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Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:14 pm
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Default Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

I have fallen in love with a house on mls.ca that is within our budget and in a great area and am considering , slightly, the prospect of buying something without seeing it myself.

I have my mum over there and my mother and father-in-law are heading out for a visit so they can see it too.

Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Oh my God - I'd be really wary !!

I've viewed 17 houses in three days and some are so vastly different from how they are portrayed in pictures that I had to go back and double check I was in the right property !!

The main things that you cannot guage are the 'real' location (unless you know the area/streets really well anyway), and the 'feel' of the house. This week I have been in some beautiful homes but I could not have felt more neutral about them if I tried - natural light is a big thing for me and whilst some of these homes are done out in the latest modern colours (various shades of brown/beige/taupe, call it what you like) - they are so dull and lifeless, it's a real eye-opener.

And it's also quite hard to work out the layout from photos - again, some I thought I would love, were just such a weird configuration of rooms that I was so disappointed !

And don't even get me onto gardens/yards/outside space - see my other thread !!

If you implicitly trust relatives to know your likes or understand your needs on the housing front, then send them anyway and see what they say. Like I said, I'd be really wary !

Good luck !
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

If you have someone there to see it then its better that no-one at all but I would be very wary.

It's the same as the UK, there may be areas of the house/garden not on the mls listing photos which you would not be aware of til you get there eg really bad room layout which no real place for your furniture or to get a bed in and be able to walk around, or really bad garden, or overlooking the power plant. Wherever I have been in Canada many houses in any one street can be nice, nice, shack, nice, shack, shack. Would you want to sit in your livingroom or deck and have a view of a shack?

Estate agent/realtor photos are usually taken with a special lens, making everything look more spacious. Get your folks to take extra pics for you. That way you may get to see the 'warts n all'. Good luck
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by The TWs View Post
Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
I've personally not done this as its a HUGE step to take into the unknown. Would you jump out of a plane with a parachute that has been packed by a YTS at Tesco's?
In answer to your 2nd question..... your a member here on BE and you wait til now to ask this? OF COURSE .... YOU'RE MAD ALREADY!
Seriously though, If you are getting your folks to give it a look (get them to take a video for you!), and you use an INDEPENDANT realtor (ie. NOT the one thats selling the house) to organise a survey etc. then you're not THAT mad!
Remember its probably one of the biggest decisions you'll make (well, apart from moving to Canada! ) and ulimately it's your decision - don't blame the folks if its turns out to be a lemon! :curse:

Last edited by KennyJosie; Apr 25th 2007 at 12:40 pm. Reason: just thought of the video idea
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
Oh my God - I'd be really wary !!

I've viewed 17 houses in three days and some are so vastly different from how they are portrayed in pictures that I had to go back and double check I was in the right property !!

The main things that you cannot guage are the 'real' location (unless you know the area/streets really well anyway), and the 'feel' of the house. This week I have been in some beautiful homes but I could not have felt more neutral about them if I tried - natural light is a big thing for me and whilst some of these homes are done out in the latest modern colours (various shades of brown/beige/taupe, call it what you like) - they are so dull and lifeless, it's a real eye-opener.

And it's also quite hard to work out the layout from photos - again, some I thought I would love, were just such a weird configuration of rooms that I was so disappointed !

And don't even get me onto gardens/yards/outside space - see my other thread !!

If you implicitly trust relatives to know your likes or understand your needs on the housing front, then send them anyway and see what they say. Like I said, I'd be really wary !

Good luck !

I do know the area really well (I grew up nearby) but what you are saying about the "feeling" of the house is my exact worry. We saw about 12 houses in the area in October and some we thought we'd love we didn't and vice versa.

The only thing that's getting me is that this place has an extra room in the basement suite for my in-laws which is really important. Most places we've seen have 2 bedrooms - this one has 3!

Grrrrrrrr! Can't the damn people just know we're coming and hold onto the hosue for us!
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Completely sympathise - and I'm here now and it is no less stressful !!
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by Yes-can-do View Post
If you have someone there to see it then its better that no-one at all but I would be very wary.

