we’ve arrived and are busy looking at houses and lands.
(posted from my itouch)
Update 30 April 2011
It has been a hectic two days. We drove from Auckland to Thames and visited Andrew’s new workplace, and then drove on to our new temporary home here in Te Puru, about ten minutes north of Thames. We’ll stay here until we find a home to buy.
Almost immediately upon our arrival, we took off to look at houses and lands. The first realtor, Tracey, took us around for two hours and showed us several places that we selected. She also tried to show us a few places that are out of our price range, evidently not understanding that we have a strict budget for purchasing. I guess realtors often want to sell the higher priced place so that they can receive a higher commission. But we saw the places we wanted to see and very much liked a few of them.
After viewing houses and lands, we drove into Thames to do a bit of grocery shopping, and we had a small dinner at McDonalds. We hadn’t planned to dine there, but they have free internet, and we do like some of their food.
This morning we drove to Thames to meet with another realtor, Peter. He wouldn’t listen at all to what we were wanting. I was frustrated with him from the get-go. He drove us all over Thames, showing us houses that are side by side with other homes. We made it abundantly clear that we were wanting a bit of space between our place and the next, or at least the resemblance of privacy (high hedges or fences) if the houses are near each other.
After a wasted hour and a half, we finally made him to understand what we were wanting, and he drove up the coast with us and showed us two places, one of which was again right next to its two neighbors. Finally, he took us to what I would call a Condo but he and Andrew call a “holiday unit”. Again, side by side, even with common walls (the next unit shares the walls of this unit), but at least it was on a very wide open space with very nice views. We like this place.
After lunch and a brief rest, we drove to an open house of a very expensive Villa (large old house) on a large plot of land. Andrew thought the house is too large, and he thought I wouldn’t like it, but actually, this is one of my top two or three so far. We will likely make a VERY low ball offer on this place, but it sounds like the owner is very motivated to sell.
Then we drove back into Thames and visited another realtor, Julie. She took us to a couple of places here in Te Puru and immediately understood what we were looking for. She had a list of four or five others she had planned to show us, but she skipped past those to show us just a couple more that might fit our needs. I liked one large home on a creek, but Andrew doesn’t like that type of house.
When Julie dropped us off, she told us that she would “do some homework” and talk with her co-workers and find other places that fit what we want. Now THIS is the kind of realtor I enjoy working with, one who goes above and beyond the call of duty, and finds places that actually are what we are wanting to see, rather than trying to sell us something that we don’t want. I look forward to hearing from her tomorrow, to find out what she has discovered for us.