The Search

House hunting is difficult when you don’t know anything about the town you will eventually call home.  I had never been to Courtenay/Comox and FM had only been there during the hiring process, which was a very limited visit.  We knew that this seaside town offered easy access to the ocean and the mountains.  We knew that the airport served the military base as well as civilians, with multiple daily flights around the island and over to the mainland.  With our recent obsession with flight paths, we soon learned that bigger airlines were now flying out of Comox to Calgary and even had charters direct to Mexico.

We studied maps of the two towns and surrounding areas, trying to figure out how far away outlying communities were from the downtown core.  We endlessly plugged addresses into google maps in order to see what kind of commute different areas would have.  Our #1 priority was quiet – away from highways, airports, railway tracks and people in general.  But from there, we couldn’t decide whether we wanted a piece of  land or views of either mountains or water.  It was time to visit and have a look-see.

Over the course of January and February, FM and I made 3 trips over to C/C.  Each time, FM’s brother set up  real estate appointments at a number of houses that had caught our interest.  The two of us (sans agent) would show up at the set time and usually let ourselves into the unlocked house for sale.  We would explore a bit and then leave, making notes and taking photos as we went.  We were able to get a feel for neighbourhoods and communities, as well as property size and views.

Over time, we narrowed our search to chunks of land – an acre or more – rather than views.  We decided that we are fit and active enough to go and see wonderful views from the tops of mountains.  Maybe we will invest in view property when we are old and no longer able to seek it out on our own.  An acre or more would act as a buffer (see priority #1) and get us away from the centre of town.

Here a few photos of our favourites:

STAPLEY! We loved the rustic charm and atmosphere of this house but it needed a lot of TLC and renos (including a new septic field!) before it would be worth the $$.

Inside Stapley! Look at the beautiful wood windows, floors and beams!

ASTRA! A really unique house with exposed logs inside and beautiful landscaping outside. But – near the runway and a strange industrial business as a neighbour.

COTTON! An unobstructed mountain view and a great custom kitchen but too close (really close!) to neighbours on one side and a public pitch n putt golf course on the other.

QUADRA! What an amazing home! It had been gutted and redone with no cost spared. But the lot was small and it backed onto a public walkway. And the indoor hot tub made the whole place smell like chlorine.

WILDWOOD! This was a 20 acre property but its closest neighbour was a sand and gravel pit with an iron cross logo at the end of the driveway. Also the outbuilding had been used as a grow-op a few owners ago. Hmmm…

There were many other places that we looked at but those didn’t even make the cut for this blog.  There is a lot of crap out there and a lot of people who put ZERO effort into making their house ready for showings.  And cats – everyone has multiple cats – which does nothing for FM’s allergies.  Every house we visited had at least one cat.

Yet after much searching, we did have some luck.  Tune in next time.

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