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Spouses and HHTs

CountDC

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I take my wife as she is the one that mainly has to live with the place. Heck if it was only one of us to go I would send her as it is more important for her to be there.  I take my kids because it is easier and cheaper than trying to get a live in baby sitter for a week.

We certainly would not trust to virtual with an agent.  One case I know of - the person was moving back from Germany to Nova Scotia and did not do a HHT or DIT, totally trusted the agent.  Ended up with a house over 100 kms east of Halifax outside the geo boundary so no pld.  Once he was moved and realized his mistake in distance and time he tried to get a second move closer authorized which of course was denied.

For our own moves we had two that would have resulted in bad moves if we trusted them.  One agent took us to a place that he wouldn't get out of the car as he didn't trust the area, another that had an open train track bordering the property, tried taking us to another that he had no idea how to get to and got lost (we could see him looking at maps as he drove before he finally pulled over and admitted he was lost). Last place he showed had 5 levels (we told him minimum stairs).  After 3 days we told him no thanks and took a pmq instead.  Our last move the agent was showing us units in places we specifically stated we didn't want, one we knew was not good before we entered as there was a couple went in while we were waiting for him.  They stepped in the door, turned around and came right back out, not a good sign. 

For us a family HHT is the best way.  Luckily not posted this year.
 

PuckChaser

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CountDC said:
One case I know of - the person was moving back from Germany to Nova Scotia and did not do a HHT or DIT, totally trusted the agent.  Ended up with a house over 100 kms east of Halifax outside the geo boundary so no pld.  Once he was moved and realized his mistake in distance and time he tried to get a second move closer authorized which of course was denied.

Was this before Google existed? I would think its pretty easy nowadays to check an address against a geographic boundary map?
 

dimsum

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CountDC said:
We certainly would not trust to virtual with an agent.  One case I know of - the person was moving back from Germany to Nova Scotia and did not do a HHT or DIT, totally trusted the agent.  Ended up with a house over 100 kms east of Halifax outside the geo boundary so no pld.  Once he was moved and realized his mistake in distance and time he tried to get a second move closer authorized which of course was denied.

For our own moves we had two that would have resulted in bad moves if we trusted them. 

With things like Google Maps and FaceTime, I think those situations are pretty much over.  A few of my friends have bought virtually this HHT and had a friend in the area go in with the realtor (who is on FaceTime with the buyers) to look for sounds, smells, etc that wouldn't be easily shown on video.  Of course, then you have to trust that local friend.

The second part I wonder about is how the paperwork gets done.  I guess e-signatures for everything and emailed to realtor/lawyer/etc?
 

garb811

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Dimsum said:
With things like Google Maps and FaceTime, I think those situations are pretty much over.  A few of my friends have bought virtually this HHT and had a friend in the area go in with the realtor (who is on FaceTime with the buyers) to look for sounds, smells, etc that wouldn't be easily shown on video.  Of course, then you have to trust that local friend.

The second part I wonder about is how the paperwork gets done.  I guess e-signatures for everything and emailed to realtor/lawyer/etc?
I've sold a house, in situ, using e-signatures alone. Makes life super easy and really speeds up the offer/counter-offer process.
 
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stellarpanther

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There is zero chance I would ever purchase a home without seeing it in person.  I recall my brother tell me that when he was looking for a house, several of them look great in pictures and when he went to see them in person, thought some of them should be torn down.  I have a lot of friends and family say that a week is way too rushed to find a house and investigate an area.
 

dapaterson

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stellarpanther said:
I have a lot of friends and family say that a week is way too rushed to find a house and investigate an area.

If you do no research in advance of your HHT, you get what you deserve.
 

PPCLI Guy

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stellarpanther said:
There is zero chance I would ever purchase a home without seeing it in person.  I recall my brother tell me that when he was looking for a house, several of them look great in pictures and when he went to see them in person, thought some of them should be torn down.  I have a lot of friends and family say that a week is way too rushed to find a house and investigate an area.

Just curious.  How many HHTs do you have under your belt?
 
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stellarpanther

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Just curious.  How many HHTs do you have under your belt?

3 and all of them we ended up living on base.  I know a lot of people do find and purchase houses in that time frame but it's not something I'm comfortable doing.  I don't like applying unnecessary pressure on myself.  Several CAF mbr's I've spoken to have told me that it's better to live in a PMQ for the first year to explore the area better.

 

PPCLI Guy

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stellarpanther said:
3 and all of them we ended up living on base.  I know a lot of people do find and purchase houses in that time frame but it's not something I'm comfortable doing.  I don't like applying unnecessary pressure on myself.  Several CAF mbr's I've spoken to have told me that it's better to live in a PMQ for the first year to explore the area better.

Interesting approach.  So you bought a house within one year of arrival for each of your three postings?
 
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stellarpanther

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PPCLI Guy said:
Interesting approach.  So you bought a house within one year of arrival for each of your three postings?
No I didn't say that either.  First posting lived in PMQ, second posting lived on base for a year then bought a house sold it and moved to current location and decided to stay in PMQ's.  Thinking back, it would have been smarter to buy but we didn't.  Either way, I know a lot of people have no issues with the time that is allotted but it's not something we want to do that's all.

 

ballz

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PPCLI Guy said:
Interesting approach.  So you bought a house within one year of arrival for each of your three postings?

I've done that for two postings and find it a way better approach for me. It takes more work because I have to move my cr*p on my own accord from one house to the next, but it ensures I buy a house where I want it (perhaps the key thing).

