My name is Claudia Amendola. I am a grade 7 and 8 special education teacher of a Gifted classroom. I’m an animal lover, a bibliophile, and a Parisian at heart who runs the lifestyle blog lifeofcloud.net
Where is your home?
Queenston and Parkdale, Hamilton ON.
How long have you owned your home?
I signed the papers February 3 rd 2012 and moved in April 20 th , 2012
Why did you decide to purchase a home?
I was renting a condo in the downtown Hamilton area and I realized the rent of my condo was the same as a mortgage would be. I had been saving a down-payment for years and was finally in a permanent position with work, so I thought it was finally time to make the investment.
What were you looking for in a home? And did you get what you were looking for?
I wanted to buy something that needed minimal work, something move-in ready. I’m not handy and I don’t have connections with individuals who are handy. I wanted something small but something with enough space for my two dogs (and I had intentions of getting more animals in the future). I didn’t want any carpet because of my allergies, and I wanted a backyard with easy maintenance because I don’t have a green thumb. I also wanted my neighbourhood to feel safe and clean, with convenient locations for groceries and quick purchases, which would also help with my selling of the house, down the line.
Describe your house hunting process:
It wasn’t by any means easy, and I was glad to have an agent on board, doing the hunting for me. I had put a few offers on houses prior to this one (it was shown to me, but it had a pending offer, I didn’t bother with it). The offers on the other houses fell through and I shed a lot of tears, thinking I wouldn’t be able to afford something. You see, I was buying on my own. There was no double-income, no person to fall back on, so I had strict guidelines for my pricing and purchasing that I couldn’t bend. Eventually, my agent told me that my house was back on the market, because the terms of the original buyer fell through. This family was in a rush to move, so it didn’t take long for them to move forward and accept my offer.
What was the most stressful part of the house hunting process?
The most stressful part was seeing your offers fall through or be beat by other people bidding on the same house. When you put an offer in, you immediately start to imagine yourself in this house; it becomes yours. And to have that image ripped away from you was heartbreaking.
What advice do you have for house hunters?
Don’t do it alone. Have support from family, get an agent to help you. It lessens the work, the weight of the loss of potential home buying, and the time it takes to find your perfect house. And DO NOT go beyond what you can truly afford. Aim for the lowest, so you’re not putting yourself in a risky position down the line.
Did anything surprise you about the house after you bought it?
The inspector told me a lot of what needed to be done on the house over the next five years, but what surprised me was how old houses have so many secret things that need to be done, that the inspector doesn’t catch on a walk-around. Also, keeping up with maintenance and yard work and the like is a LOT of work and immensely time consuming! The money and the cleaning does not stop!
What work have you done on the house?
Eaves troughs, pipe replacement, shower installation, bathtub drain fixing (covered by Enercare), new roof.
What advice do you have for new homeowners?
It won’t feel like an investment at first. It will feel like you’re putting endless money into this home. But know that the buy-back is worth it, know that your work is worth it. It’s worth keeping up with the expensive things that need your attention because it all comes back to you, tenfold.
Follow Claudia on: