2008-03-29

House Hunting In Merrit Part II

I feel like sharing the experience of purchasing our first home- the things a new, first time buyer must go through when working with a Realtor.
I've actually started a journal about this on real paper with a real pen in hand and, my-oh-my, the words really start flying off that pen! So much so in fact that I realize there might be too much information to convey on the blog unless I commit to it as a true writing project and break it up into sections...the writing is based heavily on my feelings, assumptions and speculations.
There are some practical and ethical issues to consider when sharing this as well, one of them being that the Realtor may possibly one day come across this blog and see himself the way I perceive him which so far has not been very favorable although he's stepped up his game lately. You see, Realtors are agents on a commission and all the ones we've spoken too are quite far removed from us. We are strangers to them- to all appearances we are urbanites looking to make a good deal out in the countryside and in truth, thats what we are.
A few links that explain some things you have to be aware of in using a realtor from various sites- none of them are included to promote anyone, simply there to read between the lines. ;)
Who Does Your Realtor Work For?
Dual Agency Defined
About Agency Disclosure
More options...
But we are also pretty straight forward people with pretty simple needs embarking on settling in a new community and quite optimistic about fitting in. We are also very cautious about our spending and extremely wary of 'signing on the dotted line' for the biggest purchase of our lives. I will even admit to being completely suspicious and distrusting of anyone on a commission; I was a carny for 8 years and frankly many of my co-workers couldn't understand why I could never bring myself to bilk a customer of as much money as I suspected he was prepared to shell out. The normal thing to do is get the customer to spend as much as possible while staying within the legal framework of the game while at the same time making sure he is having a good time doing so. We are strangers after all. :)
But we won't be strangers forever. I love Merritt and can see myself living there for a long time. My husband loves it too- loads of hunting and fishing places abound.
The only thing slowing us down at this point is a refusal to commit to any home that might contain vermiculite insulation- particularly the brand known as Zonalite which was commonly used as an insulating material in older homes. Zonolite contained large amounts of asbestos. I don't want to be afraid to go into my own attic - as far as I'm concerned the attic is a place where people should be able to store things- not ignore out of fear of being poisoned.
CBC Zonolite article
CTV news coverage on the Zolonite issues in Canada.
Zolonite for Realtors

3 comments:

Kristine said...

I'm considering buying a condo here in Traverse City right now, and part of what is holding me up is the whole process of working for a realtor. I worked for one of the realty firms in town for a short time, so I know some realtors, by no means all, but some, can be less than honest.

I hope you find a house you can love. Personally, I believe that when the time is right the right place to live will find you.

Artemis - 12monthsOFwinter said...

Thank you Kristine- I wish you luck as well.

Blessed said...

Good luck finding a new house. We bought this one a little too quickly and have regretted it several times - fortunately we did buy it "right" (it was a FSBO that needed some TLC and we got it for about $15,000 less than market value at the time) so we have quite a bit of equity 9 years later and will hopefully get to move on in the next year or two at the most.