Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Roller Coaster Of Buying A House

3) Buy a house.
     (Self explanatory.)
This past week I checked off one of the biggest, and most exciting, things on my "41 Before 41" list. And no, it wasn't going to a Canadian Target. Although that did rate a close second :)

As soon as we moved to Ontario last May we knew that we would shortly be undergoing the process of buying a house. My good friend, Karen, started sending us listings from MLS -- the website to look for houses. Dave and I went to check out a house in September which looked like an awesome possibility. We just wanted to see it because, at that point, we knew we were looking to buy in the spring and we also knew that checking out a house then was unrealistic. We hadn't even figured out our financing at that point!

At the house in September we met the realtor, Scott, and got a really great impression of him. So we started working with him. September and October and November were a blur of trying to get financing arranged, sending Scott a map of our "preferred area" and starting to look at some houses. Also, since we knew we couldn't really buy before February or March, we were taking our time.

We looked at a few houses in the fall but we weren't really excited about any of them. I was also checking MLS periodically during this time and my friend, Karen, was sending me listings. On January 10 House A entered our lives. Either I found it on MLS, or it showed up in the property search Scott had going for us. We went to see it on Sunday, January 13 and we LOVED it. However, there was some cracking in the brick on one of the outside walls, which Scott wasn't too sure about. We decided to put an offer in on it and get a really good home inspection.
So on Monday, January 14, we sent in an offer. And on Tuesday, January 15, it was accepted. I signed all the papers after I had worked out so ignore my hair, please :)
On Sunday, January 20 we had the house inspection. And sadly, the inspection unearthed some MAJOR problems. So we decided to not buy that house. Thankfully we'd had an inspection as part of the conditions.

After that I was bummed for awhile and stopped looking at MLS, until the end of February when we went for supper at our friends' house and noticed a house for sale in their area. I checked MLS again and found four possibilities on Sunday, February 24. We went to look at two of them on Wednesday, February 27 and really really liked one, which we'll call House B. We liked it even better than House A. We wanted to put an offer in on it and agreed to meet with Scott the next day at 4.

At 3 he called me and said that the seller had conditionally accepted another offer. I was so bummed. Plus I had just spent two hours shoveling out the driveway because the old tenant, who was responsible for it, never did it and had moved out. The whole time I was shoveling I had REALLY been looking forward to moving soon so I cried and cried and that was likely partly responsible for February's failing grade.

After that I was checking MLS multiple times a day and not finding anything. Dave and I were not on the same page about where we wanted to end up for a few weeks because we were desperately wanting to buy a house (I admit I was more narrow-minded; he was willing to look a little more widely), and it was just not good.

But then... oh, but then... On Tuesday, March 19 I woke up at 6 and checked MLS as usual. And there was, what appeared to be, a perfect house. I e-mailed our realtor immediately and we set up a viewing for 3:30 that afternoon. At 1:30 he sent me another listing and said we'd try to look at that one at 4:15. At 2:45, he called me and said that the first house had conditionally sold. Again, I was so completely bummed. I called my parents and cried. I'd been doing all the right things -- checking MLS, jumping at what seemed like perfect houses. When would it be our turn???

And then at 3:20 our realtor called and said we had a viewing for House C at 4:15. In fact, since I was on the phone with my parents and he couldn't leave a message he came by our house to make sure I'd gotten his e-mail. What service :)

So at 4:15 we walked into House C and fell in love. It was the Mary Poppins of Houses -- practically perfect in every way. It was within our price range, it had three bedrooms and potential guest space, it had an awesome sunroom/playroom. It had neat little features. It had a garage. It was in the school district we wanted to be in. And it wasn't that far from Dave's work. We immediately wanted to put an offer in. By 6:00 we knew that there were going to be two other offers presented and that ours would be presented at 7:45. So Scott came over and we put our offer together. At 8 Scott called us and said he felt it had gone well and we might hear as early as 8:15.

At 8:17 the phone rang and Scott informed us that the house was (conditionally) ours!!! Whooo hooo!!!
We had the building inspection on Saturday, March 23 and it turned out pretty well. There was one minor issue which Dave and I wanted to have figured out before we signed everything off. It took a little back and forth with our realtor but we signed the final papers on Monday, March 25. And then the house was ours! We are sooooo thrilled.

Sadly, our closing date isn't until August as the current owners are building a house and have an August finishing date, so we will be spending one more summer in our current place. Did I mention the new place has air conditioning and this one doesn't? The later closing date and the lack of more than one bathroom are about the only downsides to this house so we will make do. (And install a second bathroom (toilet and sink only) as soon as possible.)

I can't wait to "introduce you" to our new house through about a million pictures once we move! Yay!!!
And a funny story about this house -- as we were doing one last look around the house during our original viewing, I glanced at the names on the degrees hanging in the office. And I realized I know the current owners. Sam goes to preschool with their son. So the current owner and I have been having lots of discussions about the house and potentially having some playdates together and some of the house' history. Fun!

Funny story number two -- The house that Dave's dad grew up in was purchased by his parents from the parents of a schoolmate of his. So I guess we're just carrying on the family tradition! Love it!


  1. Sounds like a roller coaster, indeed! And funny, when my parents bought their last house, my mom also realized she knew the owners of the house we bought - she had gone to high school with one of them, even though the house was in a different city from where both of them grew up. Small world!

  2. That's awesome! It is such a process, isn't it? But, after almost two years in ours, totally worth it. Yours is a beauty! Can't wait to see more!

  3. How exciting!!! It stinks that you have to wait so long to close, but it will give you lots of time to plan and anticipate the beautiful air conditioning!! :)

  4. I'm so excited for you all!!!1

  5. Awww, this is so exciting! Sorry it has been such a crazy roller coaster ride, but I know it will make you appreciate your house even more. I know it will be a long wait through the summer, but you'll have lots of time for some good ol' Target shopping for decorations! :-)

  6. Congrats on the new house! I remember how stressful it was trying to decide on which one was right and then waiting seemingly forever to finally close. And while I know it will be several months before you move, hope the transition all goes well!


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