The Search Begins

“Good luck. Hope you like it,” said the tall, attractive fellow as I exited the elevator with my real estate agent.

He and his equally tall, fit friend in the elevator were smiling at me, and I smiled a “thank you” in return.

As we headed down the hall towards a unit in the trendy, new-ish Mutual Street condo, I’d already prepared myself for the fact the place would be tiny. I wasn’t kidding myself; I was really going for curiosity’s sake.

The moment after my agent turned the key in the lock and pushed the door open, I found out just HOW TINY this place was.

The bathroom was just big enough to turn around in – once.

The bedroom was so small, there was a curtain over the “entrance”, instead of a standard wall with a door. And there was nothing separating the “kitchen” from the “living room”.

The best feature was probably the balcony.

In all, the condo was barely 430 square feet, if that. And it was selling for nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

And thus, that warm Monday night was my official introduction to the world of real estate.

Or, as I like to call it, Condo Hunt 2009.

It’s been about six years of saving … nearly two years of pining, whinging and yowling about wanting my own place … and about four or five months of restlessness and anxiety just to get to the “property hunting” phase, never mind obsessively staring at stretched digital photos on MLS. (Ah, house porn).

Of course, because of low interest rates, I’m now up against a three-alarm-fire of a real estate market … which means four words I dread most in the glossary of real estate vocabulary –

“Multiple offers” and “Bidding war”.

As a single woman, I’m screwed against couples, and other rich singles.

That is, if a property will stay on the market long enough for me to even look at it, never mind make an offer. The units my agent e-mails me –  to see if I’m interested – are usually gone within a few days of appearing on the market.

And from what my real estate agent said to me this evening, it sounds like this scary scenario will likely continue into the fall.

Since starting this week, I’ve only seen four units. That’s actually not bad. But from the sounds of it,  the odds of me finding something this year, this fall, are probably 10-1. Scratch that –  more like 500-1.

Oh, well.

At least I’m still saving money.