Everyone values things differently. My old man is a journeyman carpenter by trade, he cut all the logs in the house I grew up in and built it himself. When we moved to Fort McMurray he built the house I lived in up there that they still live in. He did a whole bunch of things with that house that everyone in the market thought was nuts, including using 5/8 inch plywood for the roof (code only requires OSB) and plywood for the exterior walls (code only requires OSB). He ensured he had a 200-amp breaker instead of the standard 100. He's put a toilet in the detached garage of his last two houses. I can tell you with certainty, that man will never buy a house he hasn't personally inspected.... and would go and look at things a certified house inspector never will.

I am similar. While I can't be as saavy with inspections as he is, I'm super particular about certain things and especially about location, and you truly can't get to know a location until you've lived there. I've had to move within the posting location more times than I should have because I didn't realize how damn particular I can be about things (my own fault).

No doubt if I were posted this year and buying a house was something I was into* I would not be wasting my time or taking a risk on a virtual HHT, I'd move, get to know the place, and buy a place in a year.

*Not at the moment for other reasons.
 

SupersonicMax

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Houses you buy while in the military are only temporary...  I don’t mind not having the perfect house for a couple of years...
 

Lumber

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SupersonicMax said:
Houses you buy while in the military are only temporary...  I don’t mind not having the perfect house for a couple of years...

Ditto. I've had no problem buying within the 1 week HHT and I've loved every house I've bought so far. In fact, the only time I had issues was when I was trying to rent a property! The places I wanted to rent wanted to do reference checks first and they couldn't tell me when they would get back to me!

For buying, basically starting after Christmas in the year I'm due to get posted, my wife's favourite pastime becomes looking at houses available in the locations we're likely getting posted to (for context, I've moved twice with my current wife).

By the time of the HHT, we've done a TON of research into the city, the different neighbourhoods, commute times, crime levels, cost of living, and we have around 20-25 houses to look at.

We look at those house over the next 2-2.5 days, make a decision on day 3, and put in an offer. As @SupersonicMax says, I'm willing to settle considering this isn't my forever home. My list of "must haves" is usually very small, and it's only my "4 year" home (hopefully longer, but that hasn't happened yet...). From all my HHTs, it varies how many houses are completely unacceptable vs. how many are "good enough". I remember during my first HHT, I saw 11 houses, and only 2 were acceptable, but on my last move, I saw 23 houses and I think we only outright rejected 4 or 5 of them.

Now, if the inspections fail on both our 1st and 2nd choices, there likely is not enough time to try arrange inspections and try and buy the 3rd choice, even with extending our HHT, which means we would have to rent temporarily and buy later.

ballz said:
Everyone values things differently. 

I am similar. While I can't be as saavy with inspections as he is, I'm super particular about certain things and especially about location, and you truly can't get to know a location until you've lived there. I've had to move within the posting location more times than I should have because I didn't realize how damn particular I can be about things (my own fault).

No judgments here. To each his own! Especially when it comes to a home. I'm just a really easy going guy and a lot of things just don't bother me.

That being said, I'm curious, if you feel like sharing, what some of the particular things are that you look for that make buying a house during an HHT so difficult?
 

dimsum

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I'll be going unaccompanied on my HHT this time, but the realtor has offered to also stream FB video to my spouse while we do walkthroughs.  That might be a good compromise.
 

Navy_Pete

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My first house looked okay on the inspection, but really quickly turned into a huge reno. A lot of things you wouldn't be aware of until you looked behind drywall, but some things were perfectly normal for that area and age of house(so not really remarked upon by the inspector) ended up turning into replacing floors, windows, rewiring etc. Will never blindly trust an inspector again, so also in the club of won't buy something without crawling through it and poking it myself first. Guess experience will vary, but if it's my money, I'm not going to blindly grab another money pit. Fortunately navy sticks to the three main cities, so that part is okay, but would consider the PMQ route if I was going to somewhere outside the Hal-Vic-Ott trifecta.

Most people look around for months before buying anything, so they think we are insane for doing a week long HHT. Just depends what you are used to I guess. :dunno:
 

Lumber

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Navy_Pete said:
Most people look around for months before buying anything, so they think we are insane for doing a week long HHT. Just depends what you are used to I guess. :dunno:

The realtors love us. We show up and they KNOW they are making bank within the next week, whereas other clients of theirs could hum and haw for months, as you said, before pulling the trigger.
 

kev994

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In Winnipeg 50%+ of the basements are a disaster due to the entire city being built on clay. It doesn’t show up in photos. The other 50% are sold above asking as soon as they hit the market. I would not recommend a virtual HHT here. Your short list of houses to look at is useless before you get off the plane.
 

PuckChaser

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SupersonicMax said:
Houses you buy while in the military are only temporary...  I don’t mind not having the perfect house for a couple of years...

That's a great point. I only need my homes to be comfortable for 3-5 years, and in an area that's projected to have quick resale. I don't even mind if it doesn't appreciate in value, if I'm breaking even I'm still getting ahead with being mortgage-free in retirement, which should be everyone's goal.

Or the housing market will crash and I'll live in a van down by the river.
 

dapaterson

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Kids today may not understand that reference...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXk3teJpzGU
 

MJP

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dapaterson said:
Kids today may not understand that reference...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXk3teJpzGU

This is a new clip of a dude posted from Edmonton to Ottawa in the last few years right? 
 
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