It's the same as the UK, there may be areas of the house/garden not on the mls listing photos which you would not be aware of til you get there eg really bad room layout which no real place for your furniture or to get a bed in and be able to walk around, or really bad garden, or overlooking the power plant. Wherever I have been in Canada many houses in any one street can be nice, nice, shack, nice, shack, shack. Would you want to sit in your livingroom or deck and have a view of a shack?

Estate agent/realtor photos are usually taken with a special lens, making everything look more spacious. Get your folks to take extra pics for you. That way you may get to see the 'warts n all'. Good luck
Realtors are masters at trick photography. I have the photos of my house in Oakville. At least, I think it's my house.

There are other tricks. If a photo includes a window and the view through the window is blurred or obscured, that has been done on purpose with creative lighing. There is something you're not meant to see.

Wide-angle and fisheye lenses will make things look bigger. If the proportions in a photo don't look right, or if the sides appear to converge as you move up, we're talking creativity.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by The TWs View Post

Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
Utterly insane to even consider it.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by iaink View Post
Utterly insane to even consider it.
Quite agree. House-buying needs tire-kicking.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by The TWs View Post
I have fallen in love with a house on mls.ca that is within our budget and in a great area and am considering , slightly, the prospect of buying something without seeing it myself.

I have my mum over there and my mother and father-in-law are heading out for a visit so they can see it too.

Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
Totally mad yes. That's a good phrase.

We viewed a few houses that we first saw on the mls site that looked attractive. (even with the slightly odd angled pictures that quite often appear there). Truly, once on the property some of them were dire.

Actually I guess that if someone is going to look at a house on your behalf it's not quite as bad as not looking at it at all but I wouldn't base a house purchase just on what someone else told me.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by The TWs View Post
I have fallen in love with a house on mls.ca that is within our budget and in a great area and am considering , slightly, the prospect of buying something without seeing it myself.

I have my mum over there and my mother and father-in-law are heading out for a visit so they can see it too.

Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
You're experiencing "fear of loss" - be careful, I can already see the agent rubbing his hands together in anticipation. DON'T DO IT! Something else will come along at the right time....
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Sometimes it unavoidable to buy without seeing, I certainly don't recommend it, but if you have to..... here's what I do if asked by my client:-

1) Take both video and stills, every room, 360degree if possible, inside, outside. Get as many angles as possible including views from all the windows. Close-ups of anything out of the ordinary.

2) draw up a floor plan, a site plan, and a location plan.

3) Use Google earth or similar for a satalite photo if available.

4) Photo/Videos of the approach to the house including photos of the neighbours homes/yards.

5) Gather details about local amenities, schools etc.

6) Check for any nasties nearby, sewerage, garbage tips etc.

If you still like the house, put in the offer conditional upon a home inspection, get a qualified home inspector to thoroughly inspect the home, one of your relative can accompany.

I would also have your relatives source a good local Realtor to act as your buyers agent, do not use the sellers agent, they have the sellers best interests to protect and not yours.

Finally, good luck, and if it all goes pear shaped, don't blame your poor relatives who are only trying to do you a favor.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by The TWs View Post
I have fallen in love with a house on mls.ca that is within our budget and in a great area and am considering , slightly, the prospect of buying something without seeing it myself.

I have my mum over there and my mother and father-in-law are heading out for a visit so they can see it too.

Has anyone else done this? Am I totally mad to even consider it?
The house may be beautiful but the neighbours may like to collect scrap cars on their driveway.
The emotions you are going through are to be expected, buying a house is exciting but in reality you do need to see it first for obvious reasons.

Calm down, good things come to those who wait
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Originally Posted by Danny B View Post
The house may be beautiful but the neighbours may like to collect scrap cars on their driveway.
)
My kids would think that was a plus point.
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Old Apr 25th 2007, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Buying a house you've never seen?!?!?!

Well if it's on MLS give us the link. You never know somebody here may be a neighbour.
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