seen from the outside at least. Now, as we approached it, I silently hoped that this place would have that certain "Wow" factor that had escaped us so far.

To cut a long story short, the place lived up to expectations....roomy, plenty of storage, a nice deck out back and, with the exception of the carpeting upstairs, I loved the flooring. Yes, I know I LOVE flooring. But my parents are in the flooring business so there you go. The house is a good family home that will change as the family changes. It's unique and stands out from all the other houses in the neighborhood which looked a little too "cookie cutter-ish" to me. We drove downtown where I initialed a lot of papers. After a few phone calls we ended up accepting the counter-offer which turned out to be exactly what I was hoping it would be. Now, we just have to do all the fun banking stuff and then, if all goes according to plan, we take possession March 24...and then the fun begins.


Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Craziness!! Hope it all works out for you!

Megan said...

How exciting! Great news.