Anne Hopkinson sits on the front porch of her rented home on St. Patrick street in Oak Bay. While she and her husband rent

HOMEFINDER – The one that got away

Savvy buyers have to be on the ready

Peter and Anne Hopkinson moved to Oak Bay in mid-May after living in Burnaby for more than 35 years.

The couple have also lived overseas, including a stint in Algiers.

The decision to move to Oak Bay was an easy one says Anne. “We had been here several times and knew how lovely it is. Then our daughter Jean and her family moved from Ontario to here and – here we are.”

The couple is enjoying the area, but are still on the hunt for the perfect Oak Bay home.

When Anne saw our HomeFinder section asking readers to share their house hunting story, this is what she had to say:

“Damn and blast, we missed the house we should have bought!

The beautiful home on St. David Street sold on the day of its open house – but not to us, to some other luckier and quicker buyer. You cannot dawdle in the Oak Bay housing market. The good ones go faster than you can make a full price offer.

We were in the final countdown of a trip to Sicily and Paris; suitcases open on the bed, lists checked off, and on the computer for early check in. Then I saw the listing on St. David Street. Perfect. We phoned Eamon Coll, our real estate agent, who told us there was already an offer. Damn and blast. Bad timing. I’m ashamed to say I prayed for the offer to fall through, but it didn’t.

On the flight above the North Pole platitudes began to ease the sting, and I accepted that there really would be another house, maybe even a better one, and we would have time to search while we rented in the neighbourhood. Any lingering regrets soon evaporated in the Sicilian sunshine.

So here we are now, renting on St. Patrick Street, scanning the neighbourhood for signs, emailing Eamon for viewings, and not thinking about “the house that got away.” Hope the new owners love it, and are not worried about a strange woman in a white convertible who keeps driving past their home.

Hey, are you thinking of selling your home?”

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